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I recently built a hi-ten steel bike and I just realized that it had a large hole in one of the welds near the seat tube and the top tube.

Tried taking it back to the shop that shipped me the frame but they said that they won't accept a return since the frame has already been used and the bike's already built.

Would it be possible to reinforce this area and reduce the chances of frame failure by wrapping it with some fiberfix tape? I'm using the bike solely for commuting and exercise.

I reckon that it could also be welded, but I'm worried that it could damage the frame even more.

I figured that since they use a similar process when building bamboo bikes, it should work to reinforce an already welded metal part.

Here's a photo of the hole: shoddy weld hole

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    Where are you from? It seems hard to believe that the shop (or manufacturer) can legally refuse to repair or replace this frame, unless considerable time has passed. It’s obviously a manufacturing defect. Here in Austria within the first 6 months the burden of proof (to prove that it’s not a manufacturing defect) would lie on them, otherwise they’d have to repair/replace it. This is such an obvious and dangerous defect, they should be glad that you are not suing them outright.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 9:22
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    As Michael and others have commented, that's such a large and obvious defect that it can't have gone un-noticed. I would have a hard time trusting the rest of the frame to be as advertised, given this, and would try again for a refund or just scrap the frame. What a disappointment!
    – Armand
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 10:07
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    If you are unable to return it, before doing any repair. leave it for some time in a very dry and warm place, otherwise trapping humidity inside might cause nasty corrosion.
    – FluidCode
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 15:09
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    The seat stay welds look quite awful to me even without holes
    – ojs
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 16:17
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    Adding to @ojs' comment: I'd inspect the other welds as well, there are probably more of the kind.
    – Carel
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

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No. That's dreadful and should not have been sold like that.

Even if you had the frame built for you, it should be welded properly.

That hole is a "blow through" caused by too much heat on a thin metal, and is fixable by a competent welder.

Why some incompetent welder ignored it is unfathomable - the frame's been painted since then, passed through multiple workers and noone said "hey this is bad" ?

Depending on where you are, there may be sales laws about how long you have to return a product. If the product has a supplier the store should deal with them directly.

If you've had this frame for a long time already, you're stuck with it, and repair may be the best option. By repair I mean a weld, nothing else is going to be structurally sound.

That specifically includes tape, glue, epoxy, string, rope, zip ties, thoughts and/or prayers.

Weld it, or recycle the frame are your two good options. Don't on-sell it.

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  • Honestly the weld looks so bad, I’m not sure it can easily be repaired at all. I guess you’d have to put some kind of sleeve over the whole end of the tube.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 9:24

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