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snapped another rear axle (my third in 100k miles of cycling)

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snapped another rear axle (my third in 100k miles of cycling)

Old 12-25-09, 08:13 PM
  #1  
John E
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snapped another rear axle (my third in 100k miles of cycling)

During the past few rides, I have heard a rubbing sound when climbing hills on Capo #1. At first I dismissed it as intermittent brake shoe drag, possibly resulting from flex in the very soft long-wheelbased Reynolds 531 frame, but I later noticed that the tire was actually rubbing against the left chainstay, despite the frame's ample clearance. Suspecting a loose QR, I tightened it up considerably, which seemed to help, but I said to myself, "Self, that is awfully tight, even for a rear QR in a horizontal dropout!" I then decided to loosen the QR slightly to see if I had broken the third rear axle in my cycling history. When I moved the wheel from side to side, I noticed that the right locknut and cone were stationary while the axle swung back and forth, confirming the diagnosis. The other two broken axles, one QR, one solid, were French, but this was my first Campagnolo (1980 Gran Sport) unit. Fortunately, I have an early 1970s Record hub, also with 126mm OLD, from which I can steal a donor axle. I also plan to recheck the alignment of the dropouts, which were flared from the original 120mm about 10 years ago, but this may well just be a case of metal fatigue. (This was the original wheelset from my Bianchi, and the first owner and I both put a fair number of miles on it over the years.)
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
Capo: 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 12-26-09, 01:59 AM
  #2  
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You might want to check that the rear frame dropouts are aligned correctly. If not, that could be one of many causes of a broken rear axle.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:12 AM
  #3  
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what a record. I would not be too concerned about 3 axles in 100K mi I knew customers who broke atleast one a summer. I would suggest rather than using 20+yo donor part getting a new Chromo axle. while this is not a frequent event you should take advantage of the changes in technogoloy and get a much better quality part. then you will be ready for another 33000 mi
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Old 12-26-09, 08:53 AM
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Anyone else here ever fit a sealed bearing into the outer part of the freewheel so that there is some weight carried closer to the dropout on that side? My LBS showed me this trick years ago. Its not too hard to find a bearing with the right dimensions. And it will not work with every freewheel design.

jim
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Old 12-26-09, 09:18 AM
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I never heard of that. sounds interesting but how do you remove the FW?
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Old 12-26-09, 10:21 AM
  #6  
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I think we need pictures for this lesson, Jim.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:29 AM
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I would try a cassette hub like a Shimano 600.
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Old 12-26-09, 11:23 AM
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Modern freehub/cassette systems are indeed superior to traditional freewheels,7- as my two hard lessons of the past couple of weeks have indicated:

1) mountain bike -- SunTour 7-speed freewheel body showed first hints of wanting to seize instead of coasting. When I pulled the freewheel to replace it, I noticed that one of the four prongs had broken off and another was cracking, so this freewheel body is getting tossed. The good news is that I am delighted with the 7-speed Regina (!) with which I replaced it. (I also have a Shimano waiting in the wings, if the Regina gives me any grief, such as chain skating or clunky shifting.)

2) Capo #1 -- broken axle, my first 126mm and my first Italian casualty.

I am a skinny mesomorph 150-pounder with slow-twitch musculature, admittedly with a fascination for hills, but definitely neither a masher nor a sprinter. What do the Clysdales do to avoid breaking parts? I have broken three cranks, three rear axles, two frames, a platform pedal, and a front hub flange.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
Capo: 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 12-26-09, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I never heard of that. sounds interesting but how do you remove the FW?
You remove the locknut and cone from the non-drive side. Then, you tap the end of the axle with a hammer and the drive side locknut will drive out the cartridge bearing, after which you remove the freewheel as normal.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:19 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Modern freehub/cassette systems are indeed superior to traditional freewheels,7- as my two hard lessons of the past couple of weeks have indicated:

1) mountain bike -- SunTour 7-speed freewheel body showed first hints of wanting to seize instead of coasting. When I pulled the freewheel to replace it, I noticed that one of the four prongs had broken off and another was cracking, so this freewheel body is getting tossed. The good news is that I am delighted with the 7-speed Regina (!) with which I replaced it. (I also have a Shimano waiting in the wings, if the Regina gives me any grief, such as chain skating or clunky shifting.)

2) Capo #1 -- broken axle, my first 126mm and my first Italian casualty.

I am a skinny mesomorph 150-pounder with slow-twitch musculature, admittedly with a fascination for hills, but definitely neither a masher nor a sprinter. What do the Clysdales do to avoid breaking parts? I have broken three cranks, three rear axles, two frames, a platform pedal, and a front hub flange.
You're just an animal John! These are my spindly legs and I generally weigh between 195 - 205 depending on the time of year and I've never broken anything. Flat-spotted a couple of rims over the years.

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Old 12-26-09, 06:40 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I think we need pictures for this lesson, Jim.
I don't have any pictures (don't have anything set up like this right now). But its pretty simple. Just press fit the bearing in there. And you can pull it out to change the FW if needed.

j
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Old 12-26-09, 10:01 PM
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Never broke an axle... but I broke an early 90s Kestrel CF fork on a crowded sprint off the saddle close to the finish line (that did hurt a bit for many reasons) and I have severely dented 3 foil framed bikes (one on the TT - go figure that) while racing. If a wheel is assembled and serviced correctly, the axle should be the least part you'd think that it will fail (and it shouldn't). A spoke will go before the axle, unless someone is using a lot of lateral (side to side) energy and movement while riding. If you are one of those (like the people who like to spin their bikes left to right off the saddle), you got to check both axles and adjust after every hard ride/race
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