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Old 11-24-12, 10:35 AM   #1
centerspin
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New rear wheel is wider than the width of my frame.

hello all,
i just purchased a new rear wheel for my road bike. the spacing/width of the new wheel is 130mm. the spacing/width on my 1985 centurion accordo is 126mm. the new wheel fits if i just slightly pull the dropouts apart and slide in the wheel. just wanted to ask, is this okay to do? and what the consequences? thanks in advance.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:45 AM   #2
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People do it all the time. If you want to make that fit permanent cold set the rear, there are a variety of articles telling you how..check out Sheldon Brown's pages. The issue is doing it in such a way you don't mis-align the rear.

http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
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Old 11-24-12, 10:47 AM   #3
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Centerspin- The answer is a shade of gray. Most would just install the wheel as is, spreading the frame a bit. Of course the rear brake and gears should be checked for the proper adjustments with the new rim and cogs positionings. But those of us who are a bit more anal this isn't "right". We'd respace the axle to better fit the frame width and possible freewheel clearance then redish the rim to mainatin centerness. While we were at this we'd also add lube to the bearings (since it would take only a few extra seconds to spin the loose cone back and inject grease) and when we redished the rim we'd also check/up the spoke tension.

Your frame can handle the extra 5mm of spread without issue. But removing and reinstalling the wheel will be a touch more of a hassle. At the shop i go through the above steps if i have the time. Andy.
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Old 11-24-12, 11:11 AM   #4
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No worries - you've probably got a high-end Tange CrMo steel tubeset. Your 126mm spacing was for a 6 to 7 speed setup and 130mm is needed to handle 8 to 10 speed setups. Personally I wouldn't even bother to cold set it if you can get the axle in easily. In fact - in most cases the spacing can be changed acceptably by changing out the locknut on the nondrive side for a slimmer model and redishing the wheel. If you even feel you need to do that.
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Old 11-24-12, 12:09 PM   #5
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thank you, thank you all for your replys. i just tested again and confirmed i did not have to put too much effort spreading the frame when installing the wheel. i forget to mention, i restored this bike myself and so looking at Sheldon's website about cold spacing the frame looks really scary.

Last edited by centerspin; 11-24-12 at 12:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-24-12, 12:13 PM   #6
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you can put a thinner left side spacer on the axle for reducing most if not all of that 4mm.

then the spoke tension on the drive side is increased. that re centers the Rim.

You can Hire out the cold setting and not have to watch.
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Old 11-24-12, 12:23 PM   #7
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you can put a thinner left side spacer on the axle for reducing most if not all of that 4mm.

then the spoke tension on the drive side is increased. that re centers the Rim.

You can Hire out the cold setting and not have to watch.
ha ha nice re hiring out for the cold setting, but if it fits right now, will i have to do any adjustments to the spokes or the wheel itself or am i good to go?
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Old 11-24-12, 12:30 PM   #8
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If you're comfortable with spreading the frame whenever you replace the wheel, then leave well enough alone. It isn't ideal, but if you don't get a flat on a cold rainy night when you have to replace the wheel with half numb fingers, it won't matter in the least.

OTOH, if this is a bike where you often need to remove the rear wheel, like to get it into a small car, or on a commuter that gets lots of rough use, then spreading each time you replace the wheel can get old. You can narrow the hub (most, but not all), or you can spread the frame. Of the two, I prefer spreading the frame to 130mm. This makes for a stronger wheel and will serve you better in the future, since wheels aren't getting narrower. Cold spreading a steel frame is a snap, and can be done very reliably by anybody who isn't mechanically declined.
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Old 11-24-12, 12:43 PM   #9
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At some point you'll get tired of spreading the stays to get the wheel in and out. It just makes working on the bike a pain. There's really nothing to fear about cold-setting the frame, and it can be a DIY job, but if it were me I'd leave this to a shop that has the old-school tools for the purpose. The steel in a good frame is a wonderful material that's ductile rather than brittle, and does not lose strength if mildly bent in a controlled way.
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Old 11-24-12, 12:54 PM   #10
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At some point you'll get tired of spreading the stays to get the wheel in and out. It just makes working on the bike a pain. There's really nothing to fear about cold-setting the frame, and it can be a DIY job, but if it were me I'd leave this to a shop that has the old-school tools for the purpose. The steel in a good frame is a wonderful material that's ductile rather than brittle, and does not lose strength if mildly bent in a controlled way.
Can i file down the spacer on the none drive side of the wheel? if i do will i need to re true the wheel?
thanks
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Old 11-24-12, 01:04 PM   #11
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Can i file down the spacer on the none drive side of the wheel? if i do will i need to re true the wheel?
thanks
Any modifications you make to the hub spacings requires re-truing - more specifically - re-dishing. Anything you do to modify the drive side spacing will affect center line and shifting AND will again require re-dishing.

