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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:19 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 1029
Location: Kent, UK
I've not come across any quality 44/46cm non-custom frames, did anyone do or currently do them? Nothing too ancient. Most seem to have gone/go down to 48 or 49cm at most but not small enough. I don't trust the modern tig welded stuff after reading about some bad failures (although they were far east produced ones) otherwise it would be easy to find something.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:40 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 10106
Location: New Forest, UK
You have to be a pretty appalling fabricator to TIG a steel frame that fails. I've not come across many frame failures in steel frames beyond fatigue in super-light frames or worsened by corrosion.

Smaller 700C frames are uncommon, not least because you usually have to go down a wheel size to get the geometry to work - toe overlap becomes a problem below 48cm.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:22 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 1029
Location: Kent, UK
Thanks.

The last one I saw (online) was an almost new all city frame, the front end snapped clean off just behind the welds. They say the welds failed but looks like the tubing. He obviously hit something like a pothole but you still wouldn't expect that. But I guess that's what happens when most only care about how cheaply they can have them made. I don't know how common it is though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V58f_xutTIY

That's true so either a modern slopey top tube or a 26"/650b.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:10 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 10106
Location: New Forest, UK
Eew. Very nasty. No excuse, that's shoddy workmanship. It looks like the welding thinned the tube end, the bottom fatigue-cracked through which then ripped and folded the top. I'm happily riding a 30 year old steel MTB frame, and my lugged steel road bike frame is 41 years old.

Even with a slopey top tube (and as you say a high front end) it's hard to make a 700C frame that small - to get the reach right the front wheel has to be closer, resulting in toe overlap. You can get round it with a different steering geometry and very slack head tube, but the handling will be odd. Smaller frames need smaller wheels to stay in proportion (just like big sizes with 26" wheels look like skateboards!) A 559 (26") wheel makes a lovely well-proportioned frame in small sizes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 1029
Location: Kent, UK
Yes, very nasty. I don't know enough (anything) about welding but it's not the weld popping, they managed to weaken the tubing somehow. Could well be what you said.

I wasn't thinking, slopey obviously won't make any difference to toe overlap.


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