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  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Worth fixing minor crack in steel frame?

    Some background info: About a year ago, I got a steel 700c road frame from a friend that moved out of the country. it's got Ritchey carbon forks, & a Chris King NoThreadSet. The frame requires Braze-On front derailleur and down-tube shifters...but I've been thinking of making it a Fixie. I'm definitely a Clydesdale, since I'm 6'2" & 270lb, but this bike will not be ridden nearly as much as my other bikes. I'm guessing only 20-40 miles a month at most. The frame is a "Hedgehog Roadhog" - never heard of it, and Google wouldn't give me any results, either.

    Anyways, it's got a small crack on the bottom-side of the downtube, just below the headtube. Previous owner scraped a little bit of the paint away to verify that the crack wasn't just a crack in the paint...and of course told me about all this before selling the frame to me.

    Should I ride it till it brakes?
    Should I have someone weld the crack and extend the life a little?
    Should I try to sell the frame for cheap?
    Or should I just scrap it and keep the fork & headset for another build?
    Chris
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  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I would first try and determine the quality of the frame. Do you have any idea what kind of tubing it is made of? I don't think I would ride it but you might find someone who wants it to experiment or pratice their welding skills.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I would first try and determine the quality of the frame. Do you have any idea what kind of tubing it is made of?
    How would I go about determining these things?
    Chris
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  4. #4
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Some basic info and pics would help is the frame alloy alluiminum or some kind of steel. Also any measurements and details help a lot seat tube size, size of framing tubing. Plus as said I advise not riding using this bike as larger heaver rider.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    I'm assuming it's steel, since it's magnetic.

    I'll get some photos and measurements in a couple hours.

    It's certainly not ride-able, since it's not even a complete bike at the moment. It's just a frameset that's been hanging in my garage for a year.

    Considering I got the frame, Ritchey carbon forks, Chris King headset, Salsa Stem & Drop handlebars, & Mavic Open Pro / Dura Ace wheelset for a mere $120...I won't be the least bit upset if I have to scrap the frame and buy one that's more sound.
    Chris
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  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    As to the quality of frame, look around the front-derailleur area, there's typically a sticker with the type of tubing used. Also pictures of the lugs/joints will tell the quality level of the frame.

    Post a pic of the crack. That's a high-stress area of the frame and should be repaired before you ride it. The repair isn't that difficult, just v-notch the crack and lay down a bead of brass and blend it into the surrounding tubing. Shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes to do for a competent framebuilder. Then you can get it painted in any scheme you desire.

  7. #7
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    I'd wager it's a pretty high quality frame just by the parts on it. Is it welded, lugged or brazed?

    If you decide on writing it off, it could wind up as an awesome shop stool (cut off the tt, dt, RD hanger and split the stay bridges).

    E: Like this-


    (don't shoot, BG, google turned that up.)

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Hope this works...it's a link to the album containing the photos:

    https://plus.google.com/photos/11605...J-Qh97d8ob9jgE

    You should be able to distinguish at least that it's a lugged frame, and the approximate dimensions - in case that'll tell you anything. The photos of the crack in question came out poor quality (cell phone camera). I'll see if I can get better macro photos with my real camera later on.
    Last edited by ChrisM2097; 05-16-12 at 08:30 PM.
    Chris
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  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    don't ride that

  10. #10
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Click this thumbnail for the clearest photo I could get:

    close-up_01.jpg
    Last edited by ChrisM2097; 05-16-12 at 08:16 PM.
    Chris
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure, but I have a feeling it may have been built by this guy:
    http://www.evansframes.com/


    Chris
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I wouldn't ride that, if you hit a bump going 30+ mph, it might fail and you are going to get hurt pretty badly.
    Cannondale CAAD9
    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    I know but this is BF.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishymamba View Post
    I wouldn't ride that, if you hit a bump going 30+ mph, it might fail and you are going to get hurt pretty badly.
    I'm absolutely not going to ride it as-is...but is it worth repairing?
    Chris
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  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post
    I'm absolutely not going to ride it as-is...but is it worth repairing?
    I would just get a used aluminum frame online and build that up with the parts from the bike.

    Maybe something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cannondale-C...#ht_690wt_1396

    But that's just me, I would not feel comfortable riding that frame even after getting it welded.
    Cannondale CAAD9
    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    I know but this is BF.

  15. #15
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post
    I'm absolutely not going to ride it as-is...but is it worth repairing?
    Why you don't email the pictures from this thread to the email that's surely at the evans link you've already posted and see what they have to say about it? Most framebuilders seem to enjoy seeing their work come back decades on. Gives them a chance to see where they were as craftsmen at points in their careers.

