Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Are vintage dropouts a design flaw or hazard?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Are vintage dropouts a design flaw or hazard?

Old 04-09-19, 05:48 AM
  #51  
Fidbloke
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
I prefer solid axles with Big Nuts on the end.
Hoik them up tight and you can't go wrong.
Fidbloke is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 06:23 AM
  #52  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13,226
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 892 Post(s)
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Same reason a fork with dropouts facing down and back with disc brakes is a design flaw.

Is there any reason the drop-out should be horizontal?

The QR was by no means loose. I had to pry the thing open while lying in a pool of blood in the middle of an interstate highway.
horizontal dropouts are from Campagnolo at least a legacy of the toothed Cambio Corsa era. also from the framebuilders perspective they are a bit more forgiving.
dropout parallism, tension, axle straightness, lock nut condition and double check the axle length, can meet but not wise to exceed the dropout overall width.
you could always look for the Hi-E dropout spot facing tool, to hand machine a shallow counterbore into the drive side dropout face, mechanically locking that in place.
repechage is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 06:47 AM
  #53  
Chombi1 
Senior Member
 
Chombi1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,678
Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 931 Post(s)
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that CPSC did not come up with a retainer clip or "lawyer lip" requirement for rear dropouts........
__________________
72 Line Seeker
83 Davidson Signature
84 Peugeot PSV
84 Peugeot PY10FC
84 Gitane Tour de France.
85 Vitus Plus Carbone 7
86 ALAN Record Carbonio
86 Medici Aerodynamic (Project)
88 Pinarello Montello
89 Bottecchia Professional Chorus SL
95 Trek 5500 OCLV (Project)
Chombi1 is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 07:18 AM
  #54  
WFdave
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Vertical dropouts are the best solution for sure for someone that can put the pressure to the pedals. Most of my bikes have horizontal dropouts and when climbing on the pedals I've had this happen a number of times. Gear side pulls forward and tire hits opposite chain stay.

1. Get the Dura Ace (preferred) or Ultegra quick release. Don't guess with the others.
2. I now take the extra step and mark the stay around the QR nut/clamp. I then use a grinder to remove some metal behind this mark so that the QR sits a little lower and doesn't ride up over the ridge. It works but takes time to do. I used to make clips that went over the QR axle (hole in clip) and were bent so they went over the rear of the drop out stopping the wheel move forward.
WFdave is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 07:26 AM
  #55  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Is that when you went 126 to 130?
No, that was abound 1995. The replacement was still 126mm.

I got the new wheels, Athena 11 groupset, etc., about 3 years ago.

A shop isn't going to let you ride with the old 126 because the odds are goo that not al the nut threads would be engaged with the now too-short QR skewer. I fully second getting any Shimano 130 skewer with a steel skewer and asymmetric lever (ie internal cam). To my (limited) knowledge, all SHimano skewers are steel skeweres and asymmetric.
It turns out this internal cam skewer was is in fact Shimano, and it is plenty long.


No one has talked about non-steel skewers (titanium and aluminum), but they are marginal at best on horizontal dropouts and worthless on a chromed horizontal dropout. The reason is very simple, A QR has so only much take-up, ie so much stretch on the skewer, All skewers have the same diameter, the largest diameter that fits nicely inside the axle. The clamping force on the dropout can be shown with sophomore engineering math to be equal to the stretch times the diameter times modulus of elasticity and divided by the length. Now the modulus of elasticity is a function of the metal used. Steel is 30 million. Ti 15 milllion, Aluminum 10 million. Since you cannot change any of the other factors, that modulus decides how much your QR can clamp. Steel is the best by a factor of two.

With a horizontal dropout, only steel and the above mentioned asymmetrical levers should ever be used since the QR is the only thing keeping the wheel in place. That said, a quality steel QR (doesn't have to be expensive, cheap QBP steel skewers work just fine; cheap Shimanos are better) adjusted so it take a firm effort leaving an imprint on your hand will work every time and has for the past 90 years. I have 100,000 miles on them and every failure has been operator error. (Well I purchased a couple of inferior design levers before I knew better in the '80s.)

I have one bike with vertical dropouts and 12,000 miles. Every other bike I have ever owned has had horizontal dropouts. Vertical dropouts were standard for Peter Mooney when I ordered my frame. I requested horizontal so I could run fix gear without issue later if I wanted.

