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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-17-08, 10:10 AM   #1
themanmachine
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Axle-related nightmares, any suggestions?

Here's my story: I have a 26" wheel that I have built with a bmx flip-flop hub (one side threaded for english fw, one side metric). The original axle that came with the hub is a sealed axle with smooth seats for the hub's R6 cartridge bearings. The problem is that this axle is not long enough for mtb spacing (it fits flush with the edges of my dropouts, like a qr axle would, but it solid). An unsealed 3/8" axle will fit in the hub but there is a tiny amount of play between the axle and the inner surface of the bearings.

I have tried using makeshift shims (aluminum can slices) to take up the slack but they seem to be a poor solution that won't offer any sort of reliability. I've also thought about using the original axle and modifying it to work by cutting the axle and using axle extenders but I'd like to avoid this if possible.

Either I need to find a way to modify the original axle to fit my dropouts or I need to make an unsealed axle fit snugly with sealed bearings.

I guess this is what I get for trying to build a mountain bike wheel with a BMX hub, but the wheel is built so I have to make it work somehow. I am asking for any and all feasible suggestions to fix this problem.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:23 AM   #2
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Sounds like a case of round-hole square-pegging. How nice is your frame? Maybe you can have the dropouts cold set (fancy word for bent) so that the original axle will work?

The reason shims won't work is because the axle is steel. Thin sheets of AL are way too soft. If you can't bend the stays, get a reproduction of the original axle made by a machine shop. It won't be cheap, but that's the only other way I can think of.

Unless you can find a 135mm hub that uses the same size of bearings as the BMX hub, with the same spaceing as well, I don't see any other ways out of this.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:58 AM   #3
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Some other possibilities I have thought about:

-Having the original axle drilled to hollow it out for qr.
I have no idea if this would be possible but it would fix the problem. Seems to me that drilling through a cromo axle like that wouldn't work though.

-Loctite 660 to fill the gap.
Again, not really sure if this could work.

-Having a custom axle machined.
The best possible fix but this will be the last resort for financial reasons.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by themanmachine View Post
Some other possibilities I have thought about:

-Having the original axle drilled to hollow it out for qr.
I have no idea if this would be possible but it would fix the problem. Seems to me that drilling through a cromo axle like that wouldn't work though.

-Loctite 660 to fill the gap.
Again, not really sure if this could work.
Drilling it wouldn't solve the problem of the axle being too short. If it's too short it's too short.

Loctite isn't a structurally sound material. JB Weld would work better, but it's still going to be hard to get the precision surface you need for a bearing seat.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:31 PM   #5
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squeeze in the seat/chain stays, and make them a different spacing.

use your arms, grab the dropouts, and squeeze in. done.
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Old 03-17-08, 07:14 PM   #6
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I don't think it would be cost prohibitive to have an axle made. It's simply a matter of cutting threads on the ends of the correct size bar stock. Call some local machine shops and ask if they can point you to a low-buck solution.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:46 PM   #7
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I just got it fixed today. Went to a local machine shop and tapped out threads into the axle on either side. Simply thread in some bolts and voila. It's like a slow quick release, but it will work perfectly.

Thanks for the help everybody.
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