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Vicini TT bike: strange bulge on DT?

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Vicini TT bike: strange bulge on DT?

Old 05-04-21, 02:55 PM
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Jantaras
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Vicini TT bike: strange bulge on DT?

Hello,

I bought this Vicini TT bike (the one with the smaller front wheel) and noticed this strange bulge.

The bike was raced in early 90's. I bought it from original owner. He said the bike was not crashed. I got it at a good price.

The bulge is clearly felt and seen, but is on the right side of the DT. The left side of DT is strange, I can maybe feel some kind of a inverted bulge, (dimple?, sorry for my english), but it is very subtle. I can't feel any bulges on the upper or bottom parts of DT. Also, the paint is nearly perfect, no flaking, cracks or anything. The lug is normal looking, no cracking or anything. I believe the fork is straight (forkends are a little of alighment, but thats quite minor). I believe the front wheel is original and look normal, except the quick release threaded end was bent a little.

Also, on the top tube I can feel a small rise in surface, thats symmetric and starts at the beginning of that bronze paint (I point these with index finger). Maybe it is just this paint that was added on top of base color? Again, paint surface is good.

What you think? Crash damage or what? Some defect in tube? If it's crash damage, was is some kind on lateral force causing this kind of bulge on right side? Why the paint is intact? I believe paint and for is original.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 05-04-21, 03:13 PM
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Lakerat
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Possibly this is an area of transition between the butting of the tubing and where forces could concentrate with some type of frontal impact. A frontal impact with some lateral force from the left, would attempt to compress the down tube on the right side. If the thinnest section of the butted tubing is quite thin, compression might bulge the tubing near where the tubing is thicker near the lugs. Recent experience contacting a skateboard on bike trail at low speed, showed me how easily these type of forces can put a slight twist in an aluminum fork.

I'll guess this lovely racing frame is made of quite thin and lightweight tubing, and forces short of being called a "crash" could put sufficient force on the down tube to bulge it. I doubt the frame is compromised, but it could indicate it is made of thin and light tubing and intended for a light rider, possibly sub 150 lbs.
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Old 05-05-21, 08:54 AM
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Nice score, whatever it is it seems minor...check the alignment and if close, give it a ride and enjoy.
Best, Ben
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Last edited by xiaoman1; 05-05-21 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 05-05-21, 09:02 AM
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Based on the slight depression in the tube top at the upper headlug spear, I'd say this was crashed once and re-straightened by someone who *really* knows frame straightening.

-Kurt
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Old 05-05-21, 10:38 AM
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I have a similar, very very slight, bulge in the down tube of a bike - less visible than your 1st pic. I told myself many times that it was a butting issue. But the front-center measurement is short and I have adjusted to the fact there was a frond-end crash. Bike tracks straight no handed, but steering is super quick, what many call Twitchy . A night time purchase in a poorly lit garage is my excuse for buying a crashed bike; that, and a low price. I have tried to photo the problem, but only delicate fingertips can detect it.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:08 PM
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Thank you for responses!

I had a chat with original owner and showed him the bulge. He did not know how it appeared and said he was postive the frame was not crashed. He transported the bike using soft bags, so we postulated maybe it was during bike bag handling.
I also have a nearly full C-Record groupset that, I believe, is original to the bike. There are no marks of crashing on the groupset. If this is really a bulge from a impact, maybe a pothole could do this? Also, I think the front wheel is original and I can't see any damage marks.
While inspecting, I inspected just the dowside of the DT and did not feel anything. I did not know the bulge could be be on the side. Well, the price was right anyway.
Is it common to bulge a tube without paint cracking? The paint is almost perfect, just a slight patina. Top tube feels different, there is no real bulge, it feels like a rise of the paint surface, so probably just the DT is involved..
I'm about 160lbs and the bulge is very easy to inspect, so it's a keeper for me.
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Old 05-10-21, 04:09 PM
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Don't sweat it about that miniscule bulge. Let's see the whole frame! Don't keep us in suspense!
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Old 05-10-21, 07:16 PM
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I probably shortened my Mooney's wheelbase a touch when it was new and I rode the front wheel into a parallel crack hidden by a bridge railing shadow. A hard slam over the bars for me and no other apparent (then or later ) damage. I never asked Peter Money what the as-built wheelbase was. (With horizontal dropouts, a slightly vague measurement anyway.)

Bike rode fine after. Perhaps a little different but 48,000 miles later, still a ride I love so I simply don't sweat it. (This is one of the reasons I love less than the most modern, thinnest, highest strength steel frames). My Mooney isn't a 531 stickered bike, but the tubes were 531 or the equivalent. Not radical.

The front wheel survived the crash just fine, Maybe a scratch or two on the brake surface from the pavement and I might have touched it up with sandpaper. If you keep a front wheel in plane, they are amazingly strong.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:31 PM
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As always, thanks for your comments!

I got Vicini to somewhat rideable condition.
Still needs a lot of tweaking. I will be changing stem and maybe bars. Rear brake and shifters are stiff, I believe because of friction inside the tubes. I will try a full length liner for rear brake cable and will also add a liner just where shfter cable leaves the DT and runs around the BB shell. New cables also.

The rear wheel came with a corncob Regina America freewheel (12-17 if I remember right). I thought it was original. But the inner plate of RD (specifically, the upper pulley's screw) was scratching the wheel disc when on biggest cog. At first I thought it was the bent hanger, and it was a bit, but after aligning the hanger the problem persisted. I made a very thin washer to "shorten" the upper screw so it is not protruding beyond cage plate anymore and I changed the freewheel to a bigger Dura-Ace one. Now it is maybe 2-3 mm between the disc and RD's cage when on biggest cog. Original Sedis chain is now somewhat too short because of bigger freewheel.

Frame+fork+headset weighs 2,73 kg (6,02 lbs). The bike as in images weighs 10,13 kg (22,33 lbs).

Now if I want to use Regina America, can I make (or buy) a thin spacer to shift the Regina freewheel to right 2-3mm? Will it be enough theads to keep the freewheel securely in place?
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Old 05-15-21, 08:28 PM
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Disregard my comment about the top tube headlug tip - without the full photo of the bike, the gradual top tube slope wasn't obvious. The framebuilder obviously didn't tap the tip of the lug to match and probably kinked the tube slightly for the install.

Still can't explain the downtube.

-Kurt
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Old 05-15-21, 10:01 PM
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That is a thing of beauty!!!! As to the rear wheel/RD- Have you tried with the rear wheel positioned all the way back in the dropouts?
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Old 05-16-21, 02:39 PM
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Yes, the wheel is all the way back in the dropouts...
Anyone tried some kind of spacer under freewheel?
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Old 05-16-21, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jantaras View Post
Anyone tried some kind of spacer under freewheel?
Yes, I've done this. Works fine. Better than scraping up the Campagnolo disc wheel! They sell spacers for BB cups, which are the same size as the hubs. Your clearances are fairly tight. If you add spacer behind the FW, you may need to adjust hub cones slightly to give yourself enough clearance for the chain between small cog and drive-side dropout.

Cool TT bike!
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Old 05-16-21, 05:52 PM
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STUNNING!!!!
Best, Ben
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Old 05-17-21, 01:46 PM
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Thank you all for kind words and thoughts!
Gaycho777> good suggestion, I wil try one of these!

All started as a transaction for Campagnolo's disk wheel, then it started to grow, I got this Vicini and after a couple of days a rebranded Alan Carbonio arrived my way. The frame is cracked at the bottom bracket, not at the junction between seat tube, but at the edge where the threads are. I will post some photos in a separate thread in a couple of days.
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