changing drop outs, adding shifter bosses to SS frame, crazy!?
so im trying to put together a back up bike that i will use in crits that are known for wrecks and can take a crash/beating. Id like to build it around a steel frame with a carbon fork. I have a street style track frame that for me the geo is spot on and would ride great in tight racing condition. the only problem is that the rear dropouts are horizontal with no der hanger (obviously) and there are no shifter cable bosses on the down tube as well as on the drive side chain stay, there are brake bosses on the top tube for a rear brake cable. the frame is made of Reynolds 631 steel double butted. so how hard would it be for a frame builder to change the drop outs and add bosses to the frame. is this crazy, will the frame be weakened by the addition of bosses and change of drop outs? I dont know about steel frames so thats why i ask and i figure that since i have the frame and im not doing anything with it, it would be cost effective to do this IF it works out
I suspect it would not be cost effective, but that depends on the definition. I think I would consider selling the frame and buying a different one.
You don't say where you are. Just as an example, here is the restorations page from Bilenky
The way I read it, you are talking $150 for the dropouts, and about $100 for the braze-ons. You probably want bottom bracket cable guides and a stop on the chainstay. You might also think about getting cable guides for the rear brake. Paint is going to cost you anywhere from $20 for a home rattle can job to at least $300. So you are talking about $200-$500. Craigslist often has nice vintage racing bikes for less, depending on your area of course.
Putting bosses on is no problem. You might be able to find clamp on shifters depending on the tube sizes. Changing the dropouts is also no problem.
i live in houston tx and $250 really doesnt sound that bad. rear brake cable guides are already there and the BB cable guide i can drill and install myself. paint ill do myself and then i can do a custom paint job. the main reason that i dont use a older craiglist frame is that they all seem to be 1" head tubes and that is to small.
FWIW, one of my most successful criterium seasons was spent on a track bike with a freewheel and brakes. If your crits are flat you might be surprised how well this works. And track bikes tend to be much more crash proof than road bikes.
BTW, "carbon forks" and "can take a beating" don't belong in the same sentence.
carbon forks are quite durable. i have used them on my cross bike, road bike, and might get one on my 29er (still debating vs a sussy fork). they are plenty durable, especially with a quality one. I have even used a 360 gram forte (performance brand) fork and had no issues at all, even with an endo or two. if you are really worried about durability, look into the wound up forks- very durable, albiet a bit heavier than the ultra lightweights.
i would lean towards true vertical dropouts. debrazing isn't hard at all- but lining up the new ones does require a jig. check out some local builders and tell them what you want- odds are some of the smaller builders might really be willing to work with you on price.
I have seen countless carbon forks fail in crashes. I have almost never seen steel forks fail in crashes. Carbon forks, from what I can see, are adequately strong for their intended purposes, but don't hold up nearly as well for unintended purposes.