Re-gluing a Vitus bonded frame....anyone done this?



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R

Rob Benetton

Guest
I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o taking
the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the epoxy.Is it
possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and reglue?Anyone ever tried
this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and cost?...Its an old
frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
 
J

Jeff Wills

Guest
[email protected] (Rob Benetton) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
> possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!

Harry Havnoonian: http://www.hhracinggroup.com/

If you're on the Left Coast, Open Road Bicycles in Pasadena, CA also has the fixtures and glues for
repairing Vitii... I think. I'll be in that area next week if you really need to know.

It's a particular kind of 3M epoxy that's used to hold the frames together- but I can't remember the
exact product number. I'd be leary of using JB Weld.

Jeff
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
[email protected] (Rob Benetton) writes:

> I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
> possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!

I don't know if this is do-able or if it's wise to do it, but at least use the right product. It
ain't JB Weld. A little surfing aorund on the net turns up a few recommendations, inluding Permabond
6050 adhesive and Loctite 638.

This might also be useful:

http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/home/towner/windcheetah_prep.html http://www.loctite.co.uk/PRODUCTS/638.htm
 
C

Cat Dailey

Guest
He has a new shop in Media, PA 610.565.9535.

HTH, Cat

"Rob Benetton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
> possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"Jeff Wills" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> [email protected] (Rob Benetton) wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...

> > I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may
> > be possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> > epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> > taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> > epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> > reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> > cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
>
> Harry Havnoonian: http://www.hhracinggroup.com/
>
> If you're on the Left Coast, Open Road Bicycles in Pasadena, CA also has the fixtures and glues
> for repairing Vitii... I think. I'll be in that area next week if you really need to know.
>
> It's a particular kind of 3M epoxy that's used to hold the frames together- but I can't remember
> the exact product number. I'd be leary of using JB Weld.

I would too. It's not 100% glue -- it has filler in it, because it's really a filler or a putty. You
want something that will bond as strongly as possible, and flow into all the voids. Frankly, I'd
forget epoxy altogether, and use something like 3M 5200.

Matt O.
 

BaCardi

New Member
Jul 6, 2003
638
0
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Originally posted by Rob Benetton
I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o taking
the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the epoxy.Is it
possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and reglue?Anyone ever tried
this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and cost?...Its an old
frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!

3M has some good epoxies. West Marine also sells some good epoxies. JB Weld has a very high tensile strength when bonded and will be fine for your application. It is used by some carbon builders. Just ask Joe Bringheli at Bringheli.com for the info. He sells Dedacciai carbon tubes. JB Weld is fine by him and Dedacciai approves of its use. People get all scared because its a readily available product at the hardware store. But the tensile strength, I'll bet the house on this one, is higher than a lot of the 3M branded items.
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
>
> "Jeff Wills" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
>
> > [email protected] (Rob Benetton) wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
>
> > > I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other
joints are
> > > fine.It seems like it may be possble to clean the joints
super
> > > good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
epoxy.Ofcourse
> > > the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean
things
> > > up,hopefully w/o taking the whole frame apart.I know they
use 500 watt
> > > bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the epoxy.Is it
possible to just
> > > undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
reglue?Anyone
> > > ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry
Havnoonian
> > > for repair,and cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix
it myself if
> > > possible.Thanks!
> >
> > Harry Havnoonian: http://www.hhracinggroup.com/
> >
> > If you're on the Left Coast, Open Road Bicycles in Pasadena,
CA also
> > has the fixtures and glues for repairing Vitii... I think.
I'll be in
> > that area next week if you really need to know.
> >
> > It's a particular kind of 3M epoxy that's used to hold the
frames
> > together- but I can't remember the exact product number. I'd
be leary
> > of using JB Weld.
>
> I would too. It's not 100% glue -- it has filler in it,
because it's really a
> filler or a putty. You want something that will bond as
strongly as possible,
> and flow into all the voids. Frankly, I'd forget epoxy
altogether, and use
> something like 3M 5200.

