(07-20-2015, 10:22 PM)elmore leonard Wrote: I have a fairly nice Raleigh with a bad 27" front wheel. Too far gone for truing. I have a nice spare 26" wheel set.
Can I replace the 27"wheels with 26" wheels. I'm thinking the brakes pads would need to be move 1/2 inch and as the replacement rear 26" wheel is a 3 speed Shimano hub, their would be no dersillers to set up. Am I missing anything that would derail my plan?
The brakes would need to move down a little more than 1/2". These 26" wheels are somewhere between 33 and 40 mm smaller in diameter than the 27's. (Bike wheel sizing is weird, see here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
The axle on the 3-speed wheel is probably about 1/2" shorter width than the current hub. If the bike's frame is steel, you are probably OK to just tighten it down like this, but it would be better to add a few washer to the axle of the new rear hub to take up some of that space.
The bike frame has to have what is called "horizontal dropouts". This means that the slot that the rear axle slides in to on the frame is roughly horizontal and not straight up and down. You need this to be able to adjust the chain tension since the new set up won't have a derailleur to take up the slack. I'm guessing your bike is fine for this, but need to check.
The rear gear on the new wheel may take a wider chain than the one that's on the bike now. If the chain doesn't fit easily onto the rear gear cog, you would need to get a "1 speed - 1/8" chain". Either way you'll need to shorten the chain.
If you don't have the shifter to go with the 3 speed hub, I think it will be stuck in the highest gear (not sure about that). May or may not be a gear you're happy riding around on.
Other than all that, should work out ok.