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  1. #1
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Tapping Bottle Cage mount

    Have any of you tried taping the frame to add a bottle cage? I've read mostly MTB folks saying not to. I'm trying to avoid zip ties or those clamp mounts. If it's not safe I'll just go another route. The LBS says I'd have to get it done at a machine shop but I'm confident I could do it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Ultimately, it depends upon the bike, and where you plan to drill. You haven't provided that information. So I'll say there is a 95% probability that the answer is NO, unless your frame is carbon, in which case the answer is 100% NO.

    Nearly every bike that has bottle cage mounts uses reinforced bosses brazed, welded or molded into the frame. This provides reinforcement to compensate for the increased stress around the holes. And it provides enough material thickness to have enough threads to avoid stripping them when tightening the cage bolts. If you just drill and tap into the frame, there is a good chance the threads won't hold, and the possibility that your frame will develop fatigue cracks at some point, especially if it is aluminum or titanium.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Tapping Bottle Cage mount

    It's steel and I was thinking about tapping in the typical area on the seat tube.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    I reused an old reflector mount but the bottle shakes a lot.
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  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you drill a bigger hole , then you can expand a Riv-Nut in the hole, its threaded . (a common way of doing such fittings in Aluminum)

    + there are several ways to temporarily strap on a bottle cage, two Fish uses a velcro strap and a half round rubber block.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TiBikeGuy's Avatar
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    Bottle cage installation with riv nuts
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  7. #7
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    If it's steel, and you use Rivnuts or similar threaded fasteners, you've improved your chances of success. Not having threads cut directly into the frame reduces the stress concentration considerably, though the enlarged hole offsets that to some degree. I'm no expert on the stress distribution in a bicycle frame, but I'd imagine the seat tube is a better place to experiment than the down tube. Two things to watch out for when using Rivnuts: choose the same material for the Rivnut as the frame to avoid galvanic corrosion; and avoid drilling the hole oversize to avoid having the Rivnut work loose and spin in the hole.

    EDIT: I watched the video. The use of JB Weld Epoxy on the Rivnut is probably good insurance to keep moisture out of the frame and reduce the risk of the insert working loose. Thanks for posting that.
    Last edited by the_tool_man; 05-06-14 at 02:48 PM.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Tapping Bottle Cage mount

    Pretty cool thanks for the video!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    I'm sure the Riv Nuts would work, but........ something in my head says that stressed bike frame tubes aint the place for drilling and crimping. I could be wrong, and it could last safely for years, but um.....

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Riv nuts... I did one bike about 20 years ago and it is still chugging along. Steel frame.

    Aaron
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  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the crimping, shortening, in length is making it do an expansion in diameter.. pushes out into the hole.

  12. #12
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Tapping Bottle Cage mount

    So is the rivnut threaded?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonygeo View Post
    So is the rivnut threaded?
    Yes. Rivnuts work somewhat like pop rivets. The installation tool has a threaded mandrel that the Rivnut is threaded onto. Once the Rivnut is inserted and compressed, the part of the Rivnut on the "back" side of the hole flares to lock it in place. Then, the mandrel is unthreaded from the installed Rivnut. Unlike pop rivets, the OD of the Rivnut typically does not expand to fill the hole. If it did, the threaded ID would also grow, which would make for very loose threads. This is why the hole needs to be drilled accurately. In a former career, I used quite a lot of Rivnuts on steel sheetmetal work. The best we could achieve was about a 90% success rate of having them installed without spinning in the hole. Odds on a round-section bike tube may be higher, as the shape of the tube might act as a key to keep them from working loose. The epoxy idea might help there, as well.
    Last edited by the_tool_man; 05-07-14 at 09:51 AM.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    I'm sure the Riv Nuts would work, but........ something in my head says that stressed bike frame tubes aint the place for drilling and crimping. I could be wrong, and it could last safely for years, but um.....
    Bikes have had seat and down rubes drilled and tapped for bottle cages or other applications for eons. Assuming one uses good practice, any frame can be safely drilled for a riv-nut, or a bonded thread insert. Tapping the tube directly usually isn't an option because there's not enough wall thickness.

    Builders don't have any magic formulas,or secret methods for drilling holes, and you can do the same as them --- if you do it right.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Bikes have had seat and down rubes drilled and tapped for bottle cages or other applications for eons.
    Weird. I didn't know there were power tools a billion years ago.

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonygeo View Post
    So is the rivnut threaded?
    Yes...

    I also like the idea of setting them in epoxy (JB Weld). I did not do that with mine, but they grabbed hold and held tight. I don't own that bike any more but I still see it occasionally.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_tool_man View Post
    In a former career, I used quite a lot of Rivnuts on steel sheetmetal work. The best we could achieve was about a 90% success rate of having them installed without spinning in the hole. .....
    If the application ever comes up again, coat the back of the sheet stock with coarse lapping compound. When the riv-nut begins to compress it presses the grit into the rim and sheet stock, forming a mechanical lock which will keep it from spinning.
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