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Old 02-16-12, 07:27 PM   #1
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Two quick questions about dropouts and adjusting wheel position

First does any one (yes I searched OY!) recall the thread a few weeks ago where there was discussion about the placement of the rear axle in relationship to the derailleur?


Also does anyone have a pic and do you know where to get those little plates or whatever they are called that used to placed in the dropout slot to adjust the wheel. not a derailleur claw or a dropout screw


I am trying to help someone over in the Mechanics forum with a old Raleigh Gran Sports with Zeus dropouts and a shifting problem

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Old)-RD-Issues
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Old 02-16-12, 07:33 PM   #2
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I always placed my axle as far forward as my adjusters would let me maintaining full engagement of the axle outer nuts and skewer on the DO faces and it had worked pretty well for me RD performance and handling wise (shortest wheelbase legnth possible). There's supposed to be a position that will result in optimal RD performance, but I'm not sure where that is in relationship to the RD pivots and jockey wheels. I would think that will be different between each style/model RD you use. Maybe someone can chime in to clarify.......

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Old 02-16-12, 07:35 PM   #3
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+1 I usually like to make the wheelbase shortest I possible can. I know that plate you're talking about BG. It slips in the dropout so the wheel stays like halfway in.
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Old 02-16-12, 07:39 PM   #4
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There's supposed to be a position that will result in optimal RD performance, but I'm not sure where that is in relationship to the RD pivots and jockey wheels. I would think that will be different between each style/model RD you use. Maybe someone can chime in to clarify.......

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Yes there was a mythical number mentioned and the reasons behind it and that is why I am looking for the post
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Old 02-16-12, 07:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
First does any one (yes I searched OY!) recall the thread a few weeks ago where there was discussion about the placement of the rear axle in relationship to the derailleur?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...dropout-is-for

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Also does anyone have a pic and do you know where to get those little plates or whatever they are called that used to placed in the dropout slot to adjust the wheel.
Hmm, if I was looking I'd go to loosescrews first (www.loosescrews.com) but wouldn't expect to find anything. Then I'd check a good vintage place like www.bikeville.com in Philly, or perhaps Harris Cyclery.
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Old 02-16-12, 07:43 PM   #6
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Yes there was a mythical number mentioned and the reasons behind it and that is why I am looking for the post
As I recall, the reasons behind the mythical number was to obtain a desired distance between jockey pulley and cog(s). Another feature discussed was how much chain wrap it gave around the cogs. I'm not sure I believed any of it completely. Which is to say it never struck me that that distance or the amount of chain wrap was worth controlling that closely. It all changes as shifts occur, and with some derailleurs like the Prestige the upper pivot was never stationary anyway. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:12 PM   #7
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Hey Thanks Jim that is the one I was thinking of. I already check Loose screws and din't see them but then again I am not sure the proper name.
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Old 02-17-12, 10:49 AM   #8
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Also does anyone have a pic and do you know where to get those little plates or whatever they are called that used to placed in the dropout slot to adjust the wheel. not a derailleur claw or a dropout screw



If this is what you are looking for PM me. I have an extra set.

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Old 02-17-12, 10:52 AM   #9
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Pertaining to the position of the wheels in a horizontal drop ... is there a disadvantage to having the wheels all the way at the back of the drops
rather than using an adjuster or the little plates I pictured especially if you are trying for a bit longer wheelbase?

Thanks.
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Old 02-17-12, 11:19 AM   #10
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Pertaining to the position of the wheels in a horizontal drop ... is there a disadvantage to having the wheels all the way at the back of the drops
rather than using an adjuster or the little plates I pictured especially if you are trying for a bit longer wheelbase?

Thanks.
The easiest way to find out is to try it. I'd bet the real answer is no, it does not make a huge difference. I've tried all the way back, and all the way forward on my Raleigh Professional and did not detect a difference.

It does matter when you have fenders.
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Old 02-17-12, 11:31 AM   #11
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In the other thread you mentioned, I referenced an older T-Mar post on the subject of wheel placement in the dropouts. It's worth re-posting here again: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12068136.

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Axle position in the dropout affects the following characteristics:

1. Handling: Moving the wheel forward shortens the wheelbase, making the bicycle more nimble. It also shortens the effective rear triangle, making it slightly stiffer and more responsive to pedal input.

2. Chain angle: Moving the wheel forward increases chain angle, increasing chain, cog and chainring wear when the chain is crossed-over, particularly when using stiff, bush style chains.

3. Gear capacity: Moving the axle farther back allows you run a slightly larger cog.

4. Chain wrap: Moving the axle back wraps more chain around the cog and decreases the probability of skipping, particularly with worn chain and/or cogs.

5. Chain Gap: This is the biggy. It directly affects derailleur performance. It’s the distance along the chain from were it contacts the cog to where it contacts the jockey pulley. Derailleurs with long chain gaps tend to be late shifting, that is they require more effort and overshifting with the lever in order to execute the shift. Derailleurs with short chain gaps shift early.

Optimum chain gap depends on the chain and cog type. Stiff chains and pointed cog teeth require long chain gaps, usually around 7cm. Most vintage bush type chains and flat top cogs requite about 5cm chain gap. Bushingless chains and flat top cogs require about 4cm chain gap.

Proper chain gap is critical, particularly for optimum performance of indexed derailleurs and is the prime reason that vertical dropouts dominate indexed bicycles. The manufacturer’s don’t want you to screw things up by changing the axle position! Proper chain gap for indexed systems is about 4cm.

The bottom line is that changing the axle position can affect various characteristics, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Optimizing one characteristic may mean compromising other(s).

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Old 02-17-12, 11:33 AM   #12
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BG - thanks for starting this thread. I'm never sure where to post my questions, whether here or in the Mechanics section.

