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Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

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Old 12-13-10, 10:32 AM   #1
c_booth
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cyclus/cyclo finishing tools.

Anyone out there have an opinion on the quality of these budget (relatively speaking) finishing tools?

I've just finished my first build (yay - hopefully post some pics on the newbuild thread at some point) and am planning on doing at least a few more, so reckon it's prob worth my while buying some facing/reaming tools. Park/Cobra/Silva gear is way out of my range, so thought I'd gauge opinion on the quality of the cheaper tools available.

How many frames could one expect a set of cutters to last? (I ppreciate there are variables)

Also, which tools are absolutely necessary for finishing a frame i.e can one do without a headset press? Would I require a BB thread cutting tool for a newbuild or is a thread clearer sufficient?

Many thanks as always.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:10 AM   #2
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If you have a shop nearby that has the tools, I wouldn't bother buying. You'll never recoup your investment if you plan on building just a couple of frames.

Unless you're using a crap BB, you should really just have to chase and face...unless you have globs of braze from the stays, seat tube, or down tube.
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Old 12-13-10, 12:25 PM   #3
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I've heard that the Cyclus tools are fairly good. I'm pretty sure my LBS has the head tube reamer set, I haven't used it though
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Old 12-13-10, 02:59 PM   #4
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I have the cyclus crown race cutter. Used it once and it was fine.

I also have the xpert (lifu) HT facer/reamer and BB facing/tapping. Good quality too, and I wouldn't be surprised if they supplied other brands. I think they are a worthwhile investment if you want to be independent of shops; in my neck of the woods the will pay themselves after 6 uses. And I think it's normal to have a bit of braze in the shell after brazing the chaintays.
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Old 12-13-10, 04:47 PM   #5
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Lifu makes the Ice Toolz line, and the pro-level tools include BB facer/taps, headtube facer, fork crown race facer, etc. They look like decent quality, TiN coated, and are probably what I would personally opt for. The Park tools seem overpriced.
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Old 12-13-10, 05:00 PM   #6
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Has anyone had problems with the headtube tools. I remember this section in the Patenek videos where he talks about having to use the park in combination with the campi, and he uses one wet and one dry... Then there was this alarming thread on the old frameforum, where they went into the different fairly premium brands, and the upshot was that it left me somewhat in despair that there was any reasonably priced solution. Obviously shops are hammering away out there successfully, so i am not sure what to think. I have pretty gheto brand tools, I got them from Gene Spicer who seemed to have good prices. It is all kinda annoying compared to buying regular machine tools, base on the asian stuff is probably about 5% what we are paying, and it isn't as though bikes are rare. Why we have to pay these outrageous prices isn't clear.
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Old 12-13-10, 08:31 PM   #7
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The prices for the Lifu cutters are quite reasonable I think, considering that the cheapest end-mills, reamers or taps are usually $100+ in sizes 1+ inches. And they come with all the handles.

PP1, the lifu HT tool seemed to work fine on the two frames it was used on. Headset went in
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Old 12-14-10, 08:08 AM   #8
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Just came accross this short thread on the mechanics board - http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-617849.html - (is that the old board? - soz before my time). Could be the thread Peterpan refers to? Might be of interest. IceToolz get a bit of a caning there (as do cyclus for that matter).

It did occur to me that the mechanics board may be a better place to start this thread, but then those guys are likely approaching it from a shop background (so much higher turnover of frames etc) and I figured the response would be park/hozan/campag or nothing.

I think Tuz's point about being independent of the shops is the key point for me (perhaps a wise idea not to post this on the mechanics board then he he) - not because they're exorbitant, or there's any great difficulty getting there (although I don't drive) but just that I want to have the capability, if possible, to do each stage of the process myself - feels important somehow (hell I'd roll my own tubes if I could).

So I'll doubtless get my first frame done down the local shop, build it up, see how it rides, and take it from there.

Cyclus tools do look a decent bet so far though.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:47 AM   #9
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shops are generally working on bikes that have already been faced/reamed/chased.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
shops are generally working on bikes that have already been faced/reamed/chased.
Ah, yes of course. With that in mind, I wonder how equipped (from an experience point of view) the average bike shop is to deal with newbuild frames?

I did get the impression from my local shop that it's not something they do often (if ever). Their immediate assumption was that I was doing a refurb - when I mentioned it was a newbuild there was a didtinct pause before a cagey 'yeah we should be able to do that'.
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Old 12-14-10, 10:25 AM   #11
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http://www.frameforum.org/forum2/ind...showtopic=3008

http://www.frameforum.org/forum2/ind...?showtopic=141

Couldn't find the referred to thread, but there are lots of discussions in there.

I think you hit on a difference. Part of the issue with new frames seems to be the tendency of some cutters to take more than they should. This is typical with tools that are taking too heavy a cut. The solution is either multiple cuts or different cutter geometry. Multiple cuts is what Paterek was doing, you need a cutter that is undersized, and another that is spot on, which is obviously too expensive. The other option would be a cutter that has a lower hook angle, which is my experience with tools in general is often a feature of more expensive tools (I have only owned the one set of frame tools). The reason less aggressive hook angles are often a feature of more expensive tools is that higher angles often give the impression of freer cutting action, dull more quickly unless of higher quality.

Last edited by NoReg; 12-14-10 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:26 PM   #12
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when I can, like on fork crowns, I use my lathe. I am working on making a facing tool for the lathe; a lot of people do that. I don't find facing/reaming headtubes to be a particularly enjoyable task.
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Old 12-14-10, 05:20 PM   #13
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I have 5 metal working lathes, and I do the forks on the lathe out of raw cheapness. I am not sure it is a better way when conceptually there is a place for reamers even in a world full of lathes, but it makes me happy. How do you manage the facing on the lathe. Do you mean you face the tubes before assembly, and then leave them that way? I use fairly heavy TIG headtubes, I don't know what happens for the low heat and lug folks, I did notice a lot of facing in the Paterek vids. I did at one point think of making single point hand tools, but that kind of thing ends up being a big project.
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Old 12-14-10, 05:27 PM   #14
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I'm just putting the reamer/facing cutters from a hand tool on a mandrel. But it's a lot better than turning it by hand, I absolutely hate doing that. I've always cut down the crown race until the only thing left was just few thou and take that down with my crown race cutter. If I was better with a lathe and my lathe was a little more rigid I probably would just take it to the final dimension on the lathe.
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Old 12-20-10, 11:27 PM   #15
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I have the Cyclus headtube reamer/facer and it has worked great. If you get it be sure to keep the lower bearing clean and lubed. My tool has oxidized over years and that point is the only thing I have disliked about it. It just had a raw finish, while many others have a plating or anodizing. Otherwise the cutting portion of this tool has been totally functional and worth the investment. I also have the IceToolz bb face/chase tool. After about a dozen uses the spring has worn out and no longer faces properly. You get what you pay for. The Ice Toolz will soon be replaced.
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