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 Post subject: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:59 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 1:04 pm
Posts: 21
I'm currently getting my old Saracen ready for riding again, and discovered this great website. I've started to think I may try and build up a bike around a nicer frame, and I've always admired fillet brazed frames. Apart from the usual UK builders such as Yates and Roberts, which other frames were made using this construction method, and with high quality tubes?


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:22 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
Fillet brazing is in some ways an inferior construction method, especially with respect to weight/strength ratio.

However, because it is a relatively time intensive method it tends to appear on more expensive frames, although the method itself lends little to that quality.

It's biggest boon is of course it's smooth, easy on the eye lines. Pleasant.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:25 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 1:04 pm
Posts: 21
Thanks, I didn't know that. Maybe I should start looking for a lugged frame!


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:29 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 634
Location: New England
Chopper1192 wrote:
Fillet brazing is in some ways an inferior construction method, especially with respect to weight/strength ratio.

However, because it is a relatively time intensive method it tends to appear on more expensive frames, although the method itself lends little to that quality.

It's biggest boon is of course it's smooth, easy on the eye lines. Pleasant.




Nice 'voice of authority comment' there. Care to post references to back up this opinion, or is this just something you've decided to be correct over the years? Ever ridden a brazed frame?

I have 4 brazed bikes, they are favorites. Tom Ritchey and Tom Teesdale are the first two to come to mind here in the States. Ritchey is by far the most prolific. I have a brazed Santana Moda with Columbus Nivacrom tubing as well-you can see the seat tube cluster in my avatar.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:32 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
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Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
MSc in metallurgy, though as I've never worked in the field once I got my parchment I'm not exactly current.

What's your expertise in the field?

Read it again- I'm not saying it's bad at all. I am saying it's largely employed more for cosmetic effect than performance gain, and its a secondary indicator of possible 'quality', not because the method itself is brilliant but because it's so time consuming, and a decent fabricators time is an expensive commodity.

And yes, there can't be many cyclist in their mid 40s that don't own or haven't owned a frame with brazed construction, including fat old me.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:56 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 5668
Location: Dorset
deejayen wrote:
I'm currently getting my old Saracen ready for riding again, and discovered this great website. I've started to think I may try and build up a bike around a nicer frame, and I've always admired fillet brazed frames. Apart from the usual UK builders such as Yates and Roberts, which other frames were made using this construction method, and with high quality tubes?



viewtopic.php?f=6&t=252760&start=30 :D


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:21 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6842
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
In reply to the OP.

First off, welcome to the forum.

You have to keep your eyes open for hand made frames, as those 'in the know' tend to snap them up.

Roberts and Yates you know about, also from the UK you could look for Overbury's (as per Maksters post), Dave LLoyd, Rourke, Lee Cooper, Orbit / Sonic, Zinn, Bromwich, Kevin Winter, Fuquay. There are more, but those are the ones I can think of straight off.

Some of the early Orange bikes were fillet brazed, but they are rare and usually fetch a sensible price.

Probably the easiest to find would be a Yates Diabolo; these were a semi production frame, much like the Roberts Genesis , but both are nice looking, usually pretty well priced and from personal experience I can say that the Diabolo builds into a good fun bike.

You probably need to consider what age of frame you want, as bikes from the late 80's are very different to bikes only a few years newer, and by 2000 things were very different again.

Alternatively, you buy a frame you like the look of, and build it up however you want, that's what I do.

Do a search for British Steel in the riders bikes section, you'll see one or two nice frames in there. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:24 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 634
Location: New England
Chopper1192 wrote:
MSc in metallurgy, though as I've never worked in the field once I got my parchment I'm not exactly current.

What's your expertise in the field?

Read it again- I'm not saying it's bad at all. I am saying it's largely employed more for cosmetic effect than performance gain, and its a secondary indicator of possible 'quality', not because the method itself is brilliant but because it's so time consuming, and a decent fabricators time is an expensive commodity.

And yes, there can't be many cyclist in their mid 40s that don't own or haven't owned a frame with brazed construction, including fat old me.



Sorry If I came across a bit sharp....I've been awake for 4 hours and have had nothing but aggravation with each attempted task, I am already over my frustration limit for the day. I can't say personally or professionally that any one construction is better than another, but from the OP's second post it seems your wording implied brazing was inferior. Prices paid for fillet-brazed frames on ebay are generally higher than for tigged or lugged construction.

Maybe it will also help to understand how I was introduced to retrobikes as a 'thing'. I had ridden various Cannondales and Specializeds from back in the day. I was given a fillet-brazed '86 Ritchey Timber Comp in trade for some work, and didn't think much of the bike, didn't do and research, didn't do much of anything besides get on and ride it with no preconceived notions. Nothing I had ridden felt like that bike-responsive and with amazing power delivery. I've been hooked on old bikes ever since, and my brazed frames are still my faves.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:44 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
That's quite alright old chap. In any case, logic doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with beauty and desirability, which is where a bit of fillet brazed wholesomeness come in ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:50 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 1:04 pm
Posts: 21
Thanks, everyone. I'm a long way off being ready to buy a frame, so really just trying to pick up some info for now. That Overbury's looks lovely! Were there any mainstream manufacturers making quality brazed steel frames (a couple of names which spring to mind are Peugeot and Saracen)?


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