[CR]Frame alignment obsession?

(Example: Framebuilders:Chris Pauley)

From: "garth libre" <rabbitman@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 17:49:42 -0500
Subject: [CR]Frame alignment obsession?

I have never been so happy with the frame that I presently race. It is stable at high speed, comfortable, well made, proper size, stiff and responsive. I have owned and ridden so many frames that I often feel like the princess and the pea. Sooner or later, every frame shows up its weakness, and I have sometimes hounded mechanics to correct some very minor frame misalignments, only to decide that it wasn't that the frame or fork was not straight but that the "basic feel" or dimensions didn't agree with me. I feel that this particular 56 cm Raleigh Prestige 531-C frame has it all, or does it?

If I take a 6 foot straight edge along the front and rear wheels, the alignment proves correct. The symetricalness of the frame proves good or dead on, for all the measurements I know. However, the factory slipped on one obvious detail: When the the rear brake bridge was brazed on, he (she) somehow made the distance from the brake pivot pin to the right seat stay one sixteenth of an inch longer than that to the left chainstay. (about 1.25 mm). Everyday I notice it, and I also notice that this is not a defect that shows up on even the cheapest Kmart bikes.

How could such a thing happen? Doesn't the rear brake bridge come cut even from the factory? Wouldn't the builder have visually noticed this, and taken the time to get another? It doesn't effect the ride of course, and even the braking seems unaffected, plus it is barely noticeable. I have seen frames with twisted cranks due to bad brazing of the bottom bracket. There are many errors that could actually result in an unrideable frame, and this bridge thing isn't one of them. It just bothers me that no one caught this on the way out the door. How careless does a frame maker have to be to let this slip by? Garth Libre in sunny Surfside Fl.