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Tweaked Bianchi Professional meets my grubby little cold-setting hands

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Tweaked Bianchi Professional meets my grubby little cold-setting hands

Old 01-06-23, 09:06 PM
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cudak888 
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Tweaked Bianchi Professional meets my grubby little cold-setting hands

Some of you might remember the Bianchi Professional that fender1 had picked up recently and mentioned in this thread: Bianchi Professional: Chainstay Indentation?

Being a sucker for downright gorgeous framesets, I broke down and PM'ed him almost instantly to grab this thing from his clutches. However, in all the elation over this thing, neither of us had noticed that this frame had apparently been in a front-ender, and might have been straightened back a bit at one point - but not enough.



Surprisingly (or perhaps not, this thing is all the beef), the Ishiwata 022 fork and gorgeous Nagasawa-designed, Takahashi HNR fork crown (thank you @bulgie for that info) crown hadn't bent in the slightest, transferring all the forces from fork to frame.

While the downtube had curved without any evidence of wrinkling or rippling - possibly due to the very lithe nozzle cut of the lower lug reducing the amount of heat that had to be applied to the tube when brazing (purely a guess) - the top tube had taken on a slightly more complex bend, with the tube bending slightly upwards to meet the wrinkle (or downwards in the center, depending on how you look at it.





While the top tube could be, in part, an oddity that might have been with the frame since new, it was clear that there was still a headtube issue. Indeed, even with lens distortion on these wide-angle cellphones, I was able to capture a photo where it's fairly clear that the headtube is about one degree (ish) off from the seattube. And it was; I verified it with an angle finder.

Pardon the clutter, this was initially meant to be a photo for Brian only.



Despite the heartbreak of the discovery, Brian (fender1) was the consummate gentleman about it, immediately offering to take it back for a full refund and the shipping cost, no questions asked.

While I took him up on sending it back, I also asked - since the frame was already here at Caveman Cold Set HQ anyway - if he was interested in my trying to straighten it further. Not only did he say yes, he also said I could post this photo essay of the story. What a legend.


(Yes, those are socks and sandals. Fight me. Any teasing and I'll start a Kurt's Bike Tips YouTube channel and subject all of you to today's sponsor while dropping expensive Campagnolo parts and telling you about the merch on our store).

That's a solid stainless propeller shaft stuck in a post hole, and ridiculous as this might look, I've found it's a lot quicker and more effective - possibly even more accurate - than the hard-to-find-and-overpriced-when-you-do-find-it Park HTS-1. Just shove the frame in with headset cups and pull up like a madman and watch as the top and down tube bow like the wings on a 737. What fun!

All humor aside, this method has been quite effective, especially on old Raleigh gaspipe, where some of the results have been flawless to the point of imperceptible. I've also had good success with 531 and similar metals, though usually not without some slight evidence if you look hard enough.

Well, start looking, because while it isn't perfect, this Bianchi is back, baby!



While the cellphone does it no favors in regards to looking parallel, the headtube is back to being parallel with the seattube again, and I'll be darned, this thing looks twice as delectable now. Paint job makes me think of an ice cream shop for some reason - and that's even though it's sitting on a pair of less-than-appetizing wheels.

The top tube still has a bit of a kink up, but not really any worse than when I started - perhaps whoever tried straightening it before just wasn't willing to go full caveman on it like I did. There's something to be said for sticking frames in that propeller shaft and grunting a lot.

The lug is nicely square now. There's a slight angle at the bottom, but I'm certain that's the casting and not the lug out of alignment to the TT. Thankfully, the nozzle cut of the lugs also took on the cold-set perfectly. Some lugs, if stiff enough, won't bend with the tube and will create an unsightly depression around the shoreline. Not here.



Wrinkle is also now barely perceptible. It's there if you look hard enough, but it's nearly perfect now. (Please excuse the wild appearance of the headtube angle from the camera lens distortion - I assure you, it does not look like that).



There's still a bit of a bend on the downtube, but nowhere near as drastic as before:



Here's the aforementioned bend up to the lug (or bend down to the center, depending on how you look at it) of the top tube. Still not perfect, but much better than before:



And so that's the story of the tweaked Bianchi Professional's story for now. Brian and it's new owner will be writing the future for this frame soon, but I'm happy to have had a part in it. It was really quite the honor to have had the chance to resurrect this beauty, even though the circumstances were entirely by chance.

