widening an old steel frame to accomodate new wheels

brockers

Senior Member
yes
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
much as I like Sheldon his, go at it with a lump of 4x2, method could be fraught with peril. Another method is to use a threaded bar Charlotte describes it pretty well on her blog here:-

http://bicycleslut.wordpress.com/page/14/

It's also worth asking around local bike shops, mine has an old contraption they made for doing this. Actually same as the threaded bar method but a bit sturdier with blocks of wood etc, looks a bit like an old fashioned press.

Certainly I'd rather wind something out gradually than go at it with a lump of wood.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
TBH, if the frame is a 'classic' then get it done by a frame builder. Not something I'd try on any frame where over a few mm's stretch is needed....can mess up frame alignment..... if a hack, this isn't a problem though.......
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
I also used a long bolt and nuts of suitable diameter (B&Q sold them for pennies) when I did mine some years ago. What I also did was to wind a stout rope tightly around the little "bridge" between the chain stays near the seat tube (I think it was a Sheldon suggestion) - I believe if anything breaks it would be a weld, if any weld it would be right there. Mine went from 120mm (old ultra 6 speed) to 130mm fine.
 

mattsccm

Well-Known Member
Steve Snowling, a pro mechanic wrote a rather nice book including just this issue. i must admit to always using his idea. Grip both drop outs , one in either hand at chest level or what ever. Pull gently. The steel will spring a touch so you may have to over pull and few mil. You will apply the same force both sides unless you have a duff arm.

If the frame was an ancient single speeder it just might have been 120mm so you would need to go 130 for a modern road wheel. 135 for modern MTB. If it was a 5, 6 or 7 speeder then it was 126 mm road. . Theorectically the drop outs now are not exactly parallel but you won't notice this in practice.
Easy job done millions of times without the slightest worry. unfortunately we are not allowed to have that concept nowadays:rolleyes:
 

brodie

New Member
I don't like the threaded rod method because you are bending both dropouts at the same time; bending one side at a time lets you control the bend so that the dropouts are equally spaced.

Methods where you merely get hold of the dropout(s) and pull, I think, will put all the bending stress in on place on the stays. IME it's better to try to put the bend along the stays, which is what the plank of wood method will do.

What I also did was to wind a stout rope tightly around the little "bridge" between the chain stays near the seat tube
Good idea.
 

Manonabike

Über Member
Steve Snowling, a pro mechanic wrote a rather nice book including just this issue. i must admit to always using his idea. Grip both drop outs , one in either hand at chest level or what ever. Pull gently. The steel will spring a touch so you may have to over pull and few mil. You will apply the same force both sides unless you have a duff arm.

If the frame was an ancient single speeder it just might have been 120mm so you would need to go 130 for a modern road wheel. 135 for modern MTB. If it was a 5, 6 or 7 speeder then it was 126 mm road. . Theorectically the drop outs now are not exactly parallel but you won't notice this in practice.
Easy job done millions of times without the slightest worry. unfortunately we are not allowed to have that concept nowadays:rolleyes:

I read somewhere that Reynolds 531 could be done by hand as you suggest in your post. That is exactly what I did and it wasn't too hard at all. The thing that I now find, it's several months since I did that, whenever I need to fit the wheel back on then I hardly need to apply any force to open the triangle as it only need 1mm or less. ( The beauty of having an steel frame :biggrin: )
 
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