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  1. #1
    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    How To Repair Thermal Lug - Carbon to Aluminum?

    I just picked up an Eclipse TVT Carbon 7 road bike for a "fire sale" price. This is a carbon tubing frame from the late 1980s where the carbon tubing is thermally bonded into aluminum lugs. The problem is that the bond at the top of one of the rear stays has separated from the lug--this is the lug that joins the seatpost, rear stays, and top tube. The tubing is presumably thermally bonded with what appears to be grey epoxy.

    The bottom of the rear stay in question is bolted rather than bonded to the lug at the bottom (the lug that attaches it to the rear chainstay.) The bridge for the rear brake also appears to be thermally bonded, but has not separated.

    I bought the bike strictly for parts resale, not for riding myself, and all the other parts are nice Shimano 600, Dura-Ace, and Campy Record stuff.

    So my question is, can I repair this sucker, with a view to selling the frame by itself with an advisory that it has been properly repaired?

  2. #2
    Senior Member colnagorider's Avatar
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    I am confused about your description in paragraph 2, "rear stay". Chain stays or seat stays?

    In any event, I think your question in regards to whether or not this frame can be of resale value in a repaired state is a rather risky proposition. Does your profit margin on this "repaired frame" cover the cost of worrying whether or not someone may have been killed while riding this bike that you have repaired whether or not you had a disclaimer? Why not sell it in the state that it is in and let someone else do the repair for their own enjoyment to ride or display in their home or shop. You will alleviate any problems in that way.

    As for myself, I would never ride a bike that is glued together, whether professionally or by a home hobbyist. Just my thoughts. You made your money or will make your money on the parts.
    I built a tandem frame about 10 years ago and I get offers to sell it all the time. I never consider it just because I want no liability, even though I've been riding it for a decade. It is probably safe, but I will not take any chances on someone getting hurt. If I hurt myself, that's my problem/fault.
    Since you asked, no way! Sell it as is!

    I know there are some strong epoxies. JB weld is very strong, but I still wouldn't trust a bike like that. Probably there are stronger epoxies now but I feel ridiculous to try to recommend gluing this bike together, so never mind. Bad idea all the way. Maybe I'm just getting old and no longer a risk taker like 20 years ago. Crashing on bikes at full speed HURTS. Breaks bones too! I've had my share.

    List it on eBay. Someone will buy it. You'll probably sell it for more broken than fixed anyway. People just love projects.
    __~O
    -\ <,
    (*)/(*)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The only company that repairs carbon frames I know of is Calfee Designs and I don't know if they work on bonded ones. Contact them with the question.

    I agree that a home repair is a huge potential liability and would never consider selling the frame that way. Either sell it as-is with all defects noted, have it professionally repaired or junk it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    Colnagorider and Hillrider, I tend to agree with you on everything you set forth.

    I think the clincher is the point about a person wondering if my repair is sound enough--that prospect would affect the sale price and so make the repair less worthwhile in the first place.

    One of the bigger motives for me is just learning new skills and tricks to apply to projects for myself, etc.

    Oh yeah, by rear stays I meant seat stays.

    And yes, I'll make a bundle on all the other parts and probably make at least something on the frame. So I'll just point out the defect and sell it as-is.

    BTW there's an original-owner one of these on eBay right now asking $1000. Sounds too high, unless it's super-nice.

    Thanks for the points of view!

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