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  1. #1
    Senior Member jberenyi's Avatar
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    Can you hone out a seat tube?

    My De Bernardi frame takes a 27.0mm seat post. Is there a way to hone out the seat tube for a 27.2mm which is only .008 larger? Has anyone ever done this before?

  2. #2
    Member bindibadgi's Avatar
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    Can't you find a 27.0mm seat post? I really wouldn't want to be taking anything off the inside of the tube.

    They are usually engineered without much leeway, and 0.1mm of thickness makes a big difference in strength, especially on a part which is taking your weight some of the time. Also, even if there is enough meat there, if you didn't get it perfectly centered (all the way down - and you'd need to go fairly deep) then you'd really be risking a very weak seat tube.

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    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Don't try it.

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    better you than me

  5. #5
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jberenyi View Post
    My De Bernardi frame takes a 27.0mm seat post. Is there a way to hone out the seat tube for a 27.2mm which is only .008 larger? Has anyone ever done this before?
    Yes, it's done with an adjustable reamer and a fair amount of elbow grease. Better bike shops will have this (quite expensive) tool and know how to use it.

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  6. #6
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    Adjustable reamer

    Seat tubes are reamed to produce a good quality surface finish and a precision fit with manufactured seat tubes. A seat tube reamer for 27.2mm seat posts should be stocked by good bicycle mechanics or bike builders, or an adjustable reamer can be used.

  7. #7
    Member bindibadgi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    Yes, it's done with an adjustable reamer and a fair amount of elbow grease. Better bike shops will have this (quite expensive) tool and know how to use it.

    Sheldon ".1 mm" Brown
    I take it back. If the master says it can be done, who am I to argue?

    Nice to know actually, but I think I'd still rather find the right size seatpost if I could.

  8. #8
    Has opinion, will express
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    Barnett's Manual deals with this. If you can find the relevant illegal pdf...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  9. #9
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    You're talking about permanently modifying (possibly ruining) a good frame just to accomodate a seatpost. I think i'd be more inclined to take an old 27.2 seatpost to a machine shop and have them mill it down.

    just my thoughts.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  10. #10
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    As Sheldon has noted, it certainly can be done. Mechanically it's a pretty straight forward procedure with the right tools. However, assuming your frame is a high quality thin tube one, there is very little excess wall thickness and the reaming would have to be at least 75-100 mm deep. I wouldn't do it.

    27.0 seatposts are readily available and probably less costly than having the frame modified. For example, Thompson's Elite and Ritchey's WCS seatpost are made in 27.0 and there are lots of others.

  11. #11
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I'm in HillRider's camp:

    I'm sure it can be done. I don't doubt that it's done relatively frequently.

    I wouldn't do it to one of my bikes, though.

    YMMV.

  12. #12
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    As Sheldon has noted, it certainly can be done. Mechanically it's a pretty straight forward procedure with the right tools. However, assuming your frame is a high quality thin tube one, there is very little excess wall thickness and the reaming would have to be at least 75-100 mm deep. I wouldn't do it.

    27.0 seatposts are readily available and probably less costly than having the frame modified. For example, Thompson's Elite and Ritchey's WCS seatpost are made in 27.0 and there are lots of others.
    It's only a tenth of a millimeter!

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  13. #13
    Your mom
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    I was forced to do it on my fixie frame, a Trek 420 dump rescue on which someone had overzealously clamped the binder. Didn't have to enlarge the whole tube, just take down a bump where the binder had been overtightened. I'm not sure I'd do it if I didn't have to, but it's doable.

  14. #14
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    It's only a tenth of a millimeter!
    I guess my reservation, Sheldon, is that your average shop is ... well ... your average shop.

    This seems like the kind of process with very little margin of error. Not knowing how abrasive the hones are, I'd be wondering how much damage could be done, by an inelegant push or pull, in a split second.

  15. #15
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502 View Post
    I guess my reservation, Sheldon, is that your average shop is ... well ... your average shop.

    This seems like the kind of process with very little margin of error. Not knowing how abrasive the hones are, I'd be wondering how much damage could be done, by an inelegant push or pull, in a split second.
    The proper tool for this is an adjustable reamer, a very precise, slow-cutting hand tool.

    I agree that a power-driven hone would be inappropriate.



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  16. #16
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    I'm confused....why wouldn't you just get the right part??....I did a quick search from Google and saw bunches.........
    Thumpic....

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  17. #17
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    It's only a tenth of a millimeter!

