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New Rear Wheel too wide for dropouts, seeking advice

Old 09-24-23, 10:43 PM
  #1  
Kjlappy
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New Rear Wheel too wide for dropouts, seeking advice

I have a 1983 trek 520 that I recently fixed up and turned into my commuter. It has Matrix Titan 700c front & rear wheel with a 6 speed freehub on the rear. A few days ago I noted the rear wheel was out of true, tried fixing it myself which caused it to be practically unrideable. I took it to a bike shop they noted that one of the eyelets had pulled out of the rim so it's not even worth fixing because it would lose true.

Being the bargain hunter I am, I found a practically new set of Matrix Titan Tour 700c wheels for $50. I picked them up and eagerly rushed to put them on my bike until I realized they have a freehub AND it's too large for my rear dropouts (new wheel is 130mm+ and my frame is 126mm).

This obviously leaves me in a predicament. I've read about spreading the rear dropouts but that sounds like a hassle and costly. In addition, I'd have to swap my bike to 7+ speed (i.e. buying a new rear derailleur) because 6 speed cassettes don't seem to exist.

I am considering just selling these new wheels and trying to track down a set of 700c wheels with 126mm rear axle width. On Craigslist I found a set of Vintage Campagnolo nuovo record which are 700c and 100/126 spacing for $100 which I might pursue.

I'd appreciate any and all thoughts and advice on how to proceed. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-23, 11:07 PM
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Spreading the frame isn't difficult and for 4mm not absolutely necessary. You can flex it open to accept the wider hub.

That leaves the 6s/7s issue which is more of a problem. Unless you can score the right spacers to make a 7s cassette into 6s, you'll need to convert the levers, and maybe we the RD.

That seems like it'll add up to real folding money, making the freewheel wheel a smarter choice. Especially if your F/W is in good shape.

Or, let someone rebuild your hub with new rim and spokes.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:47 AM
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I would use the new wheels. As mentioned above, you can easily spread the reap dropouts with your thumbs when inserting the wheel.Cold setting is not necessary.
Your Trek is friction shifted, right? So buy a new Shimano or SRAM cassette and friction shift the rascal. HG teeth will also make shifting easier.
No need for a new RD, yours should work just fine. If not, come back and ask for recommendations, there are a zillion potentials out there for cheap.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
I would use the new wheels. As mentioned above, you can easily spread the reap dropouts with your thumbs when inserting the wheel.Cold setting is not necessary.
Your Trek is friction shifted, right? So buy a new Shimano or SRAM cassette and friction shift the rascal. HG teeth will also make shifting easier.
No need for a new RD, yours should work just fine. If not, come back and ask for recommendations, there are a zillion potentials out there for cheap.

​​​​​​I'll try using my thumbs to make it fit but I've read online that there are other consequences to doing this. The previous owner of the trek actually swapped out a number of components so the FD is friction shifting but the rear is Deore XT 6 speed so it has notches / stages to click through.
​​​​​​
update: tried fitting the rear wheel while spreading the rear dropouts by hand but no dice. I'm worried the rear may be 135mm which would make it harder

Last edited by Kjlappy; 09-25-23 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:42 AM
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Aha.
There are bunches of inexpensive 7/8 speed downtube shifters out there- a BF member recently had some nice ones for sale on the marketplace thread.
Your RD will still work fine with 8 speed. Your shifters may also have a friction option.
Some people feel and/or share horror stories about the terrible things that will happen when you put a 130 hub into a 126 rear. Personally, I’ve done this for many years on many-literally, dozens and dozens- of bikes without a single problem, failure or asplosion. If you do that, do not hesitate to pay your LBS ten bucks to check the RD alignment.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kjlappy
On Craigslist I found a set of Vintage Campagnolo nuovo record which are 700c and 100/126 spacing for $100 which I might pursue.
Check that it takes an ISO threaded freewheel and not the obsolete Italian thread. If it does then just buy these wheels and put a 6 speed freewheel on there and you're a good to go.