Good serrations on the steel nut and clamp assembly (as pointed out in post #44 ) is very important since you are running the very hard and slippery chromed dropouts. This rules out some of the more expensive dropouts and more than a few with poorly designed or executed nut surfaces, Look there carefully.

Ben
I'll take a closer look today when I wake up.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 07:42 AM
  #56  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
[QUOTE=wgscott;20875896

Was this dropout (from 1986 in my case) a design flaw?

[/QUOTE]
No, but almost all of the C&V bikes I see have worn spots on the NDS chain stay form slipping. I tell my daughters that when tightening the cam (I only give them Shimano cam skewers) they should be so tight the lever leaves red marks on your hand.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 08:01 AM
  #57  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,127
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

The QR was by no means loose. I had to pry the thing open while lying in a pool of blood in the middle of an interstate highway.
I had this happen a couple times on old Trek and couldn't figure out why it kept slipping. Turns out there was chain grease on the inside of the dropout, and subsequently the skewer cap as well, that wasn't easily seen by the naked eye. I cleaned that off really good and it never slipped again. It's an easy thing to check and clean just to make sure.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 08:03 AM
  #58  
Lemond1985
Senior Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 907
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I don't think that's a flawed design as powerful sprinters used them for many years without problems. Track racers use nutted axles but I doubt they are really necessary.
Thank you for mentioning this. I suspect OP is a strong-legged, frame-bending beast and doesn't even realize know his own strength.
Lemond1985 is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 08:07 AM
  #59  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I had this happen a couple times on old Trek and couldn't figure out why it kept slipping. Turns out there was chain grease on the inside of the dropout, and subsequently the skewer cap as well, that wasn't easily seen by the naked eye. I cleaned that off really good and it never slipped again. It's an easy thing to check and clean just to make sure.
That's a good suggestion. I am going to take it apart and clean it and assess the axle length vs. dropout thickness, and possibly roughen up the chrome surface a bit as soon as I get a chance today.

Upon my initial inspection there is no obvious problem with the current Shimano internal cam (Campy-lookalike, it turns out) rear skewer (it is long enough, has teeth, etc). But since it isn't authentic, I have no issue with replacing it with something better. Maybe the 130mm DTSwiss ratchet skewer?

I did order $12 hexbolt-on skewers, but I am not convinced the caps, which are aluminum, will allow me to torque down better than I have it now with the internal cam skewer. (I also worry about stripping the head, and then how do I get it off?)

My wife says I should ride a safer bike. I attempted to use this misconception to get permission to get a new Emonda with Di2, etc, but she says she means I should ride my vintage 2014 bike. I tried.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 08:09 AM
  #60  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Thank you for mentioning this. I suspect OP is a strong-legged, frame-bending beast and doesn't even realize know his own strength.
I'm tipping the scales at 200 lbs at the moment, and I was hammering up a local hard hill. I broke the first (steel) frame on this Bianchi when I was doing the same thing over 30 years ago when I weighed less than 180.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 08:45 AM
  #61  
ThermionicScott 
hungry
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,913

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1806 Post(s)
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
You have the wrong dropouts.

I have these coming in the mail shortly.



One should be able to loosen the quick release while riding, pedal, and it keeps the wheel straight. Then, tighten up the quick release, all while still riding the bicycle.

And, I think the hook in front should keep the wheel from falling out as one can't pull it forward out of the slots.

Don't ask why it has the cable stop... completely unnecessary.
I want to see more of this project...
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:08 AM
  #62  
bikingshearer 
Crawlin' up, flyin' down
 
bikingshearer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Democratic Peoples' Republic of Berkeley
Posts: 3,742

Bikes: 1967 Paramount, 1982-ish Ron Cooper,1978 Eisentraut "A," mid-1960s Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 1961 Bianchi Competizione (an Eroica bike), 1994 Trek 520, 199? Burley Bossa Nova, early-1970s Cinelli Speciale Corsa (also an Eroica bike)

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Okay, here's a factor that has not been mentioned: the brand of drop out. Most of my bikes have old Campagnolo horizontal drop outs and I have never had a problem with them. Both my 2000 Lemond Zurich (no longer ridden) and my 1986 De Rosa (no longer mine) did not have Campy drop outs, and I had problems with both, especially the Lemond. In both instances, I had to tighten the QR significantly tighter (from not-easy-to-open tight to holy-crap-that's-hard-to-open tight) than with my Campy-equipped frames. I had the same issue with the De Rosa with the front drop out in a roof-top front-wheel-out carrier, which led to a near disaster driving down the road once. (Not an issue with the Lemond because it has lawyer tabs.)

