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wheelset questions and recommendations?(9 posts)

wheelset questions and recommendations?Steve-O
Dec 18, 2001 8:39 AM
Well... I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a CX frame. Now I'm working up a build kit list. Several questions on wheels.

Can I use 130mm hubs on a steel frame designed for 135mm hubs? It's hard finding XT/XTR hubs (typically 135mm) laced up to 700c wheels... Would I hurt the frame if I used Ultegra or DA hubs with 130mm spacing? What about spacers on the hub? Would they affect alignment in any sort of weird way?

Any other suggestions on wheelsets would be appreciated.

Steve-O (learning about the bizarre world of CX parts kits)
So let me get this straight....Cima Coppi
Dec 18, 2001 9:23 AM
The CX frame you ordered was built with a rear drop out spacing of 135mm? This does not sound right. Most CX frames should have 130mm spacing.

Now if your's definitely has 135mm spacing, I would recommend having a set of wheels built from Excel or Colorado Cyclist or an independant builder such as Joe Young. They will build any combination of rims, spokes, and hubs you desire. I would highly suggest going this route instead of trying to properly space a 130mm hub to 135mm (that's adding 2.5mm of spacing on each side of the axle). This way you can get XT or XTR hubs built to a 700c or tubular rim.

Good luck

Dec 18, 2001 9:43 AM
It's more of a common dilemma then you might think! steel frames have a little more flex. Surly actually uses a 132.5mm frame spacing to accommodate both road and mtb hubs. Sheldon Brown's website even has a section on rebending old steel frames to accommodate newer, wider hubs. Don't try that with Aluminum or carbon fiber!
That being the case, go with the custom wheels...Cima Coppi
Dec 18, 2001 9:47 AM
Like I said in my first reply, go with custom wheels built around the MTB hubs. They will be exeptionally strong, but maybe a shade heavy.

130 v. 135PG
Dec 18, 2001 12:34 PM
You can have a set of wheels built around 135mm hubs (i.e. XT) which is what I did with my first set of wheels. You can also have a road wheelset redished and repsaced for 135 which is what I did with a DA hubbed wheelset for my road wheels. Either way you end up with a stronger wheel because the dish is reduced. If you go the mountain bike hub route you will also end up with a pair of wheels that have beter sealed hubs.

Best of luck.
Four optionstriangleforge
Dec 18, 2001 12:42 PM
You've got four alternatives --

1) Custom Wheels: There's no particular magic to putting a 32-spoke road rim on a 32-spoke MTB hub, just not much of a market for it. Any wheelbuilder should be able to help you out -- Joe Young is incredibly good and sells via the 'net, Excel or Colorado Cyclist should be able to quote you a price & build you a set, or (the best option) talk to folks in your area to find out who's a good local builder and go chat with him/her.

2) Re-space a road hub: I just looked at the Ultegra hub I have on the bike next to me, and it looks like there's plenty of axle stub on each side for a 2mm or so spacer. If you put identical spacers on each side (under the lock nut), it won't affect alignment. If you want to get fancy, you could put 4 or 5mm of spacers on the non-drive side, center the axle so you've got equal amounts of stub out either side, re-dish the rim, and end up with and infinitesimally stronger wheel, because you'd be evening out the spoke tension just a bit.

3) reset frame spacing: Since it's a steel frame, it's quite straighforward to cold-set the spacing of the rear dropouts (in other words, bend the stays). Go to a shop with a mechanic who's been around long enough to remember 126mm rear spacing, and you're in business. He/she will need to not only bend the stays properly (not that tricky, but you want to bend each side 2.5mm in , rather than bending just one side 5mm). Then the mechanic will need to realign the dropouts. Again, it's not that hard, but it's best if you have the specialized tools for the job. I happen to have the tools, and have done it the other direction (126mm to 130mm) on 6 bikes that I can remember, and it's a fast, straighforward job if you know how. Steel is the only frame material you can do this on -- aluminum, carbon & titanium won't bend properly and/or take a "set" (each for different reasons) like steel will.

3) Live with it: It's not going to hurt anything to put a 130mm hub into a 135mm spaced rear end and let the quick release pull things together. It may be a little bit more finicky getting a wheel in, but not insurmountably so. In fact, if your quick release opens wide enough, it may even be easier to get the wheel in & out. Sure, it'd be better to re-align the frame (#2 above), but it's not the end of the world if you don't. Aluminum frames wouldn't be as happy with this arrangement, but steel will tolerate it well enough.

The nice thing about #3 & #4, is it's a lot easier to use wheels from other road bikes if you're living with 130mm as a standard. That's particularly handy if you're racing and want spare wheels in the pit, or if you just like the convenience of borrowing the wheel from your road bike when you discover a rear flat on the way out the door for a springtime spin on your 'cross bike.

For what it's worth.......CoraB
Dec 18, 2001 8:10 PM
I had a spare set of stout Wolbers with 14g spokes sitting in my garage. When I purchased a CX frame with 135mm rear spacing, I cut out the old cassette on the rear wheel, bargained with my LBS to rebuild using a slightly used Hope MTB hub they had in the backroom. Out of there for very little $$. Front and rear are still running true after some good miles.
Just a thought - most of us roadies have a spare wheelset hidden somewhere in the recesses of the garage. If not, your local shop might have something to rebuild.
I'd have loved to build a new/light set, but so far it's working out fine and the wife is happy to boot!
that's the spiritbn
Dec 19, 2001 5:58 AM
before 'cross was hip and happening- before popularity soared and every mfger jumped in- the way to do it was to cobble up old parts for your ride and do it on the cheap.
Litespeed shows a Cane Creek "CronoXCross" wheelset.TFerguson
Jan 4, 2002 7:12 AM
I bet they are expensive, but the Litespeed site (larger pic in the catalog) shows their Appalachian with a Cane Creek wheelset. The 2002 is 700c with 135 mm rear spacing for mtb disk brake hubs. They may have spaced the wheelset just for the picture, I don't know. The wheels that actually come with the bike are XT hubs and Mavic Open Pros.