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Titanium...tinkling tube!

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Titanium...tinkling tube!

Old 12-09-23, 09:58 AM
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Titanium...tinkling tube!

I've got a problem, thanks to my cluelessness. While dismantling this Litespeed Ocoee, the bottle holder screws were stripped. So, silly me, I sawed them off. You guessed it, the remnants remain in the bottom tube, which is not open at either end for their removal, since only a small hole exists there.

I fear I am SOL, but will listen to any possible solutions. Enlarging one of the holes is about the only thing I can think of, which would then require me to find a titanium guy who could repair it. Oh, woe is me!

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Old 12-09-23, 10:01 AM
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This is not the end of the world. Be patient.

If the loose bit is rattling around in the frame, take your time and get it to the hole, and pry it out. It may take a while, but I've done this before, getting "swarf" out of a wheel.

Look up "rivnut", that's what you need to replace in the frame. I went and bought the tool for this a couple years ago, and am always finding places to use it.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-23, 10:17 AM
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If there's a small hole you can access through the bottom bracket, maybe squirt some glue or silicone in there to secure them in place. You wont be forced to listen to them rattling around in there. Just replace the riv-nut and rock on.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:19 AM
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As ridelikeaturtle said, rivnuts for the win. Easy to install. Be sure to order metric.

For a quick fix to eliminate the tinkling, you could always drip a little glue in one of the holes and manhandle the frame to maneuver the metal shard to where it gets stuck in the glue.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:32 AM
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What was sawed off is wider than the hole, so prying it out isn't going to work.

Your best bet is probably something like construction adhesive which is both sticky and has volume. That will catch and the metal parts better than a thinner glue or a less sticky caulking.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:45 AM
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I was just thinking something like Framesaver… that’s tacky enough to keep a nut in place.
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Old 12-09-23, 11:02 AM
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Video talks about dealing with this issue.


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Old 12-09-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
What was sawed off is wider than the hole, so prying it out isn't going to work.

Your best bet is probably something like construction adhesive which is both sticky and has volume. That will catch and the metal parts better than a thinner glue or a less sticky caulking.
True, however... the bit that was sawed off is probably very weak, and if you can grab it w/a needle-nose pliers, it may break into smaller pieces; or you can bend it so that it can make it's way out of the existing hole. But yeah, this could prevent them from ever being extracted and what you say is correct, "catching" them with a bit of silicone adhesive (Tec 7) would solve it too.
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Old 12-09-23, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle
True, however... the bit that was sawed off is probably very weak, and if you can grab it w/a needle-nose pliers, it may break into smaller pieces; or you can bend it so that it can make it's way out of the existing hole. But yeah, this could prevent them from ever being extracted and what you say is correct, "catching" them with a bit of silicone adhesive (Tec 7) would solve it too.
You have clearly never installed a rivnut.
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Old 12-09-23, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
...
Are you for real?
Jog on, kid.
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Old 12-09-23, 01:13 PM
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If they were not morons then they used steel rivnuts, and those are not brittle (duh, they have to bend to mushroom out during installation). You won't be able to break it up to pull the pieces out.

However, the fact that the threads stripped makes me wonder if maybe they were moronic enough to use aluminum rivets. In which case BOOO! BAD Lightspeed!

Has anyone suggested the expanding foam that comes in an aerosol can? It foams up and fills a large volume, then hardens. Intended for sealing gaps and holes in old houses. It would make any future titanium repair on that frame impossible, but how many people ever repair a Ti frame if it cracks? Well I do, but most people toss 'em.

Another option (and what I would do): Remember how old steel racing bikes used to have these huge holes in the BB shell underneath? Well just drill one, maybe 3/8" or 1/2", underneath but fairly far back towards the chainstays, then drill thru the other side of the shell making sure to come out in the interior of the DT.

Drilling Ti 6Al/4V can be difficult but not as bad as some people seem to think. You just use regular drills, nothing too exotic needed but I would use a M2 high-speed steel drill. Drilling by hand will not be easy but I have done it many times. Start with a smaller drill and then step up to larger sizes. You should have some understanding of speeds and feeds, and lots of cutting oil. If you let the drill spin without cutting, you are work-hardening that spot and then you'll never be able to drill it there, move to a different spot and try again with more pressure so the drill keeps making chips.

There is a chance you will fail to make a hole or you won't be able to make it large enough to get the rattle out, but then your failure will just be a hole or partial hole hidden under the bike, nothing too shameful.

With a hole in the shell you can't use cup/cone BB bearings without a tight-fitting sleeve, but no one uses those anymore. Any cartridge BB is sealed both inside and out, so holes in the shell don't affect them.
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Old 12-09-23, 02:38 PM
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Wow...you guys are the best!
Thanks a ton for the suggestions, and for the interesting experiences working with titanium.
I ended up squeezing a good amount of super glue into the headset hole of the downtube, then rolled the bits into it. Worked like a charm!

