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Old 06-20-09, 11:47 AM   #1
Artkansas 
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135 MM to 130 MM

I have an old Specialized Hard Rock. It needs a new rear wheel, but all I can find are 135mm width wheels. I need a high quality wheel as I commute 20 miles a day. I'm against using a tool to spread the stays, I've seen it done and it's butchery. The bike shop was able to squeeze a 135 mm wheel in with some struggle, but it seems like adding that stress to what I would guess is already the most stressed part of the bike is like asking to break a stay and ruin the frame.

What is the best way to go about getting a good 130mm setup? Have a wheel custom made? If so, with what components? Or do I take a 135 mm wheel and have a machine shop cut the axle down and reduce the outer nuts from 4mm to 2mm or so in thickness?

Thanks
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Old 06-20-09, 11:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
I have an old Specialized Hard Rock. It needs a new rear wheel, but all I can find are 135mm width wheels. I need a high quality wheel as I commute 20 miles a day. I'm against using a tool to spread the stays, I've seen it done and it's butchery. The bike shop was able to squeeze a 135 mm wheel in with some struggle, but it seems like adding that stress to what I would guess is already the most stressed part of the bike is like asking to break a stay and ruin the frame.

What is the best way to go about getting a good 130mm setup? Have a wheel custom made? If so, with what components? Or do I take a 135 mm wheel and have a machine shop cut the axle down and reduce the outer nuts from 4mm to 2mm or so in thickness?

Thanks
What is the frame material. If it's aluminum, you are right to avoid frame spreading. If it's steel, re setting dropout width is done all the time.
The other option is to have a wheel built using a road hub. Modern road hubs are 130mm.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:00 PM   #3
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What's wrong with the old wheel?

Since mountain bikes have for a long time used 135mm spacing, you're probably not going to find a prebuilt wheel with 130mm spacing and a rim for a 26" tire. Build a wheel with a road hub since you don't like the idea of spreading your frame. You could also change the spacing and axle on a 135mm wheel.
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Old 06-20-09, 02:48 PM   #4
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The rim was getting too much out of round and the hub was shot. It was only 20 something years old.
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Old 06-20-09, 03:19 PM   #5
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While not as easy as lateral trueing, out of round can be fixed with some spoke wrenches. On the other hand since you say the hub is shot, it sounds like you got your money out of the last wheel, and it is in fact time for a new one. Your first option is to find a road hub with a 26 inch rim. I would avoid a custom wheel as there has to be an off the shelf solution somewhere, and that will generally be cheaper. The second thing you can do (if the frame is steel) is cold set it. Sheldon has a nice how to on his page that will maintain your frame alignment. Finally the third and possibly best solution I can think of is to simply find a hub where you can take off 5mm of spacer and cut the axle down. Assuming that you take the axle and spacer all from the non drive side of the hub your rim will be 2.5mm further to the drive side than it should be. This may not bother you, but if it does you will need to have the wheel re-dished. Also, if the last one was in fact 20 years old, is it a freewheel? Most new hubs are freehubs with a cassette. You may have a hard time getting a cassette body that is compatible with your current shifters unless you are using friction shifters.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:07 PM   #6
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I would suggest a custom wheel build. There's no doubt in my mind that what you need is a Tiagra hub. 130mm spacing and very high quality at an affordable price. As for the spokes, DT, Wheelsmith, or any other spokes from a good brand - 36 of them, laced cross-3. Straight 14g stainless spokes will serve you well and are affordable. As for the cassette, you can run a 7-speed cassette on those hubs by using an extra 4.5mm spacer (or an old 11T cog).

Remains the rim - lots of good choices here. You want a quality double-wall alu rim. What rim you wants depends on the tire width you like to use, among other things. Sun Rhyno Lite for wide tires, or a Sun CR-18, or a Mavic XM317.... Certainly can't go wrong with those, but you have a lot of choices.

To finish with a Sheldon quote...

"In my opinion Tiagra hubs are superior to all non Shimano hubs except Phil Wood. Shimano hubs are unequalled. Sheldon "Hubs" Brown"
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Old 06-20-09, 04:10 PM   #7
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Finally the third and possibly best solution I can think of is to simply find a hub where you can take off 5mm of spacer and cut the axle down.
It looks like this can be done on any Shimano 7-speed 135mm mountain hub that takes HG cassettes. So, find a NewOldStock or good used hub, or a used wheel with such a hub. You can cut down the axle, use one from a 130mm road hub, or just maybe reuse the one from your old wheel.
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Old 06-20-09, 05:03 PM   #8
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If it were my bike I would build up a whatever rim I wanted on a modern shimano road hub. Then I would install a 9 speed shimano mountain cassette.
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Old 06-20-09, 06:26 PM   #9
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The most stressed part of a frame is actually where the chainstays meet the BB-shell.

Anyway, to re-space a 135mm wheel to 130, you typically would remove 5mm of spacers from the LEFT side only. That's because the right side is still spaced with the 1st cog in the proper position to work with the shifters & derailleurs (about 4-5mm from the inner dropout face).

The main reason for 135mm spacing is to reduce wheel-dish for stronger rear wheels. This is done by adding ALL of the extra 5mm spacing to the left, which reduces dish. If you added that extra 5mm spacing by adding 2.5mm to left & right sides, you haven't reduced any dish at all. So... to convert 135mm to 130, remove the extra 5mm that was added to the left side. Not that tough, and you'll need to reduce the axle-length by that much, takes about 10-seconds with a grinder.

If the hub doesn't have 5mm of spacers on the left to remove, you can take out at least 2-3mm by removing the washer and find a thinner locknut for the rest.
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