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Is there any way this is safe to ride?

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Is there any way this is safe to ride?

Old 03-05-14, 09:05 PM
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Is there any way this is safe to ride?

I can't really see a catastrophic failure mode here but I am guessing it is still probably unsafe. 1970 Windsor Pro frame. While prepping it for sale the other day I notice a small crack in the top of the top head tube lug. Further inspection reveals that the head tube itself is also cracked from the top of the tube down to the hole leading to the top tube. The crack would not be able to extend any further. I am not sure whether to keep it as a wall hangar or try to sell it, completely disclosing the crack of course. If it is truly, truly dangerous then I probably wouldn't even try to sell it, crack fully disclosed or not. Thoughts?

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Old 03-05-14, 09:52 PM
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I'd agree; it's unlikely to fail catastrophically. And it's in a place where you can easily keep an eye on it. You might want to check that the head tube has been properly prepped, though. If the upper race seat was undersize, it could help spread this crack. And if you think it's extending, drill a stop hole at the end of the crack.

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Old 03-05-14, 10:02 PM
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I dunno, but that does not look very good at all as the road shock and weight loads mostly goes towards that direction of the head lug and tube assembly. I can see that crack getting worse as miles go by.....A welding repair might be possible, but it could get quite messy as the brazing in that area will most likely be damaged by the resulting heat. A good frame builder will most likely propose to just change out the head tube and the top head lug. Quite expensive repair it would most likely be. So you have to weigh that against any plans of re-selling it, as you might end up way underwater with the frame sale.
Maybe getting rid of the problem by just selling with notification to the new owner about the crack damage, of course, it for peanuts as-is might be the safest options as it sounds like you are not very attached to the frame anyway.

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Old 03-06-14, 06:22 AM
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In my opinion, not a big deal. That is, it is serious enough that it would need to be disclosed to any potential buyer, but it is not serious enough to warrant repair or retirement. Unless the crack spreads, or the steering is problematic, I would ride it confidently. Make sure the top headset race is properly installed, and keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-06-14, 06:58 AM
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Jim, If it were just the head tube I wouldn't be worried too much, but the lug is also cracked, which casts some serious doubts in my mind.

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Old 03-06-14, 07:18 AM
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Always important to determine what caused the crack in the first place. Upper crown race suspect as John D mentioned. Is it possible that the lugs on this model were stamped and welded instead of investment cast? Perhaps the seam is in an unfortunate place. In any event, I admire your concern and honest approach, kudos.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude
... Is it possible that the lugs on this model were stamped and welded instead of investment cast? ...
It is certainly possible; I'd think it most likely.
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Old 03-06-14, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
I'd agree; it's unlikely to fail catastrophically. And it's in a place where you can easily keep an eye on it. You might want to check that the head tube has been properly prepped, though. If the upper race seat was undersize, it could help spread this crack. And if you think it's extending, drill a stop hole at the end of the crack.
I see one huge drill stop there already.
I agree that maybe it was not reamed fully, (worn cutter could explain that) and the headset forced in there anyway.
I do not think it will cause a crash per se. But, I could see some speed wobble at some point.
To the Wall, to the wall.
This is just another example of the Windsor craftsmanship.
We had a customer with one complaining of a rattle and "looseness" in the steering.
Remove the wheel, remove the stem, removed the brake in preparation to evaluate the headset...
Clang!
The fork crown departed the steerer and the crown and blades were on the shop floor.
Flux and some chrome plating for a time had held it together.
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Old 03-06-14, 09:06 AM
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one thing you could do is get a grinder/sand and shave off some of the material around your headsets upper race where it goes into the headtube not enough that it drops in but enough that you can seat it with your palm .......and as john D mentioned drill into the bottom the crack to stop its spread (jb weld or epoxy the void for moisture)
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Old 03-06-14, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Clang!
The fork crown departed the steerer and the crown and blades were on the shop floor.
Flux and some chrome plating for a time had held it together.
Frightening thought.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:00 AM
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With some repair, safe to ride. As is currently, unsafe to sell unless fully disclosed. (Obviously) I would just put it up on the rack and let it sit. I don't think it is worth the repair and you are not a guy who is in love with the vintage stuff for riding, so why invest the $$ to sell a "repaired" frame? Maybe it could be a part iof trade or something at some time in the future for someone who wants the project?

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Old 03-06-14, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
I see one huge drill stop there already.
I was thinking that myself. Monitor until the crack reaches that hole in the lug, then drill a stop hole. I also agree that the lug is likely stamped, not cast, and the crack began at a poorly closed weld seam. If, during construction, the brazer had noticed this and filled it with brass, none of this likely would have happened. I'd shy away from a welded repair, what with brass and chrome in the repair area now, it's not likely to hold. Monitor, drill a stop hole if needed, and then when it's time to repaint have the crack and hole filled with brass.
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Old 03-06-14, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the input. As originally stated I would never sell this frame without full disclosure. No intentions of repairing it as it would never pay to do so.

I am sure a 1970 Windsor Pro would have used stamped and welded lugs, not investment cast.

This frame is definitely one that I want to get out the door so I will likely put it up for sale with the defect fully disclosed and get what I can for it.
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