Has anyone chosen to upgrade from 7 speed without cold setting and if so is it really difficult to squeeze a 10 speed wheel in? Am I creating more problems after? If I do just squeeze a new wheel in, do I only then have to get 10 speed STI shifters....no re-dishing, no other components etc.
I've read a lot about upgrading / cold setting thanks to Sheldon Brown (who will be greatly missed) and on these forums. It was suggested that spreading the frame might not be necessary and i could just squeeze a modern wheel in. I have an early 1990s 7 speed 126mm spacing road bike and cold setting might not be required to just go up to 130mm. I have brazed on downtube shifters on a Reynolds 531 frame.
I would like to do as little as possible to upgrade since i don't really have a great urge to take on a project and I love the bike as it is. I'm only upgrading because I might need to replace the rear wheel soon and i might as well do the upgrade since i have to get a new wheel anyway.
The LBS was not very helpful and wasn't keen on doing the upgrade without giving me the hard sell for a new tip-top carbon bike. They wouldn't let me try and put a modern wheel in just to check if it would go on. I AM looking to buy a new bike anyway but that doesn't mean I will get rid of my old steel friend! Just looking for quick easy and cheap way to upgrade a bike I love.
I have run a similar frame (early 90's Miyata) that was originally spaced 126mm with 10 speed campy components with no issues for a couple years now. It's 2 mm spread on either side, and not at all difficult to push the wheel in.
Go to a good LBS and have them do it with the proper tool. Although you might get a lot of "home brew" solutions the reality is that when you spread the stays you slight mis-align the RD hanger. The LBS realign the RD hanger as part of the job. This is one job where the LBS is best (assuming they have someone who knows how to use the tool).
You should be able to sqeeze the wheel in without cold setting, or if you want the frame permanently spaced at 130, follow Sheldon's instructions for cold setting in his article. Cold setting, particularly in going from 126 to 130, is not a big deal. Read Sheldon's article, and if you decide to cold set it, follow his instructions carefully.