Rear dropout spacing on a vintage Raleigh?

rrarider

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
I still ride my 1984 Record Ace and have always found refitting the rear wheel a bit trickier than I've seen TDF mechanics or You tube videos showing the process. In '86 or ' 87 I replaced the 27" Weinmann wheels with 700c MAvic MA40s on Campag Chorus hubs.

Having a bit of a practice following some fiddly on-the-road repairs, I decided to use my Vernier caliper to measure the OLN distance on the wheel and the spacing on the frame. The OLN spacing came out at 125mm and the frame spacing at 123mm. This would explain the slight tightness I've experienced for years.

From my memory (which seems to be getting less and less reliable) I seem to remember that the original frame spacing was 120mm and that having the Mavic mounted for all these years have made it creep out a bit.

Can anyone please confirm or refute my assertion that it would have been 120mm when new?If I'm right, then I'm guessing that when I had the wheels made by my LBS that Campag didn't make a 120mm hub?
 
I still ride my 1984 Record Ace and have always found refitting the rear wheel a bit trickier than I've seen TDF mechanics or You tube videos showing the process. In '86 or ' 87 I replaced the 27" Weinmann wheels with 700c MAvic MA40s on Campag Chorus hubs.

Having a bit of a practice following some fiddly on-the-road repairs, I decided to use my Vernier caliper to measure the OLN distance on the wheel and the spacing on the frame. The OLN spacing came out at 125mm and the frame spacing at 123mm. This would explain the slight tightness I've experienced for years.

From my memory (which seems to be getting less and less reliable) I seem to remember that the original frame spacing was 120mm and that having the Mavic mounted for all these years have made it creep out a bit.

Can anyone please confirm or refute my assertion that it would have been 120mm when new?If I'm right, then I'm guessing that when I had the wheels made by my LBS that Campag didn't make a 120mm hub?
120mm limits you to a 5 speed freewheel so if it was a 10 speed originally it could well have been, I'm surprised at the 27" wheel on a high end Raleigh in 84 though, my Raleigh Road Ace from 83 came with 700c and 126 rear spacing (which means I can squeeze a modern 'Freehub' wheel in there)
 
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rrarider

rrarider

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
120mm limits you to a 5 speed freewheel so if it was a 10 speed originally it could well have been, I'm surprised at the 27" wheel on a high end Raleigh in 84 though, my Raleigh Road Ace from 83 came with 700c and 126 rear spacing (which means I can squeeze a modern 'Freehub' wheel in there)

It did come with a 6 speed Ultra? freewheel which had a bit narrower chain than the 5 speed I think but was it a 120mm spacing on the drop out?
 
It did come with a 6 speed Ultra? freewheel which had a bit narrower chain than the 5 speed I think but was it a 120mm spacing on the drop out?
It could have been if Raleigh had a bunch of reasonable quality 120mm hubs they needed to shift, the only 'catalogue' I've been able to find online lists a Record with 27" wheels but that's only a 'Hi-Ten' frame and it's not a Record Ace, is yours a 'W' prefix frame number?
 
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rrarider

rrarider

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
It could have been if Raleigh had a bunch of reasonable quality 120mm hubs they needed to shift, the only 'catalogue' I've been able to find online lists a Record with 27" wheels but that's only a 'Hi-Ten' frame and it's not a Record Ace, is yours a 'W' prefix frame number?

This page : http://www.bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Raleigh84/ral84_12.jpg

shows my bike and it did come with a Worksop frame number, even though it was built in Nottingham

My bike:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47119506@N03/14263851252/in/dateposted/
 
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rrarider

rrarider

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
It must have been a 120mm to start with, as it's been QR clamped to 125mm hubs for over 30 years and spread a bit over time. It came with a Suntour Ultra 6 14-28 freewheel and has run my Suntour Ultra 6 13-21 version for most of its life.
Interestingly Sheldon Brown remarks that Ultra 6 was intended for 120mm spacing on this page https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sp-ss.html
How much of an expert on this period he is, I don't know.
 
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biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
How much of an expert on this period he is, I don't know.

Sheldon Brown is the god
 
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rrarider

rrarider

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
I took the freewheel of the wheel and remeasured the spacings. The OLN distance is 126mm and the frame spacing is 122 to 123mm but definitely not 125 or 126. When I had the wheels made in 86/87 I don't think I took the whole bike to the shop and don't remember discussing dropout spacing at all.
It's worked OK for all these years, so I'm not going to worry about it.
If I try and fit the wheel with the frame hanging on ropes from the garage roof, it's tricky but if I put the wheel on the ground and hold it still between my knees whilst spreading the stays the 2 or 3mm and pulling back on the axle, it's quite easy.
 
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