I had a similar issue on an old steel tourer recently, but on mine the previous owner had partially crushed the chainstay bridge when installing a kickstand (I've never
) . I tried repairing it myself, but since the tube was crimped, I never got it to my liking. I posted a question about it on the framebuilder's forum, and the consensus was to just fill it with bondo and go. But I ended up finding a framebuilder who replaced the bridge for me for a reasonable price www.southwestframeworks.com
and in my case with the crimped bridge I'm glad I did, as it's a very nice frame and the damaged bridge was going to bug me regardless. With yours just having a hole in the bridge, it would probably be fine as is, or you could fill the hole and repaint it. Stucturally, I don't think the bridge does much, although it surely stiffens the chainstays at least some. If you decide to have it repaired, the framebuilder can replace the bridge, and you'll need to prime and repaint the repaired area. Good luck-
edit: I just fixed the link to Southwest Frameworks
Last edited by well biked; 12-12-06 at 06:17 PM.