- "5" winter refurb… If I file all the welds smooth….
Not entirely sure that “smooth welds” on bikes are smooth because they’ve been filed flat – aren’t they that way because they get filled in and then smoothed over or are double pass welds? Don’t really see any reason not to, other than sheer time, the fact that the frame may be weakened at strategic points, plus you may well file right through the metal…..Posted 4 years ago
Mrs Rickmeisters Orange 5 is heading towards a winter rebuild and tidy up….
In the process of this if I file all the welds flat so the frame is smooth, will what remains in the joint, hold it together or will it be a deathtrap ? ( its way past warranty btw )
Or, do they look like they do because it costs too much / Orange are too lazy to do it and smoothing will make no difference to the strength.
Thoughts please ?Posted 4 years agofishaMember
Whilst not a welder per say, the general rule I was told is that if you file down the welds, you are likely to be weakening the join to some extent. Now whether thats to the extent of compromising the integrity of the part to the point of failure on a bike … unknown.
Also be careful about how much you over-file the join and go into the parts being joined … they will be thin walled pieces likely.Posted 4 years agobencooperMember
You’d probably be okay filing some welds – the tube-to-tube ones you’d just be filing the edges off the scallops, like Cannondale do. The beads on the flat plates I wouldn’t – you’d need to file away a lot of metal to get them flat, removing quite a bit of the strength.Posted 4 years agoTreksterSubscriber
Can you afford to replace the bike when it falls apart?
The weld “pool/puddle” where the strength is. Under that hobby weld you cannot be sure of full weld penetration or consistent penetration therefore filing away the “puddle” is likely to weaken the weld.
Alloy usually fails at the edge of a weld. Have you not seen broken 5s ? 😉
I would imagine if the frames were not built by hand but built by machines the welds could look better. home made, in a shed in Halifax they look not too bad 😀Posted 4 years agoredddraggonMember
I’m not a welder, but I am a welding engineer. If you’re careful and take the bare minimum of material you’d probably be fine, but it’s definitely not something I’d ever recommend.
There’s not much metal in bike frames, and by filing it down you’ll have even less, and you’ll undoubtedly add stress concentrations and make the weld even more likely to fail.
You’d probably get a nicer finish with some filler anyway IMO.Posted 4 years agoScotlandTheScaredSubscriber
My bike has all the welds filed smooth. But its a Niner Air 9 which is welded once, then has a second layer of weld put over that which is then filed smooth so that there is still enough material to hold everything together.
On an orange 5 I dont think you should be doing any filing – it would weaken the box section joins, particularly where the angle of the join between planes in the box section are not acute.Posted 4 years ago
All good info, thanks…. Davey, there might be something in that before her next trip to Morzine….
Lots of probably and maybe words…. I’m going to ponder a little on it….
Would it make a difference if the edges to be welded form an inwards V and the weld puddle fills the V, rather than the edges butting up against each other ?Posted 4 years agojohnellisonMember
I wouldn’t do it because there’s no weld on the inside. Strictly speaking a welded aluminium frame is a monocoque because the heat treatment after welding raises the temperature of the crystalline structure to a level where the whole frame becomes a homogeneous mass rather than several parts joined together with weld.
But unless the welds have a backing run on the opposite face, it’s likely that there will be far less material in these areas and they will still be a weak point.
Cannondale used to smooth the welds by building them up much bigger than they needed to be before dressing them smooth and then heat treating. This is why Cannondales used to be so horrendously expensive back in the day because the process was incredibly time consuming.
Thats said, you did say it was your other half’s bike, so crack on!Posted 4 years agotheblackmountMember
You sure know the way to a womans heart.
Darling – I’ve decided to spend XXX hrs filing your welds.
Even if it’s safe this has to be the most incredible waste of time – ever as O5’s are so incredibly ugly no amount of weld titivating is going to improve their looks.
Just buy her a new frame.Posted 4 years ago
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