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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 03-27-08, 09:44 PM   #1
skanking biker
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tell me about axle spacers

So--my bro's wedding is in 2 days and the conversion i am building for him is almost done. All I need to do is install the brake, slap on a chain, and tighten my stack bolts. I have 1 remaining problem. Because it is a conversion, the seatstays were much wider than the rear wheel axle. I had an LBS realign the back a while ago so it would fit 120 spacing. However, there still is about a 1 (1 1/2) inch gap or so between the inside of the dropout and the hub. I assume this problem can be solved my using spacers. as tightening the nuts down without something applying pressure on the other side would probably be a bad idea, right?

My question is----must I use some sort of special bike specific wheel axle spacer, or can I go to the local ace and get some 15 mm nuts and washers to do the job?

replies are most welcome. This has been a 9 mo project and a money pit--i promised my bro it would be done b/4 the wedding---so I am on my last leg. thanks in advance
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Old 03-27-08, 09:55 PM   #2
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There are specific axle nuts and spacers but any proper threaded nuts will work...keep them identically numbered on both sides of course. Also washers can be used in a pinch but better between cone and lock nuts.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:41 PM   #3
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you can find frame spacing (bending) tips on the net, track nuts in the bike store and any decent bike store will give you free washers of all sizes...

good luck and get the stripper to christen it before you give it to the bro
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Old 03-28-08, 10:34 AM   #4
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I'd bring the hub to your LBS, as you have to get both the axle diameter and threading right. (Unless, of course, you already know it.)
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Old 03-28-08, 10:59 AM   #5
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It was respaced to 120 and there's still an inch between the locknuts and the dropout? Something is wrong
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Old 03-28-08, 11:13 AM   #6
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There is an inch gap between the locknut and the inside of the dropout? Is that what you are saying?

Even if you were putting a 120mm hub in 135 (MTB) spaced dropouts, there would only be about 5/16 of an inch of space on either side. You are wrong or something is seriously messed up.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:15 PM   #7
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ok--its maybe like .7-.8mm gap. the diameter is 15 mm and threading is 1x10. the hub is fine--its the orig wheelset off my bianchi pista.

I just want to know if i can use something from the local hardware store as the nearest LBS is a hike from where i am at
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Old 03-28-08, 12:19 PM   #8
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here is what i am talking about
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Old 03-28-08, 12:21 PM   #9
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Your hub is completely missing its locknuts.

No offense, but if you don't know that by looking at it, you probably shouldn't be building bikes for other people to ride.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:36 PM   #10
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Your hub is completely missing its locknuts.

No offense, but if you don't know that by looking at it, you probably shouldn't be building bikes for other people to ride.
oh noez!
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Old 03-28-08, 12:48 PM   #11
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Your hub is completely missing its locknuts.

No offense, but if you don't know that by looking at it, you probably shouldn't be building bikes for other people to ride.
yes, I realize that is what is missing---which is what I was asking about!---no need to be an *****--i justed wanted to know if that was a part I needed to get from a LBS
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Old 03-28-08, 12:52 PM   #12
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No, you don't know what you're missing. All you asked about was spacers, which yeah, you can get from the hardware store in a pinch. You're also missing two threaded parts per side, the inner locknut/cone (not really a cone since this is a cartridge bearing hub) and the actual locknut, plus a couple of spacers (most cartridge hubs need some spacers even at 120). You're not going to find bike locknuts at a hardware store, and you definitely need the correct inner locknut so that it rides against the inner race of the bearing.

Again, please don't assemble bikes for others if you don't know what you're doing.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:00 PM   #13
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Look--i can tell from looking at the front hub what is missing from the back-i understand its function--i didnt know the name of the parts or where to get them. Its not like i thought i could stack a whole bunch of washers on there or something.



Besides, according to everyone here, "slapping together" a conversion is suppossed to be easy as pie.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:08 PM   #14
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So where are the original locknuts and who's got them?
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Old 03-28-08, 01:12 PM   #15
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Besides, according to everyone here, "slapping together" a conversion is suppossed to be easy as pie.
It is if you know what your doing,but last i checked"everyone here" recommends a kilo when converting is being brought up.


Not being a d**k,just sayin'...
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Old 03-28-08, 01:20 PM   #16
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Let's calm down. Where did you get the wheelset? Do LBS' carry these in stock?
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Old 03-28-08, 01:22 PM   #17
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I'm assuming that wheel came off of the pista in your sig block, what you need is all of the hardware you took off of it. If it's not then find the guy who sold you the wheel and ask him what he did with the stuff.

