hole in frame - but can it be saved?

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  • So, I have an Independent Fabrication Planet X that has rotted through at the bottom of the seat tube (as pictured). It's been lying around for a bit but I'm wondering if it can reasonably repaired without replacing every tube? It's got sentimental value, fits really well and takes 45c tyres so for a 15 year old frame it was pretty forward thinking.


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  • What’s the tubing?

  • Good point.

    From an old photo, it's 853

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  • And when it wasn't broken...

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  • My uneducated guess would be if it’s that rusted in one spot, it probably would be all the way around the bottom of the tube. I’m not sure it would be an easy fix

  • I’d back that up. It’s been my experience that if a frame has gone in one place it’ll be pretty knackered in other places too.

    It’s also going to be a pretty difficult spot to get at to clean the rust out of so will be difficult to get a good braze/weld into.

    It could be bodged but it will be just that and neither as strong or as attractive as it could be made.

  • its a nice looking bike. 853s do seem to suffer a lot from corrosion. Ive seen several rotten Raleigh 853 race bikes. Just wondering if its how thin they are or a mettalurgy thing?

  • @PhilDAS and @M_V , I fear that you are both absolutely right, I'm just clinging to a vain hope that it can be resurrected without becoming Trigger's Broom and/or costing more than a secondhand one.

    I did approach IF about their warranty replacement scheme - they said that they could do a replacement in a single colour at a reduced price but I'd need to pay shipping and send mine back which ended up with it being more or less the same cost as a new one.

  • Rather than the tubing per se, in this case I think it's more about my carelessness (not ensuring that seat tube was aired after a particularly wet 3 Peaks where I went through water over the b/b) and the (to my mind) stupid approach of sealing the seat tube so any water that gets it cannot drain and sits there, silently and stealthily rotting the tube away until you come to clean it, see a crack in the paint and investigate by pushing screwdriver straight though...

  • There’s no vent into the BB shell from the seat tube?

  • Nope, IF seal the tubes completely.

  • That's a terrible idea! Why would they do that??

  • Probably because they thought it'd stop water getting in.

    I have a Thorn frame that's all sealed up tubes including blind water bottle bosses and it was full of water/rusted from the inside out.

  • You could donate this to my museum of cross frames that died from not having vent holes in the BB.

  • Geoff Roberts could probably repair this actually.

    He just posted about a frame he repaired and I think the technique he used would work here.

    I have no idea how he manages to squeeze the new tube sleeves in around the bottom bracket but he seem to be able to.

    Also no idea what sort of money he'd charge for this kind of repair.

  • With some force you can probably spring the seat tube back enough to get it over the end through the chainstays once it’s been cut from the BB I reckon

  • Yeah I asked him about one that he posted that just didn't seem possible and he said basically, stick your back into it and it'll move enough!

  • Like it.. great salvaging but Geoff missed a trick to make the sleeve look like a fancy bb lugged shell.

  • That's great, certainly looks like it might be an option - I've sent a query.

  • So got a reply from Geoff - based on the photo at the top he says that he can repair it, would need to see it first but estimates £75. Which is great news.

  • Getting way ahead of myself, I'd like to preserve the original paint as much as possible - so post-repair ask to blend in the same orange or, if that would be tricky to get a good match, fade in a contact colour (in which case, what)?

  • Very good value!

  • I'd do a block contrasting colour on the new bb area with chevrons onto the old paint following the shape of the tube sleeves

  • Interesting paint suggestions, liking the chevron approach.

    Anyway, frame was sent to Geoff yesterday, will update on how it goes in due course

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hole in frame - but can it be saved?

Posted by Avatar for Big_Ted @Big_Ted