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  1. #1
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    Conversion Catastrophe

    Wrenching around a little late last night, I decided to try my hand at removing braze-on cable-guides on a sweet 1984 Raleigh Grand Prix. I used the wonderful search function and found that I had two choices:

    1) I could use a dremel to shave them off, or,
    2) I could use a torch and and pliers to neatly pop them off.

    Going with the one that caused the least potential damage to the frame and the least potential disturbance to the neighbours, I chose option number 2.

    Well, ladies and gentlement, I chose wrong. After successfully removing the braze-ons on the top tube, I proceeded to the down tube cable-guide. A neat pop-off resulted in my horror as I discovered that the braze-on took a portion of the frame with it and now there's a hole in the downtube the size of a braze-on footprint right where a cable guide would be just above the bottom bracket. !!!!

    Now what? Is this structurally unsound? Or can I continue like it never happened? Pics to follow.

  2. #2
    Senior Member euphoria's Avatar
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    Just don't go down any screaming descents and ride it until the frame fails

    Or throw it out since my ancient Raleigh turned out to be a horrible conversion, but what can you expect from a frame that's been sitting in the backyard for 6 years

  3. #3
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    Here is the ill-fated downtube. 'Scuse my wobbly hands this morning.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member euphoria's Avatar
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    Dude, that hole is so small that the only side effect will be the 0.0001 seconds you shave off of your commute

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphoria
    Dude, that hole is so small that the only side effect will be the 0.0001 seconds you shave off of your commute
    I was kind of hoping to smooth it out a little and make it a design element, sort of like a BB opening, but on the downtube instead, plus it saves me a few grams right? I was going to outfit this ride with Carbon Sports Lightweights and Zero G cranks and front brakes. Every little bit counts right? Riiiight?


  6. #6
    Senior Member Pfutz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by food
    Here is the ill-fated downtube. 'Scuse my wobbly hands this morning.

    OH MY ****ING GOD, its probobly going to explode.

    I have dents that would affect my bikes structural integrety substantially more and I ride it and its fine, don't worry about it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    ...mine eyes could be wrong, but it looks like a neat little patch that the torch/you didn't originally create...so, shouldn't cause strucrual problems in the frame...right?
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cheg's Avatar
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    You might want to plug it to keep water out of the frame. That hole was there before you took the braze-on out. Unlikely to be a structural problem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim_77
    ...mine eyes could be wrong, but it looks like a neat little patch that the torch/you didn't originally create...so, shouldn't cause strucrual problems in the frame...right?
    Quote Originally Posted by cheg
    You might want to plug it to keep water out of the frame. That hole was there before you took the braze-on out. Unlikely to be a structural problem.
    sorry friends, I was a little unclear. the braze-on actually took out the chunk that was there. i've lent my macro lens out so i can't get a closer shot without losing focus, but while it may look neat, trust me when i say it's not. the footprint of the braze-on actually ripped out the corresponding amount of metal from the frame. odd innit?..

  10. #10
    well lubricated Mr. Joker's Avatar
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    whoa. your downtube has a freakin seam. that tiny hole is the least of your worries.

  11. #11
    Quadricepius Exquisitus eurotrash666's Avatar
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    braze it shut and file it smooth.

  12. #12
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    cheap steel.

    Don't worry about your bike, it'll be fine. Plug the hole if you want.

  13. #13
    Electrical Hazard
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    looks like your torch didn't even melt the paint.

  14. #14
    Senior Member the pope's Avatar
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    Buddy, I've seen bars on a 30 year-old hay baler that look healthier than that pipe. Seriously -

    That's a bad sign and what's with that seam? Think twice.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Joker
    whoa. your downtube has a freakin seam. that tiny hole is the least of your worries.
    Quote Originally Posted by the pope
    Buddy, I've seen bars on a 30 year-old hay baler that look healthier than that pipe. Seriously - That's a bad sign and what's with that seam? Think twice.
    sorry guys, it was odd lighting. it's definitely not a seam; the pipe is completely smooth. it's the overhead lighting that puts a streak in the black gloss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    cheap steel.
    yup. there's a sticker on the seat tube that proudly proclaims hi-ten. hehehehehe.

  16. #16
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    To get ride of my braze ons, I hacksawed them off and then filed it down. It came out nice.

  17. #17
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    ...stash pocket?

  18. #18
    n00b
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    fill it up with that foam that floats and attach a ski to the bottom.
    www.bmxboard.net/bnw
    -go there for pics of how stupid i am

  19. #19
    and an empty road
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    i have a grand prix conversion. i took the braze ons off by just twisting them with a wrench. i don't have a resulting hole but i do like the bike. build it up and ride it, don't worry about the hole unless it gets worse.

  20. #20
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by food
    Here is the ill-fated downtube. 'Scuse my wobbly hands this morning.
    Drill more holes and turn your frame into a sort of flute.
    My Current Bikes:

    • 1993 Giant Kronos
    • 1974 Zeus (in restoration)
    • Cruzbike Silvio

  21. #21
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by food
    yup. there's a sticker on the seat tube that proudly proclaims hi-ten. hehehehehe.
    Most fixie conversions are. I'm only uppity because I have columbus tubing on my steel bike.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DKfix's Avatar
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    -I just removed all the braze-ons from an old Nishiki frame with a flat head screw driver and blunt nose pliers. They just popped right off. I couldn't believe it. But now you'd never know they were there.

  23. #23
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Actually I find my Sears Robo-Grip pliers and a slight back and forth twisting motion does the trick. Most braze-ons pop off with nary a scar to the tube!
    My Current Bikes:

    • 1993 Giant Kronos
    • 1974 Zeus (in restoration)
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  24. #24
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    I guess I do it the hard way. Hack saw, file, sandpaper.

  25. #25
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    Most fixie conversions are. I'm only uppity because I have columbus tubing on my steel bike.
    Most crappy conversions are. A lot of old frames out there are solid 531, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

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