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Old 06-19-12, 12:31 AM   #1
Discography
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Rear triangle bent 2mm on vintage basso from ebay- what to do?

Hey there- I just picked up a vintage Basso Gap from the early 80s on ebay. I love it, but the rear triangle is bent 2mm (I took it into a bike shop and they measured it for me). What do you recommend I do? Try and return it? As for money back, bend it back, or leave as is? The guys in the shop said I might as well just leave it as is. It's a light bike for it's day--4 lbs 3 ounces for frame and fork--Columbus SL/SP mix. What do you all recommend? Thanks!
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Old 06-19-12, 06:29 AM   #2
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Old 06-19-12, 06:45 AM   #3
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Which way is the frame "bent" (not sure that's the best term). Is the rear triangle center off to one side? If so it's pretty easy to cold set (or bend) one side back in a couple of mm. Easiest with the BB out so you can grasp the frame by the shell in a large vice. If the bend is up or down then things get more tricky. Usually this missalignment is not from a bending but a seat stay being longer then the other. If the difference is small then filing the top surface of the drop out is considered. If the bend is along the stay's mid section (like an impact) the stay can be made straighter with careful counter force.

2mm is a small amount whatever the case. If you don't have access to an experienced person and if the bike tracks straight, maybe leave well enough alone. Andy.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:35 AM   #4
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2mm is a miniscule amount to be 'bent' and likely a very easy thing to rectify. Cold set. Google 'sheldon brown' 'cold set.'

Read the whole article - it gives details on how to tdo the bending and how to check that the alignment is correct.

You might also call around and find a shop that has experience straightening frames. It used to be more common (when steel was more common) so you may need to find a shop or bike guy that has been around for a while.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:53 AM   #5
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Might also be worth getting a second opinion in case the first shop is not accurate. Did they describe the problem to you ?
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Old 06-19-12, 09:26 AM   #6
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Take it to a custom frame builder. As 'em how much for a re-tracking of entire frame and the alignment work necessary to get it back in good condition. (They'll use a marble table and likely a Henry James bending jig.) Won't be cheap - probably $150.00 to $200.00 bucks but the frame and fork will be in better alignment when done.

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Old 06-19-12, 09:43 AM   #7
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Before you decide, build it and see how it rides. Riding properly trumps everything else, so if that's OK than there's no reason to do anything. If it doesn't ride OK, it's easy to straighten steel frames -- if you know what you're doing.

So if it needs straightening, that can be done, and if it doesn't you're fine.

The other option is to return it, if the seller will accept it and give you a refund, but if this was a good deal for you, it still is and you probably want to keep it, so build and see.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:15 AM   #8
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I don't think 2mm is anything to seriously worry about. The cold set suggestion is your best bet, if you're feeling frisky... just manhandle it until it fits.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:40 AM   #9
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Ride it as is and see how it goes. Odds are you'll never notice.
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Old 06-19-12, 01:34 PM   #10
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It is all about the exact nature of the "bent" condition, i.e. where, how sharply, also dented in, ect..

Park (or maybe it was Bicycle Research ) used to sell a tool for straightening bent stays. If that is the issue, an older established shop may still have one and be able to help you pull it out.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Before you decide, build it and see how it rides. Riding properly trumps everything else, so if that's OK than there's no reason to do anything. If it doesn't ride OK, it's easy to straighten steel frames -- if you know what you're doing.

So if it needs straightening, that can be done, and if it doesn't you're fine.

The other option is to return it, if the seller will accept it and give you a refund, but if this was a good deal for you, it still is and you probably want to keep it, so build and see.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:15 AM   #12
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This is the usual hipster type of question. The next one will be about the BB threads because the english bb doesnt fit

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Originally Posted by Discography View Post
Hey there- I just picked up a vintage Basso Gap from the early 80s on ebay. I love it, but the rear triangle is bent 2mm (I took it into a bike shop and they measured it for me). What do you recommend I do? Try and return it? As for money back, bend it back, or leave as is? The guys in the shop said I might as well just leave it as is. It's a light bike for it's day--4 lbs 3 ounces for frame and fork--Columbus SL/SP mix. What do you all recommend? Thanks!
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Old 06-20-12, 10:05 AM   #13
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I'd think 2 mm is actually within expected tolerance for steel frames, in other words, most of them were probably cold set a bit after construction. I wouldn't worry about it unless you notice ride-ability issues
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Old 06-21-12, 10:09 PM   #14
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice. I'll probably cold set it back into place.
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Last edited by Discography; 06-23-12 at 02:11 AM.
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