    Hell, you might even get a quote on a repair. Then you can decide, it's your dollar after all.

    E: Fire away-


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  16. #16
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    That's a nice frame. Unfortunately, the crack has worsened over time after the paint was scratched off. The rust have expanded the damaged area much larger than the original damage. Depending upon cost of repair, it may be worth salvaging. I just have a fondness for hand-built steel frames.

  17. #17
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post
    I'm absolutely not going to ride it as-is...but is it worth repairing?
    I'd imagine so, given the level of gear on it. Why don't you get in touch with that Evans bloke?

  18. #18
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    1st thing i would do is to get that rust off the area to know exactly how bad the situations is, Apparently you have a crack but you have rust aswell, depending on the tubing sometimes is superficial, sometimes goes all the way in and IMO based in the pictures you have something in there but who knows how bad is it.

    As for a fix, what you have in there is not one of the finest frames ever made so probably if you have a friend or know somebody who can braze, that can be repaired just putting a reinforcement even thought if its cracked the way to go is changing the whole tube.

    Good luck with the fix or with your new frame.

  19. #19
    Randomhead
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    looks like a nice frame. Unfortunately, a down tube replacement is an expensive repair, especially after you get it painted

    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
    1st thing i would do is to get that rust off the area to know exactly how bad the situations is, Apparently you have a crack but you have rust aswell, depending on the tubing sometimes is superficial, sometimes goes all the way in and IMO based in the pictures you have something in there but who knows how bad is it.
    I have worked for many years with fatigue cracks. There is a crack clearly visible in his pictures even with the rust. In fact, cleaning it up too much can sometimes obscure a crack. There is no way that is a surface crack, it goes through the tubing.

    You can't patch over a crack in that location, not that it's a particularly good idea elsewhere.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 05-17-12 at 07:03 AM.

  20. #20
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post


    You should be able to distinguish at least that it's a lugged frame, and the approximate dimensions - in case that'll tell you anything. The photos of the crack in question came out poor quality (cell phone camera). I'll see if I can get better macro photos with my real camera later on.
    It's only a matter of time before that crack propagates all the way around the tube and separates from the head tube. Due to the location of the crack, such a failure is may be catastrophic.

    Similar used lugged steel frames are abundant and inexpensive. Find a different one to use for your project.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Worth fixing? Probably, for some people. Contact Evans and find out what a new frame like it costs and inquire about repair. I (being old skool) happen to really like high end steel bikes, a lot. A quick look at what high end steel frames cost new (let alone what coveted vintage ones sell for on fleabay now) will indicate I am not alone. While some might say steel lugged frames are a dime a dozen, can be had cheap, etc., (and this is sort of true) go price a high end steel frame (which this obviously is) and then decide if it is worth fixing. It will need a new tube and a paint job (but the paint job could be an inexpensive powder coat). Might be a good topic for the frame builder's forum as well.

    Given no sentimental value it may not be worth fixing to you, but it sure looks like a frame worthy of saving. It is clearly a very nicely built frame.

    Since you're in the SF Bay Area you might check with Sanner Cycles in Palo Alto http://www.sannercycles.com/ since his frames are reasonably priced and he does frame building classes.

    To be more specific:

    1. Do not ride it!!!!!

    2. Welding won't fixe it, it needs a new tube (easily done by a competent frame builder)

    3. You could possibly sell it for cheap, but it is probably closer to a give-away since it will be a labor of love to have it fixed--if it will fit you well, I would say fix it and ride it, you might really be surprised!

    If steel frame bikes are not your thing, then sell it cheap via the usual channels to someone who might want to fix it and build it up.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice and insight. I'll be certain to contact Evans & also inquire locally about repairing it. Personally, I'd rather keep it, repair it, and ride it (probably as a fixie)...it just depends on how much it'll cost.
    Chris
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  23. #23
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    The cheapest part of that repair is a new tube, new tubes are cheap specially if you get like a straight gauge one... nova cycles.

    The expensive part is to get the guy to do the repair, in other countries is like normal this type of things and in a couple of hours the thing is done, kinda... pick the frame up next day. But here is different, some builders straight forward dont take repairs because of lack of time or just because they dont want to. So sometimes is better just go with people that ready does repairs and not framebuilding.

    Ask the people at yellow jersey for example, they do repairs unless you know somebody that knows how to braze. Sure you will find somebody in your state. Obviously if the fix is like 400 bucks you know what to do better.

    Good luck.

  24. #24
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post
    Personally, I'd rather keep it, repair it, and ride it (probably as a fixie)...it just depends on how much it'll cost.
    Oh well, I guess the DT replacement means you won't have unused shifter bosses fuglifying it. Might as well do away with the derailleur hangers, too.

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