The missing parts can be bought, you should be able to use the ones for formulas since the bearings are the same. Any shop with a J&B imports account can get them, you want part #38990. That's the whole axle set, rob what you need off of it. I don't have a price sheet in front of me but it's going to be kind of a lot, like $20 or more. You will also need a 17mm cone wrench and I think a 15, on a 120 setup you usually can't get an adjustable or a regular 17mm open end on the outer lock nut. You also need to know how tight to screw it up against the bearing, which is just a bit past hand tight but not too hard, and how to snug the locknuts together without messing up this adjustment, which isn't hard but takes practice.

I'd also ask the shop if they aligned the dropouts after they respaced the frame, it's kind of hard to tell but just looking at it I'm betting no. Argue with them if they want to charge extra, this should have been included.

Seriously though, are you sure enough of your skills that you want someone else riding around on this rig?
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Old 03-28-08, 01:30 PM   #18
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I'm assuming that wheel came off of the pista in your sig block, what you need is all of the hardware you took off of it. If it's not then find the guy who sold you the wheel and ask him what he did with the stuff.

The missing parts can be bought, you should be able to use the ones for formulas since the bearings are the same. Any shop with a J&B imports account can get them, you want part #38990. That's the whole axle set, rob what you need off of it. I don't have a price sheet in front of me but it's going to be kind of a lot, like $20 or more. You will also need a 17mm cone wrench and I think a 15, on a 120 setup you usually can't get an adjustable or a regular 17mm open end on the outer lock nut. You also need to know how tight to screw it up against the bearing, which is just a bit past hand tight but not too hard, and how to snug the locknuts together without messing up this adjustment, which isn't hard but takes practice.

I'd also ask the shop if they aligned the dropouts after they respaced the frame, it's kind of hard to tell but just looking at it I'm betting no. Argue with them if they want to charge extra, this should have been included.

Seriously though, are you sure enough of your skills that you want someone else riding around on this rig?
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Old 03-28-08, 02:33 PM   #19
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So where are the original locknuts and who's got them?
That would be a good question. I left the wheels at my brother's ( we live in different city's)---he somehow managed to trash the original nuts by using a 3/8 wrench on them, and when i told him over the phone that we would have to get new ones so he should just throw the old ones out--he apparently took the locknuts off and threw them out as well--don't ask me why. Don't think i'm not p!ssed about it.

After 9 months on this project, i've got a ruined fork, 2 busted headsets, a set of trashed nuts, and now, apparently another $20 worth of parts I need to buy/. i'm in the hole $350 and still don't have a working bike.
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Old 03-28-08, 03:06 PM   #20
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Not to add insult to injury, but a good book on cycle mechanics would be a sensible investment, it will definitely save you money in the long run. As an added bonus, it will never taunt you in public forums.
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Old 03-28-08, 03:13 PM   #21
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thank god my bro is a slob and hasnt thrown out his winter trash in the garage---i am hoping these are what I need
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Old 03-28-08, 03:17 PM   #22
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YEAH, dats dem right derr
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Old 03-28-08, 03:32 PM   #23
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The silver stuff looks right, the black one looks like a bolt from an old style BB spindle
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Old 04-01-08, 08:27 AM   #24
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Thanks for the responses, but I do need to clarify some things here.

First, I never set out to "build" anyone a bike. THis started as a simple conversion which entailed swapping the rear wheel, realigning the frame and having an lbs install a new BB to get an appropriate chainline. This became a money pit after my bro said he wanted to repaint, and decided to dismantle every peice of the bicycle with a hammer screwdriver and wrench. It became more complicated when an LBS sold me the wrong size headset and the original fork was ruined after he told me to file down the crown race.

All that aside, prior to this weekend I had the headset, stem, new fork, bars, brake, bottom bracket, cranks, and pedals all assembled, and all I needed to do (or so I thought) was to install the rear wheel and throw on a chain, which should have been a 10 min endeavor. Unbeknowsnt to me, my bro had removed the locknuts from the rear wheel along with the track nuts he ruined.

I do not pretend to be a skilled bike mechanic and know I am not qualified to do a complete rebuild. This is why I have gone to various LBSs for things such as the headset and BB install which are beyond my knowledge/skills. I have installed and removed pretty much every other single part on my various bikes and felt very comfortable doing so here, under the assumption that the parts I provided were unmolested.

Not that I really care what the internet thinks, but I am not the complete dumb*****, as is assumed by many in this thread.

FYI, in light of the recent developments, I have given up on the project, and informed my younger sibling that when he either finds the missing parts or re-orders them, he can take it to an LBS to have them finish it, as I am done wasting my time and money because of his boneheadedness.

Good day.
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