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Alex Singer Information?

Old 05-25-22, 02:24 PM
  #26  
merziac
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
I'm pretty sure this isn't a crack but an entire missing piece, this should be a continuous metal surround of the binder bolt nut:




For reference a brand new one
Paging SoccerBallXan for a better pic of this seat lug plz.
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Old 05-25-22, 02:52 PM
  #27  
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It certainly started as a notch for a keyed bolt. The once hollow ears were filled with brass, can't see how it could have been further strengthened beyond that.

Spence thought this was more practical than the AS expander seat post, eliminating the bolt issue entirely...

Looks like the notch just got bigger from gorilla wrenching, but unless it is really cracked, it seems good to go as is.
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Old 05-26-22, 01:23 AM
  #28  
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Cycling friends,

Thank you for taking the time to analyze the bike and respond with your expertise. A special thanks to poprad who was able to contact Olivier Csuka through email and retrieve more information directly from the source. bbbob thank you as well for sharing your knowledge on Singers; it's exciting to see the small details that point back to Roland and Spence.

The bicycle has surly changed hands many times since its arrival in Pacific Grove. The seller was one of many bike butchers in the city, he only cared for the few parts that read Campagnolo. I will be rebuilding the Singer back to its former glory and will attempt to keep any patina the bike's acquired over the years.

Regarding the seat lug, below are a few more photographs. Upon further inspection, I believe scarlson and bulgie are correct and the "chip" is a notch for a seat binder key.

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Old 05-26-22, 01:30 AM
  #29  
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That is a beautiful frame and I for one am insanely jealous. Enjoy!
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Old 05-26-22, 02:51 AM
  #30  
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Well, I guess I stand corrected and yes it looks like it has taken a beating and lives on.

Glad it seems to be ok, looks like the new version with the nut receptacle eliminates whatever short or long comings have transpired over the decades.
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Old 05-26-22, 02:10 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by bbbob View Post
The once hollow ears were filled with brass, <snip>
Not in this case. That is a good way to make a frame if using the bent-sheetmetal type lug with ears — the hollow ears, as they come outta the bag, aren't very strong. (We've all seen the results when such hollow ears were left as-is without filling; distorting or collapsing, sometimes even when the right size post is installed. Though careful mechanics often manage to tighten them without ruining them, so it's not a death sentence. Some hollow ears survive to this day with minimal distortion.)

This Singer isn't one of those though. This started as a lug with no ears, and a short piece of thick-wall tube or pipe was fillet-brazed to the back of it. The short piece might be a generic part sold by a frame "sundries" supplier (Algi, Nervor?). I don't know who-all made them, but you could get them with the miter and the notch for the keyed bolt already formed. Typically made by wrapping a piece of sheetmetal around, and the joint not even welded. So it's not really a tube, more of a closed-down "C". We've all seen seatstay bridges made that way, mostly used on cheapish bikes because they don't handle the brake being clamped on very well, they fail at the unwelded seam. In contrast, on the seatpost bolt braze-ons the unwelded seam is where the miter is, so it's up against the seat lug and gets brazed shut when the part is attached to the frame. So the gap is moot, doesn't hurt anything. BTW, the notch in those wrapped-around generic braze-ons usually show signs of having been stamped into the sheet before wrapping, because the notch is distorted. That might be all we're seeing on the Singer, no history of abuse by hamfisted mechanics needed.

Of course Singer could have made their own braze-ons from actual thickwall tube, making their own miter and notch for the key. I can't tell from the pictures, and even if stripped of paint it can be hard to tell. You'd have to be able to see the very thin line of brass where the joint in the closed C was brazed shut.

Oh one more thing to say about those braze-ons, whether generic or Singer-made: the notch for the key usually faces any direction except forward towards the lug. A notch facing forward would tend to get filled with braze, making it not work for the key on the bolt. So facing down is not unexpected. Some face straight back, but that would get in the way of the housing hanger being brazed on, like on this Singer.

Some of the sundries providers also made inserts to go in sheetmetal lugs with hollow ears, which speeds up the process of strengthening those lugs. I have one, wish I could get more, a nice time-saver. Some sheetmetal lugs came with those pre-installed, sometimes spot-welded in place.

Oscar Egg lugs (at least the ones I've seen) came with the short piece of tube, gas-welded onto the back of the lug. The weld is a bit crude looking, unavoidable since even a good gas-welding job is messier than some other joining methods. If I use my Egg lugs on a frame I'll need to cover the ugly weld under a brass braze and shape it a bit nicer, so they didn't do me any favors by welding that on — not a time-saver. But I think they were intended to be used as-is, and then aesthetic standards got more demanding in the ensuing decades.

There's plenty more I could say about seatpost binder ears but I'm sure I've bored the crap out of most readers already.

Mark B

Last edited by bulgie; 05-26-22 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-26-22, 02:22 PM
  #32  
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That's right, I forgot the original AS lugs have no seat binder ears whatsoever, and that whatever is there was added. Most other seat lugs (pre 1970) do have hollow ears however.
The AS lugs they had made are for their signature expander seat post. And yes, those rolled knoched tubes are junkish with a seam, but fine when filleted over.
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Old 05-26-22, 03:49 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Not in this case. That is a good way to make a frame if using the bent-sheetmetal type lug with ears — the hollow ears, as they come outta the bag, aren't very strong. (We've all seen the results when such hollow ears were left as-is without filling; distorting or collapsing, sometimes even when the right size post is installed. Though careful mechanics often manage to tighten them without ruining them, so it's not a death sentence. Some hollow ears survive to this day with minimal distortion.)

