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Can This Drop-out and Frame Be Saved?

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Can This Drop-out and Frame Be Saved?

Old 02-02-21, 09:06 PM
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Flying G 
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Can This Drop-out and Frame Be Saved?

Someone shipped me a bike that wasn't packed well and I noticed that the right rear drop-out was bent inward on itself and is slightly off-center (see photo below). Obviously, it is impossible to mount the rear wheel with this damage. It is a Campy drop-out on a Gitane Super Corsa from the early 1970s. I measured the gap in the other undamaged drop-out (9.3mm) and the damaged drop-out is bent to a gap of 6mm.

Is the alloy in a vintage Campy so brittle that a repair likely to result in more damage? Is this truly repairable? Recommendations?

Thanks in advance!



You can see how the drop-out is bent toward itself. The adjuster set screw is also bent.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:10 PM
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Besides the poor packing the der cage inner plate is upside down.

I would have little concerns about doing this repair, straightening the drop out. Sure it could break but having done quite a number over the years and never breaking one I'm comfy going forward. Of course before I would do this I'd have to have "that talk" with the owner just in case... First thing i would do is to try removing the adjuster screw. And it's this screw that might be the casualty. It might not want to turn any longer and it might get worse during the straightening. Do know that I wouldn't want to try chasing the threads for it in the drop out. I have broken off a tap in a drop out before, only once and that was enough.

Given the bike I would suggest seeking someone who knows what's going on and has experience with this stuff. It's easy to go too far or get too hasty.

BTW I had a 1973 Gitane Super Corsa, white and a 21" (bought it slightly used in 1974). A really nice riding bike and my first mostly Campy kit. It's one of the handful I would like to get back, I sold it not knowing what I do now. Andy
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Old 02-02-21, 10:20 PM
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best done gently with a prybar of some form and a dropout alignment gauge, this is one of those jobs that is easy if you have the right tools and shouldn't really be done if you don't. Basically you pry the dropout open, the last time I did it I actually used an oak board to prevent extra damage to the frame but a decent, blunt ended pry bar will work. You're only opening enough to be able to slip the alignment gauge in so regular test fitting should be done. Once the gauge is in start tightening it down and if the dropout isn't flat use an adjustable wrench to get it where it should be, then align the dropout. A decent shop should be able to do this and the steel should hold up fine.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:22 PM
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better to ship with the rear wheel on, saves the stays and the hanger, most of the time,

maybe just a little heat, not much, like a hot air gun from a foot out to simulate the hottest day in death valley which is around 130.
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Old 02-02-21, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cjenrick View Post
better to ship with the rear wheel on, saves the stays and the hanger, most of the time,

maybe just a little heat, not much, like a hot air gun from a foot out to simulate the hottest day in death valley which is around 130.

No. Don't use heat. And 130* wouldn't do more then keep your hands warm in a cold shop anyway. Andy
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Old 02-03-21, 08:13 AM
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Yes, it should be fixable. Campagnolo dropouts were forged from relatively mild steel, so they would be malleable to allow bending into alignment. I'd slip a wrench handle into the slot to lever it open, then check alignment with "H" tools or equivalent. Chrome may crack, but also check that the dropout itself is not cracked. Failure at the adjuster bolt hole is the most common problem, but is not inevitable.
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Old 02-03-21, 10:13 AM
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A pair of Fox wedges could be used to open up the drop-out.
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Old 02-03-21, 10:29 AM
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Done by some one with the right tools, it should be no problem at all.
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Old 02-03-21, 10:38 AM
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I wouldn't hesitate to straighten that and align. But... I would make sure the shipper and or customer is fully aware that there is a chance of the dropout cracking and make a mutually agreed upon solution if it should get damaged in the process BEFORE proceeding with the straightening.
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Old 02-03-21, 10:02 PM
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations and the confidence to go forward with the repair. The LBS has the green light to proceed and I'm optimistic that the drop-out and adjusters will be fixed.

Completely agree with keeping the rear wheel attached when shipping, if possible. We've shipped our own bikes from coast to coast and to Europe and back multiple times with no major damage to frames or components. We have also seen first hand how the luggage handlers at airports move bike bags/cases around - remember the Samsonite Gorilla? I'm sure that FedEx and UPS probably aren't that much different.

Will post the results when known. Thanks again!
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Old 02-04-21, 02:19 AM
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this is winter time so i would do it indoors if you live in a cold climate.

the Titanic sank because the rivets sheared due to the metal being near freezing from the cold Atlantic.

same with a lot of Liberty Ships.

google ductility vs temp for steel in order to see graphs showing boundary conditions,

type of steel and grain orientation will be a factor.

thick plate steel is sometimes heated to 200 to 300 degrees while bending in order to avoid shearing.
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Old 02-04-21, 02:37 PM
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I once bent a Campy hanger much worse than that when my chain went over the largest cog while coasting downhill at about 25mph+. While I had to get more creative to return it to its original shape before setting the hanger alighment with an alighnment guide the final product rode exactly as it had before. A few hunderd miles later and I've had no issues with it.

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Old 02-04-21, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cjenrick View Post
better to ship with the rear wheel on.
Or a scrapped hub.
Or a spacer made from some nuts and a threaded rod.
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