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I want to attach a pump holder to my aluminium frame. Can I drill holes in it ? I would then use blind rivets with some glue for waterproofing to attach the holder.

Is there a place on the frame where this would be better?

I know this question, but it is for carbon frames.

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  • 10
    If your goal is to attach a pump, no need to drill holes and comprise your frame's integrity. It is easy to find pump holders that attach using the bottle holder's screws (and that can be put between the bottle holder cage and the frame). An example: bikester.co.uk/… (tip: take something with a latch to secure the pump, otherwise it might fall on rough terrains). Some compact pumps are even sold with this kind of holders.
    – Renaud
    May 6 at 8:57
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    Does your current frame have water bottle mounts ?
    – Criggie
    May 6 at 10:34
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    A pump behind the seat-tube is in a very bad place being heavily exposed to dirt sprayed from the rear wheel.
    – Carel
    May 6 at 14:45
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    The diagonal tube is called the down tube. So, it sounds like you only have one pair of bottle cage bolts. Anyway, I would still recommend putting a pump mount on that bottle cage, or else put a mini pump in your pocket or in a hydration pack, or use CO2. If you want to go a bit old school, you could look for a full size frame pump; this mounts inside the frame under the top tube (the one you stand over, on older road frames it's parallel to the ground). The pump fits by compression. You can add a strap.
    – Weiwen Ng
    May 6 at 15:21
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Do not do that. Although the question you referenced is about carbon fiber, the answer mostly applies. Aluminium alloys used in bicycle frames are quite fragile. Drilling may easily start cracks that will then spread under stress. Even if it does not happen, you weaken the frame unpredictably. Not only the warranty is gone, but you just don't know if it will fail catastrophically or not. And professional metal defectoscopy is too expensive for bike frames. (Yes, expensive X-ray machines are not just for carbon fiber even if some say so).

It is easy to use the bottle-holder screw holes. Many pumps come with these brackets as already mentioned by @Renaud. If your frame does not come with bottle mount holes, you can use other solutions based on velcro straps or something similar.

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    A small pump can go in a jersey pocket well enough, or some saddle bags can hold a small pump or CO2 setup.
    – Criggie
    May 6 at 10:35
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    There are also mounts that strap on. The ones that came with my Topeak pumps will go on bottle cage mounts or strap to the frame
    – Chris H
    May 6 at 10:41
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    @Criggie That is also possible but I fully understand the wish to have it on the frame. I certainly put my pumps there. I even have multiple pumps, each for each bike, even if the bikes are stored together. That way I never forget it and I have usually have other things to put into my jersey instead. Other people will even prefer CO2, instead of a pump, in their pocket, but that is not what the question is about.
    – Vladimir F
    May 6 at 11:06
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    OK, good point (but it looks like you've got an unintentional double negative in that sentence). Cable ties work better than velcro for me Rare but useful (especially if like me you use all your cage mounts for bottles) are pump mounts that fit as well as a bottle holder on the same screws
    – Chris H
    May 6 at 12:30
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    I think the consensus is that steel frames with thicker tubes, i.e. newer but lower end ones (e.g. in Surly's price point) or older ones, can be drilled. Carefully, and at your own risk, or preferably by someone who knows what they're doing (e.g. a framebuilder). I agree I would not consider drilling any aluminum or carbon frame under any circumstances.
    – Weiwen Ng
    May 6 at 15:26
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You can drill the frame in some locations, though it might not be the best answer. Numerous aluminium bikes from big manufacturers use rivnuts to secure the bottle cages, even and especially on the lightest models with the thinnest tubes. Frames can be modified to take Di2 internal routing. Advice can be had directly from manufacturers where it is safe to drill when you are in the trade.

There are some caveats. You should drill nearer the middle sections of the tube where forces are lowest; note where bottle cage locations are on standard frames. (Middle of downtube, lower on underside of downtube, middle of seat tube). The hole must be very clean/round.

If you drill the seat tube, you will probably interfere with the function of the seat post. You will obviously lose any warranty that may or may not apply to your frame.

It's possible to buy clamp-on adapters that take a bottle cage bolt from eg DMR and Problem Solvers in common frame tube sizes. Zefal make a very good velcro/rubber pair of pump holders that go anywhere called the Doodad. Others may be available. It is not always necessary to get the power tools out to solve the problem.

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  • Politely, please remember that comments are for improving and clarifying the question/answer. Instead of letting comments devolve into animated discussions, please post a separate answer.
    – Criggie
    May 8 at 2:14
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Criggie
    May 8 at 2:14
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drilling seems totally unnecessary. you can use braces or even zip ties for that.

when you go to do DIY mods always consider the many options available of fixing/attaching things and choose(or test first) the ones which does not damage the original parts. because one day you have and idea, then other idea, then you want to make changes, iterate on the invents, and if you start drilling and cutting and even soldering(solder does thermally affect the pieces) the piece will end up broking or becoming unusable.

and also when you cut, drill, damage the original parts they loose value and may become unable to resell later when you no longer use or want to change for other model completely

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If this is just to make a traditional-style pump peg, you can do that without drilling. Just buy a pump peg, use a half-round file to profile it to the tube you're putting it on, take the frame down to bare aluminum in that spot with sandpaper and epoxy it on.

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