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  1. #1
    Ride for Life wearyourtruth's Avatar
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    Spreading aluminum stays

    i'm sure this topic has been covered before, but the search function didn't really give me the answer i was looking for. i have a full aluminum frame with 126mm rear spacing. i'd like to use a modern 130mm wheelset. if this was a steel frame, i'd think nothing of it, but i know aluminum is not as malleable. can i get away with this or is it best to try and find a 126mm wheel?
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    It really depends on the specific alloy, construction (welded vs bonded) and condition (heat treat). I've has success, bit I've also known it to lead to premature stress cracking. You're probably better off leaving it as is, and spring the frame open to mount the wheel. This rarely leads to problems, but can be a PIA.

    If you do go ahead and spread the frame, make sure that the change happens along the length of the stays, and isn't simply a hard bend at the bridges or tube ends. And since you don't want to overwork the material, plan on getting it right the first time, rather than over spreading and having to correct your work. Aluminum isn't nearly as forgiving as steel, but if you do this job carefully and correctly you can spread the job with no untoward consequences.
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    I would not do it. You might be able to spread the arms a bit when inserting the wheel but aluminum is not designed to be cold set as is steel.

    Just respace the axle for a 126mm spacing. You will have to redish the wheel more than likely as well.

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    Just "force" the 130 mm hub into the 126 mm dropouts. It isn't that difficult and won't damage the frame.

    Assuming your hub is an 8/9/10-speed freehub, respacing the hub to 126 mm will require redishing and leave you with a weaker, less stable wheel and I wouldn't do it. The reason manufacturer's went to 130 mm hubs when wider 8/9/10-speed cassettes replaced 6/7-speed freewheels and cassettes was to prevent excess dish.

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    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    There is some probability that you will damage the frame by doing this. There are ways of estimating how probable it would be and how long it would last, but you really won't know for sure until you do it. It'll depend on the type and size of tubing, length of stays, etc.

    So just take a bare 130mm hub or someone else's 130mm wheel and put it in there and get a feel for how much effort it would take to spread them. If you can get it in just with finger strength it'll probably be OK; that is, it'll be a long time before something cracks. What the hell, you know you want a new frame anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Just "force" the 130 mm hub into the 126 mm dropouts. It isn't that difficult and won't damage the frame.

    Assuming your hub is an 8/9/10-speed freehub, respacing the hub to 126 mm will require redishing and leave you with a weaker, less stable wheel and I wouldn't do it. The reason manufacturer's went to 130 mm hubs when wider 8/9/10-speed cassettes replaced 6/7-speed freewheels and cassettes was to prevent excess dish.
    This is what I did on an old cannondale I had without any issues, the dropout spacing was something like 127.5, weird spread for sure.
    "After all is said and done, a hell lot of a lot more is said than done."

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    Quote Originally Posted by echo View Post
    This is what I did on an old cannondale I had without any issues, the dropout spacing was something like 127.5, weird spread for sure.
    This was intentional. Many frames produced in the years of transition from 126 to 130mm were built in between so the frame would be slightly sprung in one direction or the other, but never as far either way.
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    Ride for Life wearyourtruth's Avatar
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    i may not have used the correct terminology initially, i'm not looking to cold-set the frame into a 130mm, i'm just talking about spreading (or "spring" as FBinNY said) the stays by hand and putting the wheel in. it's only 2mm on each side, but i didn't know if having the stays under that constant little bit of stress was a problem.

    it sounds like that shouldn't be a problem though, and i have put the wheel in and out as i am building up the frame, it's not as nice as just sliding right in, but the stays have enough flex that i can do it fairly easily.

    i would just re-space and re-dish the wheel if i could, but it's a newer wheel (spinergy) with proprietary parts. it's not like the good ol' days where i could just source a shorter axle and thinner spacers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
    i may not have used the correct terminology initially, i'm not looking to cold-set the frame into a 130mm, i'm just talking about spreading (or "spring" as FBinNY said) the stays by hand and putting the wheel in. it's only 2mm on each side, but i didn't know if having the stays under that constant little bit of stress was a problem.
    It might eventually lead to a failure, but probably not in your lifespan.

    Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
    it sounds like that shouldn't be a problem though, and i have put the wheel in and out as i am building up the frame, it's not as nice as just sliding right in, but the stays have enough flex that i can do it fairly easily.
    Depending on the shape of your dropouts, you can file bevels, or "guide ramps" at the slot's entry area. This helps to pick up the axle and guide it in. Just be sure not to file to the area where the axle faces end up, since you need the full width flat support to hold the wheel properly.
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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Another option is to have conical locknuts on the hub like Shimano did when 130mm was first produced. The conical shape the locknuts help spread out the frame as you pull the wheel in. I used this on all my 126mm road bikes for over a decade of racing without any problems. I did break 2 aluminium and 3 steel frames during that time, but that was from crashes and major abuse. Spreading the stays didn't cause any issues.


