Commuter frame rusted through – what to do…

  • This topic has 11 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 8 months ago by  Bez.
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  • Commuter frame rusted through – what to do…
  • JonEdwards

    My longstanding and much abused 14 year old Condor Pista commuter hack has finally succumbed to the rust bug. I have a hole in the back of the seat tube about 10mm x 5mm and the entire middle third of the tube is pretty scabby. Completely my own fault  – when I first got it I ran the back wheel slammed in as far as it would go with no guards which took the paint off from spray and grit abrasion, then I taped it up and fitted Crudguards and just rode it. The tape hid the worst of the corrosion, but I noticed it had split last night so had a looksee and discovered rather a mess.

    Options as I see it.

    Get a new seat tube welded in. Argos Cycles say £130 + the courier there and back. Rattlecan paint job. Bit of a risk as there’s no saying what state the rest of the frame is in.

    Buy a new frame and fork (the old fork is 1″). Condor want £800 for a direct replacement, which is what I paid for the entire bike (inc upgrades) – seems steep. I could get a good price on a Roadrat, but they’re flat bar, 135mm OLN and disc only, so all of a sudden I’m adding new wheels, brake and bar setup. What else is out there – available frame & (carbon) fork only, trackends, ideally with proper mudguard eyes? Drop bar rather than flat bar geo. Wouldn’t object to a disc mount on the fork.

    Or I rust treat it, fill it, paint it and keep a bloody close eye on it. I have a feeling I’m going to have to do this anyway as I’m brassic at the mo. If I can get through to post Christmas, then I should have a bit more time and cash available, but I’m not sure what the likelihood or results of the S/T actually cracking are. If its a funny noise and the handling goes a bit floppy, I can cope with that. If it’s the BB hitting the deck as I’m cranking round Hyde Park Corner in rush hour that’s a different matter all together. Am I feeling lucky, punk?

    Premier Icon YoKaiser

    Have a look at Brick Lane bikes for some reasonable priced track frames.

    As for repairing you’d really want to strip the bottom end, gets look in the BB shell and wotnot. Even seat post out and turn upside down. Any rusty water? You’d maybe get away with brazing up the holes for now. But eventually you’d want to chanhe the seat tube. Any builders more local?

    Used Genesis Day Ones go for about £200-300


    Have a look at the Pinnacle Laterite bikes

    I bought one of these as a winter bike an cant fault it

    Much cheapness if you’re happy with 9 speed or less


    Kona paddy wagon is another alternative.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Seat tube isn’t as stressed as others. I’d spray it and keep going.

    EDIT also lots of used frames on ebay, not as cheap as they once were due to hipster/tretro tax, but still bargaineous (perhaps less so if 120mm OLD)

    Premier Icon duncancallum

    Sleeve the damage?

    Premier Icon Bez

    I’d take the BB out and inspect that area, and if it’s ok get someone to sleeve the seat tube (I’m assuming that cash flow and previous “maintenance” techniques indicate that a non-boutique finish is acceptable) and then Hammerite a neat black panel over the repair. I had a split chainstay repaired by the local blacksmith once; cost me £15 whereas a proper frame repair would have been more like £100.


    I’ve got an orange roadrat frame and forks (drop bar geo, v-brake bosses, takes normal road spaced wheels) sat in my shed doing nothing that you’re welcome to borrow until you get some money together. I also work near Hyde Park.

    Also have brake levers, bars, stem for it.

    Premier Icon DezB

    I’ve got a Coppi road frame that’d take your old fork. Price of postage if you want it.

    Italian BB might be the only issue, not sure if it has one fitted.

    [edit]size M, about a 55cm, iirc)


    Thanks all. It’s a nice bike that’s served me well over the years, so if I can fix it and keep riding it, great. Maintenance wise, drivetrain (what there is of it), brake, wheels are all in fine fettle, but as it needs to be left in random dodgy bits of London or Sheffield for many hours at a time, covering it in black tape and never washing it has been a reasonable solution to not having it nicked – it does vanish when its stuck in a busy bike rack. However the downside is obviously what’s growing under the filth and the tape that you just don’t notice.

    Fair point about a local blacksmith – especially as I’ in Sheffield where I ought to be able to find a steel fabricator, however I’m not convinced there’s enough good metal left around the current S/T to patch it, and sleeving it without removing either the BB or the seatcluster will be difficult.

    Brakes & DezB – thanks very much for your offers. Might be in touch!

    Premier Icon Bez

    sleeving it without removing either the BB or the seatcluster will be difficult.

    Slice the sleeve lengthways then weld/brake the two halves in place, no?

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