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Problems Installing Alloy Wheels on Raleigh Sports

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Problems Installing Alloy Wheels on Raleigh Sports

Old 07-21-10, 06:26 PM
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Problems Installing Alloy Wheels on Raleigh Sports

I have an old Raleigh Sports that I was hoping my teenagers would take an interest in. Unfortunately they think it is too heavy. I decided to try and lighten it up. The Harris Cyclery website advertised a set of alloy wheels that would be perfect for converting an old English 3 speed into a fixed gear. I ordered the set of Sun CR18 650a rims laced to a Formula dual fixed flip/flop hub. I just got them and can't get them on the bike.
The rear hub is 120mm while the bike is spaced at 110mm. The front is 100mm while the fork is 90. I was able to stretch out the rear dropouts using all my strength, only to find out the axles are also too big to fit in the dropout opening.
What gives? Are there any other bikes in the world that take 650a rims other than old Raleigh 3 speeds? What am I missing?
Harris isn't accepting phone calls and their website says that since Sheldon died, they don't have enough time to answer all their emails.
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Old 07-21-10, 06:48 PM
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You come across the great Raleigh Proprietary Problem. Just wait till you try to replace your headset!

Notice your old rear axle, its flat on two sides while the modern stuff is round. The old front axle is also round but slightly smaller then the new versions.

What I did to convert my own Sports is to file the dropouts ever so slightly with a handfile making sure you file both sides evenly. Won't recommend power tools as its a tricky (IMHO) maneuver.

Hope this helps!

Samuel
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Old 07-21-10, 06:50 PM
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Below is the text of Harris's webpage. Note it says the axle on the front wheel is 5/16", specifically for an English 3 speed. However, it is silent about the rear. Turns out the rear axle is 3/8".


26x1-3/8 inch (590 mm)Fixed-Gear Wheel

New! WE361 Rear Wheel: 26x1-3/8" Sun CR18 Rim, Formula Double-Fixed Hub, 36 Stainless Spokes $74.95

Are you ready to convert your old Raleigh 3 Speed into a fixie or singlespeed?
This wheel features the versatile Formula double-fixed hub that will accept a single freewheel or track cog on either side.

Sealed cartridge bearings. Silver rim and hub.

Hand-built by our supplier.




New! WE364 Front Wheel: 26x1-3/8" Sun CR18 Rim, Alloy Hub, 36 Stainless Spokes $54.95

Front wheel to match WE361 above.
Generic alloy, small flanged hub.
Loose ball bearing, cup and cone type.
5/16" nutted axle to fit older Raleigh forks.
Hand-built by our supplier.




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Old 07-21-10, 06:58 PM
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Don't blame the rims...classic fixed flip flop hubs were also 110/90. You can file the dropouts or make flats on the axle. I prefer the latter.

ahhh...the sales pitch is indeed a little misleading


Last edited by clubman; 07-21-10 at 06:59 PM. Reason: sales pitch
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Old 07-21-10, 07:10 PM
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I have no complaints about the rims. The point I was trying to make is they shouldn't have used those hubs with 650a rims. I can expand the fork to 100mm, but I can't get it to stay. I am afraid to stretch it much further.
If I had known it was going to be this much work, I would have just got some old 700c wheels and tried to figure out how to get the brakes to work.
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Old 07-21-10, 07:15 PM
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That's depressing -- if they sell it aimed at that bike, it should work on that bike. I would imagine that just about every bike made with 650A/EA3 rims is spaced 90mm in the front and 110 in back. I'll bet that eventually they will accept your return, but they'll probably hit you up for the shipping both ways. Very depressing.

Those Sun - CR18 rims do go well with a Raleigh Sports when laced to the Raleigh front hub and the Sturmey 3-speed in the rear. I did that on the Sports that I have and like the resulting wheels a lot. Lightens up the bike a little, but the SA 3-speed hub is no weight weenie. Newer Sports (mine is a 79) had 36 spokes front and rear while older ones had 32 front and 40 rear so that Raleigh could use the same length spokes with both hubs. That's the reason I've been told, anyway. Harris, Niagara, and Tree Fort all list these rims though Tree Fort says they are black (also as polished) -- which I think is a mistake.
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Old 07-21-10, 07:37 PM
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Sorry. I get it. Give them a call. Maybe they have good tips for cold setting frames, and filing metal components. Or a refund? Keep the rims and rebuild with different hubs?
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Old 07-21-10, 07:52 PM
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Calling isn't going to work.

Telephone:
Currently, we are not taking phone calls,
due to the high volume of calls and limited staff.


We are a small neighborhood shop, and one of the few e-Commerce sites to offer free technical information. Please use email for your inquiries and technical questions.
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Old 07-21-10, 08:25 PM
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Aren't there spacers in the axle that you can remove to fit the rear spacing on the Sports?
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Old 07-21-10, 08:30 PM
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No Spacers, just lock nuts. I guess I could try and find thinner lock nuts.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:10 PM
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10mm is a lot of lock nut. I don't think that even removing the lock nuts completely would get you 10mm. Interesting thing about the original Raleigh front hubs on those bikes, on my Sports, anyway, is that the axle didn't really have lock nuts. The right side cone was tightened down and the left side cone was held against the fork, but can't loosen because the left axle nut tightness prevents it. I use a cone wrench on the left to install the front wheel, but I suppose that there is a technique for doing it without.

