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!40mm rear dropouts, need a wheelset

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!40mm rear dropouts, need a wheelset

Old 03-13-15, 01:49 AM
  #1  
swisscheese
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!40mm rear dropouts, need a wheelset

So I have an older 80's roadbike, a vitus 979 that I'm trying to get new wheels for. Without going into too much detail, I bought the bike cheap, it rode great on the tubular wheels and tires it came with, but now needing to replace them I've come to realize the rear dropouts are for some reason spaced to 140 mm. Being that it's a bonded aluminum frame, I've checked all the joints and they look to be holding up, but I can't do any sort of cold setting to bring it back to 130 mm

My question is, how would the process go of fitting new road rims with 130 mm hubs onto the bike? I understand I will need to be adding some spacers which I'm perfectly fine with, but I'm not sure how much of a process it is to find a wider axle and put it into the new hubs.

Anyone have any experience or knowledge about this?
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Old 03-13-15, 03:06 AM
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With good quality q/r, you don't need much axle protrusion into the dropouts at all. Sheldon Brown reported riding a bike with the axle flush to the locknuts w/o any issues. He said though that a little protrusion makes aligning the wheel a lot easier.
I don't know if I'd be quite that trusty though.
There are plenty of hubs in the Shimano family where it'd be entirely straightforward to replace a 130 mm "road" axle with a 135 "mtb" axle, and to add a spacer inside the locknuts. Should leave you with enough protrusion for worry-free riding. Might use the opportunity to redish the wheel for better spoke tension balance while you're at it.

Or have a wheel build using a "mtb" hub laced to a "road" rim.

Or maybe look at a tandem hub? I believe 140 mm is used in tandems.
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Old 03-13-15, 05:24 AM
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Get a longer axle.
Add a 10mm spacer to the NDS.
Redish.
You'll have a much stronger wheel, since the spokes will be more symmetrical.

You did measure the DO inside to inside didn't you?
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Old 03-13-15, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by swisscheese View Post
So I have an older 80's roadbike, a vitus 979 that I'm trying to get new wheels for. Without going into too much detail, I bought the bike cheap, it rode great on the tubular wheels and tires it came with, but now needing to replace them I've come to realize the rear dropouts are for some reason spaced to 140 mm. Being that it's a bonded aluminum frame, I've checked all the joints and they look to be holding up, but I can't do any sort of cold setting to bring it back to 130 mm

My question is, how would the process go of fitting new road rims with 130 mm hubs onto the bike? I understand I will need to be adding some spacers which I'm perfectly fine with, but I'm not sure how much of a process it is to find a wider axle and put it into the new hubs.

Anyone have any experience or knowledge about this?
We faced the same challenge on our tandem. Our solution was to go with a cartridge bearing 135mm OLD hub and put 2mm precision spacers (washer with tight tolerance control) on each side. This was the most cost effective route for us - your results may varies. Once you have chosen your hub, it simply a matter of building up the wheel with the rim and spokes of your choice. If you choose a hub with a cup & cone bearing system, it would be better to put all the spacers on the left (NDS) side, so that the resulting wheel will have less offset and more even spoke tension.

White, Phil, Chris King, Velocity and DT Swiss (and possibly others) offer 140mm OLD hubs; all are pricy.
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Old 03-13-15, 07:53 AM
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OP measuring the inside space or outside the over all Width?


Shimano makes 145 tandem hubs .. same 10x1 thd so you can replace the axles in any Shimano steel axle hub.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-13-15 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-13-15, 08:19 AM
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You could use a 135 mm hub and compress the dropouts with the qr skewer.
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Old 03-13-15, 08:51 AM
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One last check on the Vitus I'd be curious about is whether the rear end is aligned with the front and whether the drop outs are parallel to each other. The 140 spacing is just so wrong, especially with that frame's construction (as the OP already acknowledges). So is it a prior attempt to respace the rear triangle that was, other then shouldn't have been, done well and centered with the expected bending od the drop outs back to parallel. Or was it a result of ham fisted or incident which resulted in a banana bike (as opposed to an arrow bike).

The other replies are valid and easy to do to make the wheel fit well w/out further frame stress. Andy.
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Old 03-13-15, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by swisscheese View Post
So I have an older 80's roadbike, a vitus 979 that I'm trying to get new wheels for. Without going into too much detail, I bought the bike cheap, it rode great on the tubular wheels and tires it came with, but now needing to replace them I've come to realize the rear dropouts are for some reason spaced to 140 mm. Being that it's a bonded aluminum frame, I've checked all the joints and they look to be holding up, but I can't do any sort of cold setting to bring it back to 130 mm

My question is, how would the process go of fitting new road rims with 130 mm hubs onto the bike? I understand I will need to be adding some spacers which I'm perfectly fine with, but I'm not sure how much of a process it is to find a wider axle and put it into the new hubs.

Anyone have any experience or knowledge about this?
i would build a new rear wheel around the wheel that came with the bike, given the hub has been working properly.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-13-15 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 03-13-15, 09:51 AM
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I would verify, again, that the frame is really spaced at 140mm. That bike should be 126mm, and as you acknowledge, is bonded aluminum. So I'm really surprised someone bent it out that far without it breaking instantly. Unless it was custom built that way from the start for reasons I can't imagine.

If it's actually 140mm I'd get a longer axle for whatever hub you plan to use or start with a 135mm MTB hub and add a 5mm spacer to the left side.

Originally Posted by dabac View Post
With good quality q/r, you don't need much axle protrusion into the dropouts at all. Sheldon Brown reported riding a bike with the axle flush to the locknuts w/o any issues. He said though that a little protrusion makes aligning the wheel a lot easier.
I don't know if I'd be quite that trusty though.
I've actually done a zero protrusion axle on Sheldon's advice and it works just fine. If the QR was not strong enough, horizontal dropouts would not be possible as the wheel would pull forward during pedaling load. The bike is a carbon Trek road frame with vertical dropouts that I setup fixed gear. I'm using a Dura Ace (freewheel) road hub, track cog, bottom bracket lockring, and nice steel Shimano skewer that bites really well into the aluminum dropouts. Getting the wheel in proper position is trickier without axle protrusion but it just takes more patience.
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Old 03-13-15, 11:13 PM
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Thanks, everyone for the great responses, hueyhoolihan; I'm quite sure you're route is the way I'm going to with this. A bike-mech friend of mine also suggested this, so for now I think I'll take this route, unless the itch to upgrade drivetrain bites again.
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