Frame for hub gear

RufusChucklebutty

Well-Known Member
I picked up a pair of nice 26" wheels with Nexus hub gear for free and I'd like to find a touring frame with horizontal drop outs for them, where can I buy a low cost aluminium frame to suit ?

Does anywhere sell just no frills frames or is it cheaper to buy a discount or used bike just for the frame ?
 

FrankCrank

Professional layabout
Not quite sure what a touring frame is, but sounds like it would not match for 26" wheels. Older MTBs have 26" wheels, but most likely will have vertical dropouts. The spacing for a Nexus hub will be too big, but steel frames can be tweaked to match, aly not recomended. To get it to work with vertical dropouts, you could try a combination of different sprockets, and a half link for the chain. A little filing of the dropout may also work. Anyways, something to give the noggin a good workout :banghead:
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Aluminium dropouts are generally not strong enough for horizontal style. My alu frame uses an eccentric bottom bracket with vertical dropouts. The Dahon Cadenza can be had in a cheaper single speed version which may be of use.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
is it cheaper to buy a discount or used bike just for the frame ?
I've bought complete donor bikes with sound steel frames for 99p from a certain online auction site.
If your 26" wheels are ISO 590 Roadster wheels, then pick up a donor 3 speed roadster or the frame off one. If they are ISO 559 MTB 26" wheels then get hold of a late 80's or 1990's rigid framed steel MTB with horizontal dropouts. If the rear stay spacings are a bit wide just squeeze them in a bit to fit. Fitting hub gears to a vertical dropout frame then having to use a chain tensioner seems completely pointless to me. If you can't do away with the jockey wheels then you might as well have derailleurs! The whole point of hub gears IMHO, is having no external mechanical clutter to get damaged or covered in road filth.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
I've bought complete donor bikes with sound steel frames for 99p from a certain online auction site.
If your 26" wheels are ISO 590 Roadster wheels, then pick up a donor 3 speed roadster or the frame off one. If they are ISO 559 MTB 26" wheels then get hold of a late 80's or 1990's rigid framed steel MTB with horizontal dropouts. If the rear stay spacings are a bit wide just squeeze them in a bit to fit. Fitting hub gears to a vertical dropout frame then having to use a chain tensioner seems completely pointless to me. If you can't do away with the jockey wheels then you might as well have derailleurs! The whole point of hub gears IMHO, is having no external mechanical clutter to get damaged or covered in road filth.
Hub gears are sealed away from grime, the chain wears less because its perfect chain alignment.

A tensioner is actually less maintenance, with no fiddling the rear wheel when chain does eventually wear/stretch
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Chain tensioners are a sticking plaster solution for unsuitable frames. They won't worsen chain alignment, but inevitably they must increase drivetrain friction compared to a standard IGH set-up with horizontal dropouts and the chain adjustment maintained by the position of the wheel in the slots. I'm sure the wheel will need removing anyway for some reason (most likely p*ncture repair or tyre swaps) by the time the chain tension gets slack.
 
Almost any road frame up to the mid-1980s. Not aluminium though - it would be chewed up by the frequent axle repositioning. Alu and carbon track frames often have steel inserts to the rear ends, but you don't want track ends with a rear rim brake or mudguards.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
you don't want track ends with a rear rim brake or mudguards.
Why not? I have both on my fixed/single speed, I hope I am not in any danger.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Why not? I have both on my fixed/single speed, I hope I am not in any danger.
More to do with maintenance than safety. If you've got mudguards with rear-facing horizontal dropouts and you need to remove the wheel for a puncture repair say, you'll most likely have to unbolt the mudguard before you could get it of the frame.
Forward facing horizontal dropouts are only really semi-horizontal and the wheel drops a bit as it slides forwards, which means a flat tyre will clear the frame.
Vertical dropouts are better still in some respects, but you can't use wheel positioning to adjust the chain tension, which is why I would not use such a frame for a hub gear or SS bike, even though it can be bodged using a standalone tensioner.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
More to do with maintenance than safety. If you've got mudguards with rear-facing horizontal dropouts and you need to remove the wheel for a puncture repair say, you'll most likely have to unbolt the mudguard before you could get it of the frame.
Forward facing horizontal dropouts are only really semi-horizontal and the wheel drops a bit as it slides forwards, which means a flat tyre will clear the frame.
Vertical dropouts are better still in some respects, but you can't use wheel positioning to adjust the chain tension, which is why I would not use such a frame for a hub gear or SS bike, even though it can be bodged using a standalone tensioner.
Ahh ok, luckily I can only fit clip on guard on the rear which pulls out the way easily, plus the puncture fairy is scared of me.
 
The mudguard issue is covered above and is just a pain. The rim brake problem is that the pads don't maintain position as the wheel is moved back to retension the chain. For very small adjustments you can get away with it but over the life of a chain you will be adjusting the pads a fair bit, especially if the rims have narrow braking surfaces.

"Horizontal" dropouts are actually parallel to the brake pads to avoid this issue, but track ends are parallel with the ground.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
The mudguard issue is covered above and is just a pain. The rim brake problem is that the pads don't maintain position as the wheel is moved back to retension the chain. For very small adjustments you can get away with it but over the life of a chain you will be adjusting the pads a fair bit, especially if the rims have narrow braking surfaces.

"Horizontal" dropouts are actually parallel to the brake pads to avoid this issue, but track ends are parallel with the ground.
I agree with that, I often change a chain that is only partially worn rather than mess with the pads again, especially as I have a vee brake on the rear in conjunction with a drop bar lever.
 

Nigelnightmare

Senior Member
The mudguard issue is covered above and is just a pain. The rim brake problem is that the pads don't maintain position as the wheel is moved back to retension the chain. For very small adjustments you can get away with it but over the life of a chain you will be adjusting the pads a fair bit, especially if the rims have narrow braking surfaces.

"Horizontal" dropouts are actually parallel to the brake pads to avoid this issue, but track ends are parallel with the ground.
Never knew that.
I always wondered why they were called "horizontal" when they were sloping down at an angle!

Every day's a school day on here.

Does anyone know why they put Horizontal dropouts on multi-geared bikes?
I mean you don't need to move the wheel to adjust the chain tension.
So vertical dropouts would have been fine.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Does anyone know why they put Horizontal dropouts on multi-geared bikes? I mean you don't need to move the wheel to adjust the chain tension.
So vertical dropouts would have been fine.
Because hub gears pre-date derailleurs and many vintage road bikes were available in both hub geared and derailleur versions using the same frame. Not forgetting that SS/Fixed road frames were also popular at one time. Vertical dropouts suit derailleurs only, whereas horizontal dropouts suit everything.
 
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