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

Which to file: fork dropouts or axles?

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.

Which to file: fork dropouts or axles?

Reply

Old 10-08-11, 02:04 PM
  #1  
CaptainSpalding
Explorer
Thread Starter
 
CaptainSpalding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 278

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream XP, Merlin Road Ti, Fisher Mt. Tam

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Which to file: fork dropouts or axles?

Hello everyone,

I'm in the midst of re-habbing a Schwinn tandem. The axles of the Schwinn wheels have flats in them which key into the shape of the fork dropouts such that the axle has to be oriented a certain way for the wheel to be mounted or dismounted. This is no doubt a safety mechanism to reduce the possibility of the front wheel dropping out should the axle nuts become loose. Well, those Schwinn wheels are rusty and cracked, so now I've got new wheels with Sturmey hubs.

The axle of the Sturmey front hub won't fit into the fork, as it is missing the flats. So, my question: do I file flats into the axles or do I file the dropouts to accept the Sturmey axles as is? If I file the axles, will I weaken them enough to cause a potential issue? Or is it better to file the axles and retain the safety benefit of the original Schwinn design?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Spalding
__________________
I came to say I must be folding . . .
Dahon Jetstream XP
Dahon Helios SL
Strida 5.0
Twenty project


or not . . .
Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
Merlin Road flat bar project
Schwinn Twinn Deluxe
CaptainSpalding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 02:07 PM
  #2  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,020

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1543 Post(s)
File the dropouts, not the axle. Dropouts are usually mild steel and much easier to file than an axle.
JohnDThompson is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 02:14 PM
  #3  
CaptainSpalding
Explorer
Thread Starter
 
CaptainSpalding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 278

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream XP, Merlin Road Ti, Fisher Mt. Tam

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll be using an abrasive wheel, so physical effort is not a factor. With that in mind, would you still choose to file the dropout?
__________________
I came to say I must be folding . . .
Dahon Jetstream XP
Dahon Helios SL
Strida 5.0
Twenty project


or not . . .
Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
Merlin Road flat bar project
Schwinn Twinn Deluxe
CaptainSpalding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 02:26 PM
  #4  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,936
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 808 Post(s)
Strength wise it's a non-issue. You're probably only filing off the threads anyhow, and you're doing it on an supported section of the axle. Can't really see the safety feature, unless there's some funny keyhole arrangement going on. If it isn't, I can't see how passively aligned flats would make any significant contribution to axle retention.
File the dropouts, create easy compatibility with modern design.

But sturmey hubs? Sturmey IGHs still have axle flats.
dabac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 02:30 PM
  #5  
zukahn1
Senior Member
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 7,053

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 239 Post(s)
This may be an idea if you still have the schwinn axels and there the same size you could swap out the axels.
zukahn1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 02:39 PM
  #6  
CaptainSpalding
Explorer
Thread Starter
 
CaptainSpalding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 278

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream XP, Merlin Road Ti, Fisher Mt. Tam

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Strength wise it's a non-issue. You're probably only filing off the threads anyhow, and you're doing it on an supported section of the axle. Can't really see the safety feature, unless there's some funny keyhole arrangement going on. If it isn't, I can't see how passively aligned flats would make any significant contribution to axle retention.
File the dropouts, create easy compatibility with modern design.

But sturmey hubs? Sturmey IGHs still have axle flats.
Yes, there is a funky keyhole arrangement going on. Yes, Sturmey IGH hubs have axle flats, but this is a front hub. No flats.

@ zuhahn1: it's a drum brake hub with dynamo. Maybe I could swap the axle, but it's kind of a black box for me. I'm not sure I want to mess with it.

Thanks everyone for the replies so far.
__________________
I came to say I must be folding . . .
Dahon Jetstream XP
Dahon Helios SL
Strida 5.0
Twenty project


or not . . .
Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
Merlin Road flat bar project
Schwinn Twinn Deluxe
CaptainSpalding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 03:20 PM
  #7  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 6,027

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 585 Post(s)
Captain: The problem I see is that if you file the dropouts and do not get them even you will have a problem with the wheel sitting crooked in the fork. If you are just opening up a narrow section where the axle enters the dropout and not where it seats (the "funky keyhole arrangement" you mention) it's a non-issue. A photo of the dropout might be helpful.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-11, 04:28 PM
  #8  
CaptainSpalding
Explorer
Thread Starter
 
CaptainSpalding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 278

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream XP, Merlin Road Ti, Fisher Mt. Tam

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Captain: The problem I see is that if you file the dropouts and do not get them even you will have a problem with the wheel sitting crooked in the fork. If you are just opening up a narrow section where the axle enters the dropout and not where it seats (the "funky keyhole arrangement" you mention) it's a non-issue. A photo of the dropout might be helpful.
Yes, it would just be an issue of filing the flat on the keyhole part of the dropout. In red on the drawing below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Schwinn Dropout.jpg (17.3 KB, 29 views)
__________________
I came to say I must be folding . . .
Dahon Jetstream XP
Dahon Helios SL
Strida 5.0
Twenty project


or not . . .
Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
Merlin Road flat bar project
Schwinn Twinn Deluxe
CaptainSpalding is offline  
Reply With Quote

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