I'm working on restoring a bike which I found at a council dump and I've a couple of questions about the rear axle.
I took the rear axle into a hardware shop today to buy a new locking nut (I mislaid the original when I took it out of the wheel - my bad). They said they didn't have one as the axle was imperial and they only stocked metric locking nuts. They recommended another shop which might stock imperial nuts, but I'm thinking it might make more sense to buy a metric rear axle given that they are easier to get hold of. So my specific question is would it be ok to replace my imperial axle with a metric axle of similar size i.e is there a risk that it might compromise the safety of the wheel. The axle is about 6.5 inches long and the locking but has a diameter of about 5/8 of an inch : so I think this would mean a new axle of length 165mm?
I guess this leads to a more general question. If you replace an axle does it have to be exactly the same length as the original.
Thanks in advance for your help.