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frame paint ripple.....bent?

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frame paint ripple.....bent?

Old 02-11-14, 06:47 PM
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frame paint ripple.....bent?

Got a frame cheap and then noticed that the top tube has some paint ripple/cracking on the top tube. The down tube has less but you can see it if really look
You cant feel it if you run your hand over it. WEll you can feel the paint cracks but you cant feel a bump or bend.

That said......clearly this thing appears bent then. I do not know of any other way you could have this on the top and downtube. The fork seems fine.

it is Steel (Its an old Lotus)

When is a frame unsafe to ride? I like the frame and it is my size. Ive got the parts to build it up

Thoughts?
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Old 02-11-14, 07:00 PM
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that's why it was Cheap

I won't volunteer a Blind Guess..
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Old 02-11-14, 07:04 PM
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Classic evidence of a front end collision is buckling (ripples) under the down tube at the head, often accompanied with stress cracking or stretch marks in the paint at the top surface of either or both the top and down tubes.

Without a picture, I can't offer much of an opinion, but from your description it sure sounds like there was a collision. Often the fork offers supporting evidence.
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Old 02-11-14, 07:42 PM
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The paint damage you describe is a typical consequence of a front-end collision. Fortunately, steel is quite forgiving and if it is still reasonable well aligned it could give you many more years of service.
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Old 02-11-14, 08:06 PM
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I had a bike like this once... the front end collision was me into the back of a car. Rode it for another 5 years or so but the steering was never quite right. Then one day I noticed the crack - it had propagated right along the edge of the lug almost impossible to see until it finally started up the side of the head tube... rode it home very carefully that day and then dismembered it.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:59 PM
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Grabbed a few pics.

The top tube shot looks worse than it appears. The paint has flaked here from my scrapping at the ripples. THe fork doesnt look bent. Ive looked at it from many angles pulled it all a part to check for any damage.
The frame and fork are Chromoly
The wheels shown are just resting there. They are not bolted down. I put them under the bike thinking that would help show if things were out of wack.
The last pic is of the downtube. The large paint chip there isnt the damaged part. Look closely just up from the shifter bosses and you will see slight paint crack





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Old 02-15-14, 02:11 PM
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It's not that bad, and if the front end collision that might have caused it was straight on, it may even track perfectly when built.

There's no way anybody, who isn't psychic, can render a meaningful opinion based on the photos.

The two best quick ways to determine the nature of the issue are-

1- lay a straight edge along the tubes (you need one that will clear the lugs) and see if it makes a bend obvious.
2- compare the wheelbase to the factory spec. or to one that might seem reasonable for a bike of the era. If it's shorter than one might expect, the front wheel might have been pushed back. You can sometimes confirm this by looking at the tire/pedal clearance.

If you want an opinion based only on what I see, I'd say build it up and see how it rides.
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Old 02-15-14, 02:16 PM
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Agree.. still not adequate pictures.. take it to someone that can see it 1st hand..


my guess

Given front wheel is not too close to the down tube yet.. I've seen Worse .. still on the road ..
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Old 02-15-14, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
It's not that bad, and if the front end collision that might have caused it was straight on, it may even track perfectly when built.

There's no way anybody, who isn't psychic, can render a meaningful opinion based on the photos.

The two best quick ways to determine the nature of the issue are-

1- lay a straight edge along the tubes (you need one that will clear the lugs) and see if it makes a bend obvious.
2- compare the wheelbase to the factory spec. or to one that might seem reasonable for a bike of the era. If it's shorter than one might expect, the front wheel might have been pushed back. You can sometimes confirm this by looking at the tire/pedal clearance.

If you want an opinion based only on what I see, I'd say build it up and see how it rides.
Thanks. It really doesnt appear that bad. Ill see if i can find a straight edge and attempt your suggestion.

This one will likely get built into a SingleSpeed for tooling around. Nothing serious.....everything is flat around here and wont be hammering hard at all. The wheels you see are the wheels that will likely go on the bike. I rid an old fuji now (shown in the background) and it has big dent in the underside of the top tube. Just noticed that one the other day. Been riding it for years and that one is nothing special at all. I threw fenders on it and use it as my rain\bad weather bike.

I always find it funny that almost every post with set of pictures that gets posted here by anyone gets asked "are your forks bent?"
It is very hard to get the picture to appear as if they arent even if they arent.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:23 PM
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I don't see the ripples, I see missing paint but that's not caused by a tube bending...but of course the pics may not be showing it well and or combined with a monitor that prevents me from seeing it. I can't detect any bent tubes at least in the first picture where in the background is a garage door seam and the frame seems to be straight in regards to that. But again being there would be a definite advantage in providing a much better answer. I don't believe you have a problem with that frame.
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Old 02-15-14, 06:08 PM
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The paint damage does look typical of a front end collision, but it appears to be pretty minor. As it is a steel frame, it should be safe to ride as is.
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Old 02-15-14, 06:24 PM
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Steel-I would ride it.
Heck maybe it was in a collision-but the paint was less elastic than the steel-so it "stayed bent" but the steel bounced back.
You said you can see it is BENT?
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Old 02-16-14, 02:53 PM
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To me these don't look like evidence of buckled paint/tubes from a front-end collision. It looks more like abrasions to the paint. The top tube looks like it might be from something like a pump bracket being attached and moving around.



The down tube abrasion could be from something similar or from leaning against something.

In my experience front end collisions with an older steel frame causes tube buckling and paint rippling parallel to the direction of the top tube and down tube. It's also usually closer to the head tube lugs.

This is a 1980ish Panasonic Sport 1000 that has this type of damage and is still getting used as a local beater.

Top of top tube.


Side of top tube. You can see very slight buckling underneath.


Top of down tube.


Side of down tube. The buckling underneath is more pronounced because it took more force from the wheel being pushed back.
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Old 02-16-14, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by scale
Grabbed a few pics.
Do you have this picture in a bigger size than a beer coaster?
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Old 02-16-14, 05:39 PM
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How about these.

They show the top tube and downtube. I scratched at the ripples with my figurenail which removed the paint.



DT
TT
TT
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Old 02-16-14, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scale
How about these.

They show the top tube and downtube. I scratched at the ripples with my figurenail which removed the paint.


Scale,

You've asked and people have answered. It's either bent slightly or not bent at all. I lean toward bent slightly, but it doesn't matter either way. Since it's a steel frame it's safe to ride, and if it's bent you're not going to straighten it anyway.

All the photos and opinions in the world aren't going to change anything, it's still be bent slightly or not at all.

So it's time to crap or get off the pot, and decide whether you want to build it or not, because that's the only way you'll know how it rides.
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Old 02-16-14, 05:53 PM
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fair enough. Thanks
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Old 02-16-14, 08:55 PM
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Again I don't see a ripple, I see what appears to have been something mounted and someone twisted it to either get it off or the object was hit and it moved on the frame which gouged the paint and just a tad of the metal, you see the same effect except more exaggerated when someone tries to remove a seatpost and they twist it back and forth to get it off.

Even if it is rippled as others have said it's so slight it won't affect the life of the bike frame or the rideability of it.

Again though those new photos don't help any.
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