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Better quality rear axle for 6 speed

Old 06-07-23, 09:33 PM
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Better quality rear axle for 6 speed

Howdy all.

I just picked up a gorgeous Raleigh Alyeska. The rear axle is slightly bent and while a piece of wood and a mallet will make it better short term I would like to find a better quality replacement. Amazon have quite a few in the $10 dollar range but I'm hoping to find something that is actually better, not just more expensive.
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Old 06-07-23, 10:01 PM
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Don't waste too much of your time and money on a "stronger" axle. The issue is not axle strength or stiffness but the imbalanced loads that a freewheel hub places on the axle. Since the driveside bearing is closer to the frame's center it sees greater forces and the axle will bend at the cone's inner point. Where is your axle bent?

Sometimes the frame's drop outs can be non parallel to each other and places a preload bending on the axle before any road shock is even had. The industry solution to the freewheel bent axle problem is the cassette/freehub with it's better axle bearing placements. Andy
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Old 06-07-23, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Don't waste too much of your time and money on a "stronger" axle. The issue is not axle strength or stiffness but the imbalanced loads that a freewheel hub places on the axle. Since the driveside bearing is closer to the frame's center it sees greater forces and the axle will bend at the cone's inner point. Where is your axle bent?

Sometimes the frame's drop outs can be non parallel to each other and places a preload bending on the axle before any road shock is even had. The industry solution to the freewheel bent axle problem is the cassette/freehub with it's better axle bearing placements. Andy
Yeah, I'm familiar with the design flaw of the freewheel hub, specially when they started stacking extra gears and making the pressure distribution even worse. I'm still hoping that there is an $20 to $30 dollar axle that is better than the regular $10 axles on Amazon.

I built the wheels on my Trek 720 with Shimano mountain bike hubs. I would like to keep this particular bike original just for fun.
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Old 06-07-23, 11:05 PM
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Look for one on eBay by Wheels Manufacturing.
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Old 06-08-23, 12:41 AM
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When I was looking around those popped in the more expensive category so the question is, are they actually better?

Another option I was looking at are Campagnolo branded axles. I would think campy would source better quality ones.
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Old 06-08-23, 05:41 AM
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Performance axles are often made with less metal for less weight.

The steel axle found on all big box store bikes as yours is perhaps stronger than all aftermarket axles. I mean, it's steel.

The axle bent because of an accident/trauma/brute force.

Your short-sightedness in thinking another axle will prevent it from happening again is wrong.
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Old 06-08-23, 06:41 AM
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Wheels mfg
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Old 06-08-23, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Look for one on eBay by Wheels Manufacturing.
+1. Back when freewheel hubs ruled there was a big enough market for stronger axles so that a few mfrs. made them. Now it seems Wheels Manufacturing is about the only one selling stronger versions.
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Old 06-08-23, 09:17 AM
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Having installed on customer bikes many (dozens by now?) Wheels of Boulder (their original name) axles and used quite a few in my Campy hubbed bikes I can talk about real life results. Their axles bend and break too, just like the OEM Campy axles that those hubs had and just like the more common axles found in so many bikes. I can't count how many customers have sought out the same need, an axle that won't bend/break only to have them come to the same conclusions as I speak of. Good luck with your situation and if you do find that holy grail please do let the world know. Andy
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Old 06-08-23, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
Your short-sightedness in thinking another axle will prevent it from happening again is wrong.
Well, when things break we replace them. That's not "short-sightedness." In all my years of riding freewheels, I've only broken one hollow axle. And that was on my 1975 grocery getter with a rear load. I replaced the vintage axle with a brand new one.
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Old 06-08-23, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
Performance axles are often made with less metal for less weight.

The steel axle found on all big box store bikes as yours is perhaps stronger than all aftermarket axles. I mean, it's steel.

The axle bent because of an accident/trauma/brute force.

Your short-sightedness in thinking another axle will prevent it from happening again is wrong.
one out of four of your statements are correct.. see if you can identify which statement is correct.
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Old 06-08-23, 11:03 AM
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soyabean and SurferRosa are talking about two different things.

soyabean is talking about how stuff works and how that stuff reacts to situations/forces.
SurferRosa is talking about doing a repair.

Both can be right at the same time but not understanding the cause and effect of how freewheel axles bend is a path to repeating the problem. In my world doing the same repair again and again is not the best way to service a bike. Andy
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Old 06-08-23, 11:08 AM
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search: "Wheel Master Rear Axle" on Ebay... they sell Chrome Moly solid axles that will fit your application... one issue tho.. there are a couple different Thread Rates involved.. you will need to know the length, thread pitch and diameter of your axle to exactly match the new axle to the nuts and cones ... yours is most likely a 10x1mm x185mm length... but there are no guarantees of this.

the size differences are very small...there are 3/8" axles, 9.5mm axles, and 10mm rear axles... all of them use very similar Thread pitches too... The wrong parts will often start to thread, then begin to bind up and ruin threads.
Also.. be aware that No thread is ever cut to full height or depth... The "10mm" axles will typically measure about 9.7 or 9.8mm, etc...

