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  1. #1
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    126mm Spacing: When did it start/When did it end?

    As the title suggests, I was wondering the time range when it fell into and then out of favor? I was thinking 1976 (on higher end frames) and 1995 to the lower end?

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    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    I thought it was more like 1979-1980. Perhaps it was earlier on higher end bikes as you suggest.


    My 1977 Schwinn Volare is 120mm (actually measures 122mm)

    My 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 is 126mm.

    My 1988 Schwinn Voyageur was spec'd with a 3x6 drivetrain. I haven't measured the spacing but a 130mm hub slides with ease (long chain stays).

    My 1990 Paramount was spec'd with 128.5mm spacing per the catalog (and that's what it measured) presumably so you could use 126mm or 130mm easily.
    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 02-13-12 at 04:08 PM.
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    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    My '78 Team Champion is 126, so by then even the French had caught on.

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    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    I got a set of wheels with my Frejus which I could have sworn were older, mixed Normandy and Mailliard hubs laced to Super Champion and Rigida (no hook) 27 x 1/14 inch rims respectfully, and the rear turned out to be 126, which surprised me. Which reminds me, I need a 120 axle and spacers for that Mailliard if anyone can help out. I thought the wheels must have been older than 78, but maybe not.

  5. #5
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    My 1964 JRJ has 126mm spacing. I doubt it was cold set, but you never know. It also has braze-ons that were not typical for the time, but I understand they were offered as options from the builder.
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    79 and 85 trek. both with 126.

  7. #7
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    My 1964 JRJ has 126mm spacing. I doubt it was cold set, but you never know. It also has braze-ons that were not typical for the time, but I understand they were offered as options from the builder.
    This I find surprising if it's original. When did 6 speed freewheels come into the universe? I thought later but what do I know?

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    vjp
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    From the bikes I have owned, 120mm until about 72/73, 126mm until about 93 or so.

  9. #9
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Really? So 126 came in as early as 74? That surprises me but my old French wheels may corroborate.

  10. #10
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
    As the title suggests, I was wondering the time range when it fell into and then out of favor? I was thinking 1976 (on higher end frames) and 1995 to the lower end?
    If this is related to the Mondia, stop asking questions, coldset the drops and install that IGH. It'll make for a fun project.

    As far as 126mm spacing, I have no idea. I only know of one bicycle in my collection that has 126mm spacing - my 1985 Schwinn World Sport.
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  11. #11
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    '75 Wizard, 126 mm; '75 Eisentraut Limited 120 mm; '79 Olmo Grand Prix 124 mm; '89 Landshark 126 mm; '91 Landshark 126 mm

    I have not measured my '78 Colnago Super or '85 Colnago Junior. I will when I am at their respective homes and report back.

  12. #12
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Those guys in the Olmo shop wanted to be different that day

  13. #13
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    QC.....Maybe not! They were a precursor to the current Surly spacing of in between.

  14. #14
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Which reminds me, I need a 120 axle and spacers for that Mailliard if anyone can help out. I thought the wheels must have been older than 78, but maybe not.
    Sorry, I don't have anything in response to the OP that hasn't already been comprehended above, but I believe somewhere I have a 120mm Atom Normandy axle, if that is compatible. If you think it might be, I'll dig it out and take some dimensions.
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  15. #15
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    Didn't the 1970 Raleigh Pro come with one of the earliest 6-speed freewheels?

  16. #16
    Senior Member VintageRide's Avatar
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    My 1977 Sabatini is 120mm and I checked a 1981 ( might be 1982 ) Rocky Mountain road frame and it was also 120mm. I really think that as the supply of 120mm hubs and 5 speed freewheels were plentiful for a few years not all builders were in a hurry to change when 126mm was establishing itself.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    My brothers 73ish Takara 10 speed is 126.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    My brothers 73ish Takara 10 speed is 126.
    If it is (or was) a 10 speed then it was surely 120mm originally.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Didn't the 1970 Raleigh Pro come with one of the earliest 6-speed freewheels?
    I don't know. The retro raleighs 1970 catalog is incomplete. 1972 doesn't specify no. of cogs, but 1973 says 6 speed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    My 1990 Paramount was spec'd with 128.5mm spacing per the catalog (and that's what it measured) presumably so you could use 126mm or 130mm easily.
    i think my yokota is an 89 and it was 126. it is probably 128 now. my dad put a 130mm hub in it in the early 90s and it hasent had a 126mm hub since.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
    i think my yokota is an 89 and it was 126. it is probably 128 now. my dad put a 130mm hub in it in the early 90s and it hasent had a 126mm hub since.
    Then it's probably still 126mm. You have to spread the steel stays well beyond 2mm to change the spacing.
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  22. #22
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    Regina made 6 speed freewheels in the 60's, but only a 13t top cog as the smallest.
    The adoption of 6 speed freewheels in the pro peloton goes back to about 1970.
    There was resistance, as the extra dish was known to make a weaker wheel and bending of rear axles was more common. I want to say by the Worlds in Montreal that 6 was necessary for the pros.
    Local racers in SoCal were moving to 6 in back in the middle 70's. Looking for that 13t cog without sacrifice of a cog in the middle. John Howard in an interview in Competitive Cycling in '73 or '74 advised that 52t rings and 14t cogs just don't cut it. I forget the exact quote, but it gave permission to go big and plenty.
    I think it was 1976 that Suntour introduced the New Winner with close cog spacing, that allowed 6 in 122 mm and 7 in 127-8 mm for most frames and hubs.
    There were a few 120 mm wide frames where a 6 would not work even when spaced to 126. The stays were not relieved inside and the cog or chain would hang up.

    In short, the parts were ready before the demand was there. In the mid 80's we knew 8 was coming, just as soon as Shimano or someone else went freehub, which basically solved the axle stress problem. With a typical freewheel & hub the 8 block just placed too much force on the hub bearing that was now almost in the center of the dropouts.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
    I don't know. The retro raleighs 1970 catalog is incomplete. 1972 doesn't specify no. of cogs, but 1973 says 6 speed.
    Raleigh interestingly was an early adopter of 6 in back as a "production" builder, even if just for the top end bikes. The type of rider on these bikes often had problems, bending axles, the rider's just did not have finesse, and did not raise their weight off the saddle just before and during a visible bump in the road. We retrograded many a Pro for these big customers, improving the dish, degrading the chain line, and providing a stronger wheel with better axle loading.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Then it's probably still 126mm. You have to spread the steel stays well beyond 2mm to change the spacing.
    maybe it was 128mm to begin with then. a 130mm wheels slides in this frame much better than other 126mm frames ive had.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
    maybe it was 128mm to begin with then. a 130mm wheels slides in this frame much better than other 126mm frames ive had.
    Given the year, that's plausible.
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