I've got an old 7 speed steel frame. I've ordered a track wheel with a spacing of 120mm.

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My frame has correct drop outs for it, but does it have the correct spacing? If not, what are my options?

What is the maximum amount of slack I can pick up by tighten my skewers? It's Reynolds 531 tubing.

Are spacers an option to pad out the excess space between the hub?

  • 1
    Yeah, depending on vintage the frame is somewhere between 126 and the low 130s. The frame can flex that much without risk of its integrity, the problem is that the dropouts become somewhat less parallel. If it's 126-127 I'd go with it. 130 is stretching and a new axle and spacers may be the best choice. May 21, 2012 at 11:18

1 Answer 1


Track frames use a 120mm rear dropout in most cases.

You do have a horizontal dropout, but not a track dropout. It will work, but it is not ideal.

The rear axle outside locknut distance on that frame is likely to be 127mm.

Again, it is not ideal to compress the dropouts that much, but given that it is an older, fatigued steel frame, it will likely work.

Worst case, you might induce cracks in the frame over time, due to stress on the welds from the compression, but it isn't likely.

  • 2mm and 5mm an option?
    – will
    May 21, 2012 at 8:35
  • Please clarify your question. 2mm and 5mm what?
    – zenbike
    May 21, 2012 at 10:17
  • Ah crap forgot to type spacers, I figure 2mm on the sprocket side and 5mm on the non drive side. To keep chainline straight
    – will
    May 21, 2012 at 10:50
  • @will -- You'd want to install a longer axle. May 21, 2012 at 11:16
  • 2
    If you do spacers, it would be best to us 3.5mm each side additional to what's there, in order to keep the wheel properly dished in the frame. Chain line won't matter for that small a change on a fixie.
    – zenbike
    May 21, 2012 at 11:17

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