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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-27-10, 02:07 AM   #1
tFUnK
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Has anyone put track dropouts onto an aluminum road frame?

Either DIY or professionally?

Any info (how easy/difficult was the procedure, how much did it cost, where to order track dropouts, was the procedure worth it, etc) appreciated.
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Old 05-27-10, 02:56 AM   #2
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I imagine this would be much more difficult than it is with steel frames. Do you have experience with welding, if not, then how hard do you think it will be? I can't really see it being worth it unless the bike has a ton of sentimental value. Either way, it would probably be a lot cheaper and easier to get a white industries eccentric hub.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:57 AM   #3
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I am not considering DIY as an option, but just wanted to solicit opinions of those who might have done this themselves (as a DIY or professionally for other people). I'm sure it will involve a bit of work/skill, but I am curious how much a professional quality job would run. Getting a eno rear wheel is obviously cheaper than buying a new frame (quality aluminum track frames run upwards of $600), but if the cost of putting on track dropouts is comparable to buying a eno rear wheel, I would rather do that instead.
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Old 05-27-10, 04:17 AM   #4
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I wouldn't do it.
I'm no expert on aluminum welding, but it needs to be TIG or MIG welded, then heat treated again, because the welding reduces the strength of the aluminum at the joint.

How much this would cost, I have no idea, but if it's a popular frame, then the manufacturer usually offers a track variant of the frame.
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Old 05-27-10, 06:22 AM   #5
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Isn't that how Cannondale came up with the Capo's frame? What does the rear dropout on a Capo look like?Maybe that would work.
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Old 05-27-10, 08:46 AM   #6
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ENO.

Otherwise, you need to acquire some track ends http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-...ED-OR-BMX.html.... Then have someone butcher your frame (hopefully a skilled framebuilder) and then put your trust (life) into their work.

I would never even consider this as an option. Plus if your frame is painted, you will need to repaint the rear triangle as the heat generated while welding will strip/ruin your finish.

You should also consider that even if you can get this done for a somewhat decent price, you will still need a track hub ($$$) when all is said and done.
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Old 05-27-10, 08:52 AM   #7
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Why not sell the frame and put the money towards a track frame, or get an ENO eccentric hub?
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Old 05-27-10, 09:10 AM   #8
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I wouldn't do it.
I'm no expert on aluminum welding, but it needs to be TIG or MIG welded, then heat treated again, because the welding reduces the strength of the aluminum at the joint.

How much this would cost, I have no idea, but if it's a popular frame, then the manufacturer usually offers a track variant of the frame.
It would be cheaper to buy a Dawes SST-AL.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:37 AM   #9
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Spend a few moments on the internet reading about heat treatments of AL.
To give you a head start bikes are made of 7001 or 6061.
The answer of why this should not be done should become obvious.

Enjoy
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Old 05-27-10, 10:29 AM   #10
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Having a ordinary professional welder do it is going to cost $$.... and that's just for a professional welder who has no experience with bicycles and there's gonna be risks....

A specialized professional welder who works on bicycles is going to cost more then the latter but workmanship can be guaranteed.....
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Old 05-27-10, 10:41 AM   #11
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Make an adapter. Drill your dropout in in two places, tap the adapter and put a nice counter sunk bolt or hardened low profile bolt in. For extra fun tap the adapter for axle thread and attatch it to the existing axle placement if need be. You make the new track ends below the existing axle to raise the back end a bit and steepen the angles.

This requires a solid understanding of metal working, precision tools and specialist fasteners. And if you have these then you'd probably have the resources to just buy a frame.

I have a cool looking aluminum Fuji/Schwinn frame that came on a discount road bike that would be a neat looking conversion and have thought about this as well. Not really worth it.
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Old 05-28-10, 02:58 AM   #12
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the frame i want is rare, and carries a heavy hipster tax when it does pop up occasionally.

i have a road bike that i am happy with. the frame is very similar to the track frame i'm after (actually, it's why i want the track version of the frame in the first place), leading me to entertain the idea of converting the dropouts. i love my road bike too much so i will be looking to pick up another frame (much more common than the track version, and more reasonably priced).

the eno hub seems like the simplest solution. but it's gonna be $200+ for the complete wheel and i've seen pics of this frame converted (eno hub, magic ratio, half links, etc). it does not look pretty.

if the cost of the job (let's assume expert frame-builder, perfect craftsmanship) is comparable to getting an eno wheel, then it might be worth thinking about.

the issues regarding re-welding aluminum that's already been heat treated is not trivial. a loss-of-strength will definitely occur at the joint, but the question is how much? and will that loss translate into a real-world problem? i'm no expert metallurgist but i do remember learning about heat treating/alloy annealing when i took some materials science courses in college.

i found this on another forum: "From Lockheed Stress Memo 129a, welding 6061-T6 aluminum with no re-heat treat will get you 60% of the -T6 base metal strength. With a re-heat treat after welding it's a 85% -T6 base metal strength."

it would be great if someone knowledgeable of the process (or if they had this done to their frame) could chime in on this.

so, i guess the real question remains unanswered: assuming loss-of-strength is not a real-world issue, how much would a skilled/expert/professional frame-builder charge for this type of work?
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Old 05-28-10, 03:47 AM   #13
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so what frame is it?
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Old 05-28-10, 03:49 AM   #14
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so what frame is it?
post #5 almost hit it right on
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Old 05-28-10, 09:15 AM   #15
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Still think OP is making a mountain out of a molehill...

ENO wheel = ~$200

Non ENO wheel = ~$150

Cheap track ends = ~$20 shipped

Finding someone to prepare, weld and repaint for under $30.... not going to happen unless you happen to know a frame builder and painter who owe you big time.

Plus there is a margin of error where your frame may be rendered useless, but you may be able recoup $2-$4 when you bring it in for scrap based on weight and current price/lb.

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Old 05-28-10, 11:02 AM   #16
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Still think OP is making a mountain out of a molehill...
not arguing this point. but let's say i already have a rear wheel, and i would be willing to pay up to $200 for a flawless job.
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Old 05-28-10, 11:24 AM   #17
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mountain out of a molehill.

Just magic gear it.
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Old 05-28-10, 02:01 PM   #18
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Here is my Cannondale 3.0 with an Eno hub. Works great and looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

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Old 05-28-10, 06:20 PM   #19
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^ that's a nice looking molehill
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Old 05-28-10, 06:27 PM   #20
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i don't think you get the molehill analogy. instead of welding track ends onto the frame, he bought an eccentric hub.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:01 PM   #21
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OP have you ever checked out "magic gears" (google it up)? It might just be the cheapest alternative.


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the frame i want is rare, and carries a heavy hipster tax when it does pop up occasionally.
A cannondale track?
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Old 05-28-10, 07:26 PM   #22
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OP have you ever checked out "magic gears" (google it up)? It might just be the cheapest alternative.


A cannondale track?
magic gears are really really really high maintenance.

cannondale track would be the capo.

how much does a capo, whole bike or frameset cost anyways?
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Old 05-28-10, 07:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
Spend a few moments on the internet reading about heat treatments of AL.
To give you a head start bikes are made of 7001 or 6061.
The answer of why this should not be done should become obvious.

Enjoy
We have a BINGO!
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Old 05-28-10, 07:38 PM   #24
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I think he has been referring to the older Cannondale track bike. It is pretty similar to my bike pictured above but with track dropouts and of course track geometry. They come up on Ebay every so often and sell for$700 - $1000 for the frame alone. Way before the Cappo. I think the Cappo had standard Cannondale road geometry.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:44 PM   #25
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ahhh... okay.

but wouldn't a modified road frame still have road geometry?
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