-Kurt
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Old 01-06-23, 09:35 PM
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Excellence!
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Old 01-06-23, 09:44 PM
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Bravo

Great story great bike great result
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Old 01-06-23, 09:52 PM
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Thanks cudak888 Great work and clearly, the socks and sandals are your superpower!
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Old 01-07-23, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Thanks cudak888 Great work and clearly, the socks and sandals are your superpower!
I dont know, I think the power lies in the sideburns. Those are awesome chops and Id like a set myself but my wife wont let me.

That is well done and I like the method! I have cold set a rear triangle using a shovel handle and my fully shoed foot, but its not as nice a frame as that Bianchi.
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Old 01-07-23, 09:28 AM
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@cudak888 Did you consider keeping it after fixing it?
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Old 01-07-23, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
Excellence!
Thank you! Now we just need your thread all about doing that cracked Paramount dropout the justice it deserves. All hail the future Crack Corrector of Colorado

Originally Posted by PhotonDon View Post
Great story great bike great result
Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Thanks cudak888 Great work and clearly, the socks and sandals are your superpower!
Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
I don’t know, I think the power lies in the sideburns. Those are awesome chops and I’d like a set myself but my wife won’t let me.

That is well done and I like the method! I have cold set a rear triangle using a shovel handle and my fully shoed foot, but it’s not as nice a frame as that Bianchi.
Thank you, gentlemen! As Spaghetti mentions though, it's the sideburns that I derive superpowers from, not the sartorial inspiration from Linus Tech Tips

Was the shovel handle for leverage and the foot for cold-setting, or vise-versa? I can imagine it both ways, but honestly, I can't fathom rear triangle alignment without a vise. Maybe it's possible with two sturdy bike stands clamping a frame from the downtube and top tube? But if one has space for two sturdy bike stands, they probably have a place for a vise so...not really a solution for apartment folks, those with limited space, or a War Department that "I won't have that awful thing on that awful bench."

Originally Posted by daverup View Post
@cudak888 Did you consider keeping it after fixing it?
So many of my Raleighs have been tweaked and bent over the years that I'd finally like something in the fleet to be sans a prior crash.

-Kurt
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Old 01-07-23, 09:55 AM
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I did not go about it scientifically but I recall frame laid on floor, foot on down side chainstay, shovel end on floor and pulled upward on the handle against the inside of upside dropout. I may have had the other foot on the shovel to anchor it. Flip bike over and repeat. This is a nice-ish Ross frame that’s my wife’s city bike and it rides and tracks well. I wouldn’t hav Ed one this to a nice frameset.
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Old 01-07-23, 09:58 AM
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wunnerful reparazione e documentazione!


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phun to view the muttonchops; had thought they had passed from fashion with the transition from MCMLXXIV to MCMLXXV

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juvela - full beard wearer; the better to camouflage some of the ugliness


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Old 01-07-23, 10:22 AM
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I have a frame that needs the same treatment. Ive been trying to think of a suitable pole type apparatus that Id find on your typical urban street where I could attempt the procedure. Any idears?

The combination of a racy replacement fork in the slightly steeper head tube seems to have created a *very agressive* geometry. Im sort of tempted to try it that way. Alternatively maybe I could try to source a fork with more rake. Also alternatively I could put the whole thing in the trash and buy beer instead.
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Old 01-07-23, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
I have a frame that needs the same treatment. Ive been trying to think of a suitable pole type apparatus that Id find on your typical urban street where I could attempt the procedure. Any idears?

The combination of a racy replacement fork in the slightly steeper head tube seems to have created a *very agressive* geometry. Im sort of tempted to try it that way. Alternatively maybe I could try to source a fork with more rake. Also alternatively I could put the whole thing in the trash and buy beer instead.
But you need the bike to go to the store to get the beer

I'd invest in the aforementioned solid steel rod - doesn't have to be stainless, but if you're around a boatyard, that might do. Look around town for poles that, if cut off, might work - like bus stop signs mounted on square tubing. If you can find a stop that's been removed, you might find a sign pole cut off but the hole never filled. Take a good long walk around and you'll probably find something. Just make sure it isn't a city gas line

-Kurt
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Old 01-07-23, 10:34 AM
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another spot to check for a pole hole, once you have acquired the pole(!), is the curb face

lots of curbs have drain holes emptying out on their faces

another resource are the heavy steel posts set into the pavement to block off access to driveways & roadways

in cases where the opening is too large it can be shimmed with additional piping


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Old 01-07-23, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
I have a frame that needs the same treatment. Ive been trying to think of a suitable pole type apparatus that Id find on your typical urban street where I could attempt the procedure. Any idears?

