Purchased a frame on ebay last week, arrived friday. All was good. Nicely packed. Really good condition for a 40 plus year old bike. I bought it with Nervar BB installed but no headset. French bike that needed a french headset. I popped a headset out of a Motobecane frame that I had laying around and discovered, after installing it in the new frame, that the steerer was quite short, no threads left for a locknut let alone a centerpull cable guide. The top of the steerer looked cut off/ angle cut. So what to do?
Took it to the local framebuilder and explained the situation.....and he said, "French steerer, not going to find one of those". "But we can cut down the frame". I laughed, "Yeah right, we can cut down the frame". So I said maybe find a replacement fork somewhere then? Then he said he was serious, he could cut down the headlugs, top and bottom, to gain perhaps 3/8". Quoted me a very reasonable price too. I was like wow, never thought about that. There IS extra material there.
Went home and emailed the seller. He insisted that he removed the old headset himself and it was in poor shape. So thats why he sold the frame without. He recommended a smaller stack height headset. My thought, not a lot to choose from when you are looking for a vintage French headset. Down to the basement shop I went and I removed a headset from a Gitane, one of my current rides, and of the same vintage as this new frame. I installed this second headset and gained a small bit of threaded steerer. Enough for the locknut, a couple/ three threads at best. So now I am thinking, shave down those headlugs maybe 3/16" and I'll be good to go with enough room for the centerpull guide.
So I think I'll go with the cutting the lugs down. Anyone have this done before?
Pics to come.