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What's the prognosis, Doc? (bent frame, gulp)

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What's the prognosis, Doc? (bent frame, gulp)

Old 11-03-12, 07:28 PM
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What's the prognosis, Doc? (bent frame, gulp)

I was out riding my beloved Bianchi tonight and didn't see a curb until it was too late.* Here's what I discovered when I got home:




The bend in the top tube is gradual enough that it looks like it could be straightened, but the downtube is pretty wrinkled. Will I need new tubes to keep this bike on the road?

Thanks.



* I went over the bars and rolled, but I'm more or less okay.
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Old 11-03-12, 07:32 PM
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OUCH! That does NOT look good. You OK (aside from your pride and JOY being hurt)? Time to find a Frame Doctor.
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Old 11-03-12, 07:36 PM
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Wasn't there a recent thred about the tool for this repair ?
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Old 11-03-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bhchdh
Wasn't there a recent thred about the tool for this repair ?
Yeah, one guy used those steel blocks to clamp the dimples out of his. I'm hoping mine is a candidate for that treatment. (Top tube is 25mm, downtube is 32mm.)
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Old 11-03-12, 07:47 PM
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That can't be fixed with frame blocks. The thread in question referred to a Park tool for straightening the frame. A stretcher of sorts. After that, the frame blocks come into play.

Last edited by busdriver1959; 11-04-12 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 11-03-12, 07:50 PM
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Move on. Its done. Think of the fun you'll have getting a new (to you) bike!
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Old 11-03-12, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by busdriver1959
That can't be fixed with frame blocks. The thread in question referred a Park tool for straightening the frame. A stretcher of sorts. After that, the frame blocks come into play.


I wouldn't trust the frame again.

For gosh sakes, fine tooth comb the fork while you are at it.

I would be quite concerned about safety issues.

Glad you are ok.

Last edited by gomango; 11-04-12 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:51 PM
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With a steel frame, the bike is rideable "as is." The bent tubes have changed the geometry, and thus the ride characteristics, but whether this change is a "show-stopper" or not is up to the owner. The tubes themselves are unlikely to fail catastrophically as a result of this damage, so it is up to the OP to determine if the damage has made the frame unsuitable for his/her purposes.
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Old 11-03-12, 09:37 PM
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A real shame, but I'm glad you are OK. I've seen our local frame guy repair this sort of thing — keirin crashes and stuff. He sweats the damaged tubes out and brazes new ones in. Is the Bianchi worth that much to you? Of course, a repaint would be obvious. I for one can't imagine this much damage without the steerer tube or blades going out of wack. And how about the wheel? It must be toast. fender may the closest to right.
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Old 11-03-12, 09:42 PM
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JohnDThompson is right. Steel will give you ample warning before it fails. You could bend it back, touch it up, and ride it for the rest of your life.

Is that advisable? Well, if it were me, I'd look for a new frame. Frames are inexpensive relative to peace of mind.
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Old 11-03-12, 10:32 PM
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Some more info: I did ride the bike home in this condition. The front wheel had a slight hop and wobble, so I needed to open up the brake QR. The fork seems to be fine -- no paint buckling on it, looks straight, and it turns smoothly from side to side. It seems the top and down tubes took nearly all the impact. I was probably going no faster than 10 or 15 mph.
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Old 11-03-12, 10:51 PM
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It looks reparable. You need one of these (Park HTS-1):



Park has not made them in years. Cudak888 was straightening other member's frames while getting to know the tool. You will probably want to contact him if you cannot find one locally. I have one, but unless you want an unplanned trip to Alaska....
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Old 11-04-12, 12:38 AM
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i wouldn't bother with a repair, just get a new frame. Some can be saved but that frame don't look so good, and who knows what you could have done to that fork. time to put a fork in that bike cause it's done...


if you already have nice parts on the bike just switch it over to something else. I wouldn't even risk riding it.
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Old 11-04-12, 03:21 AM
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If you have access to the frame tools and blocks, go for it. I have repaired frames that looked close to that level of damage. It is the wrinkle under the down tube that will be difficult to eliminate, but you can make is less obvious, if that is acceptable. If you don't have the tools and don't know a trusted frame repair guy, you might be better off passing on the repair.

Steel, as others have said, will give you a warning, or two or three before complete failure, assuming the the tube to lug joints have not been compromised (that is the concern that I always have).

As for just replacing the frame - can you? It would have been pretty tough for me to find a replacement frame set for my sixties something Peugeot PX10, so I straightened it and it came out just fine, in my opinion...
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Old 11-04-12, 09:27 AM
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Randy — did you take any photos of your doing this sort of repair? I'd love to see some pics or vids in regards such repairs. (I should try trolling for them). This might help out the OP in some way as well — even if he is moved towards shipping the frame out somewhere to receive expert attention.

