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hole in aluminum frame top tube

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hole in aluminum frame top tube

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Old 10-16-06, 07:58 AM
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itty01
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hole in aluminum frame top tube

Hi all,
I recently acquired a Cannondale cyclocross/touring alumninum frame. It looks to be in good condition, except for one area. A housing stop in the middle of the top tube seems to have been ripped off at some point, leaving a slight hole. This is a guess as to what happened, as it seems most plausible. The hole is on the top tube, so when it rains, water could conceivably fall into the frame. I don't think this is a huge problem in terms of safety, but moreso in regards to possible corrosion. Does anyone have any suggestions? Could I just wrap it in electrical tape or should I do something more concrete? Or is it not a problem at all?
Thanks
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Old 10-16-06, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by itty01
Hi all,
I recently acquired a Cannondale cyclocross/touring alumninum frame. It looks to be in good condition, except for one area. A housing stop in the middle of the top tube seems to have been ripped off at some point, leaving a slight hole. This is a guess as to what happened, as it seems most plausible. The hole is on the top tube, so when it rains, water could conceivably fall into the frame. I don't think this is a huge problem in terms of safety, but moreso in regards to possible corrosion. Does anyone have any suggestions? Could I just wrap it in electrical tape or should I do something more concrete? Or is it not a problem at all?
Thanks
Spray a copious amount of Boeshield into the hole, then silicone caulk it shut. Just a thought...
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Old 10-16-06, 08:13 AM
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Little Darwin
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For the frame itself, no significant problem with corrosion, since it is aluminum. However, I would probably play it cautious because of the headset and bottom bracket.

I would probably put a small screw in it painted the color of the bike.

Either that or use it to hook on something just so it wouldn't look out of place... maybe some streamers.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:13 AM
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I would put some silicon spray lubricant in there and cover with electrical tape. Is this for a rear brake or derailleur housing? How are you running your cables?
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Old 10-16-06, 08:15 AM
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I'd seal the hole after making sure the tube didn't have any water in it. Silicone seal or epoxy should both be suitable.
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Old 10-16-06, 10:26 AM
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I'm not quite as comfortable as everybody else with this I guess. When you say a 'tiny' hole, how big is it? My fear is that it would be a weak point in the tube, and in the event of any sort of stress it might want to start to fold there, with potentially horrible results. If memory serves me, I believe that the top tube basically is under compression strain, so I'd be very very leary of it. Then again, I could be wrong, but I'd want a good frame guy to look at it, or at least get an opinion over in the Frame Builders Forum.

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Old 10-16-06, 10:27 AM
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Examine the hole carefully. If there are any small cracks radiating from it, use a dremel tool to slightly enlarge the hole to get rid of any cracks. If you don't stop cracks, they may propagate and turn into a much bigger problem.
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Old 10-16-06, 10:40 AM
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thanks for the responses. i am not sure which cable the housing stop was used for. as it is just the frame, i don't have the cables set up yet. as for the size of the hole, i would estimate about 1 or 2 mm. i will update you all once i get another chance to use some calipers on the hole. i think i will also take that advice and see a frame builder about it. i don't think i want to chance it.
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Old 10-16-06, 01:41 PM
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My 20ish year old Cannondale AL frame used to have three cable guides to locate the full-length rear brake housing along the top tube. Each guide was plastic and snapped into place through two small holes in the tube. When the guides broke, I initially zip-tied the housing into place but eventually tired of that fix. I sanded the old paint and surface oxidation off from around each of the resulting six holes in the top tube, repainted with black touchup paint, and then placed adhesive-backed cable guides intended for use on shock legs over each of the three refinished areas- that way I had new cable guides and covered the holes in the tube to prevent water intrusion. Ran the housing through the new guides and I was all set.

Point of the story is: if it is indeed a hole that was designed and built into the tube, you shouldn't need to worry about it. If it's caused by anything else, then take a good hard look at it.
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Old 10-16-06, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by truckin
Point of the story is: if it is indeed a hole that was designed and built into the tube, you shouldn't need to worry about it. If it's caused by anything else, then take a good hard look at it.
I'd agree. If the hole is smooth, symetrical and round, it was drilled into the tube and shouldn't be a problem. If the hole isn't smooth, symetrical or round, it's going to be a stress riser and a place for failure. Best to check with a Cannondale dealer or reputable bike shop.
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Old 10-17-06, 02:26 PM
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A Cannondale dealer should have press-in top tube replacement cable guides in stock; getting one to replace the missing one should cost next to nothing.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:24 AM
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itty01
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it is smooth and looks as though it was drilled specifically for the housing stop. i'll find a cannondale dealer near me and check with them and look for a replacement part. thanks for all the help!
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Old 10-18-06, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
A Cannondale dealer should have press-in top tube replacement cable guides in stock; getting one to replace the missing one should cost next to nothing.
And the winner is???
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