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  1. #1
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    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame

    My son has an On-One 456 evo steel frame and I want to get him a dropper. I'd prefer an external one but there are far more options in internal-routed ones.

    To fit an internal one I'd have to pop an oval cable hole on the seat tube, at the front probably about three-inches up from the bottom-bracket.

    I can't see that being much of an issue, structurally, but it's not something i want to do unless I'm absolutely sure it would be ok. What are the thoughts of the experts?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
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    Interested in this one, just for interest sake.

    My take is that as you go further up the tube, if it's tapered tubing, you'll be getting to thinner and thinner tube and therefor weaker, so the closer you make the hole to the BB, technically the stronger it should be. Personally I would not risk it as there are a few nice external droppers still around, the KS Lev springs to mind and the cable actuates from the post collar, so doesn't go up and down with post movement and it's not super expensive.
    Another option is to just buy a new 456 Evo2 frame which has the hole for internal dropper already, they're only $266 US and I'm sure your son is about to out grow what he has anyways, as kids just are always growing.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  3. #3
    Cycologist
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    I'm with LyNx on all accounts. I'm looking at getting a PNW Components Cascade as I also need an external.

    I'd see if one of the frame builder guys pops in and replies; if not and you want to pursue it, maybe ask in the frame building forum or PM one or two of the builders.

    Where is the hole in the new 456?
    There are two types of people in this world:
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  4. #4

  5. #5
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
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    I would go ahead and drill the hole. I doubt that it will fail and if it does, it wont be a catastrophic failure, (except if your son is doing huge drops and jumps). If it you see it starts to crack, them I would get the new frame that comes with the hole.

    Look at where they drilled the hole on the new version of the frame. Try to drill it on the same place, it is very likely that the tubes are the same.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    no batteries required
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    I'll add that silver brazing a reinforcement around the slotted hole might yield better results.




    Photo credit, Llewellyn Bikes


    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-32423882882_c5eed04caa_b.jpg

  7. #7
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    I basically just drill a hole in my frames, but i braze a patch/reinforcement over it. Honestly, though, I'd say go for it (at your own risk, of course!) assuming you are just dead set on stealth routing.

    I might just get the kid a Magura wireless/remote dropper, though. No need for holes anywhere, and it's a great unit.

    -Walt

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Look at where they drilled the hole on the new version of the frame. Try to drill it on the same place, it is very likely that the tubes are the same.
    That's the way I would have thought but I have another related situation on my full-sus.

    I have a Commencal Meta that has the cables routed through the head tube, yes actually through the head tube. The most idiotic routing decision I have ever seen.

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-004-3-.jpg

    The cables rub on the steerer tube, especially the lower part of tapered ones, and cuts into them.

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-002-4-.jpg

    The following year they did away with that routing and put the cables through holes at the front of the top-tube. Apart from that the frame is identical. I mailed Commencal and asked if I could cut holes in my frame in the same position as the holes in the new frame. They said no. They said that without using the correct procedure and the exact same position it could compromise the frame.

    Not quite the same situation as the Meta frame is hydroformed alloy but..

  9. #9
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    I vouch for the Walt method as illustrated by LBB.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  10. #10
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    Have you considered drilling the hole in the bottom of your BB shell?

    With a bit of careful routing it should be possible to avoid the actual BB. Maybe use a V-brake noodle to get a non flexy bit at that point.

    I know it's ok to drill big holes there because that's how we made sure water didn't collect in the BB shell in the days before sealed bearings.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Have you considered drilling the hole in the bottom of your BB shell?
    I didn't think the cable would clear the axle? It has to be loose enough that you can pull the cable back and forth while fitting and removing the post.

    I'm not committed to an internal post, it's just that there are more options. Some posts are only being made in internal, I see 30.9 is becoming the standard too. Which is ok as that's what his frame is.

  12. #12
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    I'd go with the KS Lev. You won't have to drill holes and you wont have to worry about attaching the cable to the down tube.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Squirrel View Post
    I'd go with the KS Lev.
    All options are open at the moment, I'm not in a hurry. I have a Specialized Command Post which so far seems ok but I've not had it long.

  14. #14
    pvd
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    Drill the frame and buy a real dropper. Period. Always drill.
    I'd actually rather not. I hate internal routing. A solution looking for a problem to solve and just causing more.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    I'll vouch for this. https://photos.app.goo.gl/gD9NcCrbJCL3JPpD2

  17. #17
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    Great topic. As externally routed droppers get less and less common, I find myself wishing Vassago did internal routing on the Jabberwocky and VerHauen like they do on the MooseKnuckle.

    I'm still on the fence whether I even want/need a dropper, but I'm not a fan of the 'loose external cable loop from the post head" thing, or only having the choice of a KS Lev, a Gravity (or Gravity knockoff), or a Magura Vyron is definitely keeping me from thinking real hard about it.

