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Do you trust brazed on eyelets?

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Do you trust brazed on eyelets?

Old 07-14-20, 11:58 AM
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Do you trust brazed on eyelets?

So there is a frame builder in my area who will braze on some eyelets. I have a frame I'd like to do this with so I can use it as my around towner for groceries and school.
He said "I am legally obligated to tell you that the eyelets are ONLY for fenders not rear racks."
I got kind of a wino wink nudge nudge vibe but I wanted to ask what experience you lot have with aftermarket eyelets.
$35 for a pair is a lot cheaper than a new frame and I love the ride of this one so I'm very interested.

Last edited by Buellster; 07-14-20 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 12:36 PM
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Tubus makes these, which are supposedly more robust than regular p-clamps (another alternative).

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...iABEgJNtPD_BwE
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Old 07-14-20, 12:38 PM
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Fyi - the brazing will ruin the paint or chrome
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Old 07-14-20, 12:44 PM
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There's also these Tubus clamps for the seatstays. Very nice quality.

https://www.campfirecycling.com/prod...e_pa_size=14mm
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Old 07-14-20, 12:44 PM
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I've got some on my bike that I did myself. Been commuting with it, sometimes using one front pannier and sometimes with two. No problems to report



If you're talking about dropout eyelets for a rack, I'd also be inclined to trust them. I've seen framebuilders add them, and I think for a while Framebuilder Supply was even selling some dropouts that had an extra eyelet brazed on. Bronze brazing is quite strong. Normally if I'm trying to remove a bronze brazed thing, it will break the braze-on bit before the bronze is broken.

Last edited by scarlson; 07-14-20 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 12:47 PM
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A framebuilder friend described to me an incident where one of his customers changed a flat tire. While doing so, he put the chain on the chain hanger that was brazed to the right seat stay. Unfortunately, he forgot to move the chain back to the freewheel/cogset before trying to ride off. The chain hanger remained fixed to the seat stay, however the seat stay was twisted into a nasty shape that required the attention of said framebuilder. In other words, if brazed correctly, a rack would be fine.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:23 PM
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I go to @gugie for all my brazing needs. He's a mechanical engineer, so he'll go into the technical details and explain to me why whatever I have in mind will or will not work if I ask, but he's also a very practical guy so he'll say "What could possibly go wrong?" or "Don't do that" if I don't ask for more info.

I'm not a frame builder or mechanical engineer, but I do have a degree in physics, so I'll offer some completely unqualified speculation. Assuming a quality job in the braze on, I think the strength depends on a few things -- the material used for the brazing, the shape and size of the contact patch for the brazing, and the geometry of the force applied (angles, lever length, etc.). If you tell the builder you want to use a rack with N pounds of cargo, they ought to be able to produce a braze on that will hold it. If you say you want eyelets for fenders and then after they're done you ask if it will hold a rack too, you might get a vague answer. Typically these things are way stronger than they need to be, but if you didn't ask ahead of time you never know.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:25 PM
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Chain hanger story is pretty wild, but it's under a different loading than an eyelet. I don't fully trust brazed on eyelets. Never had any experience with one breaking off though. And some dropouts have horrible detail on the built in eyelets. I recently built a fork with such dropouts and beefed up the eyelets with brazing filler. On one bike, I put hourglass style rack mounting bosses down by the dropout. If it's possible a lot of weight is going on the eyelet, that's a pretty safe bet.

I only use the traditional chain hangers for rinko-style hangers. Never would leave the chain on one of those. I use Columbine qwickchainger for a regular chain hanger.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:37 PM
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Brazing is really strong. It sounds like he is afraid of lawyers just in case someone did something stupid and decide to sue.

The one note of concern that I have is that you have a drop out without eyelets and he will add an eyelet to the drop out. While I think that should be strong enough, it is not as much contact are as some other brazed on features. scarlson above has lots of contact area on that eyelet that is attached to the fork. If it is going to be like that, you can carry a full propane tank on it I don't know why I picked a propane take but it is heavy.

Maybe we can get gugie to comment.

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Old 07-14-20, 01:41 PM
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IMHO you'll be fine, but make sure they are brazed with bronze rod. I suspect the framebuilder is just saying "Don't come back to me with your broken eyelet after you let your GF ride on the back rack."

Are these lower eyelets or upper? For the back or front? If you don't want to ruin the paint, for most uses regular P-clips are plenty strong. I don't think you need anything as special as the Tubus ones, but those probably are good. The Nitto P clips are very nice too, in a more conventional way.

FWIW I've never seen a broken off eyelet, and I think I've seen most of the common steel frame failures. (they really are few and far between, but that's a different subject.)
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Old 07-14-20, 01:47 PM
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P clamps are cheap, strong, and work.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Brazing is really strong. It sounds like he is afraid of lawyers just in case someone did something stupid and decide to sue.

