I have an old, but nice, lugged, mountain/touring frame with 26" wheels, a 5 spd hub, and no quick release skewers. The dropouts currently measure 125 mm. Can I have the frame dropouts spread out to accomodate a larger hub (130mm) with more cogs and quick release skewers?
yep, just get a rear derailleur that is 9 speed or whatever you want, i would imagine it is fine with your shifters, if wurse comes to wurse you can get new ones. I am, very happy with my SRTAM triggers and only 40 dollars @ ebay is a steal
Ok, now I know that I can spread it out (cold set it) to 130mm or whatever, the question becomes how much to widen it? I want to use it for long distance touring i.e. 2 weeks, or more, the tires will probably continue to be 26 x 1.25, but I'm not sure how to choose a good value wheel for this purpose and I think that I should do that before I bend the frame. So my questions are now, what kind of hub, number of spokes, spoke design (3x), rim, supplier etc. I know this is a lot, but I've been reading posts here for so long (trying to figure this out) that my wife thinks I'm getting weird
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
The first thing to do is to sit down, drink something and maybe burn a little incense. You are starting down the road toward becoming a compulsive bike tinkerer. There's no cure for that and no reward either but you'll learn some stuff that's absolutely useless to know and it can be fun.
Now recite this mantra: "You can never change just one part on a bicycle." Everything on a bicycle works together so that, almost everytime you change one thing, you'll find something else that has to be replaced to get it to work. Costs have a way of running out of control.
Now don't take this wrong, but I have to say it. The bike that you have now has no value what-so-ever. Zero. Are you sure this is the bike that you want to spend your time scewing with? If you're not sure, look around until you find something that's closer to what you want to end up with and start with that. If you start with a bike that has 700c wheels, you'll have a much easier time down the road with brakes and the like. That's what I would do.
If you have decided this is the bike you want to experiment with first, that's OK by me too. I'd use it's valueless state as an advantage. Most of the 26" wheels you will find are likely to be 135mm over lucknut dimension. That's more than some people recommend spreading the stays because they worry about stressing the welds at the bridges, but I've done it without problems. If you do crack a weld, it wasn't worth anything before so you really haven't lost anything. After you spread the stays, if you have access to a tablesaw, you can make yourself a gauge from a piece of scrap plywood that has parallel sides 135mm apart. Take a 12 or 15 inch crescent wrench and align your dropouts until they match your plywood gauge.
After you've finished this first step, be sure to post back about what you're doing. I, for one, am a compulsive bike tinkerer and I like thinking through this kind of stuff.
I recvently upgraded an friends old Schwin hybrid/mtb . We had to spread the rear cluster a bit to accomidate the 135mm rear wheels with a 9 speed drivetrain. We kept the old thumb friction shifters as they worked well with the deore rear dr and a sram 13/32 cassette. Upgraded the brakes from cantie to V-brakes and threw on a good MTB crank.
HE really liked his old frame, just used to complain about the weigh of the bike and the quality of the ride.........not more compliants
Sooo true. One thing always seems to lead to another. No this is not my dream bike. But neither are my other two bikes (Softrides) which I also enjoy very much and tinker with endlessly. Such is life. Yes, I would very much like to have something newer to drag around a BOB with. However, I want a new road bike much more and I believe I can make this 26" old thing work for one more summer.
I will keep you posted.