My theory is that these drop outs had a harder steel than the Campys and so made it harder for the hubs/QRs to get the needed bite. All I know is that, for me, Campy horizontal drop outs = no problems, other horizontal drop outs = possibility of problems.
__________________
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
bikingshearer is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:16 AM
  #63  
madpogue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 2,513
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Vertical dropouts are hardly new.
+1; and on the flip side, and to the OP's original question, horizontal dropouts are hardly "vintage". IOW, it's a matter of the dropout direction, not the generation. There are vintage and modern horizontal dropouts, and vintage and modern vertical dropouts. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

As for the "laywer tab" question, I reckon that among "casual" users, a lot more people have occasion to remove the front wheel (for transport) than the rear. As a result, there were probably more crashes due to improper use of front-wheel quick releases, resulting in more lawsuits, prompting the CPSC to impose its mandate on the front wheel only.
madpogue is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:24 AM
  #64  
Doug Fattic 
framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Niles, Michigan
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
In the classic era of building bicycle frames horizontal dropouts with screw adjusters were necessary to solve the most difficult problem of building a frame with simple tools - getting the chain stays to be the same exact length so the wheel would center. This question of why more classic frames weren't built with vertical dropouts comes up from time to time but from a frame builder's perspective the answer is obvious. What is different today is the use of expensive jigging that helps (but does not insure) that the wheel is in the dead center of the frame.
Doug Fattic is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:30 AM
  #65  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
In the classic era of building bicycle frames horizontal dropouts with screw adjusters were necessary to solve the most difficult problem of building a frame with simple tools - getting the chain stays to be the same exact length so the wheel would center. This question of why more classic frames weren't built with vertical dropouts comes up from time to time but from a frame builder's perspective the answer is obvious. What is different today is the use of expensive jigging that helps (but does not insure) that the wheel is in the dead center of the frame.
That actually makes sense. I had assumed those set-screw things were to correct for frame imperfections. (It hadn't occurred to me they were made in anticipation of the hipster fixie craze 25 years later).
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:31 AM
  #66  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,127
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
In the classic era of building bicycle frames horizontal dropouts with screw adjusters were necessary to solve the most difficult problem of building a frame with simple tools - getting the chain stays to be the same exact length so the wheel would center. This question of why more classic frames weren't built with vertical dropouts comes up from time to time but from a frame builder's perspective the answer is obvious. What is different today is the use of expensive jigging that helps (but does not insure) that the wheel is in the dead center of the frame.
I've always wondered why they used horizontal dropouts. Turns out the answer was pretty obvious. Now,,,,,how do I remove bent dropout adjusters...
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:31 AM
  #67  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Okay, here's a factor that has not been mentioned: the brand of drop out.
Thanks.

I was wondering if these being Gipiemme is relevant.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:40 AM
  #68  
Nessism
Senior Member
 
Nessism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 2,661

Bikes: Homebuilt steel

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
I've never heard of anyone crashing because of "lawyer tabs".

Regarding horizontal dropouts being inherently less safe than vertical dropouts, I'd say YES they are. You will not find very many bikes using horizontal dropouts these days. One of the main allures of them in the past is they allow more leeway for the builders since chainstay length can be adjusted after the fact. With vertical dropouts the frame build must be more exacting or the wheel will sit crooked in the frame.
EDIT: I was typing my comment about horizontal dropouts being more fault tolerant for the builder while Doug above was posting. I wasn't trying to copy him, honest!

Back when horizontal dropouts were the norm the hubs had serrated steel contact surfaces which would bite into the dropout, plus these bikes used steel skewers with similar serrated nuts clamping on the outside. Even at that it's best to clamp down pretty firmly to assure the wheel doesn't come loose. Horizontal dropouts also tend to be more fragile than smaller and lighter vertical dropouts. Ask any framebuilder about broken dropouts and they will be able to tell you stories about broken horizontal dropouts.

