Narrowing my Frame? Is it possible?

doctorkoh Posts: 20
edited December 2010 in Road beginners
Sorry, this may be a terribly stupid of a question, but here it goes:

My steel bike has a rear wheel spacing of 130mm. I'm looking to buy
a fixed geared wheel, and it seems like most of them only come with a 120mm spacing.
What can I do to accommodate this? Are there ways to compress the frame to make it
fit? Or perhaps some kind of spacer? Or would a 120mm manage on a 130mm frame without
too much trouble?

Help would be much appreciated!


  • asprilla
    asprilla Posts: 8,440
    It's called cold setting. Have a read of this:
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  • lae
    lae Posts: 555
    You could probably get away with not cold setting it and relying on the axle nuts to compress the frame.

    Either that, or you can fit axle spacers (velosolo sell them, or an engineering place might cut you some from a bit of tube) to space the rear hub up to 130mm.
  • rake
    rake Posts: 3,204
    you can only cold set a steel frame. i wouldnt use the axle to pull it in because the constant tension in the frame will cause it to fatigue and crack. much better to bend the stays in a little.when i used to bend steel for a living it has a memory when bent we had to straighten it out in reducing increments one way then the other to remove its memory to get it to stay straight.
  • Asprilla wrote:
    It's called cold setting. Have a read of this:

    I could be wrong, but it seems like the article is saying that this method is used for widening the frame, not narrowing it. Is it still applicable?

    And for the spacer option, I'm kind of confused. Wouldn't adding spacers widen the rear? I thought that I would have to narrow it to fit the 120mm better.
  • Axle spacers are what you need. Space the axle to fit the wider frame, a 5 mm one inside each locknut (one on each side of the hub) will fill out the space. You just have to hope there is enough axle left to get the wheelnuts on. See the Velosolo ones down the bottom of this page:
  • Out of impatience and not wanting to go out and buy spacers, I think I might have made a huge mistake...

    i read the article on cold spacing and basically hand compress the rear frame from 130mm to 120mm. Which in theory seems to be the right size. I don't have the wheels with me to check if it fits, but now the drop outs seem slightly crooked? Can this be saved?
  • lae
    lae Posts: 555
    Slip a piece of cloth over the dropouts and bend with a large adjustable spanner. Works fine, your frame isn't ruined!


    Rake "i wouldnt use the axle to pull it in because the constant tension in the frame will cause it to fatigue and crack."

    Yeah ashamedly I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out.
  • Thank you! Is this how "cold setting" is supposed to work? Or did I do it completely wrong?
  • rake
    rake Posts: 3,204
    its just a fancy name for bending it.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Check your rear wheel alignment to ensure it's still centred - you need to be sure that you 'bend' the frame by the same amount each side otherwise it could rub on the chainstay.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • TiBoy
    TiBoy Posts: 366
    VeloSolo FAQ's have they exact question you are asking with the answer, I will always point someone in their direction for questions and their products and service are 1st class.
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