FWIW: before my back flipped out two weeks ago, I was doing a lot of night riding — my daily circuit. The hours of light are getting shorter and shorter. Night riding sure puts a premium on yer nerves. Here the danger is not so much curbs looming out of the darkness, but rather the hordes of moron cyclists that arrive in places where they should not be and without lights. It has become so dangerous here that the police, as well as volunteers, have mounted a campaign. It has even featured on the NHK.
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Old 11-04-12, 10:08 AM
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It's very difficult to assess whether this is a candidate for repair via pictures. Once the tube creases or wrinkles, the probabilty of failure increases substantially. Think of it like a soda pop can. It's relatively hard to bend, twist or compress an undamaged pop can. But put a small crease in the can and it becomes so much easier to make it fail. Mind you, this is an extreme example compared to a bicycle tube, but it is the same principle (i.e a wrinkle or crease in a relatively thin walled tubular section). The tube could last forever, or it could fail with the next large hit, such as a pothole or train tracks, depending on how bad the crease actually is.

The bicycle appeares to be a circa 1991 Bianchi Eros. In the OP's favour is the fact that is a lower mid-range model made with Tange Superset. While Bianchi did not disclose the Tange tubesets used, the lower mid-range level would normally be a medium weight tubeset, while the Superset designation implies an even heavier gauge downtube. Still, I'd take it to a framebuilder, where a proper inspection can be made, in person. If you don't have a local framebuilder, a competent LBS will do, but a framebuilder would be preferable.
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Old 11-04-12, 10:21 AM
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This is s tough call. If it were a nicer frame like SL or better I would certainly say look into having it repaired. On the other hand you do like this and you don't see them for sale often. If a frame builder can repair it without the torch it might be worth it for a another year or two.

But then on the other hand it is too small... so why not use the time, effort and funds to buy a nicer framr that fits better?
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Old 11-04-12, 11:07 AM
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Old 11-04-12, 11:40 AM
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Personally, I would not bother to repair. The bottom photo in the first post looks frightening to my eyes. Lots of apparent cracks at the bottom of the down tube and a pretty big gap at the top (is that crack just paint? it looks rather deep). I suspect the integrity of the tubes have been compromised, so I'd guess you would be looking at at least ~$150 for repairs (new tubes), plus another $100 for powdercoat, another $50 for decals if that's important. Would even a NOS Bianchi EROS frame be worth $250-$300? No offense meant to ThermionicScott, but not to me. For the hassle/uncertainty/delays/cost of trying to repair the bike, I'd rather go shopping for a new frame.
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Old 11-04-12, 11:49 AM
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I would try and straighten it if it was mine (I have the hts-1 also) but just as an academic exercise. That is a pretty nasty wrinkle, and any wrinkle in a tube compromises strength quite substantially. If you stand on an aluminum can it will hold your weight if it has no dents, but if you tap it lightly with a pencil it will collapse catastrophically from the tiny deformation.
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Old 11-04-12, 11:53 AM
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I'd either buy a completely new frame or have the top/down tubes and fork replaced if you're that in love with it.

Fork/front end failures scare the hell out of me and the few hundred bucks it would cost to replace are well worth the piece of mind.
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Old 11-04-12, 12:21 PM
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here's the perfect solution, replace that frame with this one:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Bianchi-Dolom...ht_7078wt_1092





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Old 11-04-12, 12:27 PM
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You can probably fix that, after a fashion. How easy it will be, I can't say. Anyway, it's easy to find out. You can even do it without tools. You have to remove the fork, and put a long steel pipe through the head tube, sticking out to where the wheel was; and take off one crank arm and put it on backwards, so the pedals line up. Now sit down on the floor, put your feet on the pedals, and grab the bottom of that long pipe that's in the head tube, and pull up on it. Put your back into it. You will see the head tube flex, and at some point you will feel the whole frame relax as the steel bends, hopefully right back to where you want it.

Okay, now that you've done that, think about how easy it was. If it was easy, then your frame is pretty soft, and I imagine you will not trust it enough to ride it. If it was really really hard to bend straight, maybe you will trust it. But then again, maybe not. I speculate that no matter how the 'repair' goes, you will never trust that frame again. So I'd say: don't bother! Get a new frame.

Sorry!

Originally Posted by mapleleafs-13
here's the perfect solution, replace that frame with this one:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Bianchi-Dolom...ht_7078wt_1092





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Oh, that's pretty! I have a cheaper option in mind, though.
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Old 11-04-12, 12:40 PM
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Straightening is possible, and I've done it before with the park tool, but I wouldn't bother with that. That is a pretty nasty bend/wrinkle.
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Old 11-04-12, 01:02 PM
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That is too bad!

I would trash this one, that bottom crease is serious!! I have seen many frames that have been massaged back into shape but this crease is beyond repair.
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