Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
IMO there's no way you'll straighten it cold without it failing. Aluminum has some ductility so I'm not shocked it bent that far without cracking, but aluminum doesn't respond well to repeated bending. It might be salvageable if heated and straightened, but this is a skill task, because the temperature range between where aluminum becomes a bit plastic, and where it melts entirely is very narrow.
The other option is to fabricate a replacement and weld it to what's left of the dropout. This will not be easy because there's so little left to work with, but it is possible.
If the frame isn't valuable, it's probably toast, but before trashing it, I'd look for someone skilled in working with aluminum, possibly in the high end motorcycle or automotive world, and let him try to straighten it. I'd also consider getting 2 washers, sawing and filing them to form dropout shapes, belt sanding them dead flat and bonding them to the face of the repaired dropout for added strength.
In fact, if you can make a nice pair of faces, you might have someone weld in more material to the dropout without bending it, clean it up with a file, and bonding on the steel faces. Other than the actual welding, this is something you can do yourself, so the cost is low, and there's less risk to totaling the frame by breaking off what little you have left of the dropout.
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