Author Topic: BOB and old steel frames  (Read 6111 times)

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Offline dlambert

BOB and old steel frames
« on: July 12, 2007, 10:38:03 am »
I was planning on using an older (mid-1970s) Univega touring bike on a cross-country ride later this summer.  Unfortunately, the inner distance on the rear dropouts is about 123 mm (134 mm outside distance), too close for the BOB trailer (which I've bought and planned to use) skewer.  I talked to the BOB tech people, and they said they have no shorter skewers, and recommended pressing the rear stays of the bike apart to accommodate the standard skewer.

The other option is to ride my carbon-framed Specialized Roubaix, but I'd prefer the old steel standby of the Univega if possible.

Any one out there had experience in making a BOB fit an older frame (or, doing a long tour on a carbon framed bike)?


Offline DaveB

BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2007, 11:45:08 am »
Your frame probably has 120 - 122 mm dropout spacing which was standard in the 5-speed freewheel days.

To make the BOB trailer fit, you could add spacers outside of the dropouts to build up the extra width needed to accept the BOB hitch.  

The problem you might have is keeping the rear wheel clamped tight enough.  I assume your frame has horizontal dropouts and the wheel can shift if it isn't very tight.

A better fix would be to cold-set the frame to 130 mm and replace the rear wheel with a current width (130 mm) hub and wheel.  That will solve the problem more fundamantally but at greater cost.  You can't just spread the dropouts and still use your present wheel.

This message was edited by DaveB on 7-13-07 @ 7:45 AM


  • Guest
BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2007, 11:54:24 am »
I would concur with DaveB on the recommendation to widen the spacing in the rear. One of the many advantages of steel is that this is something you can do. Any mechanic worth their salt should be able to do this for you.

I have see a few different configurations of rigging up a 120mm spaced hub with a BOB and none of them have seemed very secure - across town maybe, but not for across the country.

I'd also say, leave the Roubaix at home. They're really comfy, I know because I own one, but provided it fits you well the Univega should suit your needs much better.

......... __ o
......(O) (O)...........
i'd rather be biking.

Offline driftlessregion

BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 10:55:39 pm »
It is pretty common to cut the skewer and tap it at its shorter length. Any good shop should be able to do this for you.

Offline dlambert

BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2007, 09:32:22 am »
Thanks for the good advice.

I also really like the feel and comfort of the Roubaix, but didn't want to be sitting along the side of the road somewhere in Eastern Montana looking at a pile of carbon fibers and fragments.  It shall remain my fun, go-fast bike.

I took the Univega in to our LBS, where they'll cold-forge the rear stays to 130 mm inside clearance.  They also talked me into a new set of wheels with an 8-speed cassette on the rear to replace the original 30 year old wheels with their 7-gear freewheel.

I'll let you know in a month after I complete the Portland-Fargo tour how the set-up worked.

Thanks again.

Offline dlambert

BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2007, 07:52:45 pm »
I guess I said I would update you on how the ol' Univega did.

I am REALLY glad I did not ride the Roubaix.  I am not certain the problem would have been the frame, the index shifters, the spoke pattern on the wheels, or some other aspect of the bike that makes it really fun to ride on day trips.  The problem would have been in the 2-ring cranks.  This could have been changed before leaving, of course, but whenever you have the option on a tour, the 3-ring cranks are necessary (though I did many tours on a 2-ring crank PX-10 years ago, when I was just a tad bit younger).  I used each and every one of the available gears on the trip from Portland back to North Dakota last month.

Other than that (and the need to buy one of the fine Brooks B-17 saddles from the Rivendell folks before my next trip), the classic steel Univega did a superb job.

And by the way, except for some very hard days across Eastern Montana, it was a real joy to be back on the road on a bike tour.  It had been way too long since I had done the last one....

Offline ptaylor

BOB and old steel frames
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 11:26:03 pm »
Thanks for the update DL. I presume neither  wildfires nor avalanches impacted your tour.