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Freehub wheelset for 80s road bike?

defeverdefever Posts: 171
edited June 2018 in Vintage bikes forum
Hello fellow cyclists,

I'm sort of considering changing my wheel set on my 1983 Ludo Belgian road bike (1983 Ludo). I'm even considering converting it to a single speed.

The bike has 5 speed Maillard Normandy 5 speed. So I'm guessing its the standard 126mm width between the horizontal dropouts.

With this in mind, I wondered if there is a freehub wheel set that can go in the frame without much hassle?

I'm guessing the quick answer is no, unless "cold setting" is done. Just wanted to check if there is any option.

Many thanks and happy cycling!


  • If you want to convert to single speed then you might be able to use a VeloSolo hub and cog, see
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks very much superbagneres!

    I checked the link and it seems that they've come up with a way to convert "disc brake" hub to make a fixie by bolting their fixie gear kit onto the disc brake side of the wheel hub (i.e. using the 6x holes to attach the fixie gear in replacement of the disc brake). Never knew about this kind of “conversion” so thanks for sharing.

    However, it’s not suitable for me. 1) It’s a fixie set up. I’m not interested on riding a fixie on public roads. 2) I don’t have disc brake wheelset. That means I’m going to have to buy a new wheelset, which I might as well buy an ordinary freehub rim brake wheelset and cold set the frame, and put VeloSolo singles peed cassette hub spacer kit. 3) It’s likely to require “dishing” of the wheel to adjust the chain line, which I feel it’s a lot more hassle than getting a freehub wheelset and cold set the frame.

    Or, I’m just realising that I can just simply take the rear derailleur off, keep the current wheelset (with 5 speed freewheel), set the chain on the sprocket I want and shorten the chain for now. VeloSolo website also mentions about this: - FAQ 7: "I'm not interested in fixed, I just want a 'normal' singlespeed - how do I convert my bike?"

    But then the front wheel is buckled so maybe time to shell out a new wheelset…?

    Cheapest and decently renouned budget level freehub wheelset seems to be Mavic Aksium on Decathlon (£143.99)?
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    you think or you know its 126mm spacing. it could be 120mm.

    measure first and i can advise. There are cassette body hubs for 120mm spacing (Sun XCD) and good freewheel hubs for 126mm spacing. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks very much cycle clinic!

    I just measured it, because I was suspecting that it'll be 126mm.

    Well... it's actually 123mm?! (poor photo quality, apologies):


    It looks like the drop out ends aren't aligned either; they look like they’re facing inwards at the open end of the drop out (i.e. “toe-in”). I don’t know. I should have measured it a bit more properly.

    Maybe I should sort out the drop out alignment before thinking about new wheelset. But it looks like I might just keep the current set and just replace the front wheel (the rear wheel is in fact true and still good). Perhaps, I got carried away by the idea of getting something new and shiny.

    Happy cycling!
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