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Old 01-11-21, 09:42 AM
Used to be Conspiratemus
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Location: Hamilton ON Canada
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If the wheel came from a tandem 30 years ago, it likely has an OLD of 135 mm. 140 was starting to appear but 140 would not be able to be crammed into a singe-bike frame. There were some tandems still made with 130 and if the OP’s bike is 126, the tandem wheel could have been made to fit poorly, as he describes.

So, before you go bending your frame willy-nilly, the first thing to do is measure the width between the inner faces of the dropouts and the over-locknut dimension of the hub, and you need to tell us what kind of hub you have—cassette or freewheel, and whether the hub can be shortened on one or both axle ends. A cassette hub can’t be shortened on the right side — well, maybe a millimetre— but a freewheel hub can be.

The question is whether the frame should be widened to fit the wheel, or should the hub be shortened to fit the frame, if the latter is even possible given the design of the hub. Photos showing these details will be more useful than one of the bike leaning against a tree and showing only the front end.

Much depends on how handy you are with tools, and how much experience you have with bike repair. You might be better off just buying a cheap rear wheel — it’s a wheel you need, not a “tire” — of the correct size, rather than tackling the job of making two parts fit together when they weren’t meant to.

Edit: As nlerner says, if you make the OLD narrower, you must make sure that the axle ends do not protrude even a hair’s breadth past the outer face of the dropouts (assuming it’s a quick-release hub.). This will require a hacksaw.

Last edited by conspiratemus1; 01-11-21 at 09:53 AM.
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