    Sheldon "Not A Thompson Fan" Brown
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    Exactly, and 27.2 posts are much more common than 27.0

    I love the doomsayers who think removing a hair's breadth of metal is an invitation to catastrophe.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Exactly, and 27.2 posts are much more common than 27.0

    I love the doomsayers who think removing a hair's breadth of metal is an invitation to catastrophe.
    I'm not really a doomsayer and Sheldon is correct, it's only a 1/10 of a mm. However, thin wall steel tubes have walls as little as 0.5 to 0.7 mm thick in the butted ends. So that 0.1 mm means removing 15 to 20% of the total metal thickness. Here is an example from the Columbus Tubing web site:
    http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_4_1.htm

    On a cheaper, heavy wall frame I wouldn't hesitate to ream it to 27.2 but I wouldn't do it on thin wall, light weight frame.

  19. #19
    Senior Member anti.team's Avatar
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    I'm not really a doomsayer and Sheldon is correct, it's only a 1/10 of a mm. However, thin wall steel tubes have walls as little as 0.5 to 0.7 mm thick in the butted ends.
    But a seat tube isn't .5 to .7mm is it? None that I can think of are that thin, seems like they are more like 1.0+ although I don't have a bike in front of me to look at.

  20. #20
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I'm not really a doomsayer and Sheldon is correct, it's only a 1/10 of a mm. However, thin wall steel tubes have walls as little as 0.5 to 0.7 mm thick in the butted ends. So that 0.1 mm means removing 15 to 20% of the total metal thickness. Here is an example from the Columbus Tubing web site:
    http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_4_1.htm

    On a cheaper, heavy wall frame I wouldn't hesitate to ream it to 27.2 but I wouldn't do it on thin wall, light weight frame.
    I hear you, HR; all I can say is I have done this numerous times (yes, on good frames) and never had a problem.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  21. #21
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    We had better keep this thread quiet, the 'weight-weenies', myself included

    will be getting 'ideas'!


    Regards,
    J T

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by anti.team View Post
    But a seat tube isn't .5 to .7mm is it? None that I can think of are that thin, seems like they are more like 1.0+ although I don't have a bike in front of me to look at.
    Actually you do have the info in front of you. Follow the Columbus Tubing link I posted. Their Spirit tubeset seat tube is 0.5 mm wall at one end and 0.6 mm at the other.

  23. #23
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I'm not really a doomsayer and Sheldon is correct, it's only a 1/10 of a mm. However, thin wall steel tubes have walls as little as 0.5 to 0.7 mm thick in the butted ends. So that 0.1 mm means removing 15 to 20% of the total metal thickness. Here is an example from the Columbus Tubing web site:
    http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_4_1.htm

    On a cheaper, heavy wall frame I wouldn't hesitate to ream it to 27.2 but I wouldn't do it on thin wall, light weight frame.
    Tubing used for bikes is sized by outside diameter. Thin wall tubing has a bigger hole than thick wall tubing.

    Steel seat tubes are generally 1 1/8" (28.6 mm) thick. Reaming one out to 27.2 leaves a wall thickness of (28.6 - 27.2)/2 = .7 mm.

    Older French tubesets had 28 mm O.D. seat tubes. You wouldn't even want to go as large as a 27 mm seatpost with one of them. The old metric tubing is basically extinct, has been for years.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    Tubing used for bikes is sized by outside diameter. Thin wall tubing has a bigger hole than thick wall tubing.

    Steel seat tubes are generally 1 1/8" (28.6 mm) thick. Reaming one out to 27.2 leaves a wall thickness of (28.6 - 27.2)/2 = .7 mm.

    Older French tubesets had 28 mm O.D. seat tubes. You wouldn't even want to go as large as a 27 mm seatpost with one of them. The old metric tubing is basically extinct, has been for years.

    Sheldon "Do The Math" Brown
    Excellent point and the Columbus Spirit tubing reference I showed appears to require a 27.4 mm seat post (28.6 - (2*.6) = 27.4) unless the builder brazes in a 0.1mm shim to allow a 27.2 mm seat post.

    My point was that thin wall tubing has little excess material and just reaming out what seems to be a small amount can represent a fairly large fraction of the actual wall.

  25. #25
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    My point was that thin wall tubing has little excess material and just reaming out what seems to be a small amount can represent a fairly large fraction of the actual wall.
    My point was that a frame that uses a 27 mm seatpost is not built with "thin wall tubing." ;-)

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