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

OK to move axle by filing dropout?

Notices
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.

OK to move axle by filing dropout?

Old 10-08-13, 07:29 AM
  #1  
JeffOYB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
JeffOYB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Williamston, MI "Wee-um-stun"
Posts: 699

Bikes: Uh... road, mtb, tour, CX (kludged), 3spd, 'bent, tandem, folder (the fam has another, what, 8)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
OK to move axle by filing dropout?

I'd like to move my axle back a millimeter in the dropouts of my Giant TCR-Aluxx. Think it might be safe for me to use a rat-tail file and get a little more space back there that way? I'd then shim in front of the axle to keep it snug in the new location.

...What are these dropouts made of?

I'd think they'd be somewhat overbuilt and certainly made to handle, say, a 250-lb rider. I'm 170 lbs. It's a size Large frame.

I wanna get a bit more space for a slightly plumper tire.

I don't care about warranties.
JeffOYB is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 07:42 AM
  #2  
techsensei
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If I said yes and it broke while you were riding it, and you fell down and hurt yourself, would you sue me?

The dropouts are aluminum like the rest of the frame. I don't know how successful you would be filing a vertical dropout enough to gain enough clearance for a wider tire. Shimming in front of the axle would be unnecessary; the QR has more than enough biting force to hold it, as long as you adjust the QR properly (wheels with QR's on bikes with horizontal dropouts don't slip).
techsensei is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 07:44 AM
  #3  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 14,919

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2925 Post(s)
Liked 1,193 Times in 841 Posts
I assume you're meaning the rear drop outs. I suspect they are made of Aluminum (hence the Aluxx name). If so then the material is relatively soft and will file easily. But I don't suggest that you do this for a few reasons. First is that only a mm won't get you much more tire space. Second is the need to maintain wheel placement, both for alignment purposes and maintaining the location when under your great power. Third is the principle of you're having the wrong bike. If you can't fit the tire you wish then the design of the bike doesn't fit your needs. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 07:56 AM
  #4  
JeffOYB
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
JeffOYB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Williamston, MI "Wee-um-stun"
Posts: 699

Bikes: Uh... road, mtb, tour, CX (kludged), 3spd, 'bent, tandem, folder (the fam has another, what, 8)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
All I need is 1 mm!

...As regards suitability, I'm in a juryrig situation for now so I make-do as I go.

I'm mostly wondering if fiddling a little with an alum dropout will cause it to break.
JeffOYB is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 08:21 AM
  #5  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 27 Posts
Filing dropouts isn't a safety issue, it's a wheel location issue. If 1-2mm will make a meaningful difference go ahead and do it, being careful to keep the left and right sides matched properly so the wheel stays centered both between the seat and chain stays.

When finished, consider filling the front of the slot with body filler or something like JB Weld. That way you won't have to be positioning the wheel manually each time. Also as Andrew points out, chain tension can pull the wheel forward on the right so it's the front faces of the slot that are more important to wheel position.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 08:27 AM
  #6  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,796

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1645 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 500 Times in 377 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
When finished, consider filling the front of the slot with body filler or something like JB Weld. That way you won't have to be positioning the wheel manually each time. Also as Andrew points out, chain tension can pull the wheel forward on the right so it's the front faces of the slot that are more important to wheel position.
If you do this, be sure to use a "closed cam" qr skewer like a Shimano or Campy to achieve enough clamping force to keep the wheel located. An open cam skewer will let the wheel slip if you widen the dropout and don't use a strong front filler material.
HillRider is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 08:31 AM
  #7  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If you do this, be sure to use a "closed cam" qr skewer like a Shimano or Campy to achieve enough clamping force to keep the wheel located. An open cam skewer will let the wheel slip if you widen the dropout and don't use a strong front filler material.
Just about anything is as strong under compression as the original aluminum, so there's no real concern as long as the front side of the slot is filled. I used to do this withsteel shims epoxid into place, but I've also done some with plain automotive body filler and they hold up just as well.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 09:30 AM
  #8  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,315 Times in 826 Posts
Since I cannot look over your shoulder and supervise what you are trying to do..

I'll , join in and, say .. fit a smaller tire .. as well ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 10:09 AM
  #9  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 27 Posts
Another option if you have a friend with a small hobby lathe is to make 2 small rings 10mm ID, 12mm OD X 5mm wide (or so) to fit over the axle ends and enlarge them to 12mm. Then file the dropouts to 12mm width removing all the metal from the back. That will move the wheel back 1mm without changing the front face location.

I did this to the threaded axle hub on my commuter which chewed the dropout slot open over the years. That allowed me to clean t up for a precise fit again, and prevented further wear from the threads. If you go this route, have a bunch of rings made up because you'll need a pair of all the wheels this bike takes.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 10:16 AM
  #10  
cycle_maven
Collector of Useless Info
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Just one word: 650B! It's expensive, but you can fit a much fatter tire.

Better yet, buy another bike. N+1, baby!
cycle_maven is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 10:23 AM
  #11  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
Just one word: 650B! It's expensive, but you can fit a much fatter tire.

Better yet, buy another bike. N+1, baby!
You guys are tough. The OP seems to have a bike that generally serves his needs, but wants a hair more room. Assuming that he can measure (that's his lookout) and the extra 1mm would address his needs, what's wrong with modifying something to make it better suited to one's purpose?

Of course, changing wheels, or the entire bike might make sense, but that's an expensive approach to an end when a small tweak will do. I thought this forum was about helping people, not telling them to buy new. The OPs 1mm solution is perfectly reasonable if it suits his needs and is done well.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 10:50 AM
  #12  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,796

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1645 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 500 Times in 377 Posts
Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
Just one word: 650B! It's expensive, but you can fit a much fatter tire.
Expensive doesn't begin to describe it. Let's see: new wheels, new tires and tubes and a major operation find a set of extra, extra long reach brake calipers. Despite the current fad, 650B is not the answer to all problems.
HillRider is offline  
Old 10-08-13, 05:43 PM
  #13  
cycle_maven
Collector of Useless Info
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Really, it was tongue-in-cheek; 650B is a solution waiting for a problem. OP would be much better served by a small tweak to the dropouts, as seems to be the consensus here. Even then, a failure at the rear dropout doesn't necessarily mean a trip to the emergency room- more likely a phone call to the spouse for a pick up.
cycle_maven is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Shinkers
Bicycle Mechanics
3
02-27-17 01:16 AM
JStar_2015
Bicycle Mechanics
16
06-26-15 11:39 AM
cyclezealot
Bicycle Mechanics
10
10-14-13 04:39 PM
emerkel
Bicycle Mechanics
3
06-27-11 06:22 AM
cristobal41
Road Cycling
2
08-08-10 05:34 AM

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 - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.