Last edited by icemilkcoffee; 09-25-23 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:46 AM
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Adding photos of measurements, looks like rear axle is 135ish mm so not sure spreading the dropouts by hand is feasible...

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Old 09-25-23, 10:42 AM
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You should be able to make that 135 wheel work just fine at 130. Just remove spacers. What I would do is 1) get the cassette and put it on. 2) take enough measurements that you know how much excess space you have between the chain when on the small cog and the dropout/seatstay. (Remember the chain will be above the small cog before it drops down when you shift or you will scar the inside bottom of the chainstay. Bike won't care but you might and shifting into the small could be difficult or impossible. A lot of bikes carry that scar.)

3) Remove or change out spacers on the DS of the new hub until you have moved the DS locknut in the amount you have determined works. (I've used better hardware store washers to get exactly the distance I want. Yes, horrors.) Now do the same with the other side, bring the total width (OLD) to 130mm. And 4), if getting this into the 126mm frame is too hard, maybe stretch the dropouts a mm each to 128mm. (Some bikes come 128 so you can use either wheel. And that amount of stretch is so small, side to side discrepancy, while wrong and the source of more horrors, is something you will not notice ever without very good tools.

Cost? Well you did have to buy the cassette. Money you have to spend if you want to do anything but go downhill. Maybe some washers so what? $1.47? Oh, the axle will have to be cut down so the QR can clamp properly. Cut the NDS and respace the hub, washers and locknuts. NDS so your metal filings are considerably further from the bearings. Hacksaw will work just fine. Since you already have to remove the locknuts and spacers, moving the hub and cones is really not a lot of extra work.

'83 Trek 520, I know that frame really well. I've had mine since '08 as my workhorse fix gear. I narrowed the OLD to 120mm for standard track hubs. Unrelated caution: Look periodically at the seatstay caps that have the stamped "TREK" on them. Famous for cracking, probably through the DS "R" first. Mine cracked on both sides. Not a difficult repair for a framebuilder (TiCycles did mine) but it requires heat and is a paint killer. Other than that, my 520 has been a true workhorse. Year 'round commuter for years. All weathers. 22k miles. A solid ride, always good to come home to even after riding much better bikes.

PS - "DS" right or drive side of the bike, "NDS" left or non drive side

And Edit: unless you removed the same amount of spacer on both sides, the wheel should be redished or other horrors ensue. (These horrors are severe. If they ever become known, you will be ignored or castigated by all the "proper" folk of Bike Forums. Cost you nights of no sleep and make you a zombie. So be forewarned. The bike, not having any of what we call "brains" won't care and will go on just fine.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 09-25-23 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
You should be able to make that 135 wheel work just fine at 130. Just remove spacers. What I would do is 1) get the cassette and put it on. 2) take enough measurements that you know how much excess space you have between the chain when on the small cog and the dropout/seatstay. (Remember the chain will be above the small cog before it drops down when you shift or you will scar the inside bottom of the chainstay. Bike won't care but you might and shifting into the small could be difficult or impossible. A lot of bikes carry that scar.)

3) Remove or change out spacers on the DS of the new hub until you have moved the DS locknut in the amount you have determined works. (I've used better hardware store washers to get exactly the distance I want. Yes, horrors.) Now do the same with the other side, bring the total width (OLD) to 130mm. And 4), if getting this into the 126mm frame is too hard, maybe stretch the dropouts a mm each to 128mm. (Some bikes come 128 so you can use either wheel. And that amount of stretch is so small, side to side discrepancy, while wrong and the source of more horrors, is something you will not notice ever without very good tools.

Cost? Well you did have to buy the cassette. Money you have to spend if you want to do anything but go downhill. Maybe some washers so what? $1.47? Oh, the axle will have to be cut down so the QR can clamp properly. Cut the NDS and respace the hub, washers and locknuts. NDS so your metal filings are considerably further from the bearings. Hacksaw will work just fine. Since you already have to remove the locknuts and spacers, moving the hub and cones is really not a lot of extra work.

