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Problem: I had a rear wheel built to 135mm, but the frame is 130mm.

The frame is an older aluminum MTB frame. I assumed it was 135mm rear dropout spacing (being a mountain bike) when ordering the new wheel and Shimano QR hub, but I should not have assumed.

The plan is for a 2x7 friction setup, where new it would have been a 3x7 back in the 1990s. It's a hardtail.

I had the wheel shipped to me. Before sending it back to be rebuilt and have to buy a new hub and spokes, possibly, I thought I'd check in here for options.

Question: Can I remove the 5mm spacer on the non-drive side, then use my spoke wrench to re-center/re-dish the wheel on the bike when it is upside down? Will the QR still work or axle be too long now for it? Or should I try to squeeze the wheel into the 130mm spacing by pushing out the dropouts somehow?

The plan is to use the bike for commuting and weekend tours. I do not plan to actually mountain bike with it. I will be on paved roads, primarily. I am 250lb and probably growing.

2 Answers 2

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Things to consider:

Redishing - the spokes will probably be OK, but may be too long on the non drive side or too short on the drive side. You may get away without any redishing, depending on wheel and tire clearance, or maybe only going part way. Not ideal, but a pragmatic solution if the spokes would need replacing and you are looking at cost and time.

Removing spacer - you will also need a shorter axle, as the QR axle must not protrude from the dropouts. It may be possible for you to cut down the axle but a new one would be preferable. The QR may have enough thread to be able to take up another 5mm, but will probably stick out the end of the nut. Can be shortened or a new one purchased.

It would help to know what hub you have; it is possible it already has a 130mm axle set available. If going down a new hub root, the spokes you have may need replacing (see above).

Putting the wheel in the fame can be done - do not attempt to cold set the frame (Permanently spread it) refer. Main problem is how difficult it is to get the wheel in and out, along with the dropout alignment is a little off. I would try to avoid this option.

Should I force an 130 mm hub into my old vintage alu frame

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  • I think the rear hub is a Shimano Deore or possibly a Sora. Are 130mm axles with QR available?
    – E2R0NS
    Commented Mar 9 at 20:51
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    Yes, 130 is has been standard for road bikes for a long time. Get same thread as axle that came with hub, so you keep the cones and bearings that came with it, make it up an OLD of 130mm. Typical quick-release axles are around 11-12mm longer than the OLD, so you need an axle that is around 140mm. Bit less is fine. If your dropouts are thick enough, the axle you have will do as long as it does not stick out past dropouts and stop QR working. Play this one safe. Could use 10mm washers under QR (I would for test rides, but would cut/replace axle for final solution.)
    – mattnz
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:16
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You say your hub is a Deore.

It is obvious when they are laid side by side that the hub castings for Deore and Tiagra are identical. Historically this was the same for other hubs such as XT and Ultegra and the Mountain hubs had 130 axle options.

I have converted the Tiagra hub to 135 and the Deore hub to 130 on several occasions for different customers. All of the difference is on the non-drive side, as you have noted - the spacer is narrower for the 130 hub. If you follow this route, you will have to adjust your dishing by 2.5mm (or as close as you can get). It is a small difference and you won’t need to replace the spokes unless someone incompetent has chosen the spoke lengths, there should be plenty of margin both ways for this adjustment.

As you are using a 7sp set up, an old 7sp hub would give you a stronger wheel as the drive side spokes are a little further outboard. But there is so much redundant strength in the structure that it’s a moot point.

So buy either a Shimano or 3rd party QR axle of approx 140mm and use a spacer 5mm narrower than the one on your current hub but do use all the rest of the hardware on your original axle. Then correct the dish on your wheel. Easy!

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