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Drill a Steel frame for Bottle cage mounts?

Old 07-13-16, 10:31 AM
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12strings
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Drill a Steel frame for Bottle cage mounts?

Hi all, Can I drill holes in a 35-40 year old steel frame that doesn't have any bottle mounts, or should I just use some kind of clamp-on mount?
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Old 07-13-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
Hi all, Can I drill holes in a 35-40 year old steel frame that doesn't have any bottle mounts, or should I just use some kind of clamp-on mount?
What kind of 35-40 year old steel frame?
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Old 07-13-16, 10:54 AM
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Bottle mounts are not just holes in the frame; they're threaded fittings. What you're thinking of doing won't work.
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Old 07-13-16, 10:56 AM
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Some steel frames are made with butted tubing, which means the tubing is thicker, in some places, than others. The typical locations for bottle cages are usually where the tubing is very thin, so it won't hold threads very well. Drilling will also reduce the overall strength of the tube, and introduce a location for corrosion to set in. Not much good comes from drilling bicycle frames.

Clamp on might be a better choice, especially if the frame has any value.

Last edited by kevindsingleton; 07-13-16 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 07-13-16, 10:57 AM
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You wouldn't want to simply drill holes and tap/screw into them, but you could drill holes and install rivnuts to receive screws. Whether you should depends, in part, on what kind of bike we're talking about.

And of course, classic clamp-on bottle cages look right at home on older bikes.
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Old 07-13-16, 10:59 AM
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You could drill the frame and insert RivNuts (threaded Pop Rivets, essentially), but I wouldn't do it myself, there are a lot of different non-invasive ways to mount cages:
https://recklesscognition.wordpress....ws-and-bosses/
Adding Water Bottle Cages to Bicycles without Braze
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Old 07-13-16, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
You wouldn't want to simply drill holes and tap/screw into them, but you could drill holes and install rivnuts to receive screws. Whether you should depends, in part, on what kind of bike we're talking about.

And of course, classic clamp-on bottle cages look right at home on older bikes.
Rivnuts require that quite a large hole be drilled in the frame. Old steel frames were not designed with rivnuts in mind since steel tubing is much smaller in diameter than aluminum or carbon frames where hey are used these days. If you cannot afford to have e frame builder install threaded water bottle bosses which would be brazed in place to reinforce the area where the hole would be drilled, use a clamp on cage
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Old 07-13-16, 11:18 AM
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Thanks all, just wondering...it's an old Brittany Free Spirit that I brought back to life. Cost me $15. Sounds like a bad idea...
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Old 07-13-16, 11:39 AM
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buy a Two Fish Velcro strap on bottle cage http://www.twofish.biz/pdf/StainlessCages.pdf

Then you can change Bikes Under the Bottle cage.

Cheap frame Thick wall Mild steel tubing ?

I could probably make threaded holes.. A center Punch can deform a dent in the Tube wall,

and in making that dent, when the hole is drilled and threaded, will have more threads in it,

than if you just drilled a clean hole and then threaded It.

Making an alignment Jig using a Piece of angle Iron on a drill press is useful in getting the holes On Center.

Service charge will me More than the $15 you paid for the bike at a Yard sale.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-13-16 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 07-13-16, 11:43 AM
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Cheap low end bikes don't use thin butted tubes. It still might be tricky to get the holes aligned properly.

Some bottle cages have tabs where they mount with screws, most vintage ones or vintage styles ones have it. You can use hose clamps or vintage style bottle cage clamps to attach these cages to a frame. Common in the 60's when braze-ons were not standard.

Last edited by 2lo8; 07-13-16 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:42 PM
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...probably less trouble would be a Nashbar handlebar cage mount. They work pretty well, and it's where bottles rode for many years back in ancient times.

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Old 07-13-16, 12:42 PM
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On a $15 bike, I'd just strap the cage on with hose clamps and call it a day.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mrchaotica View Post
On a $15 bike, I'd just strap the cage on with hose clamps and call it a day.
Why does the cost of the bike matter?

If someone gave you a bike, for free, would you glob the cages on with J-B Weld?

Strange.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:55 PM
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Exactly what is wrong with hose clamps?
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Old 07-13-16, 01:05 PM
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I've been able to make it look and function nicely now...it hangs on my office wall as a vintage decoration/ emergency transportation when I need it...or don't want to drive somewhere close. I don't consider it junk at all, and would put it against a Wal-Mart cruiser any day. It has a nice lugged frame and the paint is not bad either...Mayne I'll get a pic of it on here soon ( can't do that on the phone)

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Old 07-13-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kevindsingleton View Post
Why does the cost of the bike matter?

