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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:32 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
I'd like to know if it's safe to drill holes in my frame to run internal cabling. Please don't tell me how pointless it is, trust me, I already know. Also don't tell me about how much of a pain it is to replace the lines, because I couldn't really care less.

I can't stand how the brake housing dirties up the clean lines I'm trying to accomplish on my W.I.P. I'm just wondering if its safe and what would be the most conservative locations to drill. I've read on the web that unbrazed holes can create stress marks and become a possible point for failure but everyone on the internet is an "expert," so I don't know if that is just theoretical or realistically plausible.

Image

I'd love to hear an opinion from someone who's actually qualified on the subject if possible, or has experience on the topic. Banter is fine too, though :mrgreen:

Thanks :D

(P.S. Circa 2000ish computer will come off as soon as I can afford a nice, new Garmin. This is a budget W.I.P. mind you, thanks.)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:28 am 
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Location: UK & WEST AFRICA
Back in the early 70's, Merckx was doing it, but this involved drilling components more tahn anything. The one place where it was done was in the bottom bracket shell, which I assume by the look of your bike it would be possible, i.e., being lugged. I've also seen the odd bike with holes in the top tube.


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Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:28 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:39 am 
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The blow hole/moisture entry point on my steel is in the L drop out. It's the only one, and that's where it's staying.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:42 am 
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KB wrote:
Back in the early 70's, Merckx was doing it, but this involved drilling components more tahn anything. The one place where it was done was in the bottom bracket shell, which I assume by the look of your bike it would be possible, i.e., being lugged. I've also seen the odd bike with holes in the top tube.


Hmmm... I'm aware of the "drillium" fad that plagued beautiful componentry during that period (and unfortunately still today) but I'm specifically referring to the frame. The Colombus Matrix tubing is relatively heavy but the walls still might only be about a milometer thick so I'd like to be sure first.

And I wouldn't want to drill into the bottom bracket just to shave a few grams, my only goal is to hide my disgusting brake line. :thumbup:

ticou wrote:
The blow hole/moisture entry point on my steel is in the L drop out. It's the only one, and that's where it's staying.


Is this because putting holes elsewhere would be unsafe? Or just because you wouldn't want to do something irreversible to the frame?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:11 am 
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Both. When rain get's trapped within a steel frame, often without the rider knowing, it starts the corrosive process. Best to not open Pandora's box for mere vanity.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:11 pm 
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I wouldn't drill and leave the holes plain for 2 main reasons:

The hole if not perfectly smooth will be a stress riser that could lead to frame failure

The thinness of the material will cut the brake outer to shreds and cause the cable to rust.

A tube to guide the cable can be silver soldered in fairly easily, and with little paint damage, or you can for for hole reinforcing such as the Silva 141 http://www.framebuilding.com/Braze%20ons.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:55 pm 
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I've only been cycling for 30 years Wath, but the early concensus would tend towards a definitive, solid gold NO!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:28 pm 
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First, I believe that frame is too large for you.

Second, I have 2 frames with the holes drilled for the rear brake cable on the top tube: a trek 1200 aluminum and a colnago master steel. Those were factory drilled.

Both holes are at an angle probably 30 degrees. Both holes are not just plain holes that are drilled. On the steel and aluminum frames the holes are smooth and have a bit of steel/aluminum surrounding them so that the cable will sit in the hole without being cut when it moves around as you ride and it provides stress relief.

If you want to attempt it you would need the frame in a jig to hold it firmly and a drill press. You cannot do it right holding a drill in your hand. Probably drill a small hole them progressively widen it at different angles until you get the desired result. I would probably practice on similar steel tubing first.

Either way my advice for you would be to sell that frame and get the right size frame with the holes already drilled.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:27 pm 
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wath wrote:
I've read on the web that unbrazed holes can create stress marks and become a possible point for failure


It is not safe to do. Many high end builders had trouble doing internal cable routing trough the top tube back in the days. To strengthen the hole many ended up brazing on an additional plates.

Why not go for sealed cable housing, like Gore of Aktiv8?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Location: Milton, Canada
Frame definitely looks the wrong size. I wouldn't just drill holes. Get a builder to drill them and braze on a lug for routing the cables internally. I had this done to one of my frames. Of course, you are going to want to repaint anytime you do something like this.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Location: Norcal
Running without a rear brake would be smarter than drilling holes in the frame to conceal it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:55 pm 
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If you have to do it i guess going in to the front of the headtube would be the safest bet but not sure where you could bring it out, i would be tempted to drill through the back of the seat tube and seat pin and take it straight out there.

That not a suggestion backed with any knowledge just a guess as to the safest place.

As for it being the wrong size, dont agree looks right to me apart from the seat pin being backwards it looks great.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:36 pm 
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here guys i've ben doing that for a while . been riding the frame for a year now nothing happened to it yetImage Image

here you go hope this helps you make up your mind :) i had the same problem everybody is against it for me it works well :) and yes i'have jumped curbs and potholes with it still sturdy as an bridge


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:40 am 
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Stress riser city...? :noidea:

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Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:40 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:56 am 
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Location: Los Angeles / Glendale, California
Does it whistle when you ride?

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