This link was originally posted in Collectible/Vintage, but someone suggested that the experience on these matters would be here.
Basically I have an early 70's bike with butted Reynolds 531 whose top tube has a very tiny lengthwise hairline crack on the underside of the tube... just off of the center of the tube. It is barely and inch long and was imperceptible until I began a detailed polishing.
There is no rust anywhere and the metal has not (so far as I can tell) separated at the split area. There is a barely noticeable eruption that I can hardly see but I can feel if I run my fingers across the split.
The bike is too nice to consider repairs that will destroy the aesthetics. So I am left with a choice of hanging it up or riding it only occasionally.
What are your thoughts as professionals and artisans? Is a small split on the top tube of a 40 year old bike a serious problem or is it just something to be aware of? I am not a hard rider, and I don't intend on riding this but for the nicest of days.
All input will be greatly appreciated.