    I have no desire to buy a new frame anytime soon, but even before I bought my Vassago 8 months ago, I saw the writing on the wall that external routing was a sinking ship.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I'm not a fan of the 'loose external cable loop from the post head" thing.
    A few folk make a seat collar with a cable guide in it. works well.

    The Specialized command Post is also available external.

    I hate internal routing with a passion. It's nothing but trouble for no practical benefit. Compromising ergonomics for the sake of appearance is not clever and internal routing just shows what a vain bunch mountain bikers are.

  19. #19
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    While I totally agree with you on internal routing, for a dropper it is actually a very good thing, having a cable looping out wildly, or kinking because you try to restrict it's movement sucks and I'd guess the activation from the collar isn't an easy solution, or most would opt for that.

    SpecialED post still activates from the head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    A few folk make a seat collar with a cable guide in it. works well. The Specialized command Post is also available external.

    I hate internal routing with a passion. It's nothing but trouble for no practical benefit. Compromising ergonomics for the sake of appearance is not clever and internal routing just shows what a vain bunch mountain bikers are.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  20. #20
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    Don't get me wrong, I don't think internal routing is a good solution either. I don't like it, but that's the way it's going. The only upside is that you can find used/refurbished KS Levs on eBay for like $150. Sadly I've never met a KS owner that didn't have problems with his post. Any post can potentially have problems, but they seem to fall on the 'less reliable' end of the spectrum. A Gravity post is hideous, but even my cheap $80 fake knockoff was stone reliable.

    I used the guide thing that came with my Reverb. True, it was better than nothing, but I disagree that it worked well. I took the whole thing off after 2 rides and sold it on FaceBook.
    I have some pics around if it installed, and my heartburn with the routing.
    Name:  IMG_0636.JPG
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    Because all the cables run under the top tube, collapsing the post with the guide makes a sharp bend in the cable/hose. I couldn't even use the rear-most frame guide. This pic is of my (now gone) On-One ScandAl, it's even worse with my Vassago, because the cable guide on the frame is even closer to the seat tube.

    The command Post actuates at the post head like the Reverb, so that's out.



    I'm not sure what the point of my post is, other than to say: I agree internal routing sucks, and there needs to be more options like the Lev where the cable doesn't move with post actuation, or just suck it up and get on board with internal routing, which is why I wish my frame had a factory-made hole.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  21. #21
    pvd
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    It is a foolish decision to buy one of those external from the head drop posts. They are riddled with issues. There is a good reason to buy the kind with the cable at the binder, travelers. Otherwise, the stealth droppers are superior in every way and the ones to buy. Drill the frame.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I used the guide thing that came with my Reverb. True, it was better than nothing, but I disagree that it worked well.
    I found the best way to route the cable was to loop it around the post. Trying to keep it on one side wasn't very good but looped around it stays in more gentle curves and doesn't get in the way of anything.

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-001.jpg

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-002.jpg

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-006.jpg

  23. #23
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    I don't think the cable guide is essential with this routing, as the cable is naturally pulled towards the bike, but I think it helps a bit. It was a case of ignoring where the guide was 'supposed' to go and putting it where the cable flowed through it naturally. For me this was back-to-front.

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-004.jpg

    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame-006.jpg

  24. #24
    squish, squish in da fish
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    drilled my 13 nimble 9 and no probs yet. stealth routed '13 N9

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    drilled my 13 nimble 9 and no probs yet.
    Tidy. like the grommet idea too.

    I mailed Commencal again. This time they relented and told me that if I drilled the holes in the right place and made them the right size it should be fine. They gave me the size and positioning but they did say that if I drill the frame it will void my warranty. Understandable but still annoying considering that the problem is due to their stupid routing in the first place!

  26. #26
    Rocks belong
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    Santa Cruz dealers have replacement grommets. Just walk in and say you need a grommet for a Tallboy and buy 1 or 2. Then measure the grommet as mentioned above and have after it. Easiest would be external routing to the BB/seat tube junction and then enter the seat tube above the BB (through a grommet).

    Easy peasy as the others have shown
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  27. #27
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    To paraphrase Mr Pig, you should simply buy the right dropper post in the first place...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    To paraphrase Mr Pig, you should simply buy the right dropper post in the first place...
    I agree but it is annoying when it's hard to get the one you want in external. The Brand-X one is cheap and looks good but it's only internal.

  29. #29
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    Use a VVA "Sproing" or WTB "Fright Right"
    LOL
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  30. #30
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    Cuttimg holes in a steel frame

    Drilled my AL Kona Satori and but put in a bike yoke after my CB Kronolog finally died. Followed this write up. I may try and find a grommet to fit.

    http://www.peterverdone.com/drilling...d-bike-frames/


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