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Old 01-01-09, 08:10 PM   #1
tmh657
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Help with possible cracks in brake bridge

I have a concern about cracks on this bike. I got the frame on CL about 3 months ago. It's a '88 Schwinn fixed conversion. The previous owner welded track ends on it and pulled shifter bosses etc off. He seemed like he knew his stuff and didn't just have welding as a hobby. It was painted when I got it and had a few nicks.
I built it up and have ridden it about 200 miles.

I noticed some cracks where the brake bridge meets the seat stays. I don't know if it's just the paint or the frame under the paint. Besides sanding off the paint to see for myself or taking it to someone that knows a lot more than I do, what can anyone tell me.
The bike rides fine but sometimes I think the front wheel does not look like it's going straight when I ride with no hands, like the rear of the tire might be off to the side a bit.

Also it looks like the brake bridge might be a bit higher on the non drive side. Maybe it was built that way since some things are not symmetrical.

Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bridge_1.jpg (86.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Bridge_2.jpg (68.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Bridge_3.jpg (58.7 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Bridge_4.jpg (78.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Ends.jpg (77.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Frame_1.jpg (70.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Bridge_5.jpg (60.9 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by tmh657; 01-01-09 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 01-02-09, 02:19 AM   #2
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Looks like a crack in the joint. Looks like it happened in the filler, and didn't pull away the stay. Probably fine as long as you don't see anything to worry about, and aren't mounting brakes on it. If you are then you need to look into it more. It would also be an idea to sight the stay and see if it looks fair (straight where it should be straight, and curved smoothly where it should be).

Alignment can be off in a bike for a variety of reasons like initial build quality, damage, or poorly executed mods. If you can ride with no hands that often isn't a bad sign relative to alignment itself. On the other hand, pay attention to what you think is happening. You should trust the feedback you are getting and what your senses tell you about potential faults. If you ride other similar bikes do they track the same on the same sections of road? Where it is safe to do so, backtrack, riding your same line, and see how that feels.
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Old 01-03-09, 02:29 AM   #3
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failed brake bridges are extremely common. I don't really have a theory about that, but I used to make a reasonable amount of drinking money back when I was in college brazing brake bridges back on.
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Old 01-03-09, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I will ride without worrying that the bike will fall apart.
The paint is still in good shape but if nothing bad happens to the brake bridge I will sand it down in a few months to check it and re paint it. Probably white again.

If I can find a shop with the appropriate skills I will take it to them when sanded down to put a professional eye on it for any major problems that need fixing.

It's not like it's '74 Paramount track bike but I like it until I can afford the Paramount or a new $1200 steel track frame.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:33 PM   #5
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if you are riding it without a brake in back, it may never fail. OTOH, if it does fail, the brake cable keeps all the parts together for you.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:48 PM   #6
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Since I ride it fixed I don't use a rear brake and don't plan to switch to a single speed and add a rear brake.
If I want to coast I ride the geared bike but I really like fixed now. I might even prefer it. That thread has been posted ad infinitum of course.
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