This Singer isn't one of those though. This started as a lug with no ears, and a short piece of thick-wall tube or pipe was fillet-brazed to the back of it. The short piece might be a generic part sold by a frame "sundries" supplier (Algi, Nervor?). I don't know who-all made them, but you could get them with the miter and the notch for the keyed bolt already formed. Typically made by wrapping a piece of sheetmetal around, and the joint not even welded. So it's not really a tube, more of a closed-down "C". We've all seen seatstay bridges made that way, mostly used on cheapish bikes because they don't handle the brake being clamped on very well, they fail at the unwelded seam. In contrast, on the seatpost bolt braze-ons the unwelded seam is where the miter is, so it's up against the seat lug and gets brazed shut when the part is attached to the frame. So the gap is moot, doesn't hurt anything. BTW, the notch in those wrapped-around generic braze-ons usually show signs of having been stamped into the sheet before wrapping, because the notch is distorted. That might be all we're seeing on the Singer, no history of abuse by hamfisted mechanics needed.

Of course Singer could have made their own braze-ons from actual thickwall tube, making their own miter and notch for the key. I can't tell from the pictures, and even if stripped of paint it can be hard to tell. You'd have to be able to see the very thin line of brass where the joint in the closed C was brazed shut.

Oh one more thing to say about those braze-ons, whether generic or Singer-made: the notch for the key usually faces any direction except forward towards the lug. A notch facing forward would tend to get filled with braze, making it not work for the key on the bolt. So facing down is not unexpected. Some face straight back, but that would get in the way of the housing hanger being brazed on, like on this Singer.

Some of the sundries providers also made inserts to go in sheetmetal lugs with hollow ears, which speeds up the process of strengthening those lugs. I have one, wish I could get more, a nice time-saver. Some sheetmetal lugs came with those pre-installed, sometimes spot-welded in place.

Oscar Egg lugs (at least the ones I've seen) came with the short piece of tube, gas-welded onto the back of the lug. The weld is a bit crude looking, unavoidable since even a good gas-welding job is messier than some other joining methods. If I use my Egg lugs on a frame I'll need to cover the ugly weld under a brass braze and shape it a bit nicer, so they didn't do me any favors by welding that on — not a time-saver. But I think they were intended to be used as-is, and then aesthetic standards got more demanding in the ensuing decades.

There's plenty more I could say about seatpost binder ears but I'm sure I've bored the crap out of most readers already.

Mark B
Not a chance of boring me with info and if I had paid better attention, I wouldn't have gotten off the garden path on this, should have known better.

I am always happy when you dig in and give us the history, rationale, practical and technical sides of it all, glad you're here to straighten us out when we need it.
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Old 05-26-22, 05:15 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Not a chance of boring me with info and if I had paid better attention, I wouldn't have gotten off the garden path on this, should have known better.

I am always happy when you dig in and give us the history, rationale, practical and technical sides of it all, glad you're here to straighten us out when we need it.
Well that warms the cockles of my heart (whatever the heck heart cockles are...)

I get straightened out here (by you and others) too, it's a mutual straightening society.

-mb
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Old 05-26-22, 11:58 PM
  #35  
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The depth of knowledge on this forum never fails to impress me. All the more so when I'm sure I'm right.. and then clearly am not.
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Old 05-27-22, 03:24 AM
  #36  
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Upon further consideration,

gathering more thoughts, still in the weeds, standby.
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Old 05-27-22, 06:12 AM
  #37  
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OK, I have asked the question of Olivier with the new photo; in his view is this an intentional slot or damage to the frame, and is it likely safe to use? Who better to ask...


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Old 05-27-22, 12:29 PM
  #38  
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I'd be happy to have this bike in a heartbeat. I couldn't see the "crack" as well. The pix are inconclusive. I'd ask for better pictures of that area (focus!), but it wouldn't sway me from purchasing it if it were a bit bunged. As @bulgie states, I'd ride it as long as I could tighten the binder bolt enough. If it were a real issue, one could negotiate a discount before purchasing. I'd hate to ruin the paint on this one, but if necessary it could be repaired, probably just build up some bass, file, drill, and figure out how to match the paint.

Staring at the picture, I can't see how a binder bolt wouldn't work as-is. I would take a bit of time to carefully bend the tip of the seat lug back. This bothers me more than the "crack", although it's only aesthetics.

Hmm, "only aesthetics" in the same sentence as "Alex Singer" is a contradiction, no?
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Old 05-27-22, 01:02 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I'd be happy to have this bike in a heartbeat. I couldn't see the "crack" as well. The pix are inconclusive. I'd ask for better pictures of that area (focus!), but it wouldn't sway me from purchasing it if it were a bit bunged. As @bulgie states, I'd ride it as long as I could tighten the binder bolt enough. If it were a real issue, one could negotiate a discount before purchasing. I'd hate to ruin the paint on this one, but if necessary it could be repaired, probably just build up some bass, file, drill, and figure out how to match the paint.

Staring at the picture, I can't see how a binder bolt wouldn't work as-is. I would take a bit of time to carefully bend the tip of the seat lug back. This bothers me more than the "crack", although it's only aesthetics.

Hmm, "only aesthetics" in the same sentence as "Alex Singer" is a contradiction, no?
Absolutely, noting life threatening here and wouldn't deter me anyway if I had it in front of me.

Better pics, yep and would still like to see more, from the back with the cable and housing removed and really good ones of the inside of the holes well lit.
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Old 05-27-22, 10:32 PM
  #40  
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Those here saying this wasn't a problem are 100% correct:

Bonsoir Mark.

Je te réponds en anglais pour être sur de la bonne compréhension.

This model of lug was made for a bolt similar of which on i join in
photo.
In the past, it was in steel chromed plated and the ergot on the screw
was bigger. So the cut to receive it was larger.
You can fit without problem a bolt as shown.
Bon Dimanche

Olivier

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