Chainline on a freewheel hub?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chainline on a freewheel hub?

    I am still contemplating my options with a new set of SS wheels for the Jabberwocky. None of the new wheelsets for 2010 seem to meet my needs/wants/desires, so I am back to building some.

    On some deep emotional level, the freewheel type set up appeals to me, warts and all. My questions is this: I presently use a Shimano crank set (older XT Hollowtech 2) and associated BB. IIRC, that is a 47.5mm chainline although I could have that flipped around in my mind.

    How important is the rear hub chainline, specifically the White Industries hubs seem to be set up for their crank/BB combos and the Pauls seem to fall more in line with the Shimano crank/bb chainline. Either hub is a winner.

    Is that correct? And, does it really matter much? Seems like the straighter the better as far as CL.

    Right now I have the CR on the inside of the spider but I could always run it on the outside, I suppose, as long as I want to get rid of my bash ring.
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  2. #2
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    You can also use some different BB spacers to alter the chainline. I run xtr 960's with a surly hub and white freewheel, and it is nice and straight.

  3. #3
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    You can run the bash ring and the chain ring on the outside with some longer bolts.

    I run an older LX crankset(octalink) and a Phil Wood/White Industries combo with no issues. My chain ring is on the outside of the spider. I haven't had any issues with this combo.

  4. #4
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    I think your best bet is to get the hub and freewheel assembled, measure from the flange that butts against the inside of the frame to the cog on the freewheel. Subtract that measurement from 67.5 which will give you the rear measurement. You can then shim the crank or freewheel accordingly.

  5. #5
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    White Ind is 47.5mm. So, I was wrong on a couple of things. They must be XT751 cranks which makes them Hollowtech version one, not two. I have had them for quite a long time and they are not the 'pipe spindle' type.

    According to Sheldon Brown, they should be a 47.5mm to the middle of the teeth on the middle ring, but I measured 50ish. If that is so, I don't think that kind of BB can be re-centered to be narrower on the drive side. So, I think I need to make them narrower. I will have to see if there are various lengths of BBs still out there for those cranks.

    I will have to look at this more when I get home.

    EDIT: OK, hold the phone. I think I just realized that the chainline at the freewheel is measured from the inner face of the dropout and as opposed to the front chainring which is in relation to the center of the seat tube? Is that right? Naaahhh can't be. It has to be from the (virtual) center of the hub so, there is the math equation to figure that out. Crap, this is one of those should be simple things that is too darn mix and match parts wise..
    Last edited by mtroy; 10-02-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    OK, hold the phone. I think I just realized that the chainline at the freewheel is measured from the inner face of the dropout and as opposed to the front chainring which is in relation to the center of the seat tube? Is that right?

    That is correct. Unless your frame is warped, the center of the bottom bracket shell will be centered on the frame right along with the center of the rear axle.

    So, assuming 135mm rear spacing: 135mm/2=67.5mm - (distance between inside face of dropout to center of cog teeth) = (measurement from center of seat tube to center of teeth on chainring)

    So if your measurment in the rear is 20mm, then you have a 47.5mm chainline, which is what the measurment needs to be from the center of the seat tube to the chainring.

    If your measurement in the rear does not match an acheivable chainline in the front, then use a bottom bracket spacer or two behind the freewheel.

    I never realized how much harder it is to type about this than it is to actually do it until just now.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    That is correct. Unless your frame is warped, the center of the bottom bracket shell will be centered on the frame right along with the center of the rear axle.

    So, assuming 135mm rear spacing: 135mm/2=67.5mm - (distance between inside face of dropout to center of cog teeth) = (measurement from center of seat tube to center of teeth on chainring)

    So if your measurment in the rear is 20mm, then you have a 47.5mm chainline, which is what the measurment needs to be from the center of the seat tube to the chainring.

    If your measurement in the rear does not match an acheivable chainline in the front, then use a bottom bracket spacer or two behind the freewheel.

    I never realized how much harder it is to type about this than it is to actually do it until just now.
    Well, in this case, I am too wide at the BB/crank and I can only see that changing IF if can swap to a 113mm bb. That may be what I have now, but the 50+mm chainline makes me think it is the 118mm version. I will have to pull the cranks and measure.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    That is correct. Unless your frame is warped, the center of the bottom bracket shell will be centered on the frame right along with the center of the rear axle.

    So, assuming 135mm rear spacing: 135mm/2=67.5mm - (distance between inside face of dropout to center of cog teeth) = (measurement from center of seat tube to center of teeth on chainring)

    So if your measurment in the rear is 20mm, then you have a 47.5mm chainline, which is what the measurment needs to be from the center of the seat tube to the chainring.

    If your measurement in the rear does not match an acheivable chainline in the front, then use a bottom bracket spacer or two behind the freewheel.

    I never realized how much harder it is to type about this than it is to actually do it until just now.
    Good job though. I was trying to type that out too, and just couldn't get it right. I explain it fine when I have a bike in front of me and can point at stuff.

    I have had all of the nice ss specific rear hubs at one time or another. I rode I9 for a year, Hope, Dt, even an American classic, which worked fine for me until it gave up.

    The White Industries freewheel is just the most reliable part I have found, and I have been adjusting hubs like surly for 25 years. I definitely prefer freewheels to cassette hubs for SS use. Remember that the WI freewheel tool will not work in hubs with a standard threaded axle. It will fit QR surly hubs, but not bolt ons.

  9. #9
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    I actually was incorrect about my present chainline. It is 47.5mm on the Jabberwocky. The last bike I measured was either the KM or the diSSent, not sure which, but that BB combo and wider shell was a 53mm chainline.

    So, that puts me right at the correct place for the Whites hub. Or, I can head towards a Pauls hub/ENO freewheel with the wider CL and run the chainring on the outside of the spider arm.

    I guess one concern regarding hub spacing is thinking for the future. Are most of the new external BB/crank set-ups wider than this...like 53mm? If my Octalink/XT stuff ever gives up and I cannot get BBs for it, then I could always go square taper, but if I wanted to migrate to the newer external stuff, would a White Industries hub be a problem?

    I always run 180s, so I am limited in the external stuff...XTs, XTR, Stylo SS crank. Surly maybe? In some ways it is easier to stay square taper, but doing the XTR modded-ala-Jones idea sounds great and I believe that is an external setup?

    After much internet reading, I think I am getting a hang on this.
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  10. #10
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    Stylo SS is a great crankset for the money.

    There's certainly nothing wrong with a good square taper crankset, either. If you are going to run a White Ind. hub, they make a very nice crankset available in a 180 length. The chainring interface is a proprietary splined design, but people speak highly of it.

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