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Adapting narrower hub rear wheel to wider dropout

Old 11-27-22, 08:13 PM
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scottcof
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Adapting narrower hub rear wheel to wider dropout

Adapting narrower hub rear wheel to wider dropout

I have a MTB with rear wheel inside dropout distance of 135mm (26" wheels). I decided I wanted a narrower wheel for city use, so I go a 1.5" wheel. It works OK, except that I have to use spacers and/or washers to take up the extra 10mm of space (I'm assuming that the hubs of fat-tire wheels are 10mm or so wider than the hub of my 1.5" wheel). That may be why I have broken the axel every few months. Are there 1.5" wheels that have wider hubs to fit wider MTB frames?
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Old 11-27-22, 08:48 PM
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More data would help us help you. QR or nutted axle? Cassette or freewheel? Its tough for us when you use mixed dimensions (hubs with tires). Yes, 26"/559 ISO wheels can be had with a 135 wide overall locknut dimension, in pretty much any axle or cogset configuration. QBP, a major US supplier to your LBS, shows quite a few in stock right now as example.

Axle breakage is also mentioned. Have your wheels been freewheel ones? If so than a cost to that design is the uneven stress that the rear axle sees. Bending and breakage at the RH side cone's inner edge is very common, both hollow QR and solid nutted axles suffer from this. Cassette hubs (using what we call a freehub body to slide the cog set onto) have an axle bearing location that reduce the axle bending tendency. While a different cogset and thus chain, would be needed this is a good consideration if those added parts are in need anyway. Andy
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Old 11-27-22, 08:52 PM
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do you mean 1.5 inch tire? . you can get narrow tires to fit 135 mm 26 in mtn bike wheels here is an example https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...-385?fltr=3774

that would be the better way to go if you breaking axles which I assume is because your are putting a road wheel with 130 or 126 or even 120 size on
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Old 11-27-22, 09:54 PM
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Thanks

Thanks. It's got rim brakes and threaded 6-cog freewheel. I use the hollow quick-release axles. I have a narrow wheel that my 26 x 1.5 tires fit onto.

The cassette hub sounds like something I need if it lessens axle breakage. What are the most common cassette hubs nowadays (re. availability of parts)?

I checked QBP. Their website is VERY bad. I recently found out about bikeparts.com, and it looks like a good source.

Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
More data would help us help you. QR or nutted axle? Cassette or freewheel? Its tough for us when you use mixed dimensions (hubs with tires). Yes, 26"/559 ISO wheels can be had with a 135 wide overall locknut dimension, in pretty much any axle or cogset configuration. QBP, a major US supplier to your LBS, shows quite a few in stock right now as example.

Axle breakage is also mentioned. Have your wheels been freewheel ones? If so than a cost to that design is the uneven stress that the rear axle sees. Bending and breakage at the RH side cone's inner edge is very common, both hollow QR and solid nutted axles suffer from this. Cassette hubs (using what we call a freehub body to slide the cog set onto) have an axle bearing location that reduce the axle bending tendency. While a different cogset and thus chain, would be needed this is a good consideration if those added parts are in need anyway. Andy

Last edited by scottcof; 11-27-22 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 11-27-22, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by scottcof View Post
Thanks. It's got rim brakes and threaded 6-cog freewheel. I use the hollow quick-release axles. I have a narrow wheel that my 26 x 1.5 tires fit onto.

The cassette hub sounds like something I need if it lessens axle breakage. What are the most common cassette hubs nowadays (re. availability of parts)?

I checked QBP. Their website is VERY bad. I recently found out about bikeparts.com, and it looks like a good source.
I am guessing you couldn't check QBP as their website is pretty good and one of the easiest to search on but you can only do so if you work at a shop with a QBP account unless some unscrupulous employee decided to share the login with you which could easily get them fired and cause issues for those of us in the industry who work at shops who have legit accounts we aren't sharing. QBP is not a consumer site it is for dealers and the industry and these don't seem like questions one who works at a shop would ask.

Why is the wheel you had previously not going to work for your tire? If it is a 135 spaced 26" wheel it should fit the tire just fine unless it is something ridiculously wide but you have rim brakes so most MTB rims from that era where pretty narrow compared to now and a 1.5 tire is not that tiny at that time. I would just use the old wheel or get a proper wheel that is 135mm spaced that fits the criteria you need!

