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Wheel options for 126mm freewheel

Old 08-04-20, 11:20 AM
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VinceInSeattle
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Wheel options for 126mm freewheel

Bike is a 1989 Trek 1200 aluminum w/ 126mm spacing. Sat in the garage for many years but I'm back riding now, just weekend rides on roads and paved trails. Shimano 105. 6-speed freewheel. Wheels are Matrix hubs and rims. Rear wheel is in bad shape, out of true. The nipples are so soft that I've stripped some of them - replaced a few, but it seems kind of hopeless. Building a wheel myself is out of my experience and toolkit.


Which of these options do you like?

1. Use the same hub and rim, new nipples, have a wheel builder tension and true it.

2. Have a new wheel built around the same hub after overhauling the hub, new rim, spokes, and nipples, old freewheel (which is not badly worn).

3. Buy a nice used freewheel hub on ebay, or a new freewheel hub, which don't seem to be common but can be found. Have a builder build a new wheel around it using the old freewheel.

4. Buy a uniglide freehub style hub with 126mm spacing, have a wheel built, will also need to buy a used cassette, would stick with 6 gears so as not to change the chain and derailleur.


What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-04-20, 11:57 AM
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Not sure what a wheel builder would charge, but ask first.
Things you can do to minimize the expense.
New BRASS nipples.
Change 1 at a time.
Pop the spoke out and wire brush the threads with a Dremel or similar. The "cleaner" you get them, the easier it is for the mechanic, since "feel" is important.
Screw all the nipples in so that you have about a 1/2 thread showing. This allows the mechanic to know exactly where they're at and saves "fiddlin time".
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Old 08-04-20, 12:27 PM
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#5 Buy a Uniglide/Hyperglide compatible rear hub and have the rear wheel built around that. That way in case you want to upgrade to more modern 7, 8, 9 speed STI drivetrains, you have an upgrade path.
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Old 08-04-20, 12:42 PM
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I had 126 freewheel hubs from Phil Wood And Bullseye, both a stronger axle design.. My touring bike wheels

I also have wheels built around Campagnolo Hubs
with 6 (or 7) speed freewheels.

Bike shops get wheels built by their wholesalers on the same machines as new bike factories use, of parts at the wholesale price.
so you can get a built wheel for less than the cost of the parts at retail .. with any components in their warehouse..

Ask your friendly Local shop.
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Old 08-04-20, 12:43 PM
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Here is the long, and maybe not short, of 126mm dropout widths on aluminum frames.

Easiest fix is a 600/Ultegra 6401 or 105 1055 freehub (or wheelset) with a Uniglide/Hyperglide 7 speed freehub body. This will let you run 126mm with a hyperglide 7 speed cassette all day long, you can even run an 8 of 9 (Sheldon Brown) with 9 speed shifters.

If you stick with a freewheel, good ones are hard to find. I have a couple of LYXX Sachs Aris that index with Shimano, you can go up to a 32t. I also have a Dura Ace 7 speed freewheel that is also really good and can take a 30t uniglide freewheel cog; maybe a 34t but I haven't tried to find one.

You can get certain hubs and replace the locknuts/spacers with thinner ones that will allow you to get the OLD to 126mm. In reality getting to 127/8mm will probably be fine.

Here is a thread which goes into a great amount of detail...
10-speeds on a 126mm hub SUCCESS

I ended up taking a DA FH-7700 and using a Y32A98010 UG/HG freehub body from an XT M732 freehub and I am running a 7 speed cassette. But I already had the wheelset and lockrings/spacers and could have gone (still can) the miamijim route if I decided to go to 8 speed or more. The biggest issue I have with the higher speed cassette is the lower 1st position cog. I really have little use for an 11t, or even a 12t, with my triple crankset setup.

John

Edit Added: If you decide to go full on 10 speed HG freehub the defining factor is how close you can get the chain to the dropout (DS). Whatever you pick up on the DS you can get on the NDS, and a bit more, and slightly re-dish; or build a wheel.

Last edited by 70sSanO; 08-04-20 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 08-04-20, 01:25 PM
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Is this for a 700c or 27" wheel"
BWW has a 27" wheelset for 126mm dropout and threaded hub for a freewheel. I bought a set for a buddy who had an old Trek 412 with a trashed wheelset. Nothing special, but a decent quality wheelset, well built, and inexpensive to get the bike rolling again. Might be an option if this is for a bike with original 27" wheels.
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Old 08-04-20, 02:10 PM
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If the spokes are that shot I would replace the rim as well.

Velo-orange has absolutely beautiful 126 mm wheels available.

https://velo-orange.com/collections/...eel-126mm-700c
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Old 08-04-20, 02:41 PM
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Pull the wheel and measure the dropout spacing. Treks of that era were often spaced at 128 to allow both 6 and 7 speed drivetrains in the same frame.
I wouldn't be surprised if you find 128 and can upgrade to a 130mm hub.
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Old 08-04-20, 04:20 PM
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First thing I'd do is cut the existing spokes out and see if the rim is straight without tension. If it is, there's no other sign of damage, and wear is acceptable, it's fine to reuse.
If the hub is in good shape and the old wheel is shot, no reason not to overhaul it and rebuild it. Put good parts to use! If there's observable wear to the cups in the hub, or the cones are worn and you can't easily source replacements, I'd buy a good used or NOS hub on eBay and get it built on that. I probably wouldn't do Uniglide because long term parts availability seems unlikely.