I believe they use Power Bars -- applied as filets. -- Jay Beattie.
 
C

Cjarani

Guest
I had the same thing hapen and I repaired it with a standard high strength epoxy. It has held up
well. The tricky part was seperating the joint. I did it by looping a nylon lifting strap thru the
bottom bracket and anchoring it to the floor. Then I used a ceiling mounted hoist to pull upwards on
another nylon strap looped around the seatlug. I lifted slowly and the joint seperated about 1" (I
didn't have the guts to seperate it further). I ceaned the exposed internal lug, smeared on some
epoxy and clamped it all together. A guy at Havnoonians quoted me $150 for the repair and made no
promises about how long it would last.
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
[email protected] (Cjarani) writes:

> I had the same thing hapen and I repaired it with a standard high strength epoxy. It has held up
> well. The tricky part was seperating the joint. I did it by looping a nylon lifting strap thru the
> bottom bracket and anchoring it to the floor. Then I used a ceiling mounted hoist to pull upwards
> on another nylon strap looped around the seatlug. I lifted slowly and the joint seperated about 1"
> (I didn't have the guts to seperate it further). I ceaned the exposed internal lug, smeared on
> some epoxy and clamped it all together. A guy at Havnoonians quoted me $150 for the repair and
> made no promises about how long it would last.

I'm curious- how long (how many miles) has your repair lasted?
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
Rob Benetton wrote:

> I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may be
> possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!

I have done that repair. I set up an hydraulic ram to open the frame in a fixture. That was before I
met Harry Havnoonian. Harry does a great job of Vitus frame service. You might try 610.649.9834 or
610.429.4380

--
Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> Rob Benetton wrote:
>
> > I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it may
> > be possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other enhanced
> > epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things up,hopefully w/o
> > taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat airguns to soften the
> > epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then clean it and
> > reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian for repair,and
> > cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
>
> I have done that repair. I set up an hydraulic ram to open the frame in a fixture. That was before
> I met Harry Havnoonian. Harry does a great job of Vitus frame service. You might try 610.649.9834
> or 610.429.4380

Hmm. We all seem to know about "that repair." So what is it about these frames that's so special,
besides the fact that they fall apart with alarming regularity?

Matt O.
 
J

Jp

Guest
"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<_T%[email protected]>...
> "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
>
> > Rob Benetton wrote:
> >
> > > I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it
> > > may be possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other
> > > enhanced epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things
> > > up,hopefully w/o taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat
> > > airguns to soften the epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then
> > > clean it and reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian
> > > for repair,and cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
> >
> > I have done that repair. I set up an hydraulic ram to open the frame in a fixture. That was
> > before I met Harry Havnoonian. Harry does a great job of Vitus frame service. You might try
> > 610.649.9834 or 610.429.4380
>
> Hmm. We all seem to know about "that repair." So what is it about these frames that's so special,
> besides the fact that they fall apart with alarming regularity?

They look cool, they're light, they're comfortable, they're cheap used, they're repairable, lot's of
pros rode them, they're not for everybody. They have the makings of a cult classic. And they look
really cool.

I think there's still a market for them, maybe with some updating, like Harley sells retro-styled
motorcycles.

JP
 
J

Jeff Wills

Guest
"Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>... <snip>
> I believe they use Power Bars -- applied as filets. -- Jay Beattie.

Fillet o' Power Bar? Doesn't that belong in the "junk food" thread?

Jeff (hey, it's past my bedtime...)
 
E

Eric M

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
JP <[email protected]> wrote:
>"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:<_T%[email protected]>...
>> > You might try 610.649.9834 or 610.429.4380
>>
>> Hmm. We all seem to know about "that repair." So what is it about these frames that's so special,
>> besides the fact that they fall apart with alarming regularity?
>
>They look cool, they're light, they're comfortable, they're cheap used, they're repairable, lot's
>of pros rode them, they're not for everybody. They have the makings of a cult classic. And they
>look really cool.

