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As a follow up of the answers given to my question at Rear Wheel Cassette Hub and Speed Set Compatibility Question ,I was trying to determine the rear end fork spacing of my bike which is a Giant Escape 2, 2013 (10 speed cassette Shimano tiagra with possibly changed speed set from original) to replace its stolen rear wheel. My manual measurements end up with a value of 135mm and I do the measurement from the insides of the fork. When I apply manual pressure to the forks I can bring it down to 130mm. Almost all the wheels with 10 speed shimano cassette I see have 130mm hub spacings. My questions are:

1- Is it more likely that my forks were distorted over use or during theft? Does anyone have a Giant Escape 2 2013 and would know their own spacing?

2- Would it damage the forks if I tried to force them on a 130mm spaced hub? Or would spacers be advised along side with a 130mm spaced hub.

ps: I did the magnet test from here Frame Spacing and it does not stick so the frame is not steel. Online specs says it is aluminium.

Thanks

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No, most bikes are easy to compress a little bit in that way when the wheel is out. If you stick a ruler in the dropouts and line one face up with the zero and the other face is around 135, it's 135. 135 is much more common for flat bar bikes of all types, but some Escapes have veered a little 'road' so it was good to check.

It sounds like almost any normal 135 700c hybrid/trekking cassette replacement wheel would work for you. Despite seeming like there are a lot of specifics involved when you're learning this, that is a large category. You could abbreviate it down to "QR rim brake hybrid cassette wheel" and probably be fine.

130mm hubs in 135mm aluminum frames can appear to work but is a bad plan. The biggest problem with it is the risk of fatigue failure of the dropouts over time. On some more "fitness"-veering 135 bikes it can make sense to look for a rim that's more "road" than "hybrid." That exists but is a subcategory and less common. For most people, a reasonable choice there is get something around 22mm wide external, 17mm wide internal, like a Sun CR-18 or many other strong, narrow, box-section rims (which are out of fashion but still exist).

A 10-speed cassette can go on any Shimano hub that is nominally 8/9 speed. The more commonly encountered name now is "8/9/10" or just "HG", but "8/9" survives too although it's basically a misnomer.

Don't buy a 130 hub and respace it - that will require a new axle and redishing the wheel to do right, and is more complicated than you need to go here.

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