'83 Trek 520, I know that frame really well. I've had mine since '08 as my workhorse fix gear. I narrowed the OLD to 120mm for standard track hubs. Unrelated caution: Look periodically at the seatstay caps that have the stamped "TREK" on them. Famous for cracking, probably through the DS "R" first. Mine cracked on both sides. Not a difficult repair for a framebuilder (TiCycles did mine) but it requires heat and is a paint killer. Other than that, my 520 has been a true workhorse. Year 'round commuter for years. All weathers. 22k miles. A solid ride, always good to come home to even after riding much better bikes.

PS - "DS" right or drive side of the bike, "NDS" left or non drive side

And Edit: unless you removed the same amount of spacer on both sides, the wheel should be redished or other horrors ensue. (These horrors are severe. If they ever become known, you will be ignored or castigated by all the "proper" folk of Bike Forums. Cost you nights of no sleep and make you a zombie. So be forewarned. The bike, not having any of what we call "brains" won't care and will go on just fine.
that the Cassette is, most likely from the looks of the locknut/freehub relationship, already really close to the frame.. Any adjustment should be done to the Non drive side spacer, and REDISH the wheel assembly after the narrower axle, spacer, and QUICK RELEASE are installed... Might as well just REBUILD the hub/axle to 126mm, and to heck with resetting, or pulling open, the frame. (proper cutting of hardened and threaded axles is not an easy task for most folks)

a trip to a Bike Co-op will have the wheel fit dilemma solved for not much cash.....
PS.. that Uniglide hub most likely STARTED OUT as 126mm O.L.D.

Last edited by maddog34; 09-25-23 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 09-25-23, 01:30 PM
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Regardless of how you proceed…cold set, or simply spreading the dropouts…I would suggest that before you roll out on a ride that getting the wheel off/on won’t be too difficult if/when you have to fix a flat, or other repair mid-ride.

Dan
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Old 09-25-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
that the Cassette is, most likely from the looks of the locknut/freehub relationship, already really close to the frame.. Any adjustment should be done to the Non drive side spacer, and REDISH the wheel assembly after the narrower axle, spacer, and QUICK RELEASE are installed... Might as well just REBUILD the hub/axle to 126mm, and to heck with resetting, or pulling open, the frame. (proper cutting of hardened and threaded axles is not an easy task for most folks)

a trip to a Bike Co-op will have the wheel fit dilemma solved for not much cash.....
PS.. that Uniglide hub most likely STARTED OUT as 126mm O.L.D.

Seeing as I currently have the old broken Matrix Titan rear wheel, you think it would be feasible and cost effective to just have them swap the hub from the donor wheel to the new one? Worried a wheel rebuild might be pricey. Would it be cost effective for me to just swap the hubs myself and bring them a semi assembled wheel that will need to be trued and redished?
​​​​

Last edited by Kjlappy; 09-25-23 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjlappy
Seeing as I currently have the old broken Matrix Titan rear wheel, you think it would be feasible and cost effective to just have them swap the hub from the donor wheel to the new one? Worried a wheel rebuild might be pricey. Would it be cost effective for me to just swap the hubs myself and bring them a semi assembled wheel that will need to be trued and redished?
​​​​
you may have the axle you need to convert the "135" hub to 126... take both wheels to the shop and have them look at the swap possibilities...

i can only speculate on THEIR pricing.
and if that "shop" isn't a Co-Op, then the prices will likely be higher.
in my place, Redishing is half what a relacing costs.... and are you certain that really old uniglide hub is worth using?

'the shop" can help with those decisions too.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
you may have the axle you need to convert the "135" hub to 126... take both wheels to the shop and have them look at the swap possibilities...

i can only speculate on THEIR pricing.
and if that "shop" isn't a Co-Op, then the prices will likely be higher.
in my place, Redishing is half what a relacing costs.... and are you certain that really old uniglide hub is worth using?