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Old 06-09-23, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
one out of four of your statements are correct.. see if you can identify which statement is correct.
I was thinking the same thing but decided to leave it alone

Folks, this is not some misguided attempt at searching for an indestructible axle that would be better than a cassette hub. I know the limitations of freewheels, there is still nothing wrong in hoping to source a better part if one is available.
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Old 06-10-23, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Having installed on customer bikes many (dozens by now?) Wheels of Boulder (their original name) axles and used quite a few in my Campy hubbed bikes I can talk about real life results. Their axles bend and break too, just like the OEM Campy axles that those hubs had and just like the more common axles found in so many bikes. I can't count how many customers have sought out the same need, an axle that won't bend/break only to have them come to the same conclusions as I speak of. Good luck with your situation and if you do find that holy grail please do let the world know. Andy
I have to take customer reports with a grain of salt. It's uncontrolled and you were not there to observe.

Had a couple of the original wheels of boulder axles in my bikes. One was in a set of suntour sealed bearing hubs, the other was in a bendix 70 hub. They were better than oem by an exceptional amount
The biggest change you can make is to get your butt off the seat and have your knees bent to absorb the shock your axle gets if you don't.

Last edited by Schweinhund; 06-10-23 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 06-10-23, 07:43 AM
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or build a new wheel properly dished with a Phil hub, confirm your dropouts are indeed parallel, and life is good.

hey abdon , I bet I got a Campy axle I will sell you for about 15 buck plus ship, I cannot promise the cones you have will thread onto it however.

I would suggest the Wheels Mfg parts as well, they are chrome moly, And as Schweinhund suggests, unweight when you hit a bump

/markp
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Old 06-10-23, 06:00 PM
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for those that responded with not one clue.. me included.... https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retrora...h-alyeska.html

the bike is well worth an bit of investment... and it's certainly no Box Store Special.

The stock rear hub is a QR'd Sansin RE-50... if that is no longer on the bike, then we all needed even more info, but some chose to attack box store bikes instead.

personally, i assumed it was a solid, nutted axle...

my apologies to Abdon.. and thank you for saving a cool old touring bike!
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Old 06-10-23, 07:32 PM
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"I have to take customer reports with a grain of salt. It's uncontrolled and you were not there to observe." Schweinhund

Yes and no. When one helps out the same customer with the same bike with the same problem over some time and gets to see the follow ups on the hoped to fix(e but didn't "last") and you had told them the repairs were not all that was needed but they bought the parts and did the work themselves and they come back... I think I can claim some knowledge about their hopes and choices, and the situation. Andy
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Old 06-10-23, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
I have to take customer reports with a grain of salt. It's uncontrolled and you were not there to observe.......
I'll take Andy's years of knowledgeable and useful advice over someone that showed up less then a year ago.
You haven't proven diddly to me.
BTW- Did you notice Andy builds bicycles?
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Old 06-10-23, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
I'll take Andy's years of knowledgeable and useful advice over someone that showed up less then a year ago.
You haven't proven diddly to me.
BTW- Did you notice Andy builds bicycles?
And I appreciate that.
I appreciate Andy's knowledge more than yours too.
I offer what I have experienced as anecdotal information, take it leave it whatever I really don't care.
Know what I do know? I personally purchased Wheels of Boulder axles years ago. I did it for the coaster brake motomags I had on my super stroker. I kept bending the oem axles., Wheels of Boulder cured that.
Andy may have had a hundred returns, but until he bends it himself, it's what the customer said happened.
Sorry, but this is the case.
BTW, I've built a few bikes myself.

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Old 06-10-23, 10:53 PM
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I love touring bikes. The geometries are ridiculously comfy and incredibly stable thanks to the angles and much longer wheelbase. My Trek 720 feels better when it has a good amount of weight loaded onto it, this one feels great unloaded and I have every reason to believe that it would behave just great fully loaded.
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Old 06-11-23, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
I love touring bikes. The geometries are ridiculously comfy and incredibly stable thanks to the angles and much longer wheelbase. My Trek 720 feels better when it has a good amount of weight loaded onto it, this one feels great unloaded and I have every reason to believe that it would behave just great fully loaded.
You will dig this group on Facebook, if you haven't already found it.. "Vintage Trek Bicycles" ... look it up, join, and enjoy.
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Old 06-11-23, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund
And I appreciate that.
I appreciate Andy's knowledge more than yours too.

BTW, I've built a few bikes myself.
Sounds like you want Kapaun to put you on his “ignore” list!!
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Old 06-11-23, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Well, when things break we replace them. That's not "short-sightedness." In all my years of riding freewheels, I've only broken one hollow axle. And that was on my 1975 grocery getter with a rear load. I replaced the vintage axle with a brand new one.
I still have the original rear axle in the 10-speed (2 x 5, with a freewheel) Motobecane I bought in 1975. I weigh 200 pounds. A replacement axle might last the OP indefinitely, barring an accident or pothole.
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Old 06-11-23, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
When I was looking around those popped in the more expensive category…
You really think $40 is “more expensive?”
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