Sealed frame tubing

Manbau knows a bit about this one - I just bought that Lennie Rogers frame from him.

He tells me that the tubes don’t have drain holes, to prevent rusting. I’ve never heard of this before, but it’s an interesting idea.

Apparently the frames sold at the Lennie Rogers shop in the 70s/80s were sometimes made by Jim Bundy, amongst others. I was wondering, by way of identification, if sealing the tubes was a trademark of a particular builder, or more common than I realised.

I’ll put some pics up when I get the frame. Otherwise here’s a slight sidetrack: Australian Cycling Forums • View topic - Lennie Rogers

And a further sidenote, for those wondering who Lennie Rogers was, I believe he’s the guy on the left:

I took a frame in to Peter Bundy, which I suspected was one of his dad’s, and part of his idenfication process involved looking at the location of the drain holes.

There were a few who built frames for Lennie ( and Laurie, his son) Rogers. Jim Bundy and Fred Cobcroft I know of but there were more.

A drain hole on the BB shell is a good idea for a road frame as water does get into the seat tube past the seat post (flicked from the rear wheel). Obviously there’s no need for one on a track bike as these designed to be ridden in a controlled environment in fair weather. There can also be small amounts of condensation inside the tubes but this is less common in our warmer climate. The juncture of the seat tube, down tube and seat stays is a god place for a drain hole. It does sound trivial but without it a frame has no way of airing out and over a long period of time it’ll rust.

I used to pull the seat post out after a wet ride and hang it upside down on such bikes. It’s just as easy to drill a small hole in the shell … need only be 4 or 5 mm wide. That’s enough. If you don’t ride in the rain or if you use lots of grease in your seatpost it’s not a real issue anyways. I don’t want to scare everyone … it really takes a long time with water inside the tubes to do any damage. If you’re frame is fish oiled or treated internally, if you open it up once or twice a year for overhauling it’ll be fine without a specific drainhole.

Then there’s vent holes. Seat tubes are generally drilled or punched at the junction where it meets the top tube. The down tube and chainstays are open ended at the BB junction. Small holes (like Estaban mentions) are drilled on the forks and stays can also be a clue as to who built a frame as each builder has his own placement or style where they put them. These are necessary when brazing/welding and allows gasses and air to move around and aids in the capillary action, where brass or silver is drawn into the joints/lugs. They also help to dry out the the tube when the joint is flushed in water to remove the flux. Some builders then go about filling these small vent holes on the forks and stays or ask their painter to do so with filler so those tubes are sealed. It’s 50/50 on this one … some do, some don’t. It’s a nice touch but it won’t make your frame ride any better. Pics below of fork vent holes being sealed up (this one using a nail).

Great response as always Spirito.

Given that this frame has been repainted and re-stickered, sounds like I’ll probably never know who built it. Guess I’ll just have to invent a far fetched story involving an ex-olympian, a drug scandal and old master called back from retirement.

Throw in some sex and vampires … Hollywood scriptwriter’s will beat a path to your door :wink:

Paint and stickers aren’t actually good clues as they can be changed/altered infinitely. Finishing touches on lugs, the way dropouts are slotted, where the vent holes are placed, the way the seat stays are finished are details that will always stay with a frame and can be used to decipher who built it.

Fat City Cycles had sealed tubes on all their frames…