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Old 09-04-07, 10:41 PM   #1
Enk1du
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Axle size for older Trek frame

I know I have a bent rear axle (QR style), but the problem is that it seems to be an odd size. When I measure both the O.L.D, and add the 11mm, or just measure the bent axle, it comes out to be around 133mm, but the problem is that I can't find any information on an axle of that size or anything near it. The closest thing I could find was 137, but I'm pretty sure that would be too long. So I guess my question is, does anyone know anything about axles of that length, or, should/could I cut down a 137mm axle a few mm?

Last edited by Enk1du; 09-07-07 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:49 PM   #2
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where is this 11mm coming from?

just a bent quick release, or the actual axle in the hub?
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Old 09-04-07, 10:59 PM   #3
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where is this 11mm coming from?

just a bent quick release, or the actual axle in the hub?
I emailed Sheldon Brown and he said this

"axles are 11 mm longer than the Over Lock Nut dimension"

Sorry about all the confusion, it is the actual axle that is bent.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:21 AM   #4
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where is this 11mm coming from?
Quick release axles are spec'ed at 11 mm longer than the OLD so 130 mm dropout spacing uses a 141 mm axle, 126 mm dropouts use a 137 mm axle and 120 mm dropouts use a 131 mm axle. This allows 5.5 mm of axle stub to stick out beyond each locknut and into the dropouts.

To the OP: If you install a 137 mm axle and the stubs stick out beyond the dropout faces, axles can be cut down fairly easily. A hacksaw and file to clean up the cut end work fine. BTW, what is your dropout spacing? If it's 120 mm (5-speed) the correct length is 131 mm and these are still available.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:13 PM   #5
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Well, measuring the spacing turns out that it is 122.5, so I'm not actually sure what it is. If it helps, it is a 1983 Trek 720 frame.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:33 PM   #6
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Well, measuring the spacing turns out that it is 122.5, so I'm not actually sure what it is. If it helps, it is a 1983 Trek 720 frame.
Sweet bike, I love Trek 720's. The bike originally came with a 6 speed freewheel, so that would imply 126mm OLD spacing. However, since some folks favored running five speed freewheels on touring bikes of that era, with 120mm OLD spacing, to lessen the chance of broken rear axles under heavy loads, it might be that the bike's dropout spacing is a fudge between 120 and 126mm spacing, so that either five or six speed freewheels could be easily used. At any rate, 122.5mm spacing is not one of the normal standards, but again, five speed is generally 120 and six speed is 126, the frame's dropouts would be required to flex a bit either way.

Here's a catalog link to the '83 720, sometimes called "the best touring bike ever built."

http://www.vintage-trek.com/TrekBrochure1983Part2.htm

edit: I just noticed the '83 is specced with a Helicomatic hub, aka the hub from hell. That could be part of the problem, I'm not sure-
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Old 09-06-07, 12:23 AM   #7
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Well, I'm pretty sure it is 131 mm. I've got another older rear wheel and the axle is 131 and it fits just fine, so... where might I find one? I'm pretty sure it is 10x1x131 now I just need to find one.


Btw, it's not a helicomatic hub, the bicycle was purchased as just a frame and now seems to have a random assortment of parts, but the rear hub is a Normandy Luxe Competition (High flange). The only information I could find on that hub is that it was normally sold with Peugeot's px10.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:25 AM   #8
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Lbs
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Old 09-06-07, 12:32 AM   #9
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Yeah, that seems like it might be the best solution
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Old 09-07-07, 06:04 PM   #10
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Alright, so I checked with my LBS and they said they can not order one. So, any other suggestions? Should I just cut a 137mm one down?
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Old 09-07-07, 06:50 PM   #11
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Yes, a longer axle should be cut down so that the total length is equal to the OLD plus twice the width of a rear dropout minus 2 mm (the 11mm rule is fine, too, but some older bikes have thin dropouts). The axle needs to have sufficient threads for proper cone placement, the end needs to be carefully filed so as to allow installation of the cone and locknut without damging their threads, and the q/r tunnel should be cleared of burrs and debris. I strongly suggest cutting only one end - much less work. I'd suggest the lbs do it but they should have known enough to suggest that in the first place, so maybe not. If you do it get some help either here or preferably in person.

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Old 09-12-07, 12:35 AM   #12
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Well, just as a quick update, I cut a 137 axle down to 131 and then chamfered off the edge a bit with a desktop grinder and it seems alright. I'm thinking about coating the cut off end to prevent some rust, but I'm not really sure yet. I need to get some cone wrenches though since the old axle had locking washer, but that is only a minor inconvenience.
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Old 12-23-15, 01:44 PM   #13
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How does one go about cutting down an axle? I do have access to a workshop but have never done this, I need to replace an old rear wheel axle.

The axle seems to be about 126 mm (6 speed)., though these measurements are tricky.

I hope it's okay to bump an old thread.

Looking online, I see QR axles, some I think up to 180 mm.
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Old 12-23-15, 01:50 PM   #14
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How does one go about cutting down an axle? I do have access to a workshop but have never done this, I need to replace an old rear wheel axle.

The axle seems to be about 126 mm (6 speed)., though these measurements are tricky.

I hope it's okay to bump an old thread.

Looking online, I see QR axles, some I think up to 180 mm.
Hack saw. I may have used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel as well, can't remember.

Bumping is generally not a good idea and results in people wasting their time reading a thread from 8 years ago. Next time you're better off starting a new thread.
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Old 12-23-15, 01:51 PM   #15
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Thanks FastJake; will do so in the future, it did seem to pertain to the situation.

We also have a woodcraft shop near us where I've done biz, maybe they'd be helpful in this.
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Old 12-23-15, 05:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Enk1du View Post
I emailed Sheldon Brown and he said this

"axles are 11 mm longer than the Over Lock Nut dimension"

Sorry about all the confusion, it is the actual axle that is bent.
Can you email my long since passed away dad too? (Being that Sheldon brown is long passed. My he rest in peace and not be bothered by emails or phone calls any longer).

The usual in shops is to stock the longer axle lengths and cut down 9or grind off0 any unneeded length on a as needed basis. This saves SKUs on the shelf and means you have n axle for any need. If a customer told me that he needed a specific length axle I would sell it and cut to suit.

Not yet mentioned is the diameter and thread pitch. for rear axles this is usually a 9.5mm (3/8") or 10mm diameter and either a 26TPI or a 1TPM pitch. Andy.
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Old 12-23-15, 06:01 PM   #17
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Continuing the bump, but man, this thread is old and obviously Sheldon Brown was still very much alive (and helpful) in 2007.
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Old 12-23-15, 08:46 PM   #18
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Sorry, my mistake for not spotting the old dates. Andy
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Old 12-23-15, 10:26 PM   #19
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That is probably a good reason to not bump threads, I may have learned my lesson but I read the whole thread and actually, it summed up a lot of thoughts. But if that is more or less, the policy, I will know next time.
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Old 12-24-15, 12:40 AM   #20
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That is probably a good reason to not bump threads, I may have learned my lesson but I read the whole thread and actually, it summed up a lot of thoughts. But if that is more or less, the policy, I will know next time.
At least you were on topic.
The typical person that seems to bump 5+ year old posts has a post count of 1.
They just seem to need to post something, no matter how ignorant/off topic it is.
Now there will probably be 2 additional pages discussing the pros & cons.......
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