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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:52 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:11 pm
Posts: 222
Location: DERBYSHIRE
Close on eight years ago, I purchased a deadstock Lemond Ti frame and forks from Mt. Moria Cycles, Memphis - as I remember, the $ was not far off 50 pence in value and, with Reynolds carbon forks, postage and customs, it came in at around £450. Bargain.
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Sadly, it got totalled a year later, when a squirrel went through the front wheel and sheered the forks off. True. I did get the insurance though, which replaced the Dura Ace 7400 with a Centaur groupset and some Colnago powerforks.

Since then, it has not given me a minute's trouble and has been nothing short an absolute pleasure to ride. Until I noticed last month a hairline crack round the downtube, which I guess is a legacy of it's previous prang. I put it down as a write off, but I share a works with a ti fabricators (motorbike exhausts mainly), who reckoned it would be no bother to mend...
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What would be interesting to know would be - do I keep it in the shed and just look at it or do I risk building it up and riding it - is the frame's integrity gone for good or is there still a bit of life left in it?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:27 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:51 am
Posts: 1281
Location: Norfolk
Would not risk riding it, you'll probablly end up face first into the pavement with your crown teeth smashed out or even worsh, death.

I think it's a gonna mate, even repaired it'll look shoddy and have no resale appeal, what with a great big tig weld covering the crack.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:09 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
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Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
IMH no expert Opinion I think it's a gonna too. A failure in that area is too dangerous to keep you in control of the bike; unlike say a BB or seat-tube stay. Read this, it may help your decision: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2006/07/06/r-i-p/.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:11 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:11 pm
Posts: 222
Location: DERBYSHIRE
I think by asking the question, I'd made my mind up already...I was just holding out for that faint hope there would be a flurry of posts all saying 'I've ridden repaired down tubes for years...no problems whatsoever'.
Sadly, after a few too many face in tarmac moments, in the shed it goes.
Re. the blog post - I rode mine out and noticed a gentle creak after 10 miles. 60 miles later the creak had got progressively louder and I was thinking that I was going to have to finally get round to tightening those chainring bolts. Only when I washed it did I notice the crack and realise that it was probably only the tension of the gear cables that had got me home/not sent me into Outpatients.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:38 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:12 am
Posts: 1513
Location: Gold Coast Australia
I say ride it but inspect often for new cracks , in the case of total immediate tube failure there still will be a top tube holding everything together , I would not risk a steerer tube or stem that looked like that though !


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:01 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:41 am
Posts: 1108
Location: Warrington
I say if it's a 56cm and your retiring it, sell me it? I'll risk a repair and not mind a well placed brace. Hell if it brakes while I'm riding I'll let you have a tooth as souvenir. :wink:


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 Post subject: Cracking up
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:32 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:58 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Scotland
Reminds when I snapped the downtube on my Raleigh Rodeo (1970's kids bike with 20" wheels) bunny hopping off the kerbs. I think the farmer arc welded it back on and it was fine ha ha. Does make you wonder all this. I'm still pootling around on my 20 year old steel bikes, and the other day half the handlebar came off in my hands. How long does all this stuff last I wonder to myself?

Not sure about your Ti weld - it 'should' work but then its all pretty thin tubing under quite a bit of stress. I suppose the gamble is that it will fail gradually (with a crack) rather than a complete and sudden break. Maybe some titanium gear cables would help serve as a back up! Don't these fancy Ti frame builders offer lifetime guarantees? Must have been pricey when new.


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