  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Welded aluminum frames are often heat treated when welding is done
    to, normalize stresses, left from the welding all those joints.

    You might shave off a few mm of spacer on the left end then re-dish the spokes..
    to reduce the width ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You might shave off a few mm of spacer on the left end then re-dish the spokes..
    to reduce the width ..
    Unnecessary

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    Yes you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
    i may not have used the correct terminology initially, i'm not looking to cold-set the frame into a 130mm, i'm just talking about spreading (or "spring" as FBinNY said) the stays by hand and putting the wheel in.

  14. #14
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Why am I the only one offering the actual solution?

    Use a wheel with an OCR. The off-centre spoke holes mean you can use an 8/9/10sp cassette body in 126mm OLD, with less dish than a normal wheel at 130mm.

    Sorted.

    Not sure what other options you have other than Velocity's Aerohead OC or Synergy OC, other than complete wheelsets from Ritchey, but I think there might be a few.

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    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    Why am I the only one offering the actual solution?

    Use a wheel with an OCR. The off-centre spoke holes mean you can use an 8/9/10sp cassette body in 126mm OLD, with less dish than a normal wheel at 130mm.

    Sorted.

    Not sure what other options you have other than Velocity's Aerohead OC or Synergy OC, other than complete wheelsets from Ritchey, but I think there might be a few.
    Brotherman says he
    owns a spinergy wheelset
    that he'll try to run.


    Most likely, he'll run
    what he's got, as-is. Maybe
    things will be OK.

    OP: I'd suggest
    A new frame for Synergies
    or different wheels.

    -rob
    Last edited by surreal; 05-12-12 at 10:51 AM. Reason: excess syllables

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    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Hmm, I wouldn't try anything tricky with Spinergys - AFAIK, you can't change the OLD, and jamming a 130mm wheel in a 126mm ally frame isn't a good idea, in my book.

    Although Spinergys are cool with their zero dish... If I had a set, I'd be hankering for a custom fork and front hub for a front OLD of 65mm or whatever. That'd be way cool. Anyone remember the knife-like custom GT track bikes the Yanks had a couple of Olympics ago?

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    wearyourtruth, My '89 Cannondale has had 130 mm hubs in it's 126 mm dropouts since the '90s without a problem. If using the longer hub causes a failure then there was a problem to begin with, regardless of frame material, IMHO.

    kimmo, I like OC drilled rear rims, and attribute my mountain bike's long lived rear wheel to them, but until road bikes go to 135 mm (which I wouldn't use in any 126 mm aluminum frame) I don't think they'll ever become more popular than they are now.

    Brad

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    That's what makes Cannondales so great: in-between rear spacing so either a 126 or 130mm work fine.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I like the idea of those conical locknuts. Are they hard to find these days?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Just "force" the 130 mm hub into the 126 mm dropouts. It isn't that difficult and won't damage the frame.

    Assuming your hub is an 8/9/10-speed freehub, respacing the hub to 126 mm will require redishing and leave you with a weaker, less stable wheel and I wouldn't do it. The reason manufacturer's went to 130 mm hubs when wider 8/9/10-speed cassettes replaced 6/7-speed freewheels and cassettes was to prevent excess dish.
    I have done this with 2 old Cannondales .... no problems.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwellman View Post
    That's what makes Cannondales so great: in-between rear spacing so either a 126 or 130mm work fine.
    Trek did the same thing in the early 90's. I have a '92 1420 with 128 mm spacing. One size fits all.

    Surly still does it with the Cross check which is spaced 132.5 mm to take 130 or 135 mm hubs.

  23. #23
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    kimmo, I like OC drilled rear rims, and attribute my mountain bike's long lived rear wheel to them, but until road bikes go to 135 mm (which I wouldn't use in any 126 mm aluminum frame) I don't think they'll ever become more popular than they are now.
    Uh, 135mm OLD would reduce the need for an OCR.

    You can prolly get close to dishless with both.

    Also, an increase in OLD by 5mm changes the dish by 2.5mm. An OCR offset of 5mm changes the dish by 5mm.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    I like the idea of those conical locknuts. Are they hard to find these days?
    Not sure where to find them. Some shops may have Dura-ace spare parts. I've never bothered and just made my own. Remove locknuts from exisitng hubs and beveled the outside corners/tips of the hex shape. These are usually the areas that contact first.

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