Searching for DC area framebuilder to fix broken Rambouillet drive-side dropout.
Sorry if this is an FAQ but if it is, I can't find it, and BikeForums won't let me search on "Washington, DC" ...
The drive-side dropout on my orange Rambouillet has cracked.
I know I can send it to Steve Bilenky or to Rivendell to be fixed, and that might be what I end up doing. But if there is a reputable, Washington DC-area framebuilder that can do the work (including matching paint color for post-repair touch up) then it'd be nice to save on shipping.
Does anyone know of a reputable DC-area framebuilder who could handle a project like this?
I saw this happen on another one of those frames. Riv had Bilenky fix it. Palermo is in Baltimore, but I don't think he will paint. Maybe my biases are showing, but it seems to me that Philly is pretty close to you. Not too many painters will try to blend in the paint. If you're paying, that saves some money. The Bilenky repair I saw was noticeable, but the match wasn't too bad.
Bothers me that this happens, I'm curious what the problem is. Maybe they cold set the dropouts like we did in the old days, but used an investment cast dropout
The rear triangle on Rambouillet's is spaced to 132.5, so it is under some amount of stress whether you run 130's or 135's. In effect, it is like having slightly-misaligned dropouts all the time. I don't know if that is the root cause, but it seems like a design decision that introduces a certain amount of risk. As I understand it, Rivendell covers this repair for original owners, but I bought this frame from a friend 10,000 miles ago. As part of the repair, I have in mind having it cold set to 130 and making sure the dropouts are aligned to that. Philly is pretty close, but I think that shipping it to Bilenky would be cheaper than driving, since presumably I'd have to drive it up, drop it off, and pick it up some time later, for a total of 600 miles driving (and 12 hours behind the wheel).
drop it off on the way to one of the Eastern PA brevets, problem solved.
I doubt the wacky spacing is enough to get the dropout to break, but spacing it properly isn't a bad idea at all.
FWIW, Riv says that only about few Ram's have broken like this, so you (and they) may well be right about the spacing not being the source of the problem.
Originally Posted by unterhausen
it's hard to tell from the perspective of your photo, but it looks like there is a large offset between the broken surfaces. That would lend credence to your theory.
Since this sort of failure almost never happens on most bikes, and this is the second one I've seen, I would say that there was something that was done in the construction of the frame that led to this failure. Some answers would be revealed if the paint were removed.
That "large offset" is just because I flexed the chainstay over so that it can show the surface of the break. It isn't the chainstay's "natural" position.
Originally Posted by unterhausen
I'm not really all that great at reading fracture surfaces, but it appears that it started cracking in the lower inside corner and finished cracking at the top in the center. It would be interesting to me to see the inside and bottom of that dropout to see if there was a flaw there.
Before you send that frame off to be repaired, you might want to clean it thoroughly and check for cracks elsewhere.