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Old 09-16-09, 07:31 PM   #1
agmetal
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Slight bend/curve in top tube...safe to ride?

I was at work today, and the head of security there had a bike that'd been abandoned there for a few weeks that he was looking to get rid of. It's a 3-speed Columbia "Gold Crest" from the mid to late '70s, I believe. I figured at the very least, I'd be able to cannibalize it for some parts I'd been wanting to replace on my '71 Sports III 3-speed, but I'm playing with the idea of maybe having it around as a second bike, if it's safe to ride.

It needs a bit of other work as well, but here are some pics of the bend. Also, can anyone suggest a way to possibly straighten it out again?




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Old 09-16-09, 07:51 PM   #2
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You can not be serious!!
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Old 09-16-09, 08:01 PM   #3
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PArts is parts.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:03 PM   #4
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You can not be serious!!
I don't know a whole lot about bikes yet, I still have quite a lot to learn!
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Old 09-16-09, 08:16 PM   #5
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Lesson 1. - That's DEAD!
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Old 09-16-09, 08:27 PM   #6
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You've weakened the joints in that frame. I had one of those but it was badged as a store brand bike. Those are butt-brazed joints and are NOT STRONG. You risk having the top tube separate from the head tube. My seat tube broke free from the bottom bracket shell.

If you think you may toss it, then second-guess your decision, put your foot in the frame between the pedal cranks, hold the top tube with both hands, and push down with your foot as hard as you can. You'll see.

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Old 09-16-09, 08:28 PM   #7
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OP. When a frame is bent like that, it usually pulls other areas out of alignment. The wheels won't track in the same line, it will steer badly, etc. Being a steel frame it probably won't fail catastrophically but it would handle like crap. Give it a decent burial.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, how much could I expect to pay for a "new" frame (that is, a replacement that's structurally sound, with no strong feelings on the cosmetic condition) to build the rest of the parts into something usable? Would it be so much (or so difficult to find) that it'd just make more sense to get a whole bike?
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Old 09-16-09, 08:48 PM   #9
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Hit the sucker with a hammer, repeatedly, when you throw it in the trash. That way, no one else will be tempted to ride it.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:01 PM   #10
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Yep, lots of good parts on that bike. The frame isn't one of them, though. Take the fenders and handlebars and other juicy bits off and recycle the frame.

Or take a lesson from Insane Crazy Welder Boy.

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Old 09-16-09, 09:04 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, how much could I expect to pay for a "new" frame (that is, a replacement that's structurally sound, with no strong feelings on the cosmetic condition) to build the rest of the parts into something usable? Would it be so much (or so difficult to find) that it'd just make more sense to get a whole bike?
Seriously, I wouldn't put any money into that bike or one like it at all. The components are mostly heavy steel. But those kind of bikes are all over the place at thrift stores and on craigslist. A used replacement frame shouldn't cost much if anything. Personally I'd much rather put my money towards a different (better) bike.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:06 PM   #12
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Yeah, I mainly grabbed it because I liked the look of the chrome fenders better than the red pinstriped ones on my Sports III, and also because my pedals are a little sketchy and these feel better. Also, the wheels look good other than a couple bent spokes. The rims are in better shape than my Sports III, though!
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Old 09-16-09, 09:18 PM   #13
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It looks identical to a frame I found in a dumpster once. A friend of mine asked me if it was any good. I proceeded to tear it apart with my bare hands.

That answered his question. So where do you live?
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Old 09-16-09, 10:02 PM   #14
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Your use of the word "slight" is quite funny.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:21 PM   #15
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Your use of the word "slight" is quite funny.
It actually looks worse in the pictures than it does in person.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:29 PM   #16
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Take the bike all apart, there are plenty of great parts. When you get to the stripped down frame, hang it on the wall forever as a type of modern art. Hang wind chimes on it. Go to any local thrift store, and you'll see dozens of similar 3 speeds from the 1960's and 1970s. They'll be for sale for about 10 dollars all the way to 25 dollars. These are the bikes you should fix up, and if you needs parts, you've got em.!!
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Old 09-16-09, 11:49 PM   #17
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I'm probably gona replace most of the parts on my other 3-speed with the salvageable stuff on this one...since, other than the frame, the "new" bike seems to be in overall better shape. That is, unless I can score another one to fix up for ridiculously cheap...I have my doubts about that in this area, though. There's a store around here that specializes in used and vintage bikes, and they sell 3-speeds like this in fully tuned condition for as much as $250 or more sometimes. I've never checked any of the thrift stores for bikes, though. Maybe I'll do that sometime later this month if I'm not too busy and can spare a few bucks for a project.
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