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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Drilling holes for weight reduction?

    I'm a hot rod guy, bikes are me cheap and enjoyable alternative. In the hot rod/automobile racing world it was and is common to drill holes in frames, axles, etc. to reduce weight. Is this kosher in the world of bikes? Can frames and Forks be drilled? what areas should you avoid drilling to avoid strength issues? I just think it would look cool on my planned fixed vintage project.

    thanks,
    David

  2. #2
    Banned
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    Drilling the daylights out of parts was all the rage back in the 1970's and early-1980's.

  3. #3
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
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    Drilling a frame and or fork is a big bad idea. a frame and fork are all load bearing structures, and are designed with minimal extra, all parts are doing their work. putting holes all over the place will severely weaken your ride, and put you in danger!!! Like was mentioned, they did it back in the day, but on things like levers, shifters, sprockets, etc- parts that wouldnt put your life in danger if they failed

    ~Steve
    there are better ways of getting that old school hot rod look.

  4. #4
    Senior Member thatcher's Avatar
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    drillium! i was actually thinking about drilling my lugs a bit for looks but it would take some carfull planning and exicution. i think the tubes would be too thin for that though. also the holes would allow water to get into the frame so i was only thinking the lugs at the seat post and around the headset would be acceptable for that treatment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jeremyb_nz's Avatar
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    Trials guys still drill their rims to save weight, but frames and forks these days are on the limit as they are, drilling them out would be suicide!

  6. #6
    for FREE! kubacola's Avatar
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    You can still purchase drilled chainrings (have a sugino) and drilled looking cogs (have a surly). Have seen very cool drilled bmx brake levers- drilled at the mounting clamp. The miche supertype seatpost has a look similar to drilled stuff although its something different. Some chains have holes in the chainplates. There are some brakes that look lightwieght- sram rval (i think) and i think johnny cycles is the maker of the drilled looking frame, the picture of which Im attaching. Seome custom made, if i remeber well, dropouts also.... and other things.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    My personal favorite:

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  8. #8
    for FREE! kubacola's Avatar
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    awesome!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    i've got a pic somewhere of merckx on a gorgeous bike with fully drilled campy everything, i so wonder where that bike's hanging up.

  10. #10
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    There have been some awesome track bikes built with drilled frames and forks for aero benefits, but they also brazed tubes in the holes to get the strength back (like the Jonny bike). the end result was a bike that was very fast, looked very cool, but was heavier than the same bike sans holes.
    Last edited by SamHall; 06-04-07 at 05:43 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I'd like to see the physics there- drilling would likely only INCREASE air resistence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SamHall
    There have been some awesome track bikes built with drilled frames and forks for aero benefits, but they also brazed tubes in the holes to get the strenth back (like the Jonny bike). the end result was a bike that was very fast, looked very cool, but was heavier than the same bike sans holes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    I'd like to see the physics there- drilling would likely only INCREASE air resistence.
    The holes I'm talking about were running front to back, not side to side like on the Jonny bike.

  13. #13
    I pedal what I ride
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    what can happen if you get a little too excited with your drilling

    http://web.archive.org/web/200608190...rilledpost.jpg

  14. #14
    I ride my bike Revtor's Avatar
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    how much weight are you going to save anyway? spend the time training a bit more, or work on getting your posture a bit more aero and you'll be better off than if you had a drilled out (weak) part that saved you 8 grams. especially if the chainring folds on a sprint or the seatpost buckles and sends you to the hospital.

  15. #15
    steel lover
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    I think it's more of the look, and the idea than the actual benefit
    And yeah, drilled and counter-sunk brake levers, chainrings, and shifters look cool. Also seen some lugs with decorative holes... although probably done before assembly.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wethepeople
    My personal favorite:
    why not just use one of these?


  17. #17
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubacola
    You can still purchase drilled chainrings (have a sugino) and drilled looking cogs (have a surly). Have seen very cool drilled bmx brake levers- drilled at the mounting clamp. The miche supertype seatpost has a look similar to drilled stuff although its something different. Some chains have holes in the chainplates. There are some brakes that look lightwieght- sram rval (i think) and i think johnny cycles is the maker of the drilled looking frame, the picture of which Im attaching. Seome custom made, if i remeber well, dropouts also.... and other things.
    Are those Sugino cranks old or can you still get them like that? I really love the old slender cranks.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Tear along the dotted line.

    The biggest frame "drillout" is already in place: the hollow center space in the middle of the frame tubes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mentat6059
    what can happen if you get a little too excited with your drilling

    http://web.archive.org/web/200608190...rilledpost.jpg
    what's up with the campy banner behind the last photo?

  20. #20
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    In the mid-70s a bit lighter but rode like a very wet sponge!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I guess you could do a little decorative countersinking on lugs if it's not very deep, then paint with a contrasting color. i wouldn't drill components unless I had a milling machine and rotary table to get them all in the right spot. Nothing worse looking than "home-made" drilling

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bobatin's Avatar
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    They stopped drilling components because they found in the wind tunnel that there was greater drag created by all the drilled holes than what was gained through weight loss.
    So, if you're in the car, waiting impatiently. . . get over it - you're not that special.
    "Its not what you take when you leave, Its what you leave when you go."
    Some country and western song

  23. #23
    Senior Member hockeyteeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie
    what's up with the campy banner behind the last photo?
    That's Andy White from Fyxomatosis.com. He makes jerseys with a Campy-esque logo using the words "trackcvnt" instead.

  24. #24
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    The wind tunnel test canned the Pantagraphic cuts and drilled holes. I think it looks pretty cool --- and retro!! I have some parts that have been "holed"

  25. #25
    a blend of wit and charm Moochers_Dad's Avatar
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    It's only valid if the heavy dust caps are removed too.

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