Freewheels are a pretty outdated standard but if you are running only 6 speeds in the back there aren't really great sources for cassettes out there for 6 speed 7 speed yes but 6 speed is pretty much exclusively freewheel. If you are running friction you can run just about anything but we still don't know enough about your set up to really help a ton on that regard. If you have a high quality derailleur from that era (say Deore, Deore LX, XT...) than you could say upgrade to a 9 speed set up pretty easily with a 135 spaced cassette wheel a 9 speed shifter and a 9 speed chain and cassette and you wouldn't have to change cranks or rear derailleur.

I have a couple bikes running 9 speed on 7 and 8 speed rear derailleurs and at one point one of them did have 7 speed chainrings but I ended up swapping to a LX crank because I wanted an external BB and the crank at the time was an outdated no longer in production Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD or sometimes PCD) and didn't want to deal with that anymore plus it also was Octalink but the BB was fine and the previous crank to that was a 7speed early XT crank which got moved to a different bike and sold.
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Old 11-27-22, 10:57 PM
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The 26x1.5 tire fitting on the rim is not a problem. I have a frame I like, but the wheel I have been using for the last few hundred miles has a hub that apparently was made for a frame that should have hubs about 10mm wider. That's probably why I have been breaking the rear axle every 7-8 months or so. I like the narrower higher-pressure tires for urban commuting.

Re. 'outdated', that's me! I'm at least a couple of decades behind in pretty much everything. I still listen to shortwave radio, and still snap photos on film and develop the negatives in my kitchen.

Re. cassette hubs, which system is better re. availability of replacement parts?

------------------------------

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I am guessing you couldn't check QBP as their website is pretty good and one of the easiest to search on but you can only do so if you work at a shop with a QBP account unless some unscrupulous employee decided to share the login with you which could easily get them fired and cause issues for those of us in the industry who work at shops who have legit accounts we aren't sharing. QBP is not a consumer site it is for dealers and the industry and these don't seem like questions one who works at a shop would ask.

Why is the wheel you had previously not going to work for your tire? If it is a 135 spaced 26" wheel it should fit the tire just fine unless it is something ridiculously wide but you have rim brakes so most MTB rims from that era where pretty narrow compared to now and a 1.5 tire is not that tiny at that time. I would just use the old wheel or get a proper wheel that is 135mm spaced that fits the criteria you need!

Freewheels are a pretty outdated standard but if you are running only 6 speeds in the back there aren't really great sources for cassettes out there for 6 speed 7 speed yes but 6 speed is pretty much exclusively freewheel. If you are running friction you can run just about anything but we still don't know enough about your set up to really help a ton on that regard. If you have a high quality derailleur from that era (say Deore, Deore LX, XT...) than you could say upgrade to a 9 speed set up pretty easily with a 135 spaced cassette wheel a 9 speed shifter and a 9 speed chain and cassette and you wouldn't have to change cranks or rear derailleur.

I have a couple bikes running 9 speed on 7 and 8 speed rear derailleurs and at one point one of them did have 7 speed chainrings but I ended up swapping to a LX crank because I wanted an external BB and the crank at the time was an outdated no longer in production Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD or sometimes PCD) and didn't want to deal with that anymore plus it also was Octalink but the BB was fine and the previous crank to that was a 7speed early XT crank which got moved to a different bike and sold.
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Old 11-28-22, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by scottcof View Post
The 26x1.5 tire fitting on the rim is not a problem. I have a frame I like, but the wheel I have been using for the last few hundred miles has a hub that apparently was made for a frame that should have hubs about 10mm wider. That's probably why I have been breaking the rear axle every 7-8 months or so. I like the narrower higher-pressure tires for urban commuting.

Re. 'outdated', that's me! I'm at least a couple of decades behind in pretty much everything. I still listen to shortwave radio, and still snap photos on film and develop the negatives in my kitchen.

Re. cassette hubs, which system is better re. availability of replacement parts?

