Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

How to prevent a bent / broken axle on a vintage road bike

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

How to prevent a bent / broken axle on a vintage road bike

Old 01-07-19, 10:12 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Malden, MA.
Posts: 393

Bikes: 1994 Schwinn Passage, 2010 Masi, 2014 Specialized Crossroads

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Freewheel explosions suck. I killed my Hybrid bikes number 1 & 2 that way. Both were steel frames. 1st was a broken axle, bought a new one. When installing the finished wheel in the back yard. I saw the broken axle drop out. Second hybrid. I was riding home. In one city block of brick crosswalks. I was close to home. At the third crosswalk. I broke the axle, rear dropout & got a flat all at the same time. Fixed the flat & rode home slower. But still faster than walking. Nobody wanted that bike frame or the fork. Have all it's components in Container Store baskets. On shelves in the basement. On my last skinny tire fast bike, I owned. That was a freewheel bike. Last year or 2 before index shifting. I upgrade the drive train on that one. And sold it rather quickly. And in October 2018. I broke the frame of touring bike #2 . Broke the downtube. About 2" above the drop out. The crack goes all the way around the downtube Is a filled welded steel frame Does have a lifetime frame warenty. I have put in a claim, but who knows.. Down to 2 bikes & one unicycle.
TireLever-07 is offline  
Old 01-07-19, 02:12 PM
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 40,879

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6544 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 47 Posts
I cured it with an Oversized Axle Sealed bearing hub from Phil Wood and next , Rodger Durham's Bullseye Hubs.. .
My 2 touring bikes used a 126 OLD Hub, 6 speed Freewheels.. 13~34t

MY C&V Campag hubs With Wheels replacement axles have not broken , but I don't ride those bikes much.. lately
( the <C> axles may be a bit brittle-hard tempered.. )

this is an interesting new part given the axles are usually breaking at the flex polnt , which is just inside of the cone on the drive side..

though post 17 does not say where they got them ... It would be useful to know..


Last edited by fietsbob; 01-08-19 at 02:25 PM.
fietsbob is online now  
Old 01-09-19, 02:19 PM
le mans
Steel is real
le mans's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 586

Bikes: Cannondale Saeco Machhine De Caffe. Custom - Record Vortex 8 spd Nexus & Mistral Le Mans 3 spd Shimano. Upgraded Wheeler Crossline

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i go through a lot of scrap bikes and wondered why some rear axles were bent, i noticed on one the spacing was a bit narrow, so you had to tighten it a far bit for the dropouts to close in

could that be the cause, incorrect lock nut spacing?
le mans is offline  
Old 01-10-19, 04:29 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 434 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Maxicar solved the problem a very long time ago (1950s) by making the axle thicker for a couple centimeters at the spot where they break and bend.

Sanshin Gyromaster did the same. Or at least my Sanshin have the section of fat axle. Would be interested if the other versions of that hub marked Specialized and SunTour had the same. The Maxicar was odd, heavy, super expensive, small production, basically lasted forever. Sanshin was a lightweight popular price hub made and sold in quantity.

It's an old problem with an old and simple solution. Instead of taking the simple path Shimano introduced (or rather, reintroduced, as cassette hubs go back to 1930s) cassette hubs and obliged all other players to follow suit. Why keep it simple when there's an opportunity to sell product?
63rickert is offline  
Old 01-10-19, 08:59 AM
Senior Member
cyclist2000's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Up
Posts: 3,805

Bikes: Masi, Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, 84 Stumpjumper, 2 Waterfords, Tern D8, Bianchi, Gunner Roadie, looking for a Ti frame and Brompton M6R

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Another solution to bent axle may be to get a vintage phil wood freewheel rear hub. I have had one on my old bike for over 30 years, put plenty of miles on it and haven't had any bent axle problems. I also had a peak weight of 250 lbs during that time.
cyclist2000 is offline  
Old 01-12-19, 10:07 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 838

Bikes: 1986 KHS Fiero, 1989 Trek 950, 1990 Trek 7000, 1992 Trek 1400, 1998 Cannondale R200, 2010 Performance Access XCL9R

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I had the problem of breaking spokes, breaking QR skewers, and bending rear axles on my bikes back 24 25 years ago too. Not as frequently on my road bikes as my MTB. At the time, I was 230 or so pounds (wish I was now!), and put a serious hurt on lots of parts. My solutions started with straight 16 gauge spokes and 36 hole wheels. I went with wide flange hubs for the rear of my MTB, in a 4 cross pattern. And I hated it, but a nutted axle replaced the QR. I never bent or broke that rear wheel on my MTB again. I'm nowhere near as hard on bikes as I was. Won't likely again, due to injuries since. That was my solution a lifetime ago...
zjrog is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.