Last edited by Nessism; 04-09-19 at 03:44 PM.
Nessism is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:41 AM
  #69  
scarlson
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 34

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b super touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
In the classic era of building bicycle frames horizontal dropouts with screw adjusters were necessary to solve the most difficult problem of building a frame with simple tools - getting the chain stays to be the same exact length so the wheel would center. This question of why more classic frames weren't built with vertical dropouts comes up from time to time but from a frame builder's perspective the answer is obvious. What is different today is the use of expensive jigging that helps (but does not insure) that the wheel is in the dead center of the frame.
On my Colin Laing with vertical dropouts, there is braze building up one side to push the axle forward, as if he messed up the alignment a little and then filled and filed one dropout to correct it. Just an extra step in the process on an already-expensive frame. My Ron Cooper has similar brazed filling to correct the wheel alignment in the fork. Ron prided himself in not using jigs though.
scarlson is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:46 AM
  #70  
73StellaSX76
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 133

Bikes: 2014 Niner RLT9, 2008 Ibis Silk SL, 1998 Ibis Spanky, 1973 Stella SX76

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Side fun fact: "horizontal dropouts" are not strictly horizontal. Their angle is approximately parallel to the rear brake blocks so that as the axle position is varied fore and aft the blocks will still have a good chance of being aligned on the rim. Not needed on track frames due to no brakes.

Was the main purpose of horizontal adjustability to accommodate addition of fenders in wet weather? Or was there some ride or handling characteristic tune-ability being provided with a variable wheelbase? In other words. how do we get by so well nowadays with vertical dropouts?
73StellaSX76 is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:54 AM
  #71  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,693

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post
Side fun fact: "horizontal dropouts" are not strictly horizontal. Their angle is approximately parallel to the rear brake blocks so that as the axle position is varied fore and aft the blocks will still have a good chance of being aligned on the rim. Not needed on track frames due to no brakes.

Was the main purpose of horizontal adjustability to accommodate addition of fenders in wet weather? Or was there some ride or handling characteristic tune-ability being provided with a variable wheelbase? In other words. how do we get by so well nowadays with vertical dropouts?
There were really several different reasons they were essentially standard on road bikes for a long time, most have been mentioned.

1. Easy to maintain alignment when building frames freehand or with minimal jigs
2. Allows use of a fixed gear, IGH, or coaster brake, because chain tension can be adjusted.
3. Tradition and inertia because of the above. Nearly all bikes were coaster brake, IGH or fixed until after WWII. Road racing bikes too.
4. Easy fender line adjustment - some say. Arguable, since it makes getting rear wheel in with fenders harder.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 04-09-19 at 09:58 AM.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:54 AM
  #72  
madpogue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 2,513
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post
Was the main purpose of horizontal adjustability to accommodate addition of fenders in wet weather? Or was there some ride or handling characteristic tune-ability being provided with a variable wheelbase? In other words. how do we get by so well nowadays with vertical dropouts?
AFAIK, horizontal dropouts are simply a step-child of hub-shifted and single-speed drivelines, that require horizontal adjustability to obtain proper chain tension. Yes, the introduction of the rear derailleur obviates them, but changes of this kind are evolutionary, not revolutionary.
madpogue is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 09:59 AM
  #73  
wgscott
VectorPotential sensitive
Thread Starter
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,350

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2293 Post(s)
If I want to replace the current internal-cam rear skewer, should I get:

1. The DT Swiss ratchet-type skewer

2. Current generation Dura Ace internal cam skewer (I have these on my 2014 bike, and they are very solid, and weighty.)

3. Hex-lock "anti-theft" type skewers (I ordered a pair from Amazon but I am already having second thoughts).

4. ?
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 10:10 AM
  #74  
madpogue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 2,513
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Why second thoughts on option 3? Seems like it's a twoferone, esp. if theft is a potential issue up there in the Timbers (wherever that is.....).
madpogue is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 10:19 AM
  #75  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Posts: 16,141

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 672 Post(s)
I got transfixed on the description of lying on the interstate. Which one?
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.