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  1. #1
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    S&S couplers - can they be reused?

    Maybe this has been answered.

    Can I reclaim some S&S couplers from a frame and install in new frame?

    They are stupid expensive. Are there decent alternatives like the Santana ones?

  2. #2
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    Yes, you can remove and reuse them. The Ritchey Breakaway system is much cheaper if you're looking for cheap.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Does Ritchey sell just the breakaway parts anywhere?
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  4. #4
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    Call 'em up. You have to be a insured pro. They will sell you all their other (stem, fork, bar, etc) stuff for good deals too once you're set up.

    You can also easily just make the seatpost/seat tube coupler and use a single S&S on the downtube.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Rumor is S&S will sell to hacks as long as it's for personal use only. Haven't looked into it too far, but I'm going to find myself traveling this winter and am thinking about retrofitting some to a frame.

    I've never had the opportunity to actually fondle a breakaway. Is there anything more to the seatpost break than an essentially two sleeved post clamps stacked?
    Last edited by G-reg; 09-30-2013 at 05:11 AM.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  6. #6
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    yes the breakaway uses the seat post as the coupler.

    S&S will sell to hacks for personal use, not sure what their criteria is.

  7. #7
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    You can buy the Ritchey clamps 'over the counter' and if you have a lathe make your own flanges. For 1" or 1.5" tubing, you might be able to use sanitary tri-clamps. They also make stainless pipe unions that could work with a little lathe work.

  8. #8
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    E-mailed S&S, and was shut down. I asked if the rumor that they would sell couplers to non-pros for personal use was true:

    "Hello,
    Thank you for your inquiry regarding S and S couplings. Unfortunately, we sell couplings to professional bicycle frame builders only. In order for the framebuilders to purchase couplings, they have to provide us with the information about their company that shows that they are in the business of manufacturing bicycle frames and to provide Certificate of Liability Insurance for their company. Unfortunately, our insurance requires from us to limit our sales to professional bicycle frame builders only.
    Thank you,....."
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  9. #9
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    According to the Ritchey rep at NAHBS last year they will sell the breakaway system to anyone. I think I even referred to myself as an "uninsured garage hack" when asking him about it. You just have to pay some fee (I think it was $20) to take a little test on material they provide you on how to install it.

  10. #10
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    The expensive S&S couplers are really only needed for retrofitting an existing frame where you need to be able to slide the DT and TT joints together for assembly from 2 different directions. If building with a ritchy style seatpost junction (easy to fabricate), you can just make a simple tubing sleeve joint (w/ pinchclamp) junction on the DT.

  11. #11
    Randomhead
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    I was trying to track down the Ritchey system before I got some S&S. I think my S&S story was pretty compelling, I know if you talk to the wrong person there you get the boilerplate

    I looked at sanitary tri clamps at McMaster Carr, I don't think it would be that hard to make them work. I was particularly interested in this one

  12. #12
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    Sleeve/pinch joint for the downtube? Really? Have you actually done this? It seems like a bad idea intuitively to me.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  13. #13
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    the sleeve/pinch joint sounds a lot like the Rene Herse demountable. He used an aluminum bar to back up the joint though. There are lots of good images of the RH scheme on the web

  14. #14
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    The Herse bottom joint actually mechanically interlocked (big picture here).

    I have a commuter bike with a simple bottom pinch/sleeve joint and it's done fine around town. For any real performance use I'd want some kind of interlock to back it up, though mostly just to keep it from creeping. I was thinking of a little 'fin' that would stick up in the slot behind the pinch bolt. That way the joint could only come apart by removing the bolt completely from the boss.

  15. #15
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    thanks for that picture, I've looked at that design many times and never noticed that

  16. #16
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    Here's another view that shows that the interlock is more like a peg. You unlocked the joint by twisting the two halves around the top tube joint. Once released you could then slide the halves apart.

    (edit: the 'slot' I mentioned earlier is just a peg, but Herse being a perfectionist of course made it match the OD. It does lock into a slot, though.)
    Last edited by dr.welby; 10-25-2013 at 08:22 PM.

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