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  1. #1
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    Anyone running a 120mm rear hub in a 126mm frame?

    Is this a bad idea?
    I just came into possession of a set of minty vintage touring wheels, with Phil hubs. I am willing to have the rear axle replaced, but would rather not.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    My guess is that you will have to replace the rear axle, and this is assuming that you are using quick release hubs. If you are using nutted hubs, all you need to do is add 2.5mm of shim to each side of the hub.

    I have done this a couple of times, and both times, using quick release hubs, I did not feel comfortable with the amount of axle resting in the drops. I prefer full fit if I can achieve it.

    Fit the wheel into the drops and ensure that the axle engages them adequately. In theory, just engaging is supposed to do the job but I refuse to take a chance of dropping a wheel out of the drops while riding. The cost, mechanical and human, might be more than one would want to pay.

    Hope that is a help.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Alan Edwards's Avatar
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    I remember a Sheldon Brown story about a bike he built up that used an axel that had no exposed edge. He said he just lined it up where he wanted it and tightened it up, worked fine for him.
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  4. #4
    Let your bike be the tool cranky old road's Avatar
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    Of what material is your frame made? Steel stays will certainly flex 3mm per side.
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  5. #5
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    The frame is Reynolds 531. The wheel slips right in, with the quick release tightened up, it stays put. Appreciate your responses

    Cheers,
    Chris

  6. #6
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    I've been running a 126mm hub in a 130mm frame. I haven't had any issues with it yet.
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  7. #7
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    I'm running a 126 wheel in my 120 Schwinn Varsity. I bit tight, but no cold set needed.
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    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I suppose the flex will handle the "narrowing," but do you really know if your QR is tightly holding the wheel, or too tight, or just feeling tight due to the spring of the rear stays?

    Depending on my ride intentions, I'd spring for a $5 axle, add an extra lock nut on each end.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    N+1, brother. Sounds like you need a 120mm-spaced frame to build around with those wheels.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    N+1, brother. Sounds like you need a 120mm-spaced frame to build around with those wheels.
    This actually crossed my mind

  11. #11
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    Depending on my ride intentions, I'd spring for a $5 axle, add an extra lock nut on each end.
    Not gonna happen with a Phil hub.

    Chris, the difficulty in changing the axle depends on what era the hubs are from, but I agree it's best to replace the axle to fit the frame (which is best done by Phil Wood Co.; especially if they are first generation). I wouldn't do that. Rather, I'd find a different wheelset and use the wheelset you have now in a 120mm spaced frame. There's no shortage of those.
    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 01-03-12 at 07:26 PM.
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  12. #12
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    It's easy enough to "widen" the wheel. Get an appropriate axle, which my memory says is 135mm or so, then add two 3mm spacers to the right side. Then re-dish the wheel. Then add a 6-speed freewheel. Peesacake!

    I ran a 5-speed for a long time in a frame someone had stretched to 126mm. I just added a washer to the left side to help fill it out but otherwise did nothing special. Whoever had stretched it hadn't bothered to check the dropout alignment, and that turned out to be not great. Eventually I had a LBS straighten them, then switched the axle, added the spacers, and re-dished as described above. I still haven't gotten used to that extra gear though.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    It's easy enough to "widen" the wheel. Get an appropriate axle, which my memory says is 135mm or so, then add two 3mm spacers to the right side. Then re-dish the wheel. Then add a 6-speed freewheel. Peesacake!
    No, it's not. Phil hubs don't play like that.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Not gonna happen with a Phil hub.

    Chris, the difficulty in changing the axle depends on what era the hubs are from, but I agree it's best to replace the axle to fit the frame. I wouldn't do that. Rather, I'd find a different wheelset and use the wheelset you have now in a 120mm spaced frame. There's no shortage of those.
    Justin: The hubs are late 70s, and are beautiful. The rims are branded as "Milremo", they look like "super gentleman", wider and shiny. I would post pics, but I'm out of town, and posting from my phone.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  15. #15
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    No, it's not. Phil hubs don't play like that.
    Just because I can't read is no reason to, err, um, to say something. And I can't tpye too well either.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  16. #16
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Cool, Chris. I have a wheelset of first gen 120/100 hubs with DB spokes and Campagnolo Omega 19 rims. Sit tight, man. You'll find a use for those wheels soon enough.





    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    Just because I can't read is no reason to, err, um, to say something. And I can't tpye too well either.
    I never pass up an opportunity to correct someone smarter than I, Jim.
    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 01-03-12 at 07:38 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Not gonna happen with a Phil hub.
    I never thought of that. Thanks for the educatin'
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  18. #18
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    +1, you need a wider axle, and as pointed out, that's a proprietary item on a Phil Wood hub. Tightening the dropouts down to 120mm using the skewer will force the dropouts out of alignment and put a bendinging stress on the axle itself. Given this is a freewheel hub, it will increase the risk of bending the axle when you hit a potholes, railway crossings, etc. I'd try contacting Phil Wood and see if they have the proper axle.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Axle replacement is something like $35 from Phil Wood Co. The cost of shipping the wheel both ways doesn't make it an attractive proposition, but if the bearings need replacing anyway it could make sense.
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  20. #20
    South Carolina Ed
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    Make sure the wheel is true, stick the wheel in the drop outs, center it in the stays, tighten the skewer, then ride the bike. You won't have a problem ever.

  21. #21
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    Really appreciate all the response. I think I'm going to see about having the axle replaced, the wheel set looks perfect on my 81 Woodrup.

    Thanks all,
    Chris

  22. #22
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I'm doing this with a campy hub. I got a replacement axle and some spacers, and viola! It works fine.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member haddawad's Avatar
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    Not a good idea to stress the frame like that. Get some spacers and replace the axle, if necessary. It's easier that fixing a cracked frame.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    I suppose the flex will handle the "narrowing," but do you really know if your QR is tightly holding the wheel, or too tight, or just feeling tight due to the spring of the rear stays?

    Depending on my ride intentions, I'd spring for a $5 axle, add an extra lock nut on each end.
    phil wood hubs don't have lock nuts

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