There were also a whole lot of them sold. So its not suprising that some of them broke. Mine went
somewhere over 35k miles with nothing breaking. Lots of people in the clubs I rode and raced with
had them and I never heard of any of those frames breaking.

>I think there's still a market for them, maybe with some updating, like Harley sells retro-styled
>motorcycles.

I'd still be riding mine if I could fit a 130mm rear hub in there and have it last (and if the
geometry wasn't so steep; I no longer race crits). I still have it; I'm going to turn it into an
8spd rain/trainer bike.

Eric
 
J

Jp

Guest
"Eric M" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I'd still be riding mine if I could fit a 130mm rear hub in there and have it last (and if the
> geometry wasn't so steep; I no longer race crits). I still have it; I'm going to turn it into an
> 8spd rain/trainer bike.

Just curious- I saw a post season citerium in Germany in the '70s where a lot of the pros were
riding what I remember to be Vitus bikes that looked like 979s but I think the time period predated
the 979. Anyone know what thoses bikes would have been? I don't think they were Alan but they might
have been. Those bikes were one of the things I remember most about the race other than the fact
that Eddy Merkcx was supposed to be there and didn't show.

JP
 
R

Rob Benetton

Guest
Sean Kelly rode a Vitus,back when he was routinely beating LeMond in sprints.I always laughed when
people said it was a "Swingset" frame,ie,Flexible.It is flexy,but some pretty big dudes won sprints
on them,and alot of climbers used them as well....

I have seen 3 or 4 separate,but atleast they are repairable.I won a USCF district RR on a blue one
that had been on the roof of a van that burned to the ground....the sewups on this bike blew,but I
raced the frame for 5 years after that.....

Thanks to all for your help;I will fix this thing myself.I'm confident it will be fine.I'll probably
still race my San Lorenzo though....Thanks,Bob
>
> > Rob Benetton wrote:
> >
> > > I have an old 979 that separated at the BB...all the other joints are fine.It seems like it
> > > may be possble to clean the joints super good,and repair it with JB weld,or some other
> > > enhanced epoxy.Ofcourse the problem is separating the BB tubes enough to clean things
> > > up,hopefully w/o taking the whole frame apart.I know they use 500 watt bulbs,or low heat
> > > airguns to soften the epoxy.Is it possible to just undo the BB,pivot the rear triangle up,then
> > > clean it and reglue?Anyone ever tried this.Or does anyone know how to contact Harry Havnoonian
> > > for repair,and cost?...Its an old frame,would like to fix it myself if possible.Thanks!
> >
> > I have done that repair. I set up an hydraulic ram to open the frame in a fixture. That was
> > before I met Harry Havnoonian. Harry does a great job of Vitus frame service. You might try
> > 610.649.9834 or 610.429.4380
>
> Hmm. We all seem to know about "that repair." So what is it about these frames that's so special,
> besides the fact that they fall apart with alarming regularity?
>
> Matt O.
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
[email protected] (Rob Benetton) writes:

> Sean Kelly rode a Vitus,back when he was routinely beating LeMond in sprints.I always laughed when
> people said it was a "Swingset" frame,ie,Flexible.It is flexy,but some pretty big dudes won
> sprints on them,and alot of climbers used them as well....\

Kelly has referred to them as his favorite bikes, and rode them on several different teams. I've
only ever seen a few in person and have never ridden one, it'd be interesting to see if the flex is
all it's cracked up to be. I'm 6'4"/215 lbs and generally think that lateral frame flex is not all
that important.
 
