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Should I be worried? Crack(s)

Old 03-17-20, 09:01 AM
  #1  
Locomotief
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Should I be worried? Crack(s)

Today I had my new old bike upside down. And noticed these two cracks. The one under my saddle I'm not sure about if it's the paint or the connection.

The other one near my back brake is length wise. that probably means they didn't use seamless tubing.

What do guys think?



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Old 03-17-20, 09:13 AM
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That is... problematic. Do NOT continue riding that bike. Do not pass GO and collect $200.
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Old 03-17-20, 09:28 AM
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Time to start frame shopping, that one is done.
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Old 03-17-20, 09:48 AM
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New frame time!
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Old 03-17-20, 09:55 AM
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Bummer! While I wouldn't write it off just yet, not without some further investigation, I'll agree that it doesn't look particularly good.
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Old 03-17-20, 10:02 AM
  #6  
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Clean it and re-silver solder (make sure that a professional does this). My guess is that the frame is pretty special. Were the frame mine, I would do what I just suggested, repaint and keep an eye on it forever. If the crack does show up again, or the stay separates, you will, most likely, not crash but you just might have to walk home.

Question - is the frame something pretty special?
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Old 03-17-20, 10:16 AM
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Hmm, I must be the only one without X-ray vision, unable to see if the frame is damaged without removing the paint.
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Old 03-17-20, 10:22 AM
  #8  
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I would definitely make that a "no downhill" rider. Just for flat road riding less than 20mph now.
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Old 03-17-20, 10:23 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Hmm, I must be the only one without X-ray vision, unable to see if the frame is damaged without removing the paint.
Yeah, remove the paint in the areas of concern, otherwise you're guessing.
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Old 03-17-20, 11:21 AM
  #10  
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I didn't notice anything wrong with this bike until I was riding it to the store late one night. I thought I had a rear tire flat when the bike started to squirm a bit. I stopped and felt the tire and it was hard. I then thought perhaps my rear rack was looses and I pulled it side to side. that's when I saw this.



I was still able to ride that bike to the store and then back home. After that it was broken up and the frame tossed into the recycling pile.

Cheers
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Old 03-17-20, 11:48 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I didn't notice anything wrong with this bike until I was riding it to the store late one night. I thought I had a rear tire flat when the bike started to squirm a bit. I stopped and felt the tire and it was hard. I then thought perhaps my rear rack was looses and I pulled it side to side. that's when I saw this.



I was still able to ride that bike to the store and then back home. After that it was broken up and the frame tossed into the recycling pile.

Cheers
You didn't keep it? Think of all the people you could fool! Hey man, check out my new duál suspension road bi-cycle! Ain't it neat?
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Old 03-17-20, 11:55 AM
  #12  
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^^^^^ Bend 'em forward a bit, weld 'em onto the seat tube / top-tube, and you've got your own custom Hellenic / triple-triangle design.
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Old 03-17-20, 12:21 PM
  #13  
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If that's a frame you like, take to to someone like TiCycles and have a good, solid repair done. Call them. My bet, Dave will tell you it will take one afternoon, he'll do both sides, yo will have to look at more braze (which should have been there from the beginning) and the frame will need a paint job after. Dave told me that when I called with my early '80s TREK which had a crack running through the seatstay cap. He also told me if I looked closely I wold see cracks on the other side too. He was right. TiCycles is far from the only ones who do these repairs but they have done many and for them it is just another repair they know well.

So ask yourself - is this frame worth $600 to you? $400 for the repair, $200 for paint. Better than new. (Stronger. A touch less sexy.)
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Old 03-17-20, 12:24 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I didn't notice anything wrong with this bike until I was riding it to the store late one night. I thought I had a rear tire flat when the bike started to squirm a bit. I stopped and felt the tire and it was hard. I then thought perhaps my rear rack was looses and I pulled it side to side. that's when I saw this.



I was still able to ride that bike to the store and then back home. After that it was broken up and the frame tossed into the recycling pile.

Cheers
You tossed it! The downhill bomber. Lower BB for stability and suspension with lots of travel.
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Old 03-17-20, 12:27 PM
  #15  
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Looks like it's probably cracked, but as already pointed out, you'll need to remove the paint to find out for sure.

Seatstays cracking or breaking at the seatcluster junction is one of a handful or relatively common failures seen on traditional steel frames. For reasons I never understood, it was widely believed that this joint has very little stress. As a consequence the area was often underbuilt. IMHO. The uncapped ends of those stays is a perfect example of this.