The one note of concern that I have is that you have a drop out without eyelets and he will add an eyelet to the drop out. While I think that should be strong enough, it is not as much contact are as some other brazed on features. scarlson above has lots of contact area on that eyelet that is attached to the fork. If it is going to be like that, you can carry a full propane tank on it I don't know why I picked a propane take but it is heavy.

Maybe we can get gugie to comment.
Honestly I think that's exactly it. I'm guessing that it's illegal to braze on rear rack or that the insurance for claiming the ability to do so is prohibitive and so he says the line Haha
it would be on a bike with no currents eyelets front or back.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I've got some on my bike that I did myself. Been commuting with it, sometimes using one front pannier and sometimes with two. No problems to report



If you're talking about dropout eyelets for a rack, I'd also be inclined to trust them. I've seen framebuilders add them, and I think for a while Framebuilder Supply was even selling some dropouts that had an extra eyelet brazed on. Bronze brazing is quite strong. Normally if I'm trying to remove a bronze brazed thing, it will break the braze-on bit before the bronze is broken.

Ok, I give up. How do you remove the threaded rod once they are brazed on?
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Old 07-14-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
Ok, I give up. How do you remove the threaded rod once they are brazed on?
LOL, yeah that was stupid. You're the first to call me out on it though! I've posted this in another thread and I guess nobody noticed. Or they knew they couldn't fix my kinda stupid...
I tack welded the heads of two screws together to create that threaded rod, and only after I had the mounts all brazed up did I realize what I had done. I thought I might be able to break the weld, but alas I had actually done a good job at something for once. After swearing at it for a minute also didn't work, I ended up cutting it with an angle grinder.
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Old 07-14-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
LOL, yeah that was stupid. You're the first to call me out on it though! I've posted this in another thread and I guess nobody noticed. Or they knew they couldn't fix my kinda stupid...
I tack welded the heads of two screws together to create that threaded rod, and only after I had the mounts all brazed up did I realize what I had done. I thought I might be able to break the weld, but alas I had actually done a good job at something for once. After swearing at it for a minute also didn't work, I ended up cutting it with an angle grinder.

Ha!, I've done several things like this. Recently I was bending a fork blade after brazing on the dropout and ended up bending it the wrong direction. Stuff happens and you have to laugh about it.
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Old 07-14-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Tubus makes these, which are supposedly more robust than regular p-clamps (another alternative).

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...iABEgJNtPD_BwE
Those look plenty strong, but also look like they could chomp into the fork pretty good if one isn't careful.
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Old 07-14-20, 03:55 PM
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If properly done, brazed-on eyelets should be close enough to strong as integral eyelets as doesn't matter. At Trek, we milled the dropout a little to give more surface area for the joint. A round file will do the same thing with a little "elbow grease."
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Old 07-14-20, 04:06 PM
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As a frame builder I would not use a braze-on eyelet on a dropout to support a rear rack. What has unfortunately happened in the past was that when the loaded rear rack fell over and the panniers (or tent or whatever) hit something on the way down, the braze-on was not strong enough to stay on the dropout. The force broke off the eyelet. This was an eyelet properly brazed with brass (actually bronze but American builders say brass) and in addition a little miter was filed into the dropout to give additional support and contact area. Even if the rear rack is not usually loaded down so the strength would be more than enough, the possibility exists that someone might make a grocery run and - especially if it is only loaded on one side - the bike may tip over and the force of the fall with the extra weight will break off the eyelet.

What I do if the dropout already has one eyelet is put the rack on that one and the fender on the braze-on eyelet. If the dropout has no eyelets I put a water bottle boss as close as possible to the dropout to hold the rack strut and braze-on on eyelet on the dropout for fenders.
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Old 07-14-20, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
As a frame builder I would not use a braze-on eyelet on a dropout to support a rear rack. What has unfortunately happened in the past was that when the loaded rear rack fell over and the panniers (or tent or whatever) hit something on the way down, the braze-on was not strong enough to stay on the dropout. The force broke off the eyelet. This was an eyelet properly brazed with brass (actually bronze but American builders say brass) and in addition a little miter was filed into the dropout to give additional support and contact area. Even if the rear rack is not usually loaded down so the strength would be more than enough, the possibility exists that someone might make a grocery run and - especially if it is only loaded on one side - the bike may tip over and the force of the fall with the extra weight will break off the eyelet.

What I do if the dropout already has one eyelet is put the rack on that one and the fender on the braze-on eyelet. If the dropout has no eyelets I put a water bottle boss as close as possible to the dropout to hold the rack strut and braze-on on eyelet on the dropout for fenders.
Same here. I had an extra drop out braze on for a low rider rack break on me once.

What the OP didn't mention was where the braze-on was. Pretty much every seat stay rack attachment is brazed on, as are mid-fork mounted low-rider racks and handlebar bag rack.
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Old 07-14-20, 09:05 PM
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If it is an lower rear rack eyelet, is there any reason an eyelet couldn't be TIG'ed on? Assuming a TIG is available.

