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I think I finally fixed my bike

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I think I finally fixed my bike

Old 02-28-24, 09:08 AM
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I think I finally fixed my bike

I have kids, so my window to really spread out with a bunch of bike parts and tools and chemicals is from midnight to 4am. That's half a day. I go to bed at 8pm with the kids and set an alarm for 12am. Afterwards, I sleep a little more before it's time to start the day.

Anyway, my rear wheel has been acting up for many thousands of miles. It's a 26" mountain bike wheel with a 126mm hub. I can't buy a new wheel, so I kept working on it.

After many hours, I finally got the wheel true, but that involved vice grips, changing out all the nipples, buying washers for the nipples, etc.

Next I replaced a bent axle. It is a bolt on axle with cups and cones, so pretty easy.

The next problem is that the bearings continue to loosen up on me. I tighten them about weekly.

Then I had another bent axle.

At some point, I began to see red flags that the dropouts were not aligned. The axle would sit in the derailleur "fork" on the right side, but to get the wheel in straight, the left side would be very close to the end of the dropout.

I got some string and ran it around the bike from one dropout to the other, but couldn't detect anything amiss.

I got a pair of 12"x3/8" threaded rods from Home Depot and bolted them tightly into the dropouts with nuts and washers. When I put the left threaded rod where the axle goes, the two rods met even neatly in the middle.

So here's the breakthrough. I had a brand new wheel with a 135mm hub, so I decided to use the threaded rod and nuts to stretch the bike apart 9mm to make it fit. That worked like crazy and solved all my wheel and hub issues. Next I decided to use my threaded rods to check the dropout alignment. As before, the rods met in the middle, but now the left side was closer to the center of the dropout - that was a concern that fixed itself.

The real breakthrough was when I got a long straightedge. I realized that even though my threaded rods were meeting perfectly in the center, they might not be parallel. I had 24" of threaded rod bolted to the bike and a 24" straightedge. I started looking for issues. I pushed the straightedge between the spokes and got under and around the bike and started really looking. I determined that the two rods were not parallel but rather meeting in the center at a slight angle. If I had installed a solid axle there, something would have had to bend to make it fit. So I used the leverage of the long threaded rods to bend the dropouts slightly into perfect alignment.

I still can't ride the bike, sadly, because 4am came and while I had a complete bike and even a good rear tire and brakes, the rear derailleur was completely out of adjustment and I needed sleep. I'll need another night to set my alarm to fix the derailleur.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:14 AM
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And here I thought the "torque a million bolts at once" thing was a one off. Can't buy a 26" wheel? Why?...
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Old 02-28-24, 12:36 PM
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I'm kinda confused on the whole "kids" thing...Why not work until it's time to go to bed at adult time and sleep till morning?
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Old 02-28-24, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
And here I thought the "torque a million bolts at once" thing was a one off. Can't buy a 26" wheel? Why?...
It's an ISO 559. You can get the wheel (I did), but only with a 135mm hub. I needed a 126.
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Old 02-28-24, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
I'm kinda confused on the whole "kids" thing...Why not work until it's time to go to bed at adult time and sleep till morning?
Kids want stuff like dinner, butt wiping, zippering, help resolving conflicts, etc. I can do simple stuff like laundry or dishes with kids around, but not work on bikes.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Kids want stuff like dinner, butt wiping, zippering, help resolving conflicts, etc. I can do simple stuff like laundry or dishes with kids around, but not work on bikes.
seems like needy kids, but I'm just suggesting you stay up when they go to bed.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I have kids, so my window to really spread out with a bunch of bike parts and tools and chemicals is from midnight to 4am. That's half a day. I go to bed at 8pm with the kids and set an alarm for 12am. Afterwards, I sleep a little more before it's time to start the day.

Anyway, my rear wheel has been acting up for many thousands of miles. It's a 26" mountain bike wheel with a 126mm hub. I can't buy a new wheel, so I kept working on it.

After many hours, I finally got the wheel true, but that involved vice grips, changing out all the nipples, buying washers for the nipples, etc.

Next I replaced a bent axle. It is a bolt on axle with cups and cones, so pretty easy.

The next problem is that the bearings continue to loosen up on me. I tighten them about weekly.

Then I had another bent axle.

At some point, I began to see red flags that the dropouts were not aligned. The axle would sit in the derailleur "fork" on the right side, but to get the wheel in straight, the left side would be very close to the end of the dropout.

I got some string and ran it around the bike from one dropout to the other, but couldn't detect anything amiss.

I got a pair of 12"x3/8" threaded rods from Home Depot and bolted them tightly into the dropouts with nuts and washers. When I put the left threaded rod where the axle goes, the two rods met even neatly in the middle.

So here's the breakthrough. I had a brand new wheel with a 135mm hub, so I decided to use the threaded rod and nuts to stretch the bike apart 9mm to make it fit. That worked like crazy and solved all my wheel and hub issues. Next I decided to use my threaded rods to check the dropout alignment. As before, the rods met in the middle, but now the left side was closer to the center of the dropout - that was a concern that fixed itself.

