I posted a little while ago about this, but I can't find the post anymore and I had some additional questions.
I just got a 1996 Bianchi San Remo frame. It's a lugged steel touring frame with 130mm dropouts. I want to use my old wheels which are velocity rims with shimano 105 hubs, and a 6 gear freewheel. I know that I can put some spacers on the rear wheel so that it will fit the new frame, but my question is:
Can I put one spacer on each side and save the hassle of redishing the wheel (I don't know how to do it and would have to take it to the LBS for that). Or do I need to put two spacers on the non geared side and redish the wheel? Also the new crank I'm putting on I think is a 10-speed crank. Will an 8-speed chain work with a 10 speed crank and a 6 speed freewheel? Or does it make more sense to just get a new rear wheel. Can I get a new rear hub, and have the LBS lace that up? Does that make sense. (I'm also trying not to speed too too much money on this).
2003 Specialized Hardrock, 2004 LOOK KG386i, 2005 Iron Horse Warrior Expert, 2009 Pedal Force CX1
One downside to putting a spacer on each side is that your high stop screwon your rear derailler will need to be screwed in pretty far to reach the first cog which is now spaced in an extra 2mm. Also, if you have two sets of wheels and one wheel was properly spaced (spacers on non-drive side) and dished accordingly, you'd need to adjust your rear derailler to work when swapping wheels (doesn't sound like a concern here though).
The 10 speed crank and 8 speed chain combo might be an issue. The 10 speed rings will have ramps that are designed to lift the chain onto the bigger ring. Those ramps are designed with a narrow 10 speed chain in mind. I had a problem trying to use a 9 speed ring with an 8 speed chain but only at pretty extreme chain angles. you could solve the issue by using a 10 speed chain but then you'd need a 10 speed front derailler and who knows how that narrow chain would work with a 6 speed freewheel.
With all the labor involved in swapping a hub, it's most likely cheaper to buy a fully built rear wheel with a modern freehub. If you go used, you could probably find a decent rear wheel for ~$50. You can get one new for under $100: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5320
The 8 speed chain will work with your drivetrain, but the chain will (probably) rub the big ring on your 2nd cog (next to biggest) when you are on the small ring. 10 speed cranks seem to be spaced a bit more narrow than older stuff. You can most likely squeeze the dropouts down to 126mm with the skewer. Alot of us force 126mm up to 130mm with modern wheels.
Yeah, if you go with the spacers, I'd recommend you just put them all on the NDS, then re-dish yourself. Not only will you avoid the lower limit screw range problem, but you'll be strengthening your wheel. It's really not tough to re-dish. Just take 1/4 tightening turn all the way around on the NDS spokes (that's counter clockwise when looking at the bottom of the wheel from above. Keep tightening 1/4 turn until your thumb jambs between the rim and chain stay the same on both sides.