S

Steve Blankensh

Guest
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> [email protected] (Rob Benetton) writes:
>
> > Sean Kelly rode a Vitus,back when he was routinely beating LeMond in sprints.I always laughed
> > when people said it was a "Swingset" frame,ie,Flexible.It is flexy,but some pretty big dudes won
> > sprints on them,and alot of climbers used them as well....\
>
> Kelly has referred to them as his favorite bikes, and rode them on several different teams. I've
> only ever seen a few in person and have never ridden one, it'd be interesting to see if the flex
> is all it's cracked up to be. I'm 6'4"/215 lbs and generally think that lateral frame flex is not
> all that important.

A 979 would be seriously noodly for someone your size. At 5'8" 140lbs, I loved mine. To date the smoothest-
riding bike I've ever been on. Just the ticket for a long day on cruddy roads. The other bike in my
stable back when my Vitus was new was one of the first Cannondale racing bikes, so I had the
flexibility spectrum pretty-well covered... ;-) Always thought I was quicker on the Cannondale, but
the results weren't much different. You did have to pay attention to your spin more on the Vitus, as
it didn't take to mashing a huge gear too well.

My 979 bit the dust in a big field sprint pileup in '94 with about 60K miles on it. The top, down
and fork tubes all bent, but the lugs stayed put.

Trivia bit - if memory serves, Columbian Lucho Herrera was the first amateur rider in modern times
to win a stage of the Tour de France when he won on Alpe D'Huez on a Vitus back around '84 or so.
 

BaCardi

New Member
Jul 6, 2003
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Originally posted by Steve Blankensh
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message

Trivia bit - if memory serves, Columbian Lucho Herrera was the first amateur rider in modern times
to win a stage of the Tour de France when he won on Alpe D'Huez on a Vitus back around '84 or so.


Actually KAS, Sean Kelly's team, won stages in the Tour on repainted Vitus frames in 82/83. Or maybe it was another team, but I do recall some riders winning stages of the Tour on repainted Vitus frames that were disguised to be the bike sponsor for that team. KAS?

I had a Vitus way back when. God, I loved that bike! It was flexy as hell, but geez, it was silky smoooooooooth! You could feel the flex coming out of the saddle on hard sprints, but Sean Kelly never seemed to have a problem with them. And he was the dominant sprinter and classics rider of the era. His record would totally put to shame Cipollini or any of today's sprinters. All on a frame, most say is a noodle.

Stiffness is highly overrated.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
Tim McNamara wrote:
> [email protected] (Rob Benetton) writes:
>
>> Sean Kelly rode a Vitus,back when he was routinely beating LeMond in sprints.I always laughed
>> when people said it was a "Swingset" frame,ie,Flexible.It is flexy,but some pretty big dudes won
>> sprints on them,and alot of climbers used them as well....\
>
> Kelly has referred to them as his favorite bikes, and rode them on several different teams. I've
> only ever seen a few in person and have never ridden one, it'd be interesting to see if the flex
> is all it's cracked up to be. I'm 6'4"/215 lbs and generally think that lateral frame flex is not
> all that important.

I had a 979. I'm not as big as you (6'0", 175#) and I experienced ghost shifts all the time. But
what really bugged me was that the bike was not confidence-inspiring on twisty descents. It never
steered exactly where I wanted it to go. I found myself holding back a lot. This was a 60cm frame.
Smaller ones probably don't flex as much, especially with smaller riders. Vitus were very light for
the time, but probably not for today. Anyone have any frame weight figures? The later 992 model was
supposedly stiffer.

My Vitus had been repaired by the previous owner. I had no trouble with it except for the scary
handling. I have heard several other first hand accounts of failures too. Since then, I have
repaired two of the carbon ones, for friends who bought them at garage sales or on eBay.

Trek built a series of aluminum bikes like the Vitus, with aluminum or carbon tubes glued into
aluminum lugs. But Trek's tubes were fatter and stiffer. The bikes handled beautifully, and didn't
fall apart. These were some of the sweetest handling frames ever made, yet no one fusses over them.
I guess they lack that Euro mystique.

Matt O.
 
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