At any rate it's a relatively easy frame repair if you want to go that route. Obviously the paint will get torched.
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Old 03-17-20, 01:07 PM
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I will try to explain what I found in my best English... the top of the seat stay tube is crimmed. It's not a separate piece. The part of the tube that's fastened to the frame is slowly getting ripped of.
I hope I'm making sense. This is not easily repaired. I would have to replace the whole seat stay. Even without the other crack that it has length wise.


here you can see the two parts of the crimmed seat stay. And how they are starting to separate.
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Old 03-17-20, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Locomotief View Post
I will try to explain what I found in my best English... the top of the seat stay tube is crimmed. It's not a separate piece. The part of the tube that's fastened to the frame is slowly getting ripped of.
I hope I'm making sense. This is not easily repaired. I would have to replace the whole seat stay. Even without the other crack that it has length wise.


here you can see the two parts of the crimmed seat stay. And how they are starting to separate.
JB Weld and some twine, shellac for vintage look.

edit: might cover the serial number, if that matters....
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Old 03-17-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Clean it and re-silver solder (make sure that a professional does this). My guess is that the frame is pretty special. Were the frame mine, I would do what I just suggested, repaint and keep an eye on it forever. If the crack does show up again, or the stay separates, you will, most likely, not crash but you just might have to walk home.

Question - is the frame something pretty special?
I don't think it's a very special frame. I do like it but probably not worth the money to fix it.

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Old 03-17-20, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Locomotief View Post
I will try to explain what I found in my best English... the top of the seat stay tube is crimmed. It's not a separate piece. The part of the tube that's fastened to the frame is slowly getting ripped of.
Are you sure? It looks to me like there is a concave shell that is part of the lug casting into which the crimped seatstay has been brazed. The idea of this design is to give a decent amount of surface area for the braze.

​I don't think any steel has cracked here but either the braze joint has failed and the tube is separating from that shell, or it's just paint. If the joint has failed it can probably be brazed back in fairly easily. You could even attempt it yourself with a MAPP torch and silver "solder" if the alternative is to scrap the frame.

The other possibility is that after brazing the top of the seatstay wasn't quite flush with the shell and they basically smoothed it over with the paint and maybe that's all that's cracked. You will know more if you take some paint off. You could also put a screwdriver into the crack and pry on it a bit. If the SS moves relative to the lug then you have a failure. If it doesn't then you might not have a failure at all!
​​
As for the other crack it may just be in the paint, but you'll find out if you take a bit of the paint off.

Last edited by guy153; 03-17-20 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 03-17-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Locomotief View Post
I will try to explain what I found in my best English... the top of the seat stay tube is crimmed. It's not a separate piece. The part of the tube that's fastened to the frame is slowly getting ripped of.
I hope I'm making sense. This is not easily repaired. I would have to replace the whole seat stay. Even without the other crack that it has length wise.

here you can see the two parts of the crimmed seat stay. And how they are starting to separate.
I should clarify. If the problem is only at the top of the seat stay, that is fixable. There are several ways to go about it.

IF that crack in the middle of the seatstay is in fact a crack, and not just in the paint, then the whole frame is probably toast. Replacing a whole seatstay is a big job, and there's still be the one on the other side to worry about. If it's just a paint crack I think the seatsay ends are worth fixing.
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Old 03-17-20, 03:20 PM
  #21  
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Before speculating any further, I suggest removing a bit of paint in both areas and see what's what. If it is only a paint problem, it's a trip to the "Gamma" and €10 for a small can of matching paint and Bob's your uncle. I think this frame at least deserves that.
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Old 03-17-20, 03:41 PM
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It's hard to make a good photo of the crack. But it almost goes around the tube.
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Old 03-17-20, 04:09 PM
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That was quick!

Thank you for these pictures. I am no constructeur, and I'm having a hard time trying to understand what is going on here. It does look like a crack, but why? And why there?
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Old 03-17-20, 04:19 PM
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I was going to say it was just the "crimp" seams, until you showed the under the seat stay pictures.. that is definitely coming away from the seat cluster.
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Old 03-17-20, 04:25 PM
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the seat stay top is of the "maximum deformation" type. the longitudinal crack under and along and not yet joined indicates a tube that was probably too brittle to begin with. The heat of brazing often anneals this - not this time. This type of construction is fast. Production oriented. The bike let's assume rides well. The options:
Find a substitute frame with as much of the same attributes, size, threading, seatpost diameter and swap things over.
Locate a framebuilder who will replace Both seat stays and bridge. You will end up with a different style of top eye. The design here really needs tooling and a stamping press to create. Not worth it.
The second route implies new paint, the frame repaint and time.
The decider is to what $ extent is the frame really wanted.
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