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Repairing a cracked frame

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Repairing a cracked frame

Old 06-20-13, 10:29 PM
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kv1
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Repairing a cracked frame

Hello! My first post.. don't know if this is the appropriate forum... but here it is:

I manage to crack my Bianchi pista in two locations (near the seat tube cluster on the drive side as well as where the downtube meets the headtube on the "belly"/underside of the bicycle). The cracks appeared after time. I noticed the paint cracking at the seat cluster after I inspected the bike on day. I continued riding it and the crack grew. I only noticed the crack on the downtube today, several months after I noticed the crack on the seat tube cluser. I wouldn't say that I am the most abusive person to ever ride a pista, but I used to skid a lot and I weigh in at 180lbs.

The tubing is chromoly and double butted (labeled chromo - lite on the downtube sticker)
Pictures:




and now... the crack on the downtube/headtube weld:




What should I do? I posted this in the framebuilders forum because I am planning to get it repaired. I am excluding the DIY approach because I do not have the experience to re-braze it or TIG weld it to a point of satisfaction. Unfortunetly I bought this bike on ebay, (new and boxed) a year ago (before the time of this post). I do not know the name of the seller so the warranty is most likely void.

Should I resort to getting it repaired?
Is this something a shop that builds custom frames would likely do?
What should I ask if I do end up taking my frame to such a shop?
What concerns should I have?

Any advice is truly appreciated

Last edited by kv1; 06-20-13 at 10:35 PM. Reason: more details
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Old 06-20-13, 11:58 PM
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veryredbike
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I'm no pro by any measure... only built like two frames... but you're looking at replacing a lot of the bike. It's REALLY unlikely that it'll make financial sense. My guess is that you could easily buy a pista and parts for the cost of the repair (not including a new paint job)... maybe a couple.
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Old 06-21-13, 01:23 AM
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kv1
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Originally Posted by veryredbike View Post
I'm no pro by any measure... only built like two frames... but you're looking at replacing a lot of the bike. It's REALLY unlikely that it'll make financial sense. My guess is that you could easily buy a pista and parts for the cost of the repair (not including a new paint job)... maybe a couple.
What would I be replacing? I thought I would be only looking at re-welding the downtube weld and re-brazing the weld at the seat tube cluster... Would the tubing need to be replaced?
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Old 06-21-13, 05:44 AM
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unterhausen
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that is a defective frame. Did you buy it used? I would go bother a dealer about it.

The seat stay can be re-brazed. So can the down tube, but that one is more than a little scary.
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Old 06-21-13, 09:28 AM
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Appalling workmanship! Bianchi has a following and you'd expect the quality of manufacturing to be better than this. That's why I build my own rather than ride "factory" frames. Makes me want to remove the paint on all the Bianchi frames I see. Are they all that bad? I'd be wary of a replacement too, if you were able to score one.

Since you say it's "new" I'd go see a dealer. Since it's an Ebay buy he may be unwilling to work with you. Then I'd get ahold of Bianchi directly if that's possible. If I were them I'd want that frame out of circulation. No satisfaction either way I'd scrap it or fix it.

Not sure but it appears the front triangle is tig'ed. If it were me I'd clean the welds as best I could and fillet braze both ends. Might work- might not. You have no control over the condition and cleanliness of tube interior without completely removing the tubes. After repair I'd keep a close eye on it. Can't be any worse than what you have.

Where are you located OP? Might help us guide you to a repair guy.
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Old 06-21-13, 09:39 AM
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Realistically I would say this frame is all done.

Any can be fixed given enough time, skill and money but some times it's just not worth it.

Both the cracks need to be fixed and it's tempting to think that one could sand off the paint, reweld/rebraze the joint, and have everything work out well. But this is so often just not the case and there are a few reasons for this.

First is that no matter how well you try to clean the area there will be dirt, paint, grease, degreaser, sand for the sanding.....etc down in the crack. To get a good strong joint it will need to be very, very clean and if any of this stuff is still in there the joint will likely fail once again. One way to be sure it's clean is to replace the tube - you open up the joint completely and clean it up like new and then attach a new and clean tube. But this is far in time and money terms from just rewelding/rebrazing the joint.

The second reason is that the joint failed the first time for a good reason.............one can't tell why from the photos of course but no doubt there was an issue with the original joints. It might have been dirty, it might not have had enough penetration, it might have gotten way too hot.............like I said - hard to tell by just looking. But really it's a moot point as the original sin still exists and the chance that one can rework something that was poorly done to begin with and have it turn out OK is really small.

If there is a warrantee involved I'd be looking at that - if not I'd limit my losses and move on.

Sorry for the downer but I need to spell it out as I see it.


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Old 06-23-13, 06:23 AM
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Any good frame builder can fix that no problem. The areas need to be ground down to clean metal and then repaired.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
Any good frame builder can fix that no problem. The areas need to be ground down to clean metal and then repaired.
I guess you didn't note that the person that posted just above you is a pretty well known builder. The frame failed because there was no penetration. There is now rust and swarf where you would need filler to go, and it's not going to happen. There simply is no way to clean it up. You could do a cosmetic repair that would fail down the line. If it was just the seat stay, that might hold, but the downtube cannot be repaired in a way that will be safe for the life of the frame.
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Old 06-24-13, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I guess you didn't note that the person that posted just above you is a pretty well known builder. The frame failed because there was no penetration. There is now rust and swarf where you would need filler to go, and it's not going to happen. There simply is no way to clean it up. You could do a cosmetic repair that would fail down the line. If it was just the seat stay, that might hold, but the downtube cannot be repaired in a way that will be safe for the life of the frame.

WOW>..........!!!!! Thanks.............................Really...
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