Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

seat stay cracked at seat cluster - any options

Notices
Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

seat stay cracked at seat cluster - any options

Old 10-18-14, 04:18 PM
  #1  
spencewine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
seat stay cracked at seat cluster - any options




My bike has been making some weird vibrations for the past couple weeks...was only happening when I cranked....did some checks and minor adjustments and thought I had fixed it. But upon closer inspection I found the above. both sides of the cluster are cracked. This is my daily commuter....so I feel lucky it didn't fail on me while riding.

What are my options here? Can this be fixed? Is it costly? Paid $275 for the bike 3 years ago, but have put some money into it (rebuilt rear wheel). It's double butted steel 1989 Bianchi Volpe touring bike. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
drive side seat stay.jpg (85.6 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg
seat stay.jpg (88.6 KB, 117 views)

Last edited by spencewine; 10-18-14 at 04:27 PM.
spencewine is offline  
Old 10-18-14, 04:29 PM
  #2  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,968

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4353 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
This was/is a fairly common failure with this seat stay design. It's very strong when the stay (or the angled cap) comes up higher so the joint is where it's relatively thick. But when the joint is near the tip, there's less cross section and flexing leads to metal fatigue and failure.

It is repairable by brazing, and while that's being done, the opposite stay should have some braze filled under the back to extend the support out to where the cap is thicker.

Problem, is it isn't cheap, and you have to decide on what kind of repainting will be acceptable.

Just about anyone familiar and skilled in basic frame building practices can do this for you. If you want a baseline quote send the photos to Yellow Jersey outside of Madison Wisc. They do quality work at very fair prices and would be my go to guys if the price was in line with my budget.

BTW- you can also get decent work for stuff like this at a motorcycle speed shop or out in farm country where guys know how to keep stuff together on the cheap.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-18-14, 07:18 PM
  #3  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 12,154

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1924 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 95 Posts
The repair is made up of a few processes.

First is the prep. Removing the paint for a few inches from each tube involved, including the top tube. Since this is a complex joint with lot's of surfaces and crannies this removal is time consuming unless you have a sand blaster that can handle the frame. Also removal of the corrosion between the fractured surfaces.

Next is the actual reconnecting. You'll want to do more then just rebraze the fractured edges together. Some form of reinforcements is a GOOD idea. Whether a couple of small triangular shaped gussets or small cross tubes extra support and brazing surface will go a long way to increase the strength and stiffness of the joints.


Then come clean up. Removal of any brazing flux or burned paint and ending up with shinny bare metal ready for paint.

Next is frame prep. By this I mean the aligning of the rear end and the work needed to have the seat post fit well. How you did the repair and brazing will determine how much of this step you'll have to deal with.

Last is the refinishing/painting. Proper primer, color coat and maybe clear. Rattle can paint will go on quickly and inexpensively but not hold up as well as a two part catalyzed paint shot through a real spray ***.

Of course the taking apart and reassembly of the bike are also part of the process.

Some of these steps are basic elbow grease and some take some skill (with experience) for nice results. Some times a repair person will invite the customer to do as much of the prep and refinishing steps as possible. Other frame repair shops will want to control every step themselves. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 10-19-14, 05:59 AM
  #4  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,714

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1843 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 120 Posts
Because of the minimal contact area between the stays and the lug, I'd probably cut the ends off the stays and fit longer plugs to extend the contact area. It wouldn't be cheap, so you'd need to decide how much you're willing to sink into rescuing the frame.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 10-20-14, 05:37 PM
  #5  
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Because of the minimal contact area between the stays and the lug, I'd probably cut the ends off the stays and fit longer plugs to extend the contact area. It wouldn't be cheap, so you'd need to decide how much you're willing to sink into rescuing the frame.
OP, JohnDThompson; Imho; The Volpe is worth saving. They are nice touring frames. So ditto on need for more contact area. Note that the stays may be capped instead of plugged. 1) Could recap them with longer pieces (flat strap or a bit of seat stay scrap for concave) to go most of the way around (or use new plugs with longer tips if they are plugged)(the bits are readily available from the suppliers list and not expensive). 2) Could bring the stays in behind the ST and form into a fastback style. Would require deciding if you would bend the tops of the stays starting just above the brake bridge or decide to cut the brake bridge, shorten it a bit on both sides to allow the fastback to be achieved and then braze it all back together. 3) Beware of this design shortfall issue for future buys...

