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Rear spacing question

Old 10-08-17, 08:54 AM
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crandress 
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Rear spacing question

The new Atala bike I received this week has 126mm rear spacing. I was surprised to see the rear hub has 130mm spacing. The wheel goes on fine as long a you spread the frame a little, but I was wondering if this is an issue in any way? Also, does this mean I can switch to a 7 speed freewheel instead of the 6 spped it came with? Or am I missing something here? Would an 84 bike have come with a hub that has 130mm spacing, or was this maybe an upgrade?
Thanks in advance! Chris
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Old 10-08-17, 09:04 AM
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First of all it's not a problem, as long as you're OK with spreading the frame each time you install the wheel.

You also have the option of spreading the frame to 130mm.

Going to 7s shouldn't be an issue, since 6s and 7s freewheels are similar in width. There's an off chance that you might need to replace the axle about 1-2mm. Normally, replacing the axle means relishing the wheel, but it's not critical for such a small change.
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Old 10-08-17, 09:10 AM
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Shouldn't be a problem. Kind of weird having a 6 speed freewheel on a 130 spaced hub. If that's the case though, should be even easier than normal to put a 7 speed on there. As FB noted, sometimes you have to re-dish the wheel going 6 to 7 speed.

I have an 8 speed Campy group on a 126 spaced frame and it works great.
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Old 10-08-17, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by crandress View Post
The new Atala bike I received this week has 126mm rear spacing. I was surprised to see the rear hub has 130mm spacing. The wheel goes on fine as long a you spread the frame a little, but I was wondering if this is an issue in any way? Also, does this mean I can switch to a 7 speed freewheel instead of the 6 spped it came with? Or am I missing something here? Would an 84 bike have come with a hub that has 130mm spacing, or was this maybe an upgrade?
Thanks in advance! Chris
I doubt the 130mm hub is stock. 126mm was pretty standard until the advent of 8-speed and higher which occurred in the late-80's or thereabouts. A 130mm hub should be able to fit a seven-speed without issue. You can even get it to fit a 126mm hub by adding a couple washers and spacing it out a bit to around 128mm. Spreading the rear to force fit a 130mm in a 126mm is commonly done but not ideal. You can cold set the frame if it is steel, but read up about the techniques and pitfalls.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 10-08-17 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-08-17, 09:28 AM
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Theoretically, you should cold set the stays to 130mm spacing and re-align the dropouts. The issue with just springing the rear triangle is that the wider hub installed in a narrower rear triangle puts a bending stress on the axle. Typically, this does not cause a problem with cassette equipped freehubs, due to the wider bearing spacing. However, traditional hubs equipped with freewheels are more prone to axle bending in this application.

A 130mm hub should accept a 7 and even 8 speed freewheel without issue. A 1984 road bicycle would not have come equipped with a 130mm hub. 130mm/8 speed was introduced circa 1989, by Shimano, on Dura-Ace. 126mm hubs would be correct for 1984 vintage. Most 126mm hubs accept 7 speed freewheels without modification, though some may require the addition of thin driveside spacer, in order to provide clearance between the drive side stays and small cog/chain. It's typically a stay design issue more than a frewheel/hub issue.
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Old 10-08-17, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for all of the responses, I appreciate it. I do have options. Keep using the wheels as is, experiment with 7-speed maybe as well. The downside is these are tubular rims. Not sure I want to go tubular or not. I did have tubulars on my racing bike in the early 90's. Also, when you talk about stress on the axle, I am heavy, so this could be exacerbated. I have a set of 27" campy/mavic clinchers that are spaced at 126mm, as well as some 700c campy, with campy aero clinchers that are also spaced at 126mm. I like the third option, but the wheels are non-Eroica with the aero rims. But they are beautiful and bomb proof.
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Old 10-08-17, 11:47 AM
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I have encountered 126mm frames that could not accommodate my 7 speed FWs. Could not really figure out whether it's how how the stays or the dropouts were designed but the 13 cog definitely hit the bottom of the DS seat stay, when I try to install the rear wheel. So, I would say that it could be a case by case basis when installing a 7 speed FW on to a 126 spaced frame....
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