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Thread: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

  1. #1
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    Default Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Let's say you have a lugged level top tube steel frame, made of classic tubing and it's a holy grail frame. It's chromed in places (chainstays). You flat out love how it rides.

    The frame is maybe 1cm too big, but it fits well. But the level top tube means that very little seatpost shows. You don't want to shop for a smaller size because other issues then crop up. And they are very hard to find.

    So this thought occurs to you: work with a builder and de-braze the seat tube cluster, top head tube lug weld and bottom seat stay weld; chop 3 cm off seat tube and turn it into a frame with a slightly sloping top tube. Can the head tube lug and seat tube lug handle slight change in angles? Seat stays would intersect lower on seat tube and need to be cut. Top tube at seat tube lug might need to be cut too. Obviously a new paint job would be needed. Not sure how the chrome factors in to this.

    If that's doable, who could do it? Yeah, it would cost $$, but so does a new Peg or Zanc or Kirk or Spectrum. Obviously I can just leave it the way it is. I'm just curious about this option and its feasibility.

    Appreciate any constructive feedback. You don't need to tell me I'm crazy. That fact has been well established.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Four related off-the-cuff responses:

    1) I don't think that would cost much less than getting a new bike with the same geometry put together.

    2) The bike in its current state rides great and fits well. De- and re-constructing it has plenty of potential to make it worse, and no real upside.

    3) Once somebody jacks it around, it isn't a holy grail bike anymore. It will have been deprovenanced. And you are going to lose the original paint etc.

    4) Lots of builders don't like messing with stuff like that. For various good reasons.

    5) If it fits and rides great, the only issue you are addressing is the amount of seatpost showing. That's just aesthetics and nobody can see the seatpost when you are riding the bike anyway.

    I almost put that last clause in all caps for emphasis but forebore.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Agreed with everything lumpy said - either it fits, so ride the snot out of it, or it doesn’t so take what you like about it and use that to design something new and spot on from a builder of your choice.

    Don’t mess around trying to make it something it’s not, and likely failing to make it what you want it to be...
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    I've made windchimes out of frames that didn't fit.

    Carbon is somewhat muted as one would expect. It requires a good blow to squeeze anything out of them that resembles a dancing tune.

    Titanium is also subtle, but carries some resonance that will shake a Cardinal from a Pitch Pine.

    Aluminum is moody and pensive. When I sit amongst the birch on any afternoon, and desire to be pulled into a profound reverie, I hang the aluminums from a high branch.

    Steel has the right endurance for the wind. It reverberates and again, this way and that way, until it fills the hollows of my failures.

    What was the question again?
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Well, okay, nevermind. Was just a thought.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    I had a huge dent in the TT of a lugged frame and a builder did advice to get a new frame instead of de -brazing (is that a word?) the lugs.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Thomas, if anyone razzes you about the length of seatpost showing, send them over to Mr. W.F. Stekl for a proper beating with his wind chimes. I will hold them down.

    Ride that thing until the chrome comes off. And then ride it some more.

    TH
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Merckx fit.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Merckx fit.
    Well, yeah, now that you mention it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    That's a Rene Singer fit, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Doesn't appear to be too big. It's not as if you have a stubby stem on it.

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Thomas, you have a white saddle and bar tape, a real pump, and gumwall tires with labels aligned with the valve stems on one of the nicest frames ever made (and one of the best colors). If anyone hassles you about seatpost extension, I volunteer to beat them with Stekl's wind chimes. Please don't take a torch to that frame. Google "bad plastic surgery" instead. Don't turn Eddy Merckx into Mickey Rourke.

    Tee Aitch
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    As a frame builder/painter I can tell you that modifying this frame would be more work/cost than starting a new one from scratch. And secondly like plastic surgery that makes the patient look worse afterwards so would your modified bicycle after it was built up again. This is because your handlebars are close to the height of your saddle. Making the frame smaller would make the stem stick out a silly amount above the top tube. Most bicycle setups with more seatposts showing have a much greater saddle to handlebar drop.

    In the classic era neither seat posts or stems were very long so bigger frames were necessary so both could be inserted a safe amount. Some of my frame building class students designing their frames in the old French style like them with longer seat tubes so they look similar to yours on purpose. This is especially true of those that are no longer 25 years old with 3% body fat and require a higher handlebar/stem height to be comfortable.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    What Doug said.

    I would add that the bike is already as ugly as a hat full of assholes, giving it a sloping top tube would push it beyond my ability to generate a simile.

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    I seem to remember this bike featured in an “appropriate seat height” thread during the dark days of winter. Spring must be coming.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    You guys are quite entertaining. Enjoyed all the comments.

    I'm going to hold onto j44ke's last comment "spring must be coming..."

    I just want to get out on a f**king ride.
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    You guys are quite entertaining. Enjoyed all the comments.

    I'm going to hold onto j44ke's last comment "spring must be coming..."

    I just want to get out on a f**king ride.
    I didn't mean it as a criticism. Just an observation that earlier there were a few more negatives on seat post length, perhaps even (probably) including me. Now everything is peachy. And there can only be one reason for that....
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I seem to remember this bike featured in an “appropriate seat height” thread during the dark days of winter. Spring must be coming.
    Punxsatawney Phil did predict an early spring.
    Will Neide (pronounced Nighty, like the thing worn to bed)

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    It has too much stem showing if anything
     

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    Default Re: Serious question on frame modification/re-build

    Quote Originally Posted by Marin View Post
    It has too much stem showing if anything
    If the bike fits when he rides it, and the minimum insertion line is hidden, I submit that it is just the right amount of stem.
     

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