It seems like whether brazing is good enough depends partly on what the intended load is, as well as the quality of the brazing and thickness of the fillet.
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Old 07-14-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
If it is an lower rear rack eyelet, is there any reason an eyelet couldn't be TIG'ed on? Assuming a TIG is available. It seems like whether brazing is good enough depends partly on what the intended load is, as well as the quality of the brazing and thickness of the fillet.
Just to be clear under normal circumstances a properly brazed eyelet holding a rack on a dropout is unlikely to break. However if a bicycle with a loaded rear rear rack falls over and if the rack or load takes the force of the fall, it is a possibility that the brazing gives way. There isn't enough brazing area between the dropout and eyelet to hold with a strong blow. This can be a marketing problem for a builder. All the customer has to say is "I had a braze-on put on by Doug and it broke". They may or may not give context that explains fully why it broke. Even the slightest hint of something breaking can discourage a potential customer.

The solution is a simple one. The braze-on boss holding the strut of a rear rack doesn't have to be on top of the dropout. It can be a water bottle boss brazed into the bottom of the seat stay just above the dropout. It simply will not break off there. Some of my frame building class students have chosen dropouts that they liked that did not have enough eyelets. Their solution was to braze on the boss holding either the fender or rack into the bottom of the fork blade or seat stay. That way it works just fine.

Here is an example of a bicycle frame made in my class and painted in my shop. The student chose Henry James stainless steel rear dropouts because he really liked the look of them and the faces could be masked so the skewer doesn't damage the paint. However stainless can't be brazed with brass it has to be done with less strong silver. In this case the student solved the problem by brazing a stainless steel water bottle boss on the bottom of the seat stays. This allows him to be able to load up his rear rack as much as he wants and not worry about it. I'm assuming he will also put his fender struts on the same boss.


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Old 07-15-20, 05:08 AM
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Poor focus. I wanted eyelet's brazed on to replace the ones drewed off. I ordered the parts and filed a saddle on the DO for them to fit in. The frame builder silver soldered them in. He does not build frames for anyone else but himself. Silver may not be as strong as brass but the difference is negligible in this application.

030_PaTrek Fork DO_03, on Flickr
040_PaTrek Rear DO_01, on Flickr
041_PaTrek RD Eyelet_01, on Flickr

Had him add a couple of extra bits.
035_PaTrek Rack Boss_02, on Flickr
044_PaTrek STI Cable Stop_02w, on Flickr
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Old 07-15-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
Just to be clear under normal circumstances a properly brazed eyelet holding a rack on a dropout is unlikely to break. However if a bicycle with a loaded rear rear rack falls over and if the rack or load takes the force of the fall, it is a possibility that the brazing gives way. There isn't enough brazing area between the dropout and eyelet to hold with a strong blow. This can be a marketing problem for a builder. All the customer has to say is "I had a braze-on put on by Doug and it broke". They may or may not give context that explains fully why it broke. Even the slightest hint of something breaking can discourage a potential customer.

The solution is a simple one. The braze-on boss holding the strut of a rear rack doesn't have to be on top of the dropout. It can be a water bottle boss brazed into the bottom of the seat stay just above the dropout. It simply will not break off there. Some of my frame building class students have chosen dropouts that they liked that did not have enough eyelets. Their solution was to braze on the boss holding either the fender or rack into the bottom of the fork blade or seat stay. That way it works just fine.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. That does make sense. Your solution sounds like a very good idea.

It occurs to me that in older days, if a bike fell over, the Pletscher rack or maybe Blackburn rack would have bent or broken long before the braze on -- assuming the eyelet is brazed on. With a modern tubular steel rack, the eyelet is much more likely to be the failure point. Also, I suspect people now tend to load bikes more heavily than in the past when bike touring.
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Old 07-15-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
Interesting top tube cable guide and stop setup.
And the shape of the dropouts joining the stays is a neat smooth curved transition.


I like seeing your student's frames because the details of so many are consistently different from production frames(rightly so) and even typical custom frames.

ETA- ooh, and the slotted lugs for the top and head tubes are very different.
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Old 07-15-20, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Poor focus. I wanted eyelet's brazed on to replace the ones drewed off. I ordered the parts and filed a saddle on the DO for them to fit in. The frame builder silver soldered them in. He does not build frames for anyone else but himself. Silver may not be as strong as brass but the difference is negligible in this application.

030_PaTrek Fork DO_03, on Flickr
040_PaTrek Rear DO_01, on Flickr
041_PaTrek RD Eyelet_01, on Flickr

Had him add a couple of extra bits.
035_PaTrek Rack Boss_02, on Flickr
044_PaTrek STI Cable Stop_02w, on Flickr
Maybe I misunderstood, I thought silver didn't fill gaps...
Isn't building up brazing to attach an eyelet essentially the same? Curious not challenging. Aspire to build a frame...
Best, Eric
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