If my Panasonic Sport 500 were a motorcycle then this would be my rat bike: something I used for commuting around NYC such that I wouldn't care if it should get stolen or become broken. Nevertheless, I've managed to keep this going for some 20 years now.
Anyway, I now have a cracked dropout (photos attached) that I suppose should be repaired although it hasn't affected my cycling in any way that I can recognize now.
Will epoxy resin be enough to repair the crack or should it be welded?
Now for the history of this bike:
I believe that this crack is the result of a botched repair a few years ago at an LBS that is now a tattoo parlor. The original freewheel needed to be replaced and I was offered an entire rear wheel for reasonable price.
(This site and Sheldon Brown's are great - I spent the last several weeks getting up to speed on bicycle tech)
Turns out that my original wheel, with 5-speed freewheel, probably had a 120mm O.L.D. while the newer wheel, that I'm still using, has a 135mm O.L.D. hub. The shop screwed up the cold-setting by bending the rear frame triangles, near where the rear brake mounts, AWAY from the freewheel (now cassette) side and bending the rear frame triangles, near the dropouts, TOO FAR TOWARDS the freewheel side.
Anyway, it was when I recently discovered Sheldon Brown's website that I took a second look at this and recognized how badly that this repair had been down. Using a 2 x 4 and Sheldon's web page on bicycle frame spreading as a guide, I was able to bend the frame into a better alignment. Not perfectly aligned. My estimate is that it's still off by about 2 to 3mm but is much better than it was before.
It was when I was doing this repair that I discovered the crack in the dropout.