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Silverstone RDS front wheel spindle & steering damper

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  • Silverstone RDS front wheel spindle & steering damper

    Fitting my front wheel spindle, I notice it is not symmetrical – the distance from the bearing shoulder to the spindle end is 830mm on one side and 870mm on the other (sorry I should use imperial but I think better in metric!).

    So which way round? I think the shorter end goes on the right hand side i.e. the brake side - is that correct please?

    These measurements are taken off a new spindle I bought at the 2019 GRA AGM meeting in Kidlington where a guy had a number made up. Does anybody know who the guy is as it would be a useful source of supply?

    Last edited by 1340fxd; 20/02/2021, 02:06 PM.

  • #2
    The longer end will go on the brake side. I think the guy who sold you the spindle is Gary Bamford, no doubt he will be along shortly.

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    • #3
      Thanks John but that is how I fitted the existing spindle - long end of spindle on brake side and the wheel is off center to the left by about 5mm so I'm thinking reverse it and hopefully the wheel should center?

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      • #4
        Odd as I think the spindle is the same as road bikes with f/w British Hub

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        • #5
          This is intriguing me and I think the spindle may be a red herring.

          My issue is that the wheel does not fit centrally between the fork legs, being further to the left i.e. the gap on the brake side is bigger than the gap on the left side.

          BUT starting on the right side there is no way I can move the wheel closer in – why not? Because the brake backplate is already tight against the fork prong – only the half-nut sits between the backplate and fork lug. That half-nut measures 5/16” (8mm).

          Maybe the wheel is pretty much centered on the bike but the forks are offset to allow room on the right for the brake?

          All very curious

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          • #6
            Looks like the wheel may have been rebuilt with the wrong off set

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            • #7
              The wheel was rebuilt a week ago with no offset - should the Silverstone have an offset?

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              • #8
                Sorry I have no idea, hopefully a Silverstone expert will be along to comment.

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                • #9
                  Just been out and measured the offset to fork leg on my RDS and its about 40mm on the brake side and 35mm on the other side with 9mm nut and washer brake side and 3/4" spacer and washer the other side with the original wheel and spindle if this helps

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                  • #10
                    Shelly that's really useful - so with a 5mm difference, your wheel is about 2.5mm to the left of centre. Mine has a 10mm difference so I'm about 5mm off centre.

                    On the brake side I also have a 9mm half-nut and inside the brake a spacer which is the original one that the felt sealing washer sat on. So the only place to go is to reduce this spacer to bring the wheel closer to the right i.e. let the brake backplate sit further in the drum. A mate sent me this picture of his RES which appears to show that the internal ribs on the brake side of the rim have been cut to allow the backplate to fit more snugly in the drum which will obviously move the wheel to the right.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    I’m getting the impression that maybe some Silverstones left the factory with the front wheel just off centre and knowing racers at the time would modify that critical right hand side to bring the wheel across.

                    So, do I a) live with 5mm off centre or b) have the inside of the hub ribs cut back and spacer reduced for a snug fit (suits you sir!) or c) have the wheel re-built with a 5mm offset? I am inclined to live with it unless it makes a noticeable difference to handling out on the track.


                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      How does it affect the wheel alignment? That would be the critical impact on handling. If it puts the wheels out of line then it needs addressing. I can't imagine there is 5mm to gain by setting the brakeplate further in, but you may gain a couple of mm, and, as you say, the rim can be tweaked over to make up the rest.

                      Ian C.

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                      • #12
                        Ian Bezer's Silverstone had the same problem, after much making of spacers and head scratching I trued the wheel in situ so that it sat centrally in the forks- any offset can not help the handling, though he did all right when he raced it. Peter.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks guys - it's nice to know I'm not the only one with such an issue. If I have a slimmer half-nut made down to 6mm that plus maybe sitting the brake backplate in by a couple of mm should just about get me there!

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                          • #14
                            No need to get a nut made. Gary Bamford has already done so; 1/4" thick x .920" A/F. PM him - garybam4711 - and he will sort you out. The wheel deffo needs to be central in the forks, to align with the frame & everything else.

                            Ian C.

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                            • #15
                              Looking at the state of the wheel alignment on my Silverstone 30 years on I have a feeling that it was pretty dire when I was riding in the 70s. I have to say that it always felt that it handled well. I suspect that with a 5mm offset you might just feel it drops into corners in one direction but is slightly more reluctant to do so in the other. Probably a difference in feel which is not as significant as going from triangular tyres to modern section and I think you'd have to be pushing pretty hard to notice it. On the other hand changing the spacers and nut to get it right isn't arduous, so why not?

                              On a slightly different note, the only time I felt the handling of the bike was holding me up was at Bottom Bend and Brands where the front shocks would patter. By that time they were ten years old and I was too naive (or borassic) to change them. One thing I would never do though was ride the bike without an hydraulic steering damper.

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