The real breakthrough was when I got a long straightedge. I realized that even though my threaded rods were meeting perfectly in the center, they might not be parallel. I had 24" of threaded rod bolted to the bike and a 24" straightedge. I started looking for issues. I pushed the straightedge between the spokes and got under and around the bike and started really looking. I determined that the two rods were not parallel but rather meeting in the center at a slight angle. If I had installed a solid axle there, something would have had to bend to make it fit. So I used the leverage of the long threaded rods to bend the dropouts slightly into perfect alignment.

I still can't ride the bike, sadly, because 4am came and while I had a complete bike and even a good rear tire and brakes, the rear derailleur was completely out of adjustment and I needed sleep. I'll need another night to set my alarm to fix the derailleur.
Bolt your good wheel to the outside of one dropout so the wheel is outside of the frame,, next to it. Move the rim until it is parallel with the bike. That will straighten that side's dropout. Then do the same thing on the other dropout.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Bolt your good wheel to the outside of one dropout so the wheel is outside of the frame,, next to it. Move the rim until it is parallel with the bike. That will straighten that side's dropout. Then do the same thing on the other dropout.
We call that Mexican Style, I do rear dlr dropouts with a front wheel in a pinch.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
It's an ISO 559. You can get the wheel (I did), but only with a 135mm hub. I needed a 126.
Solid axle freewheel r wheel, just needs a different axle, you can even cut the 135 one (yes I know it's longer than that) to fit your then 126 frame...
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Old 02-28-24, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
seems like needy kids.
Bit rude mate?
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Old 02-28-24, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
Solid axle freewheel r wheel, just needs a different axle, you can even cut the 135 one (yes I know it's longer than that) to fit your then 126 frame...
I don't understand how a different axle helps. The 135mm hub with the freewheel installed on it was too wide to fit in between the dropouts.
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Old 02-28-24, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
seems like needy kids, but I'm just suggesting you stay up when they go to bed.
The sounds keep them awake, so I stay quiet until everyone is really quite asleep.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I don't understand how a different axle helps. The 135mm hub with the freewheel installed on it was too wide to fit in between the dropouts.
The only difference in your type of wheel between a 126 and a 135 is the length of the axle and a few spacers, and since it's a solid axle, you could use the longer one anyway.

Last edited by wheelreason; 02-28-24 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
The only difference in your type of wheel between a 126 and a 135 is the length of the axle and a few spacers, and since it's a solid axle, you could use the longer one anyway.
I think I'm starting to see what you are getting at. However, the new wheel that I installed is 135 with sealed bearings and quick release. Are you saying that if I found a new 135 bolt on wheel, I can remove spacers to convert it to a 126?
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Old 02-28-24, 11:40 PM
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If you do convert a 135 wheel to 126 the wheel will need to be re-dished so the rim is centered on the axle.
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Old 02-29-24, 12:48 AM
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I could be wrong, but you may be able to convert a 135 wheel to 126 by fitting a shorter (old style) 7-speed freehub. Not certain, I don't know if the hub flange spacing changed. My '89 Cannondale 7-speed cassette is on 126mm, pre-hyperspaceglide. How many speed rear are you running?
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Old 02-29-24, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
seems like needy kids, but I'm just suggesting you stay up when they go to bed.
Iím guessing you donít have kids
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Old 02-29-24, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
I’m guessing you don’t have kids
Only a couple, but sending them off to bed to stop bugging me was never an issue. I do realize all lives are different, perhaps OP lives in 1 bedroom apartment and has a dozen kids, like in those family sitcoms we grew up on.
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Old 02-29-24, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I think I'm starting to see what you are getting at. However, the new wheel that I installed is 135 with sealed bearings and quick release. Are you saying that if I found a new 135 bolt on wheel, I can remove spacers to convert it to a 126?
Yes. But if you have a q-release one and have already spread the frame, no sense in going back, but it's your bke, so. Also, sounds like your frame has thin r dropouts, make sure the axle isn't too long, cause then you won't be able to get it to snug properly.
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Old 02-29-24, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I could be wrong, but you may be able to convert a 135 wheel to 126 by fitting a shorter (old style) 7-speed freehub. Not certain, I don't know if the hub flange spacing changed. My '89 Cannondale 7-speed cassette is on 126mm, pre-hyperspaceglide. How many speed rear are you running?
I think it's a freewheel, but anything is possible at this point...
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Old 02-29-24, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
If you do convert a 135 wheel to 126 the wheel will need to be re-dished so the rim is centered on the axle.
Did you happen to see the part about washers under each spoke nipple for the previous wheel?....
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Old 02-29-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
I’m guessing you don’t have kids
Translated from Spanish circa 1965... "If you get out of that bed, or keep making noise I'll give you something to cry about!" One and done.
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Old 03-02-24, 10:41 AM
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Oh my you certainly have a lot of problems with your bikes. You had a ton of rear derailer issues, chain issues. I donít know why you needed spokewashers to replace nipples, heck I donít know why you had to replace nipples. You say you didnít have a problem replacing a bent axel, but you did, you did not properly tighten the cone/locknut that why you had to adjust, multiple times. You are bending axels, yes freewheel is more prone but are you using heavy loaded rack? It could be that your style of riding, are you curb hopping? Are you always seated? Hitting potholes with full weight is not good on back end. A good freehub should be better for you than the freewheel hub.

I donít think you have it all solved.
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