I'd probably refuse to reuse the spokes on something with that kind of age and history.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:31 AM
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Scratch 5 bikies, get 6 opinions! Sincere thanks for your thoughts. If we were in normal times, I'd take one of the wheel-building classes offered locally and try doing it myself, with guidance and proper tools. Not possible. Or I'd take the wheel in to a local shop and chew it over with the staff. As it is, bike shops are not too friendly these days - by appointment or wait outside, escorted in, very busy, not conducive to open-ended discussions.

My bike is 31 years old and I'm almost 60. Not likely to get a new road bike, or to sink many hundreds of dollars into this old bike (which I nevertheless love). Just want to treat it right and make it pleasant and responsive for weekend adventures, and maybe a duathlon next year. Could justify max $250 to $300 for a wheel, whether purchased or built.

The other thing is, we are in the dry season in Seattle. I don't have spare wheels, and if I did something destructive like cutting the spokes, replacing all the nipples, or delivering the old wheel to a wheelbuilder, I'm out of commission for weeks.

So what I think I'm going to do for now is ride with the wobbles until the rains come in October. Sometime in the next few months, I'll get a freewheel tool and open up the hub (I'm reasonably confident I can overhaul the hub - used to do it when I was in college). And see if the cups and cones are in good shape. After that, decide whether I need a new hub or can re-use the old one, and get a wheel built. It seems like there are used 126mm freewheel and uniglide hubs on ebay all the time. Thanks everybody! - Vince Slupski (for Bill who doesn't trust anybody who won't use his real name, haha)
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Old 08-05-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post
Scratch 5 bikies, get 6 opinions! Sincere thanks for your thoughts. If we were in normal times, I'd take one of the wheel-building classes offered locally and try doing it myself, with guidance and proper tools. Not possible. Or I'd take the wheel in to a local shop and chew it over with the staff. As it is, bike shops are not too friendly these days - by appointment or wait outside, escorted in, very busy, not conducive to open-ended discussions.

My bike is 31 years old and I'm almost 60. Not likely to get a new road bike, or to sink many hundreds of dollars into this old bike (which I nevertheless love). Just want to treat it right and make it pleasant and responsive for weekend adventures, and maybe a duathlon next year. Could justify max $250 to $300 for a wheel, whether purchased or built.

The other thing is, we are in the dry season in Seattle. I don't have spare wheels, and if I did something destructive like cutting the spokes, replacing all the nipples, or delivering the old wheel to a wheelbuilder, I'm out of commission for weeks.

So what I think I'm going to do for now is ride with the wobbles until the rains come in October. Sometime in the next few months, I'll get a freewheel tool and open up the hub (I'm reasonably confident I can overhaul the hub - used to do it when I was in college). And see if the cups and cones are in good shape. After that, decide whether I need a new hub or can re-use the old one, and get a wheel built. It seems like there are used 126mm freewheel and uniglide hubs on ebay all the time. Thanks everybody! - Vince Slupski (for Bill who doesn't trust anybody who won't use his real name, haha)
Vince, these are solid, inexpensive wheels that will do the job:

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...20qcgrnthid7h3

$149 for the pair plus shipping. Sun CR 18 rims are stout.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:49 AM
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Thanks, those are interesting! I'll bookmark that product and think it over. I also looked at the Velo Orange wheels suggested earlier in the thread, but they seem to be more of a bulletproof touring wheel, not a fast sport wheel.
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Old 08-05-20, 02:16 PM
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You really need to measure the dropouts to see if they are 128mm. That opens things up to going with 130mm freehub and run a cassette.

Nearly every wheelset in my garage, on or off the bikes, has been associated with eBay in some way; whether the hubs, rims, on a bike, or bought as a wheelset. And most were used.

Can’t say you will be as fortunate, but if you are diligent something good may pop up; even 126mm hyperglide compatible 7 speed.

John
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Old 08-05-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
You really need to measure the dropouts to see if they are 128mm. That opens things up to going with 130mm freehub and run a cassette.
I will get some calipers on Amazon and see what they say. I don't trust my eyes with a ruler. I think you said that it's possible to change the width of locknuts and spacers to get a 130mm freehub to 128mm. Is that true for all 130 mm hubs? Do you have to take 1 mm off each side somehow?

If I were to do this and get a 7 speed cassette (were 6 speed cassettes ever made?), would I need to change the derailleurs, chain, crankset, and/or shifters at the same time?
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Old 08-05-20, 02:56 PM
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If the dropouts are 128mm, you can probably just fit in a 130mm with no mods. During the transition time frame of the ‘89-‘91 or so some manufacturers were making frame in between so either a 126mm or 130mm would work.