'the shop" can help with those decisions too.
Thank you for the advice. I took the wheels to a bike shop down the street and their head mechanic is going to take a look at them tomorrow. They quoted me $60 to swap the rims, much cheaper than the other shops I called who quoted me $120+.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:55 PM
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Just in case you're not aware, Velomine sells a number of 700c wheels with 126mm spacing.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjlappy
... considering selling the wheels and tracking down a 700c set with 126mm rear.
This is what I would do.
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Old 09-26-23, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
that the Cassette is, most likely from the looks of the locknut/freehub relationship, already really close to the frame.. Any adjustment should be done to the Non drive side spacer, and REDISH the wheel assembly after the narrower axle, spacer, and QUICK RELEASE are installed... Might as well just REBUILD the hub/axle to 126mm, and to heck with resetting, or pulling open, the frame. (proper cutting of hardened and threaded axles is not an easy task for most folks)
Hopefully he still has the axle and skewer from the damaged wheel, should be a straight swap and re-dish.
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Old 09-26-23, 06:33 AM
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I've cold-set maybe a half-dozen of these frames at a non-profit shop. I love getting these out of the waste stream and think it's worth the effort. But I wouldn't do it at home and with new retail parts. You really need access to shop tools and lots of salvaged parts to make it economical. The ones I've done have needed a frame alignment gauge, drop-out alignment tools, new shifters and new brake calipers (changing wheel size from 27" to 700c). I agree with the comment above about access to a bike co-op.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:05 AM
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We charge the same or nore when jobs are brought in 1/2 done. There is a reason why they come in 1/2 done, and it's seldom pretty. Are we sure the $60 quoter checked the rim and hub hole dimensions are the same (or add up to the same)?....
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Old 09-26-23, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
Hopefully he still has the axle and skewer from the damaged wheel, should be a straight swap and re-dish.
both rear wheel assemblies are now at a local shop, with reasonable pricing.
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Old 09-26-23, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Just in case you're not aware, Velomine sells a number of 700c wheels with 126mm spacing.
https://velomine.com/products/sun-m1...age-road-bikes for $159

more likely than not to be cheaper than paying for a lot of the other work talked about
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Old 09-26-23, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
https://velomine.com/products/sun-m1...age-road-bikes for $159

more likely than not to be cheaper than paying for a lot of the other work talked about
I noted these after an earlier comment and I really like Velomines (bought a DT swiss wheelset from them for a different bike earlier this year) but I brought my wheel to a co-op down the street who quoted me $65 to basically swap the old wheel hub to the newer rim. Seeing as the linked Velomines wheels would be closer to $200 after shipping I'm going to try the Co-Op route for now
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Old 09-26-23, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
I've cold-set maybe a half-dozen of these frames at a non-profit shop. I love getting these out of the waste stream and think it's worth the effort. But I wouldn't do it at home and with new retail parts. You really need access to shop tools and lots of salvaged parts to make it economical. The ones I've done have needed a frame alignment gauge, drop-out alignment tools, new shifters and new brake calipers (changing wheel size from 27" to 700c). I agree with the comment above about access to a bike co-op.
You shouldn't need new calipers to go 700c.

Or a frame alignment tool other than a string.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:39 PM
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Unless you are attached to keeping the frame original I’d see what local shops would charge to cold set the frame and align the dropouts/hanger. I’d probably charge about 30 mins labor for this, in part because I find it fun.

If you don’t have indexed shifting I’d just use an 8 speed cassette and chain. It’ll work fine with your existing derailleurs and chainrings.
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Old 09-27-23, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
https://velomine.com/products/sun-m1...age-road-bikes for $159

more likely than not to be cheaper than paying for a lot of the other work talked about
And the quality is very good. I bought a set of Velomine wheels (which are Wheelmaster) and the quality is very good. I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again.
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Old 09-27-23, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
You shouldn't need new calipers to go 700c.

Or a frame alignment tool other than a string.
IME 27 to 700 may need longer reach brakes, depending on what the current brake reach is ymmv
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