The combination of a racy replacement fork in the slightly steeper head tube seems to have created a *very agressive* geometry. Im sort of tempted to try it that way. Alternatively maybe I could try to source a fork with more rake. Also alternatively I could put the whole thing in the trash and buy beer instead.
Got a gym nearby? a weight bar should fit in the head tube (just put a few hundred pounds on the bar) and plenty of the patrons would love to prove they can bend steel....
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Old 01-07-23, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'd invest in the aforementioned solid steel rod - doesn't have to be stainless
-Kurt
Doesn't have to be *any* particular kind of steel, if you are not stressing it enough to take a permanent bend.
They're all the same stiffness.
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Old 01-07-23, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
They're all the same stiffness.
No, no they're not.
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Old 01-07-23, 11:24 AM
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Discarded rear axle shafts can be used as steel bars.
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Old 01-07-23, 08:01 PM
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Kurt,
One more tug and you might have gotten it back to perfect! Smiles, MH
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Old 01-08-23, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Kurt,
One more tug and you might have gotten it back to perfect! Smiles, MH
One more tug and I would have permanently bent the top and downtubes. As I alluded to earlier, they bend like the wings on a plane when I'm doing this.

The other thing is that - unless one does bend the main tubes - one technically can't overdo headtube straightening. One can feel the frame changing shape as it cold-sets, and once you've hit as far as it'll go, it'll stop. If you have good feel of this, you'll know when the structure of the frame itself hits it's limit point and won't go any further.

-Kurt
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Old 01-09-23, 11:00 AM
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Chiming in to say wow, that frame color is pretty nice! And sandals (call them slippers here) with socks is one of the giveaways that you've been in the tropics a while. Ask me how I know
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Old 01-09-23, 12:08 PM
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Excellent work! And a beautiful frameset.
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Old 01-09-23, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
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I knew it, I knew it!

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Old 01-09-23, 01:04 PM
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Note about some early eighties Bianchi frames, some (like my 58cm Nuovo Racing) have a steeper HT angle than the seattube angle by a full degree.

Larger frames in general usually feature steeper HT angles and shallower ST angles than smaller ones.

As for brutish, do-it-myself front-end straightening, I have on a few occasions (after riding around town looking for suitable "straightening structures") used a large, full and thus heavy dumpster as an anchor point against my wildest efforts at straightening a frame/fork assembly of the bent bike I was riding.
What I found to be the easiest (except when my 135lb body was working with an aluminum frame and bonded aluminum fork, which took much greater force) was to use cardboard to heavily line one of the square tunnels that are welded onto each side of the dumpster (lift points for the garbage truck's lifting forks).
I then remove the bike's front wheel, insert the fork blades into the lined tunnel, then heave my weight into the rear wheel using the frame as a ~4-foot lever to bend the fork away from the bottom bracket shell. A series of ever-increasingly violent heaves at some point will have the fork and headtube attitude looking visibly normal, at which point the frameset's left/right tracking is road-tested and corrected as needed using my perfected techniques for that purpose.

The above method may or may not accurately reverse the effects of the original accident, but on a few occasions it has done just that for me (none that went bad so far). Each of those bikes got sold with full disclosure, and I wasn't too worried about the bonded aluminum frameset's integrity after seeing how much force that it took to straighten it.
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Old 01-09-23, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
I have a frame that needs the same treatment. Ive been trying to think of a suitable pole type apparatus that Id find on your typical urban street where I could attempt the procedure. Any idears?

The combination of a racy replacement fork in the slightly steeper head tube seems to have created a *very agressive* geometry. Im sort of tempted to try it that way. Alternatively maybe I could try to source a fork with more rake. Also alternatively I could put the whole thing in the trash and buy beer instead.
Well, I had success with this brute-force-and-massive-ignorance method -



The gory details are here. And cudak888's earlier photo displays exactly the right spot to pull on.
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Old 01-09-23, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Thank you! Now we just need your thread all about doing that cracked Paramount dropout the justice it deserves. All hail the future Crack Corrector of Colorado
Haha...well I need to burn a few holes in some scrapola frames before I melt down an almost-good Paramount - you at least convinced me of that!

I gotta admit as soon as you mentioned that nickname, I got an image in my head...a very bad image in my head, of a plumbing reference
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Old 01-09-23, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for all the idears folks! I remember that pic and post rustystrings61. A classic!

The search for a public frame-straightening pole continues
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