Yarper - I sent you a PM about your extra spacers.
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Old 02-17-12, 12:02 PM   #13
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Pertaining to the position of the wheels in a horizontal drop ... is there a disadvantage to having the wheels all the way at the back of the drops rather than using an adjuster or the little plates I pictured especially if you are trying for a bit longer wheelbase?
As I recall from 3 decades ago (...cue swirley music...doodle doodle doodle dooo...) my first exposure to such a nice frame was while building a bike for my wife. Someone (who through the fog of time may have been Peter White, but perhaps wasn't) said to keep them screwed all the way in because otherwise they would eventually get bent. My internal response was "So why do they install adjustable screws at all? Why not just put in fixed stops, or is that not within their capability while brazing frame pieces together?"

Since then I've heard a few other arguments, most recently (for the Masi) being to keep them screwed in to get quicker handling, and (in that other thread) to keep them set just right for a target pulley-cog distance.
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Old 02-17-12, 12:07 PM   #14
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One of those screw stops was typically used opposite the claw hanger to create a fixed position for the wheel to center. One on each side could be used too if no claw hanger. Honestly, I've never found the fore or aft position of the wheel to make much difference in shifting. Maybe I'm just lucky.

What's the shifting problem, could it be something else?
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Old 02-17-12, 12:09 PM   #15
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"So why do they install adjustable screws at all? Why not just put in fixed stops, or is that not within their capability while brazing frame pieces together?"
It is, ala vertical dropouts, but I'd guess the horizontal ones are more forgiving.
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Old 02-17-12, 12:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by yarper3 View Post
Pertaining to the position of the wheels in a horizontal drop ... is there a disadvantage to having the wheels all the way at the back of the drops
rather than using an adjuster or the little plates I pictured especially if you are trying for a bit longer wheelbase?

Thanks.
Sometimes you need to move the wheel all the way back to facilitate using a larger-than-recommended freewheel. You can often cheat a couple teeth past the rated max. of the rear der. by doing that (plus careful chain length selection).
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Old 02-17-12, 01:58 PM   #17
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BG - thanks for starting this thread. I'm never sure where to post my questions, whether here or in the Mechanics section.

Yarper - I sent you a PM about your extra spacers.
Wasn't the offer to Bianchigirl?
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Old 02-17-12, 02:04 PM   #18
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Wasn't the offer to Bianchigirl?
I suppose technically it was, but she started this thread in an effort to help with a post I started in the Mechanics section. She was asking on my behalf (very nice of her) and Yarper's offer was an effort to help her help me. If I jumped the gun and indeed she wants these for her own use I'd be happy to let her have them, but I don't think that was the case.
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Old 02-17-12, 02:28 PM   #19
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Wasn't the offer to Bianchigirl?
I'm able to buy those screw stops at my local old time bike store. They seem to be still available.
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Old 02-17-12, 02:31 PM   #20
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BG - thanks for starting this thread. I'm never sure where to post my questions, whether here or in the Mechanics section.

Glad to help, you should post a pic or two of your project here too

Yarper - I sent you a PM about your extra spacers.
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Wasn't the offer to Bianchigirl?
Yes but I did start the thread to help Miyata10 so I would have passed the info on to him. I would like to find a small cache of them 'just to have' but none of my bike really need them.
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Old 02-17-12, 02:59 PM   #21
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Sure. Here is the dropout in question:


A before shot of the dropout with freewheel and RD still attached:


And the seller's picture of the whole bike (trust me, this shot makes the bike appear to be in MUCH better shape than it actually is):
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Old 02-17-12, 03:13 PM   #22
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Pictured Zeus dropouts: yes, if nothing else, the screw stops would help locate the wheel without fiddling around to center it.
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Old 02-17-12, 03:17 PM   #23
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I suppose technically it was, but she started this thread in an effort to help with a post I started in the Mechanics section. She was asking on my behalf (very nice of her) and Yarper's offer was an effort to help her help me. If I jumped the gun and indeed she wants these for her own use I'd be happy to let her have them, but I don't think that was the case.
Oh. my apologies. Looks like I stuck my nose where it didn't belong. Sorry.
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Old 02-17-12, 09:50 PM   #24
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Oh. my apologies. Looks like I stuck my nose where it didn't belong. Sorry.

Don't worry about it. Atually I am glad you were sort of watching out for me.
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Old 02-18-12, 04:25 AM   #25
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As I recall, the reasons behind the mythical number was to obtain a desired distance between jockey pulley and cog(s). Another feature discussed was how much chain wrap it gave around the cogs. I'm not sure I believed any of it completely. Which is to say it never struck me that that distance or the amount of chain wrap was worth controlling that closely. It all changes as shifts occur, and with some derailleurs like the Prestige the upper pivot was never stationary anyway. But that's just my opinion.
I believe the part about the distance between the upper pulley and the cog, the "free length" termed by Frank Berto. I don't buy the part about the amount of chain wrap. In "The Dancing Chain" and in earlier books, he showed that length to be a key factor in how well a rear-end setup will shift.

I think the basic purpose of screw adjusters is twofold: position the wheel front and back to optimize free length and effective chain length, and to fine-tune wheel positioning so that the frame tracking is at its best.

The "fixed blocks," found on UO-8s and similar bikes of that day, I think were for making the shifting work best with the old Simplex Criterium derailleurs, and to limit how much the wheel can become cocked. Those rear mechs were mounted on a claw, and the block on the non-drive side positions the non-drive end of the axle to get the wheel as near aligned as possible, assuming the wheel is true and dished (a bold hope) and the frame is aligned (another bold hope, especially for an old UO-8).
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