I'm in the process of a new build using some parts from my older steel road bike and moving them onto a new aluminum frame/carbon fork. The frame spacing is the same (130mm), however, when I place the wheel into the new carbon fork dropout the axle only extends about halfway through due to the dropouts of the carbon fork being wider (see photo) http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3061/...7a750311_o.jpg Even though the wheels are circa 1983 they've been bulletproof so I'd rather not get new wheels or have to rebuild them provided there isn't a safety concern. Will I be safe with this setup? Is this normal or do newer hubs have longer axles to accommodate the thicker dropouts on new forks? Thanks in advance for the assistance.
Not a problem. All forks are the same spacing so all front axles are the same. as for the rear, you'll often see that the actual axle doesn't extend all the way. just make sure your skewer is properly tightened and you'll be fine.
..when I place the wheel into the ..dropout the axle only extends about halfway through due to the dropouts .. Will I be safe with this setup? ..
That's not a problem. Once assembled the load isn't carried by the axle/dropout interface, but rather by the dropout being clamped between the QR and the locknuts. In theory (and tested by Sheldon Brown) a wheel will work just fine (although cumbersome to align in the frame/fork) even with the axle ends sitting flush with the locknuts.