I just recently bought an older bike that I was planning to convert to fixed-gear. It is a late '80s Nishiki Sport. When I bought it, I checked out the dropouts just to make sure that they were horizontal. I saw the horizontal dropout on the non-drive side and figured I was all set so I bought the bike. As soon as I started stripping it down I saw a problem. The drive side dropout is different - it is horizontal but very short, as you can see in the image. I haven't been able to find any information on this design, so I am reaching out to you guys. Has anyone seen this before or know why the dropouts are designed that way?
The frame is labeled as having chromoly "main tubes" and the dropouts definitely seem to be some type of steel. The metal in the middle of the dropout is only a few millimeters thinner than the rest of the dropout (it is indented from the surfaces that interface with the axle and lock nuts by about 1mm inside and out). I don't really have any metalworking experience aside from small dremel projects. Do you think it would be relatively easy to grind out the metal in the dropout so that I can tension my chain? Any suggestions of how, and what equipment might work to do this right?
I posted more photos of the bike in the vintage bikes forum as well if you are interested: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post14234098