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Old 11-21-08, 03:23 AM   #1
Wheels Of Steel
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Reforging/Repairing Steel Frame

I made the mistake of mounting my steel frame using the seat tube instead of the seat post. I left three small dents in the frame, nothing that would compromise its integrity. Can steel frames be reforged or repaired to remedy my error? How much would this cost?
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Old 11-21-08, 01:18 PM   #2
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It's difficult from your post to figure just how you damaged the frame, or where the damage is.

Possibly you can post a picture?

Small dents or dings in a steel frame should not pose any danger. However, if the damage is to the extent that the frame is creased to the point a crack would form, you might have trouble.
Welding a bike frame can be difficult; the tubes tend to be quite thin.
Brazing is better, but you'd still need to worry about re-finishing and such.
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Old 11-21-08, 02:06 PM   #3
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Mounted in a work stand by clamping the seat tube instead of the seat post, I think. Pictures would help.
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Old 11-21-08, 06:47 PM   #4
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As the other posts said, mere dents in a steel frame aren't usually a problem. A bike shop (preferably one with a gray-haired owner or mechanic who dates back to when steel was common) could tell you for sure.
If you're concerned about cosmetics, ask around for a shop that has "frame blocks." Those are heavy blocks with cutouts to fit around the tubing--you grease the tube, clamp the blocks around the dented part, then rotate the blocks with a wrench to gradually work out the dents (picture a mold that clamshells around the tubing). They'll scratch the paint, but often will get the dent down so it's barely visible. You can find a reference to them here:
You could probably make your own out of a chunk of oak or other hard wood,

EDIT: Here's a picture:

Last edited by Velo Dog; 11-21-08 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 11-21-08, 07:54 PM   #5
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a framebuilder could replace the seat tube - cost would be close to that of a new frame.
remember you'd have to re-paint, too.

if the dents are small enough, you might be able to push them out from the inside, just by jamming a long seatpost or similar in there. not exactly high-tech, and: if there's any kind of crease or a shape that would lead to stress cracks, it's only a matter of time till cracks form. however, it's likely to be a pretty long time.

most likely from the scenario you describe, if they're just cosmetic, put some touch-up paint on and move on having learned your lesson.

(yet another in the very long list of reasons that steel is a better real-world frame material)
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