Hope that helps.
/K

Last edited by ksisler; 10-20-14 at 05:41 PM.
ksisler is offline  
Old 10-21-14, 05:04 PM
  #6  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,667
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 72 Posts
when I see a bike like this it always makes me think that someone grabbed the wrong size stays. I'm not sure I believe that putting longer plugs on there is a good idea. People have done that, I suppose, but since the stays are a bit short already, that's going to be a really long plug. The thing that I have seen done is to put a tube around the outside. Not the prettiest repair, but if cost and functionality are the main concerns, that's a pretty decent way to go
unterhausen is offline  
Old 10-25-14, 08:34 PM
  #7  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13,541
Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1030 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 77 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
when I see a bike like this it always makes me think that someone grabbed the wrong size stays. I'm not sure I believe that putting longer plugs on there is a good idea. People have done that, I suppose, but since the stays are a bit short already, that's going to be a really long plug. The thing that I have seen done is to put a tube around the outside. Not the prettiest repair, but if cost and functionality are the main concerns, that's a pretty decent way to go
It might be worthwhile to source some plugs that fit external to the seat stays, I don't like the look but it might be workable. I also think Andrew Stewart's process would work. My guess is the stay ends got over cooked and became brittle. Also, did not have enough cross section either.

Basically, the guy doing the work has to be comfortable in the strategy. There are I think a number of ways to do this.
repechage is offline  
Old 10-30-14, 09:27 AM
  #8  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,383
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 11 Posts
In pic #2 it looks like there may be a crack developing in the lug for the top tube? Hard to tell from here but I would remove the paint around that area for inspection as you may have even bigger problems than just the seat stays.
Crankycrank is offline  
Old 10-30-14, 05:29 PM
  #9  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,714

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1843 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 120 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
In pic #2 it looks like there may be a crack developing in the lug for the top tube? Hard to tell from here but I would remove the paint around that area for inspection as you may have even bigger problems than just the seat stays.
Good point. I hadn't noticed that. If it is a crack (the paint needs to come off to determine this), then that makes rescue considerably more costly.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 10-30-14, 07:04 PM
  #10  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6942 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 208 Posts
I did a wrapover cap joining both seat-stays with 1 U shaped Piece of steel , in a New.. Build, ..

something using a bit more substantial steel thickness may reinforce things .. Have lots of surface area to bond with brass.

adding a gusset behind the seat tube joining the 3 parts also will beef the connection as well ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-01-14, 03:00 PM
  #11  
spencewine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
An update...I took the frame to Bernie Mikkelsen in Alameda (SF Bay Area) and he made the repairs for me. He brazed the cracks and reinforced the connection. I'm not an expert, but overall pleased with the service, good people there. I'm going to rattle can spray paint the exposed areas and ride it for a month and then powder coat fully if the repair holds up. See attached photos to see the work done.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_2297.jpg (86.0 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_2296.jpg (87.7 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_2294.jpg (84.0 KB, 76 views)
spencewine is offline  
Old 11-01-14, 07:01 PM
  #12  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 12,154

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1924 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 95 Posts
Looks like he pinned the stays first. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 11-02-14, 10:35 AM
  #13  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6942 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 208 Posts
Location of the vent hole suggests it's a tube with a flat plate face, not a cast plug..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-02-14, 04:13 PM
  #14  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,285

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1809 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 195 Times in 144 Posts
Contact Dave Levy at TiCycles. He has done hundreds of those repairs. I called him and described the crack I found. He told me the other side would be cracked also, that he would repair both sides in any case, and how long the repair would take. (One afternoon. He was right about the other crack and pointed it out to me when I brought the bike in. The whole process went just like he described on the phone, the timeline, the cost and the appearance change.) It was about $450 with a professional powdercoat paint job as I recall. He has been in business 30 years, plenty of time to have both seen everything and see how long his repairs last. I suspect he would be happy to suggest a framebuilder nearer you if Portland, OR isn't convenient. (He has plenty of work, not just building his own bikes but doing specialty work and repairs for other framebuilders so passing up a job isn't a big deal.)

Ben
79pmooney is online now  
Old 11-02-14, 04:51 PM
  #15  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,285

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1809 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 195 Times in 144 Posts
The bike I had repaired is a 1983 Trek 420. The repair was done 3 years ago. It has served me very well as the 5th iteration of an ongoing commuter/city/winter fix gear. I paid $80 for the frame. But it has served so well and fits so well that spending the $450 to have it fixed is, in hindsight, totally worth it. I bought that frame in '08 with unknown miles. I discovered the crack after I put 13,000 miles on it and have ridden 4500 since.

Ben
79pmooney is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
GailT
Classic & Vintage
30
02-24-19 02:52 PM
Paul J
Tandem Cycling
29
07-21-17 06:12 AM
dubes
Bicycle Mechanics
13
05-01-16 03:42 PM
Thumpic
Classic & Vintage
23
11-01-10 07:29 AM
Dampcookie
Bicycle Mechanics
9
07-12-10 09:33 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.