Simplest route to go is to:

Continue as-is with the tight fit OR cold set the rear to 130mm.

=8-)
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Old 11-24-12, 01:28 PM   #12
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Any modifications you make to the hub spacings requires re-truing - more specifically - re-dishing. Anything you do to modify the drive side spacing will affect center line and shifting AND will again require re-dishing.

Simplest route to go is to:

Continue as-is with the tight fit OR cold set the rear to 130mm.

=8-)
cool thanks i think i will go with the first choice.
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Old 11-24-12, 02:32 PM   #13
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thank you, thank you all for your replys. i just tested again and confirmed i did not have to put too much effort spreading the frame when installing the wheel. i forget to mention, i restored this bike myself and so looking at Sheldon's website about cold spacing the frame looks really scary.
Many of us were that way at first. I've become far less concerned having cold-set several frames. It really isn't that big a deal. I've also purchased a drop-out alignment tool, which really is more important since the wheel is under an unequal stress otherwise. If you do opt for cold setting, I'd have someone show you how it's done. The alignment tool is a bit of an investment, I paid about $75.
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Old 11-24-12, 02:50 PM   #14
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You could always go halfway and respace it to 128mm, like frames in the transitional period between 7- and 8-speed were. That would make it easier to squeeze in 130mm wheels, and not too loosey-goosey if you wanted to throw in a 126mm wheel.
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Old 11-24-12, 05:45 PM   #15
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4mm is less than 1/4 inch total, or less than 1/8th inch per side. I never bother cold setting for such a small amount, squeezing it in is no big deal.
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Old 11-24-12, 05:50 PM   #16
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I had an 85 World Sport I converted to 130. The lower end tubing was thicker and more rigid than yours probably is, making the dropouts less able to flex enough to bear squarely on the hub.

I could not pedal hard without moving the axle until the wheel hit the chainstay.

I took a box end wrench and tweaked the dropouts until they bore squarely on the ends of the hub.

Don't just crank up the quick release tension. If it's too high you'll wear your bearings right out.
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Old 11-24-12, 05:53 PM   #17
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Any modifications you make to the hub spacings requires re-truing - more specifically - re-dishing.
If you take 2mm off each end it should be fine. There is often more than 2mm of clearance between a 130mm hub's outer sprocket and the frame.

Respacing one side and redishing can result in a weaker wheel.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 11-25-12 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:56 PM   #18
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You could always go halfway and respace it to 128mm, like frames in the transitional period between 7- and 8-speed were. That would make it easier to squeeze in 130mm wheels, and not too loosey-goosey if you wanted to throw in a 126mm wheel.
i maybe able to swing that. possibly sanding off some of the layers of paint on the dropouts. also found another way to add space using wing nuts that seems to be more controlled.
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Old 11-24-12, 11:03 PM   #19
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If you take 2mm off each end it should be fine. There is often more than 2mm of clearance between a 130mm hub's outer sprocket and the frame.
You mess up the chain line unnecessarily...

We have all already laid it out for the OP as to what to do without making things multi-variable. KISS rule essentially.

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Old 11-24-12, 11:19 PM   #20
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i maybe able to swing that. possibly sanding off some of the layers of paint on the dropouts. also found another way to add space using wing nuts that seems to be more controlled.
Either spread it or don't. If you're going to the effort to spread it, you might as well do it to the wheel,s width. Otherwise don't bother. There's absolutely no logic to half measures here.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 11-24-12 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 11:55 PM   #21
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Either spread it or don't. If you're going to the effort to spread it, you might as well do it to the wheel,s width. Otherwise don't bother. There's absolutely no logic to half measures here.
I agree FBinNY. keeping it simple works for me.

thanks
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Old 11-25-12, 12:09 AM   #22
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It would be better to have the frame cold set to 130mm. Spreading the dropouts to make room for the hub stress the axle and it will flex slightly causing bearing wear.
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Old 11-25-12, 10:08 AM   #23
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At some point you'll get tired of spreading the stays to get the wheel in and out. It just makes working on the bike a pain. There's really nothing to fear about cold-setting the frame, and it can be a DIY job, but if it were me I'd leave this to a shop that has the old-school tools for the purpose. The steel in a good frame is a wonderful material that's ductile rather than brittle, and does not lose strength if mildly bent in a controlled way.
Exactly the way I see it! I've had this done to a few frames, with no ill effects. If you combine this job with a full and careful frame alignment (I think this is a good idea when you're starting life with a new frame), you get the cold-setting and dropout alignment nearly for free. I like a frame to track straight on good wheels, and for the wheels to just slip into the dropouts with no finagling and stop at the correctly aligned position. Might sound anal, but it makes life easier.

Widening the OLD of a 126 wheel to 130 is usually not an issue, at least with old-school hubs with threaded axles. With more modern wheels where the axle may have shoulders or other special features, it might be harder to correctly shorten the axle from 130 to 126.
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