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  1. #1
    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    front wheel axle won't fit in fork dropouts

    Tonight I tried to put a recent make Campy front wheel on my 80's Panasonic steel frame and found that the diameter of axle was too wide to fit into the dropouts. Is there anything that I can do to remedy this? Could I take a rasp to the part of the axle sticking out of the hub? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Do you mean diameter or length? Most standarrd bicycle front hubs have a width of 100mm between the bearing locknuts and a axle diameter at the fork dropouts of 9.5mm as I recall. I will presume you mean axle length. If it is a quick release hub and the axle is a bit too long to allow tightening the quick release enough to hold the wheel in the fork then the ends of the axle can be ground off to allow correct quick release tightening.

    Inspect carefully. Is the problem that the axle protrudes from the outside of the fork dropout on one side or both? If only on one side then a bike shop can possibly recenter the axle for correct fit. If both sides then your fork dropouts are thinner than current ones in which case shortening the axle on both sides will be required.

    If you truly mean axle diameter then your original wheel axle probably was undersize or had flats ground into it where it fit the fork dropouts. In that case I would have a good LBS look at things and see about widening the dropouts to fit the new axle.
    Last edited by tatfiend; 05-29-09 at 10:54 PM. Reason: expand
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    I agree with the above, if you actually mean axle diameter, widen the dropouts instead of thinning the axle. that leads to a very weak spot.
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  4. #4
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    File out the dropout. Take your time and do a neat job of it. I've done this many times on older bikes when installing newer wheels, and never had a problem.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  5. #5
    AEO
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    when filing the dropout, file it from the trailing side, so that you don't have to guess the correct amount to file.

    else your wheel will be crooked in the dropout.
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  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChanceCoats123 View Post
    I agree with the above, if you actually mean axle diameter, widen the dropouts instead of thinning the axle. that leads to a very weak spot.
    This is ridiculously wrong.

    You only need to remove the threaded part of the axle - and it should fit the older axle sizes you typically see. This in no way affects the strength of the solid axle. You only need to file parallel flats onto both sides and only for the width of the dropouts themselves, which usually isn't very wide at all if it's a cheap bike.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Do you mean diameter or length? Most standarrd bicycle front hubs have a width of 100mm between the bearing locknuts and a axle diameter at the fork dropouts of 9.5mm as I recall. I will presume you mean axle length. If it is a quick release hub and the axle is a bit too long to allow tightening the quick release enough to hold the wheel in the fork then the ends of the axle can be ground off to allow correct quick release tightening.

    Inspect carefully. Is the problem that the axle protrudes from the outside of the fork dropout on one side or both? If only on one side then a bike shop can possibly recenter the axle for correct fit. If both sides then your fork dropouts are thinner than current ones in which case shortening the axle on both sides will be required.

    If you truly mean axle diameter then your original wheel axle probably was undersize or had flats ground into it where it fit the fork dropouts. In that case I would have a good LBS look at things and see about widening the dropouts to fit the new axle.
    Not the length, the diameter; the axle is too thick to fit in the dropouts. I don't think that my previous wheel's axle was undersized. I've tried a few other wheels that I have laying around, and they all fit properly. The axle on this Campy wheel is a little bit odd in that it doesn't have threads.

  8. #8
    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    File out the dropout. Take your time and do a neat job of it. I've done this many times on older bikes when installing newer wheels, and never had a problem.
    Thanks, I think I'll try that.

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