------------------------------
So still very little information but I can do my best. I doubt things will change but if you do read this and understand it please post what bike you have what you are running...give us a sense of what you have so we can actually help. I cannot guess what you have and I can only make assumptions based on info you have given me I cannot really verify. However let's try:

Get a proper wheel with the correct spacing: your local shop can more than likely get it. The Sta-Tru Double Wall Rear Wheel - 26", QR x 135mm, Freewheel, Black is a fine option and will likely work assuming what you have told us is correct. There are currently probably 200+ in various warehouses in the U.S. and your local shop has access to them or a shop near you should.

In terms of better a cassette is going to be better assuming you have 7-13 speeds at the back but if you have 6 or below freewheels are what is out there. IRD still makes quality freewheels but there is plenty of low end stuff out there so you aren't in total trouble but it is not a real continuing standard aside from for single speed stuff. However again if you are looking to move to a cassette again assuming you have 6 at the back you will need new shifters, chain and a cassette along with a wheel that is cassette compatible which is also easy to find and if nothing else easy to build up.
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Old 11-28-22, 08:27 AM
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Sounds like you're using an older 126mm OLD freewheel hub with (possibly) a longer-than-normal axle in a frame with 135mm rear dropouts. Is this correct?

Unless you put all the spacers on the non-drive-side and re-dish the wheel, using a narrower freewheel hub with a larger OLD frame lengthens the unsupported part of the axle outboard of the bearings on the freewheel side, making it easier to bend or break an axle (as Andrew R Stewart described above). If you added spacers evenly to each side to keep the wheel centered, you did that.

f you feel you simply must continue to use that hub, then going to a solid axle may help. More metal (no channel for the QR skewer) means a solid axle would be somewhat stronger and stiffer. Downside is that you'd need to carry a wrench with you in case of flats, which would be much more of a pain to fix roadside.

IMO your best bet is to get a rear wheel with a freewheel hub and 135mm OLD. You could also rebuild the wheel with a 135mm QR freewheel hub, but that's possibly going to cost more than simply getting a new prebuilt rear wheel (new hub, very likely new spokes/nipples, labor if you don't do it yourself) .

Last edited by Hondo6; 11-28-22 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 11-28-22, 09:02 AM
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Is the wheel that was made for the bike usable? Why can't you put a narrower tire on that wheel?
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Old 11-28-22, 03:18 PM
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Yeah. Why didn't you just put the narrower tire on the original wheel?
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Old 11-28-22, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Is the wheel that was made for the bike usable? Why can't you put a narrower tire on that wheel?
This is the question that needs to be answered. What happened to the original wheel and why do you think that you needed a different wheel to run narrower tires?
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Old 12-01-22, 07:11 PM
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I found the info at the Sheldon Brown website

Unfortunately, I never saw the original rear wheel-- I got the frame in a swap and then later got the wheel in a different swap.

Yes, the frame is meant for fat knobby tires, but this bike is for urban commuting, which is why I like the narrower, high pressure tires.

I found ALL the info I needed at the Sheldon Brown website! It is so great and I recommend it for everybody who does maintenance themselves. Just google "Sheldon Brown"
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Old 12-01-22, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by scottcof View Post
Unfortunately, I never saw the original rear wheel-- I got the frame in a swap and then later got the wheel in a different swap.
Yes, the frame is meant for fat knobby tires, but this bike is for urban commuting, which is why I like the narrower, high pressure tires.
I found ALL the info I needed at the Sheldon Brown website! It is so great and I recommend it for everybody who does maintenance themselves. Just google "Sheldon Brown"
I very much doubt that any experienced person in this forum has not heard of Shedon Brown. In the days when I commuted to work on a mountain bike I simply installed 1.5" wide tires on the wheels that came with the bike, no problem. Almost any mountain bike rear wheel will accept that tire size. However, after awhile I switched to wider tires, 26 x 1.75 which were noticeably more comfortable to ride on at a slightly lower tire pressure but were not any slower, at least in a straight line. One disadvantage of narrow high pressure tires is that they transmit more impact to the axle when you hit something like a pothole. This was always a problem for my commuter mountain bike which had freewheel hubs. I broke many axles on my urban commute. They broke much less often with wider tires. Axle breakage is very common with freewheel hubs. I have never broken an axle on wheels with cassette hubs

Last edited by alcjphil; 12-01-22 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by scottcof View Post
Just google "Sheldon Brown"
Or better yet, search up user 'Sheldon Brown' here on bikeforums:
https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=14655205
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