If someone gave you a bike, for free, would you glob the cages on with J-B Weld?
Why wouldn't the cost matter? If you're riding a cheap bike, it's because you either can't afford or don't feel that it's necessary to have an expensive one. Why, then, would you suddenly change your mind and go for the expensive solution for accessories? If you wanted to spend extra money, it would have been better to get a bike fancy enough to have braze-ons to start off with.

Besides, what a bike is "worth" means fair market value, not what the owner actually spent on it. If somebody gave me a bike worth $15 for free, I'd use hose clamps. If somebody gave me a bike worth $500 for free, I'd use a "proper" vintage cage mount or maybe even have braze-ons added (but realistically speaking, I'd expect a bike worth that much to either have braze-ons already or be a "collector's item" that I should resell instead of ride).

(By the way: it goes without saying that hose clamps on a bike frame should have something tucked under them to protect the paint, such as a bit of disposable latex glove or a piece of old inner tube. Using hose clamps doesn't mean you don't care.)
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Old 07-13-16, 01:19 PM
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Here we go... Got some pics, unfortunately no "Before" pics.

I bought it for 15 in unusable condition: rusted stiff chain and derrailers, couldn't pedal, lots of rust on components.

I stripped it down to bare frame, repacked bearings in BB, headseat, and wheels, cleaned everything, removed SOME of the rust, not all.
New items are: Tubes, tires, cables, housing, chain. Everything else stayed. I'm actually surprised the derrailers still worked fine once they were cleaned up. It rides and shifts well now. No collectors item, but fun for me.

I just thought it would be more useful with a bottle cage...and though plastic clamp mounts wouldn't fit the vintage look. But metal ones might.
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Old 07-13-16, 01:25 PM
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Get one that lets you put a can of soft drink on your handlebars
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Old 07-13-16, 01:26 PM
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Ah, given that this bike is primarily wall art, vintage metal clamps make more sense than hose clamps.
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Old 07-13-16, 01:39 PM
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Bottle cage clamps would be period correct. That was the solution they actually used back then.
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Old 07-13-16, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mrchaotica View Post
Why wouldn't the cost matter? If you're riding a cheap bike, it's because you either can't afford or don't feel that it's necessary to have an expensive one. Why, then, would you suddenly change your mind and go for the expensive solution for accessories? If you wanted to spend extra money, it would have been better to get a bike fancy enough to have braze-ons to start off with.

Besides, what a bike is "worth" means fair market value, not what the owner actually spent on it. If somebody gave me a bike worth $15 for free, I'd use hose clamps. If somebody gave me a bike worth $500 for free, I'd use a "proper" vintage cage mount or maybe even have braze-ons added (but realistically speaking, I'd expect a bike worth that much to either have braze-ons already or be a "collector's item" that I should resell instead of ride).

(By the way: it goes without saying that hose clamps on a bike frame should have something tucked under them to protect the paint, such as a bit of disposable latex glove or a piece of old inner tube. Using hose clamps doesn't mean you don't care.)
Too many contradictions to bother addressing. Party on.
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Old 07-13-16, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mrchaotica View Post

If somebody gave me a bike worth $500 for free, I'd use a "proper" vintage cage mount or maybe even have braze-ons added (but realistically speaking, I'd expect a bike worth that much to either have braze-ons already or be a "collector's item" that I should resell instead of ride).
...I have a number of very fine bicycles that have no bottle braze-ons. I ride them all the time. Prior to a certain time, braze-ons on a butted frame were considered (rightly or wrongly) something to avoid in order to not have the extra heating cycle along the thinner, central portion of the tubes. Thus, I am very familiar with the Nashbar clamp I linked, which costs all of six bucks.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 2lo8 View Post
Exactly what is wrong with hose clamps?
Indeed. BITD, exotic, weight-weenie Hi-E bottle cages used a hose clamp to mount the cage:

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Old 07-15-16, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mrchaotica View Post
On a $15 bike, I'd just strap the cage on with hose clamps and call it a day.
I'd just throw the bottle in a jersey pocked and forget about it.
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Old 07-15-16, 10:20 PM
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I have drilled and tapped an aluminum frame for a bottle mount. The downtube was thick enough to tap. Just an example of owning too many tools. Later, I feared I had potentially weakened the frame, so I posted a query here and was told not to worry. I probably have weakened the frame, but not gonna worry.
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