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Old 01-25-14, 03:03 PM   #1
dbg 
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Mystery: Bike frame full of sand

Picked up a SS frame at local swap meet (Chicago burb, Harper College). It had plenty of rust spots that looked mostly surface and the guy offered for $10. For that I can play with it or toss it, so I bought. It seemed quite heavy. It was labelled 6066 aluminum -- which was clearly wrong since the rust was definitely steel. (Since looked it up as a bikesdirect Motebecane Fantom Cross UNO -white)

The mystery part: As I carried it around, a little bit of rust seemed to be falling out of the seat tube hole. At home I was able to shake out a lot more --but it did not look like rust. It looked more like very fine sand. Not red but tan/yellow like sand. I cleared out all the vent holes and interior holes between tubes and gently tapped the frame with a rubber mallet. Sand continued to pour out of all the holes. Several pounds of sand poured continuously from all the holes. I'm pretty sure it was sand. Some had a little bit of red color but mostly pure sand color and very fine grained. Fine enough to pour continuously from the tiny holes at the far end of the chain stays. Weird.
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Old 01-25-14, 03:48 PM   #2
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Blasting media?
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Old 01-25-14, 03:58 PM   #3
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That bike sounds like it was buried in sand or dirt at one time.
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Old 01-25-14, 04:04 PM   #4
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Maybe Its a fish tale! sand hawa crazy.
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Old 01-25-14, 04:09 PM   #5
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Wow, that just sucks Italiansteel...
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Old 01-25-14, 05:28 PM   #6
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Someone gave me a bike that had been submerged during hurricane Sandy. I cleaned sand out of every joint and bearing but not that much.
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Old 01-25-14, 05:57 PM   #7
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Sounds like one of two things:

A college practical joke where someone bought a BD bike, bragged about it, and someone filled it up with sand to weigh it down.

Or

Check the seatpost. If it is open at the top, it might be that the bike has been ridden on sanded roads or a beach and the rear wheel has thrown up grit which has made its way through that hole at the top. This is the unlikely scenario.

I doubt that the frames produced by the factory for BD would be sandblasted.

Lucky that the BB is a sealed cartridge.
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Old 01-25-14, 08:21 PM   #8
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Obviously a former professional bike. They added ballast to it to get it to the weight limit.
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Old 01-26-14, 12:02 PM   #9
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Just a bare frame. Clumps of sand came out of the seat tube. The weirdest part to me was how the seat stays and chain stays were loaded with fine grain sand that just poured from the small holes. I'm still getting it to pour out as I take pipe cleaners and ream out all the internal connecting holes from the BB area. It would be tedious to do this intentionally. I'm suspecting bare frame was left on a beach in the surf.
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Old 01-26-14, 12:29 PM   #10
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I'm suspecting bare frame was left on a beach in the surf.
This ☝


I would get a gallon of kerosine and mix it with straight 30weight and fill the frame with it from different places, shake it around, let it drain.
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Old 01-26-14, 01:23 PM   #11
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Know any body with an air compressor? I'm thinking you could blow it out clean.
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Old 01-26-14, 01:33 PM   #12
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I'm guessing the bike was left near a 6 year old's sandbox.
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Old 01-26-14, 02:00 PM   #13
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Keep that sand!That may be a high quality very rare sand only found on a island in the South Pacific .It was smuggled out in bike frames.Some how this one frame was lost in shipment.Think I'm kidding?My friend's law firm investigated a cargo stolen in transit.They found sand in the crates that held what they thought was widgets.they analyzed the sand and determined where the cargo switch was made.The sand was rare and only found in a small part of the world.They caught the airline employees who stole the goods.As a bonus,the sand in the crates was worth more than the widgets.
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Old 01-26-14, 02:44 PM   #14
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Maybe it was submerged in a river or stream for a while. The moving water carrying fine sand and silt could have deposited it inside the frame.

That story about the rare sand from an island in the south Pacific is quite interesting. Forensic geology. Is there any internet link to this type of story?
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Old 01-26-14, 02:51 PM   #15
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UCI did set a Minimum weight regulation for race Bikes ..
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Old 01-26-14, 05:20 PM   #16
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Maybe it was submerged in a river or stream for a while. The moving water carrying fine sand and silt could have deposited it inside the frame.

That story about the rare sand from an island in the south Pacific is quite interesting. Forensic geology. Is there any internet link to this type of story?
sorry no internet link.This was told to me by the lawyer in charge after I asked him what do you really do at work besides foreclose on little old lady's.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:39 AM   #17
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Weird indeed! However, if you suspect that it was submersed in salt water at some time, be very careful: some years ago, my son's steel Peugeot road bike blew into the dock at our marina. I managed to fish it out of 13ft of water, thoroughly washed it with fresh water and squirted WD40 into everywhere and everything I could reach. The bike hung unused in our garage for a couple of years, then one day I decided to take it down, got hold of the top tube and it crumbled in my hand! It was rusted completely through.
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Old 01-30-14, 07:33 AM   #18
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Take it with a grain of salt, for $10, I'd throw it out as not being worth the effort. May never be right.
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