MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

BICYCLE QUALITY - INTRO

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BICYCLE

FRAME & FORK QUALITY

WHEN BEST ISN'T BEST

FRAME & FORK  INTEGRITY

DENTED FRAME OR FORK

BENT FRAME OR FORK

MODIFIED FRAME OR FORKI

REPAIRED FRAME OR FORK

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

FRAME & FORK MATERIALS

FRAME SET DROP-OUTS

CLAMPS & BRAZE-ONS

FRAME CRAFTSMANSHIP

CHARACTER & PERSONALITY

 

FRAME AND FORKS - STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY

FRAME SET TERMINOLOGY

Most vintage road bicycle frame sets are composed of three primary parts.  Tubes, lugs and drop-outs The tubes, lugs and drop-outs are brass brazed or silver soldered together.  Brazing and soldering are forms of low temperature welding, although that description is somewhat simplistic.  Common frame and fork set terms include:  tubes, lugs, drop-outs, bottom bracket housing, chain stays, seat stays, fork blades, fork crown and steering stem (not visible in the example).

These terms will crop up often and it would be wise to be familiar with them.  Understand each term will be a tremendous asset when learning about or discussing frame and fork set characteristics.

FRAME SET DIMENSIONS

Frame set dimensions that will be frequently referred to include:  Seat Tube measured from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the center of the Top Tube.  Top Tubes are measured from the center of the Seat Tube to the center of the Head Tube.  Chain Stays are measured from the center of the Bottom Bracket Spindle to the approximate center of the rear drop-out and Wheel Base is measured from the center of the front drop-out to the approximate center of the rear drop out.  Two other frame dimensions to consider include the inside distance between the parallel faces of the rear drop-outs and the Seat Post diameter which is really the size of the inside diameter of the Seat Tube.

One final frame measurement is very important though it is not really a measurement of any part of the frame.  This all important measurement is the Stand Over Height (SOH) of an assembled bicycle.  The SOH is the distance from the floor to the top of the bicycle's Top Tube

The structural integrity of a bicycle frame and fork set is extremely important.  It is the first thing one should take into consideration when viewing a vintage road bicycle.  Cosmetics do not play a part when frame set integrity or geometry are the issue.  Poor paint and art work will not impact the ride characteristics of a vintage road bicycle.  However...

A dent, in any tube, compromises a frame set's structural integrity.  A bent tube, stay or fork blade compromises a frame set's structural and, more importantly, geometric integrity as does any crack.  Any purposeful modifications, no matter how well done, compromises a frame set's structural integrity.  In short, if the frame or fork set is dented, bent or broken, the structural and or geometric integrity has been compromised.

It goes without saying that bicycles with damaged frame sets are worth less than undamaged ones.  The bent, dented or cracked unit will be costly to restore, probably requiring the services of a professional.  Or several professionals.

Keep in mind that the vintage road bicycle frame and fork set is a fragile assembly.  Keep also in mind that any vintage road bicycle you find, will be twenty, thirty or more years old.  It is highly likely that the bicycle will have suffered riding abuse, storage abuse, lack of maintenance abuse, or worse yet, uninformed maintenance abuse.  Good old Mother Nature will also have played a part in the bicycle's state of repair.  Small wonder that quite a few vintage road bicycle frame and fork sets need some sort of attention, here and there, to ensure that they are structurally sound.

NEXT - DENTED FRAME OR FORK

 

 

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