Ametuer 'cold set' advice

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by Ed no-more-lemons, 6 Aug 2012.

  1. Ed no-more-lemons

    Ed no-more-lemons Senior Member

    Location:
    The Burbs
    Hi
    I have recently got my hands on a pair of Claud Butler(Holdsworth) Electron Fives(One a ten speed and the other a cottered crank), certainly the oldest bikes I have ever owned.
    OK I got carried away with the second, but was always partly with a view to parts. Anyway this second machine was cheeper due to poor photos etc.
    Turns out the drop-outs have been widened, cold set(I am unfamiliar with this process) or botched more likely to accept a newer quick release housing, shudder.
    The quick release housing spacers whatever measure 135mm
    The drop-out without the wheel wedged in measure 127mm
    The unmolested bikes drop-outs are 120mm

    Presumably this has been achieved by brute force, however the stays appear more or less symmetrical. On close inspection of the chain stays the paint appeared to show 15-20mm lines on both undersides along the length of the stay.
    Queue the 'wet and dry' back too metal at these points, all seems ok no cracks some fatigue surely!
    I am looking for any feedback especially regarding the safety implications, what cold setting involves and whether further manipulation would be feasible/advisable.

    I have taken numerous picky's but do not have a Flickr account, which I can create should the need arise.
    TTFN, BTW proper poor spelling and grammar probably, but hoping the query is clear
     
  2. sittingbull

    sittingbull Über Member

    Location:
    South Liverpool
    I've never cold set a frame but have considered it. I've seen one or two bikes that have been cold set, the spread has been only minimal and they've been fine.

    Lots of info here including a "String Method" to check frame alignment:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Ed no-more-lemons

    Ed no-more-lemons Senior Member

    Location:
    The Burbs
    Hat's of again to Sheldon,Harris Cyclery has to be the best resource you could dream off.
    No doubt I will take the time to read thoroughly by the cold light of day and think on.
    Not too sure whether I may have indulged in some persausion in the dim and distant.
    (nothing to do with the avatar).
     
  4. sidevalve

    sidevalve Über Member

    Steel [I assume this is a steel frame] is quite a fogiving substance and if there are no cracks or "bulges" you may be ok.
     
  5. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    Have done a couple of frames, not as far as the OP's. All ok though. I used the Sheldon Brown method.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Ed no-more-lemons

    Ed no-more-lemons Senior Member

    Location:
    The Burbs
    Thanks for you're views everyone.
    I will look into this further once I at least have one serviceable machine on the road and update here.
    I'm currently working on the other bike looking at greasing BB done, wheelcones not done as distracted by an obstinite freewheel.
    Back in some sort of workshop after far too long!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Ed no-more-lemons

    Ed no-more-lemons Senior Member

    Location:
    The Burbs
    Seems that this 'string theory' has put my mind to rest, at least the things symmetrial with the back wheel in place
     

    Attached Files:

  8. NHS Biker

    NHS Biker New Member

    Location:
    West Midlands
    Mmm string method is not the best method. Living in the West Midlands, I visited a bike shop in Hall Green. Owner used to work for Reynolds. Yes them of the bike frame fame, when the factory used to be in Birmingham. He told me that the best way to cold set a frame is to clamp the cross bar, get 4 nuts, 4 washers, one large threaded bar and a large metal workers steel ruler that does cm and mm. set up 2 bolts and 2 washers so they are on the inside of the wheel drop outs. Then take ruler and measure the gap from inside dropout to inside drop out. Also measure the thickness of the frame dropout as you will need to account for this later on. Then fix on the other 2 bolts & washers and measure the gap so gap from inside the 2 outer nuts are the measurement you require for your spacing and include the thickness of the dropouts. Then each day adjust the inner nuts so the rear comes out to meet your outer nuts. It is best to do this in stages, as lighter Reynolds frames may crack at the joins if done in one go.
     
  9. I did it using the threaded bar method once, just remember to take your time and to go past the point you need to allow for 'spring back' :thumbsup:
     
    Tony Raynor likes this.
  10. NHS Biker

    NHS Biker New Member

    Location:
    West Midlands
    You have to take in account the spacers, chain thickness especially when on the smallest cog of the cassette. Best to measure up everything.

    If you have QR wheels and the skewers are long enough, you could "pad out" the gap with rubber washers from taps from the local hardware store and then see how it goes. But I would prefer to have the exact spacing of the gap.
     
  11. NHS Biker

    NHS Biker New Member

    Location:
    West Midlands
    Spring back wouldn't occur if you did it as a slow process. 1 turn on one, then another turn on another and then keep the bar in place for some time.
     
  12. NHS Biker

    NHS Biker New Member

    Location:
    West Midlands
    No put the guy at Hall Green cycles does it all the time, to rectifiy the heavy handedness of those who have followed Sheldons string and block of wood methods. He's even sent an email to them, stating that those methods will cause spring back, and weaken the brazing of the tubes, thus causing cracking. The nut and bar method and a lot of waiting is the better method.

    When I was in the 1st year of secondary school, we had one term of metal work and 1 term of wood work, 1st project in metal work was to make a coat hangers using different thickness of metal rods, first few were simple, using a vice and grips, then the latter ones took a bit more time due to the memory of the metal springing back, but by holding them in a clamps for a period of time "Cold Setted" the metal into position.
     
  13. sittingbull

    sittingbull Über Member

    Location:
    South Liverpool
    If there is no need to allow for springback via this method then would it not be possible to just squeeze a 130mm O.L.D. wheel into a 127mm drop-out and the frame should "Cold Set" itself over a period of time?
     
  14. I just followed what my mate had done, it worked a treat for me.

    Furthermore I actually did it on an flu frame as well! I just braced it at the brake bridge and braced across the chain stays close to the seat tube, took my time and had no problems, despite going past where I needed to allow for spring back.

    I don't doubt there are heavy handed feckers out there, but if you follow Sheldon's advice it works.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Ed no-more-lemons

    Ed no-more-lemons Senior Member

    Location:
    The Burbs
    Thank you for everybodies views, definitely some useful pointers and experiences posted.
    I am a bit confused regarding the so called 'springback' (technical term?), as I've never intentionally gone about any frame bending.myself.
    Coldsetting seems like a last ditch solution, as presumably a bit of springiness in the stays does not fatigue the metal in the same way.

    I'm not to sure about this as, I still get springback each time I remove the back wheel, no idea how long its been like this, but the quick release hub housing must be a relatively old fix (odd that the housing should measure 135mm!).
    As for aluminium I was surprised that you got any springback al all. Although this stuff can be maliable, I've never owned a frame that was not steel.
    Any material scientists out there?
    My inclination is to leave as is, rather than looking to either shorten the quick release housing or permanently spread the stays so the wheel does not have to be coaxed in to the driopouts.
     
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