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Old 12-08-10, 03:29 AM   #1
CJ Smith
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Custom Ti Dropouts and carbon repair

Season's Greetings!
My Name is CJ Smith, I am a 43 year old cycling enthusiast with twenty-five years riding experience both on and off road. I am writing to you today because earlier this year I had a drive-side dropout break on a carbon road bike.

I am now trying to find two things. First, a company than can reproduce BOTH dropouts in Ti, NOT aluminum, and second, a place that can repair the damage done.

I have heard of companies doing carbon repair, but thus far I have no leads on the dropouts, so this project is at a stalemate.

I found this forum and thought that perhaps someone could shed some light on this issue.

I would very much appreciate any information that can be provided to initiate a resolution to my bicycle dilemma.

Thanks, in advance, for your time, co-operation and replies to this matter.

Respectfully I Remain,
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Old 12-08-10, 08:58 AM   #2
Dave Kirk 
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bozeman MT
Bikes: Kirk
Posts: 200
This is a tough one. What you want to do, or have done, isn't too hard but the cost is huge.

The old dropout would need to be measured and drawn and then that would need to be converted to a tool path for the CNC machine to use to cut the part. Then one off tooling would need to be made to hold the raw material while it is being cut and then finally the parts would need to be cut.

In extremely rough numbers you are looking at an easy $300 to measure and draw the dropout, then another $500+ for this to be converted into tool paths. Next you are looking at $1000 to have the custom tooling made to hold the parts and finally the actual cutting of the parts. The actual cutting of the parts could rang wildly depending on the design and how many set ups there are but figure $100 at an absolute minimum. So in very rough numbers you have about $1900 invested into a pair of dropouts. We haven't yet talked about the cost of the Ti itself or the installation of these parts into your frame.

The dropouts are silly expensive because you are only having one pair made. The way companies make this fly is that they go through the same process but have thousands of pairs made so the cost is spread out over all those pieces. I doubt that the frame is so valuable to you that you would want to go through the above process but if you did there is one place that can do the work (making of the dropouts) and that is Paragon Machine Works -

It's at least remotely possible that they already make something that would work for you. They offer lots of different parts to the industry so who knows - it's worth a shot to look through their online catalog. If you can find parts that will work then Calfee is your repair guy.

I've designed and had cut many parts over the years and am always surprised at the cost. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news. I hope you can find a way to get where you want to be.

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Old 12-08-10, 01:20 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,482
Agreed, this is a very involved process, and the benefits would be small. I would try to get an original replacement and go with that.
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Old 12-10-10, 03:51 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 51
Why Custom dropouts?


Maybe this is a dumb question, but : Why custom dropouts?

Take the dimensions of the current dropouts, and find the Ti ones that are as close as possible. Since you're already modifying the carbon CS and SS to do the repair, it would seem to me that as long as you can find somewhat close dropouts, the overall bike geometry would change by a few mm at most.

Perhaps experienced framebuilders are scoffing..

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Old 12-10-10, 04:26 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,482
dropout replacement is non-trivial even on a steel bike unless the replacement is exact. For example, putting track drops on a bike that didn't come with them. With carbon, you almost surely can remove any trace of the old dropout, but you really want to be able to glue an exact replacement into the carbon because you can't really get any play out of the stays.
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