Good luck trying to get Harris to respond. Be careful with anything you try to to do remedy the situation -- don't want to prevent a return (eventually).
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Old 07-22-10, 12:23 AM
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What Raleigh frame is it, what year, and what condition?

-Kurt
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Old 07-22-10, 09:27 AM
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It is a 1969 Raleigh Sports, according to the date on the hub. It is in pretty good shape, especially after I just got through cleaning it up and lubing it in anticipation of this conversion. There are some problems with the hub, but I think it is mainly just a broken chain.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
10mm is a lot of lock nut. I don't think that even removing the lock nuts completely would get you 10mm. Interesting thing about the original Raleigh front hubs on those bikes, on my Sports, anyway, is that the axle didn't really have lock nuts. The right side cone was tightened down and the left side cone was held against the fork, but can't loosen because the left axle nut tightness prevents it. I use a cone wrench on the left to install the front wheel, but I suppose that there is a technique for doing it without.

Good luck trying to get Harris to respond. Be careful with anything you try to to do remedy the situation -- don't want to prevent a return (eventually).
I did try taking the lock nuts off and that will get me pretty close. I did notice that on the old wheel after you asked about spacers. I am just not sure if it is safe to set up the new hub the way the old hub was set up.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
It is a 1969 Raleigh Sports, according to the date on the hub. It is in pretty good shape, especially after I just got through cleaning it up and lubing it in anticipation of this conversion. There are some problems with the hub, but I think it is mainly just a broken chain.
Sounds as if its too nice a candidate to start filing the drops on. I'd contact Harris. Try to get them to admit that you'll have to file the rear axle down - better yet, get them to admit it AND do good on the warranty if something goes wrong.

There's a method I've used to widen fork blades, but it isn't that kosher: Put some rags on either side of the inner blades to protect them, put the blades on the outer edges of a closed vise, then open the vise up until the blades cold set. Again, not an accepted method, but it works.

-Kurt

P.S.: I believe the Raleigh Sports rear axle slots (along with the DL-1 and a few others) became standardized to conventional 5/8" in 1977. I know my '80 is, and I've seen a '78 DL-1 with 5/8" as well.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:00 AM
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I am not going to be heartbroken if I destroy the frame or fork, but I would like to avoid it. The only reason I bought it in the first place is it had an original B72 saddle in almost mint condition. I could get most of my money back by putting the saddle on Ebay.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
I am not going to be heartbroken if I destroy the frame or fork, but I would like to avoid it. The only reason I bought it in the first place is it had an original B72 saddle in almost mint condition. I could get most of my money back by putting the saddle on Ebay.
Trade for a post-'76?

-Kurt
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Old 07-22-10, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Trade for a post-'76?

-Kurt
That wouldn't solve the front fork spacing problem, would it? That is the only problem that I haven't figured out a fix for. When I tried stretching the fork, it wasn't bending evenly, so I quit that approach. I hadn't gotten any where near 100mm at that point and it popped right back to the original spacing. Sheldon's 2x4 approach clearly won't work.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:43 AM
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What color is the bike?

I'm leaving for Iowa in a couple minutes and won't be back till after August 1. My suggestion is that you try to get Harris to take the wheels back. They should refund your shipping, too, in my opinion. They shouldn't sell stuff as if it's appropriate for a particular bike if it requires user modifications which can potentially be harmful to either the bike or the wheels. Even if modifications to the bike go well and everything works fine, you would be doing something to the bike that can't be reversed and may create a problem if you, or a subsequent owner, decide to return it to being a 3-speed Sports. Sports frames are not particularly valuable, but still.

If you end up looking to sell the Sports, either with or without the saddle or new wheels or whatever, and it's not done by Aug 1, let me know. I can't promise that I'd take it, but I would be interested. Good luck with it whatever you decide.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
That wouldn't solve the front fork spacing problem, would it? That is the only problem that I haven't figured out a fix for. When I tried stretching the fork, it wasn't bending evenly, so I quit that approach. I hadn't gotten any where near 100mm at that point and it popped right back to the original spacing. Sheldon's 2x4 approach clearly won't work.
It would solve the rear dropout issue. No Sports in existence will solve the front fork spacing, and Sheldon's 2x4 trick is only for rear triangles. Try the vise trick - that should do them evenly.

-Kurt
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Old 07-22-10, 02:15 PM
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I will definitely give that a try if Harris doesn't come up with a better solution. Thank you for the suggestion. So far I have gotten no response from Harris. This is so disappointing because I always thought of them as the place to go for English 3 speed issues.
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Old 07-23-10, 09:08 AM
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2 days and still no response from Harris Cyclery. I am really beginning to get annoyed. This is the kind of service I would expect from some of the more hated mail order companies.
3 years ago Sheldon would already have posted a response to this thread and sent me a personal email. We miss you man.
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Old 07-24-10, 01:35 PM
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While waiting to get a response from Harris, I got the new rear wheel installed and put the old front wheel on. Unfortunately, turns out the front brake caliper was totally shot and the rear wasn't in very good shape, so I have a new set of brake calipers on order. Here is the first picture of the work in progress.

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Old 07-24-10, 02:10 PM
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I really wish my Sports was a 23".... stupid 21" frame. That thing looks cool!
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Old 07-24-10, 02:38 PM
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One solution I've used to fit a standard road hub in a 90mm front fork is to swap in a solid axle (if it started with a quick release axle) and leave off the cone locknuts. As is true for the old Sturmey Archer front hubs, the cones stay in place once you've tigthened down the axle nuts.

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