My next decision is what to with the frame. I've got most of a road bike themed Dura Ace7400 group (but no cantilevers), and am pondering a drop bar gravel bike, but don't know if the geometry of the frame is right for either of those. Plus, I'm in need of a suitable fork, depending on what I do.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

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Old 12-09-23, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle
Are you for real?
Jog on, kid.
Yes. Bike rivnuts have walls of 2-3mm aluminum. And the titanium tubing is less than 1mm thick and has a very small hole drilled in it, The rivnut metal is not brittle, so it isn't going to snap when squeeze it, and you aren't going to be able to get dikes in that little hole. If you pry on it, you are more likely to damage the titanium - which might be quite thin since the Ococee was their upper end MTB (I have the Obed).

I've been a service manager and mechanic on and off since 1990. Replaced a lot of rivnuts, Worked with a lot titanium frames. So "whatever, kid". You don't seem to know what you're talking about.
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Old 12-09-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 67tony
Wow...you guys are the best!
Thanks a ton for the suggestions, and for the interesting experiences working with titanium.
I ended up squeezing a good amount of super glue into the headset hole of the downtube, then rolled the bits into it. Worked like a charm!

My next decision is what to with the frame. I've got most of a road bike themed Dura Ace7400 group (but no cantilevers), and am pondering a drop bar gravel bike, but don't know if the geometry of the frame is right for either of those. Plus, I'm in need of a suitable fork, depending on what I do.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

Email Litespeed with the info you have (serial number, label details), and they can probably tell you what the frame is best suited for. Looks like good tire clearance near the bottom bracket, so maybe a loaded touring frame. Or maybe cyclocross, since it has brazeons for routing the rear derailleur cable along the seat stays. Measure the chainstay length, and that'll be an additional clue.
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Old 12-09-23, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Email Litespeed with the info you have (serial number, label details), and they can probably tell you what the frame is best suited for. Looks like good tire clearance near the bottom bracket, so maybe a loaded touring frame. Or maybe cyclocross, since it has brazeons for routing the rear derailleur cable along the seat stays. Measure the chainstay length, and that'll be an additional clue.
Why would Litespeed tell you that an MTB model is good for loaded touring or cyclocross?


BTW, the Ocoee has butted tubing, so before anyone starts prying on the bottle holes - that tubing wall thickness is 0.6mm. This frame needs some glue and two rivnuts to be perfect.
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Old 12-09-23, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 67tony
Wow...you guys are the best!
Thanks a ton for the suggestions, and for the interesting experiences working with titanium.
I ended up squeezing a good amount of super glue into the headset hole of the downtube, then rolled the bits into it. Worked like a charm!

My next decision is what to with the frame. I've got most of a road bike themed Dura Ace7400 group (but no cantilevers), and am pondering a drop bar gravel bike, but don't know if the geometry of the frame is right for either of those. Plus, I'm in need of a suitable fork, depending on what I do.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

What's your gut tell you - what do you want to do? (HINT: DO THAT, it's more fun.) The best way to determine if it's the right geometry /for you/, as a drop bar gravel bike (or whatever) is to do it and see. You know yourself better than we do, and what sort of riding you'll be doing. What do you think YOU would prefer?

I'd love to see what you come up with.
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Old 12-10-23, 09:04 AM
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Okay, now I need to figure out a replacement rivnut plan.

Apparently the tubing is quite thin, does that dictate what material the new rivnuts should be?
The current hole is 7mm wide, does that mean I need a 5mm nuts or 6mm?
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Old 12-10-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 67tony
Okay, now I need to figure out a replacement rivnut plan.

Apparently the tubing is quite thin, does that dictate what material the new rivnuts should be?
The current hole is 7mm wide, does that mean I need a 5mm nuts or 6mm?
No, the thickness/thinness of the tubing is irrelevant. Both steel and aluminum rivnuts are used for steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon frames.

Though it probably makes sense to use steel with steel and aluminum with aluminum to eliminate the possibility of corrosion. Not a big deal apparently, though, since AFAIK there's no such thing as a titanium or carbon rivnut.

Either type might eventually begin spinning freely in the hole. Luckily, if that happens to one of your rivnuts, you'll know how to fix it, since tightening a loose rivnut uses exactly the same technique as tightening one in place after you've installed it.

From a quick search:

"Metric rivnuts are available in both imperial and metric outside diameters. You will find that you have the exact drill for the job if you possess a set of metric and imperial drill bits. For example, a metric M4 rivnut needs a 6mm hole and an M5 a 7mm hole."

From another quick search:

"While stainless steel rivets are stronger than aluminum ones, they're also more expensive. But if you need a strong and durable fastener that can last for decades without worry - even in harsh environments - then go with stainless steel rivets."

Last edited by Trakhak; 12-10-23 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 12-10-23, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by velomateo
If there's a small hole you can access through the bottom bracket, maybe squirt some glue or silicone in there to secure them in place. You wont be forced to listen to them rattling around in there. Just replace the riv-nut and rock on.
Or just some grease to catch them.
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Old 12-10-23, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Or just some grease to catch them.
If the grease doesn't work, you have lubricated everything to insure nothing else will stick to them.
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