Spanning my old Steel frame to modern hub measurements
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  1. #1

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    Spanning my old Steel frame to modern hub measurements

    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.

    I tried a search but the function doesn't seem to work at all for me, so pardon if this one has been tossed out before.

    I have lugged Cromo tubing, and want to go to a newer wheelset. Anyone spanned their bike w/ out any problems? Am I having needless worry over this?

    Exploring my options...
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair or the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  2. #2
    Hoopy Frood
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    Good ol' Sheldon

    I've never done it but lots of people have. All the info you need is on Sheldon Brown's site:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

    - khill

  3. #3
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by giveme2wheels
    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.

    I tried a search but the function doesn't seem to work at all for me, so pardon if this one has been tossed out before.

    I have lugged Cromo tubing, and want to go to a newer wheelset. Anyone spanned their bike w/ out any problems? Am I having needless worry over this?

    Exploring my options...
    Yes, it can be done, and your Shogun will be none the wiser. However, you'll find that the cost of modernizing an old bike can quickly spiral past the point of economic sense, since bike parts are almost always cheapest when you buy them on a bike. And, let's be honest, the 'gun, while perfectly serviceable, isn't exactly a Colnago. You may find that once you plunge for the new wheels, you'll need the new derailleurs and drivetrain, which begets new shifters, which begets... well, you get the idea.

    My advice is to think about the single-speed/fixte thing. The simplicity of the thing, the low operating costs, and the fun of it make for a real nice second life for your Shogun.

  4. #4
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    Quit wondering

    Quote Originally Posted by giveme2wheels
    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.
    Yes, you can do it. However, per xxl's warning, you might find yourself on a path where the only things you keep are the frame, fork, stem, bars, saddle and post. Ask yourself whether this bike is worth the investment.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by giveme2wheels
    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.

    I tried a search but the function doesn't seem to work at all for me, so pardon if this one has been tossed out before.

    I have lugged Cromo tubing, and want to go to a newer wheelset. Anyone spanned their bike w/ out any problems? Am I having needless worry over this?

    Exploring my options...
    I spread my '84 Columbus SLX frame using threaded rod, washers and bolts. This method allows you to spread it gradually and evenly on both sides.
    Buy a length of threaded rod that's about eight inches longer than your current dropout spacing. Buy rod that's the largest diameter that will still fit inside the dropouts, just like a hub axle does. Buy two wide nuts that fit the rod. Buy four thick washers. The inside diameter of the washer should only be just large enough to allow you to fit the threaded rod inside them. The the outside diameter of the washers must be as large as possible while still fitting within the "diameter" of the dropout. This means if you were to put the washer on the threaded rod, and slip the rod between the dropouts, and press the washer against the inside face of the dropout, the washer would sit flat against the inside face of the dropout only, not touching the round section of either the seatstay or chainstay tubing. You'll use four washers, two on each side. I'll explain why later.

    Now to spread the frame. Thread both nuts onto the threaded rod far enough so that when you fit the rod inside the dropouts, the nuts sit between the dropouts. Next put the four washer on the rod, two on each side, and like the nuts, they should sit between the dropouts when you slip the rod in the dropout slots. Make sure you center the rod in the dropouts. Measure how much rod is extending from either side and make sure both measurements are the same. Now start turning the nuts and washers so they rest against the inside face of the dropouts to the point where there's just a little tension. With a wrench, start turning each nut three or four turns. Just for the sake of precision, I try to make sure I turn both nuts the exact same number of turns, insuring the spread is even on both sides
    This is the spreading process. You are using thick, wide diameter washers so the load is widely, and as evenly dispersed as possible. Continue the process until you have spread both sides a full 2 or 3 cm FARTHER than the final spacing you want. When you release the tension by turning the nuts in the opposite direction, the frame will spring back somewhat. It will not just stay at the width you originally spread it. This is where the skill and patience come into play. You must through trial and error find out how much farther you have to spread each side in order to get it to spring back to the final width you need. If you spread it too much, no big deal. You can just reposition the nuts and washers on the outside of the dropouts and screw them in to compress the frame spacing.

    For safety sake, I took twine or nylon string reinforced tape and tightly wrapped it around both seat stays, binding them together about an inch below the brake bridge to prevent the stays from possibly breaking free at that weld point. I did the same at the chain stays.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I did +5mm on two frames (steel). No problems over thousands of miles. The only issue is that putting the wider axle back after a flat is just a little more effort, but nothing that can't be overcome. I changed my six spd freewheel rear to a 9spd.

    glen

  7. #7
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    just a few more things...

    I really liked the slow and steady method using the threaded stock and slowly opening the thing up, a little more than needed as it will come back a bit. I would only add that you should still check overall frame alignment when you are through stretching the old girl out. And don't forget to bend the hanger down so that it is perpendicular to the ground, or the derailleur will be angled out a touch and that won't be good.

  8. #8
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    a few important notes

    Quote Originally Posted by giveme2wheels
    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.

    I tried a search but the function doesn't seem to work at all for me, so pardon if this one has been tossed out before.

    I have lugged Cromo tubing, and want to go to a newer wheelset. Anyone spanned their bike w/ out any problems? Am I having needless worry over this?

    Exploring my options...
    If you do spread it, take the frame into a shop to have the alignment checked, the dropouts aligned, and the derailleur hanger aligned. When you spread the rear stays, the dropouts will no longer be parallel to the frame. They will be angled outward, and won't be square with the quickrelease and outer nuts of the hub. And the angle of the right dropout which has the derailleur hanger on it will also be slightly misaligned.

  9. #9
    n00bsauce
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    Depending on your starting and ending spacing it may not even be necessary to spread the stays. Going from, say, 126 to 130 is usually able to be accomplished by simply spreading the stays when you insert the wheel. In this case alignment shouldn't be a problem either. You're only spreading 2mm per side and no frame is built or aligned that closely. Going 120 to 130 would require spreading. As others have said, are you prepared to shell out the money for a complete drivetrain upgrade and is it worth it?
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by giveme2wheels
    As the title suggests I am wondering abiout spanning the dropouts on my old steel Shogun 400 to fit modern hub spacing.

    I tried a search but the function doesn't seem to work at all for me, so pardon if this one has been tossed out before.

    I have lugged Cromo tubing, and want to go to a newer wheelset. Anyone spanned their bike w/ out any problems? Am I having needless worry over this?

    Exploring my options...
    A good shop should be able to spread the dropouts and align them for cheap. Who do this yourself, unless you have a dropout alignment tool?

    This is coming from a confirmed DIY-er

  11. #11
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    In my case going +5mm increase means each chain stay went out 2.5mm. Now when you do the math and calculate the change in angle the chain stay has to make to accomplish this, it is less than a degree difference. Not very much to worry about in terms of alignment as far as I'm concerned.

    It didn't take that much force to insert my new hub with +5mm. This is even with my Miyata triple lugged frame. It just doesn't slide into the dropouts like the old one did. I'd also worry about trying to spread your chainstays to make the frame permanently 5mm or so wider. What happens if you go too far? I'd only do it as a last resort but try it without it first.

    glen

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