John
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Old 08-05-20, 03:06 PM
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A quick and dirty way to measure is to release the QR and see how much the dropouts spring apart. Just see if a couple of stir sticks can slide in between.

John
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Old 08-05-20, 03:10 PM
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Old wheels in good repair are easy to find. Prolly cost less than a set of spokes. Often free with some hunting.
Wheel building is not tough and a new set of spokes and nipples ~$35, takes an evening if its your first ~$20 in tools
New wheel cost is more than the bike, but rife with potential.
? indexed shifter , down tube shifters you like? May be able to keep the freewheel, if you want.
Your call
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Old 08-05-20, 04:14 PM
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It is likely 128 and from that I wouldn't even consider a 126 wheel. 130 is the standard for 7,8,9 and 10 speed for both Campy and Shimano, with 11 speed Shimano at 131. I think even Campy 12sp is still 130 but not sure. That would leave almost any wheel out there as a possibility and the prices go from pretty cheap to incredibly expensive. The newer cassettes shift better even with friction shifting. I just started upgrading a 1988 or 89 C'dale and it was 128 spacing as the higher end versions of the bike with the same frame were 7 speed but the one my wife bought was 6 speed.
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Old 08-05-20, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I just started upgrading a 1988 or 89 C'dale and it was 128 spacing as the higher end versions of the bike with the same frame were 7 speed but the one my wife bought was 6 speed.
Are you resizing the spacers or just jamming the 130mm in there? Are you changing the whole drive train or just sticking a 6 or 7 speed cassette on there with the same derailleur, chain, and shifters? I would be perfectly happy to stay with 6 or 7 gears if I could get away with not having to change everything.
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Old 08-05-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post
Are you resizing the spacers or just jamming the 130mm in there? Are you changing the whole drive train or just sticking a 6 or 7 speed cassette on there with the same derailleur, chain, and shifters? I would be perfectly happy to stay with 6 or 7 gears if I could get away with not having to change everything.
JUst jamming it in., not hard to do. If your shifters are index/friction switchable (likely are) you can run any speed you want. Going to a cassette over a freewheel gives you a stronger setup and more options. Typically just a different chain will need to be used if 9-10S
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Old 08-05-20, 05:27 PM
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You guys got me to take the wheel off and try to eyeball the drop-out width with a transparent ruler, and lo and behold, it sure looks like 128mm to me. I will confirm with calipers when I buy some. My downtube shifters are index/friction switchable. So are you saying I can get any standard 130mm freehub wheel - get a new or used 6, 7, or 8 speed cassette (possibly need a spacer for the cassette?), drop it into the bike and go riding w/o other changes? I like that very much!
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Old 08-05-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post
You guys got me to take the wheel off and try to eyeball the drop-out width with a transparent ruler, and lo and behold, it sure looks like 128mm to me. I will confirm with calipers when I buy some. My downtube shifters are index/friction switchable. So are you saying I can get any standard 130mm freehub wheel - get a new or used 6, 7, or 8 speed cassette (possibly need a spacer for the cassette?), drop it into the bike and go riding w/o other changes? I like that very much!
Almost. 7,8,9 or 10. Get a matching chain. The one thing I did find is that a 10sp chain on a 6sp crank can be a little noisy. It'll work but there will be chatter. That said, you can replace the chainrings assuming either a 110 or 130 bcd on the chainring bolts. Or if a square taper crank you can replace the crank easily without switching the bottom bracket. If you don't want to change anything else though, get a wheel that'll take a 10sp and then you can put any cassette you want on it.
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Old 08-05-20, 07:18 PM
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Some day when the supply chain catches up you could even then upgrade to 8/9/10 STI type shifters.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Microshift...ed-Road-Levers
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Old 08-06-20, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Some day when the supply chain catches up you could even then upgrade to 8/9/10 STI type shifters.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Microshift...ed-Road-Levers
I found that friction shifting worked really well with 10sp cassettes. The ramps for the chain on the cassette make shifting really smooth and quiet and the spacing is so tight you are never between gears.
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Old 08-06-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by VinceInSeattle View Post
Are you resizing the spacers or just jamming the 130mm in there? Are you changing the whole drive train or just sticking a 6 or 7 speed cassette on there with the same derailleur, chain, and shifters? I would be perfectly happy to stay with 6 or 7 gears if I could get away with not having to change everything.
Itís not even that much of ďjammingĒ. 2mm...or even 4mm, for that matter...isnít that much to move a frame, even an aluminum one. 1mm is a 1/16Ē of an inch. 4mm is thickness of about 2 US nickels. Sizing the frame to accept 2 different hubs wides was a common practice during transition periods. I have two Cannondale touring bikes that both have 132.5mm frame widths so that they can take a 135 or 130mm hub without doing anything other than putting the hub in the frame. Putting a 135mm hub into your frame would (probably) be too much to ask but a 130mm hub should be fairly easy.

By the way, I have put 140mm hubs in to an aluminum mountain bike frame without damaging the frame. Itís not easy to remove and install the wheel but it does work. That same hub now lives in a much springier titanium frame and has thousands of miles on it.
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