vertical to horizontal dropouts ?



johncc48

New Member
Aug 22, 2003
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Has anyone tried cutting off the vertical dropouts and welding horizontal ones?
I hav and ss/fixie conversion on a 1990's Mercier. It great for training but having changed from 40/17 to a 40/15 the new setup in just a little sloppy. I was hoping to get some adjustment by weldin on horizontal dropouts.
Any ideas? we do have 2 great frame builders here but before I ask them I wanted some other input.
Thanks.

John
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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johncc48 said:
Has anyone tried cutting off the vertical dropouts and welding horizontal ones?
I hav and ss/fixie conversion on a 1990's Mercier. It great for training but having changed from 40/17 to a 40/15 the new setup in just a little sloppy. I was hoping to get some adjustment by weldin on horizontal dropouts.
Any ideas? we do have 2 great frame builders here but before I ask them I wanted some other input.
FWIW. I've given a similar situation the same consideration in the past ... (un-)fortunately, AFAIK, there isn't a framebuilder in my neck of the woods because when I queried an LBS a half dozen years ago about having some disc mounts put on a frame, he couldn't recommend anyone ...

Regardless, unless YOU do the work yourself, it probably isn't cost effective ... by my reckoning, a set of dropouts was $30+ (that's what a pair of OLD STOCK Campagnolo Track dropouts were going for about a half dozen years ago) ... plus, shipping ... figure $40. Labor? Gotta be $50+ ... more, if they paint the rear for you. But, you should definitely get an estimate (and, post it so we know).

I don't weld, otherwise I would have scavanged some frames & cobbled up several jigs and had a go at it, myself; so, if $100+ is in your budget for the frame (heck, it's cheaper than buying a new frame, but not as inexpensive as buying a slightly earlier vintage frame which has horizontal dropouts off eBay or Craig's List), you shouldn't hesitate.

Now, if you check DAN'S COMP, you'll see they sell something called a half-link ... this is apparently a commonly available BMX item, so you just need to find a shop that caters to BMXers.

Another solution (?) is to simply change the chainring -- on one frame I have which has vertical droputs which has been waiting for me to decide how I want to treat it (I long-ago narrowed the rear dropout spacing to 120mm), these combinations allow the chain to have reasonably good tension:
  • 16-37
  • 16-40
  • 16-43? ("untested")
  • 16-46?
  • 16-49?
  • 16-52 & 20-52 (seems "okay")
The tension isn't perfect across the range, but certainly not sloppy.

Maybe, a 41t (or, 42t) chainring will take up the slack -- I'd try the 42t, first, since it is very common & you can probably "borrow" one to test for sizing before you actually buy one ... if the 42t is too tight, then you'll know that the 41t will probably work for you.
 

Mish

New Member
Feb 28, 2004
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johncc48 said:
Has anyone tried cutting off the vertical dropouts and welding horizontal ones?
I hav and ss/fixie conversion on a 1990's Mercier. It great for training but having changed from 40/17 to a 40/15 the new setup in just a little sloppy. I was hoping to get some adjustment by weldin on horizontal dropouts.
Any ideas? we do have 2 great frame builders here but before I ask them I wanted some other input.
Thanks.

John
I've used a half link with great success. ALso cut and deepened the dropout on an aluminum Redline cyclo-cross frame to get more adjustment for multiple cog size use, but an Eno hub would be the best if you can't give up the frame. Otherwise frames are cheap. Got a 55cm LeMond from 2000 with horizontals for $100.00 or so.
 

ohiobiker

New Member
Dec 25, 2005
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FWIW I read about a guy who removed the horizontial drop outs from the frame, trimmed them and refitted them up side down to work as rear forks like on a track frame. It was cool. The only place I've seen to get frame parts is Sheldon Brown. Good luck with that.
 

dale ditzler

New Member
Jun 27, 2005
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ohiobiker said:
FWIW I read about a guy who removed the horizontial drop outs from the frame, trimmed them and refitted them up side down to work as rear forks like on a track frame. It was cool. The only place I've seen to get frame parts is Sheldon Brown. Good luck with that.
I'm pretty sure White Industries makes an eccentric rear hub that allows for adjustment in which case you could leave the frame alone and would have the option of using it on another bike. Would have to build a wheel. Just another option.