Re: [CR]Track courses and frames

(Example: Framebuilding:Norris Lockley)

Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 12:03:57 +0000
Subject: Re: [CR]Track courses and frames
From: "Hilary Stone" <>
To: Dennis Young <>, <>
In-Reply-To: <>

I think that most well built steel frames whether track or road are very unlikely to suffer fatigue damage unless they are accident damaged and then straightened. I am extremely pleased with the ex Keirin 19in Higashikawa Levant track frame I bought last year on Ebay which had found its way to the US. Despite obviously leading a hard life on the track - one side of the top tube has extensive dents and then being left out in the open in the US it obviously rides beautifully. My son Keir is now going to ride it as his number one track bike for this season - he prefers it over his much more modern British built track frame. The Higashikawa looks so well balanced and still tracks perfectly. The standard of workmanship appears extremely high. As to where frames break head tubes can be vulnerable to fatigue cracks especially on larger frames or if there was a little overheating - also it is well worth checking around the rear dropouts. Steel frames do not go 'mushy' or 'soft'. Steel has a modulus of elasticity that is constant - all steel alloys are for all intents and purposes the same and does not change with use or over time. The softness which happens just before a piece of steel breaks from fatigue happens immediately before the fatigue failure - it does not happen over a long period of time. I would not be too worried about fatigue failures in any frame except those where the design stretches the steel to its limits and beyond or where poor workmanship might be invloved. Thanet Silverlight frames despite being beautifully built and silver brazed do occasionally suffer fatigue failures but that is down to the use of thin walled 1in diameter tubing for the down and seat tubes, small diameter chainstays as well as a bottom bracket design that is much less effective than a standard one. I would very much like another ex Keirin track frame in a slightly larger size 20 to 22in so if any are on offer I would be very interested.

Hilary Stone, Bristol, England

Dennis Young wrote:
> I payed a visit to a local bike shop there, with whom I had previously
> done some business. I mentioned to the mechanic that I am always looking
> for old pista frames. He said that racers bring them in fairly frequently,
> asking for them to be scrapped, *;-) and he gave me one on the spot that
> was lingering in the warehouse. Not much interest in the 'old ones' it
> seems, as well as the liability concerns were they to be resold. It got me
> to thinking.... these pros are definitely heavy mashers, and they go through
> bikes pretty fast. When checking out a used pista frame, where are you
> likely to see heavy use damage occur? Are stress cracks around the bb shell
> a likelihood, and possibly are internal and not so easily recognized on the
> outside? Perhaps I need invest in a used xray machine? Can anyone advise
> as to the likely areas of damage?