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Old May 31st, 2010, 5:00 PM   #1
al
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Default frames

people check out tampa craigslist 1991 yoeddie for sale nice for 500.00

Last edited by al; June 7th, 2010 at 10:41 PM. Reason: add more
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Old June 7th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #2
rick
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I do not know of any Fat frames breaking in half although I have seen a few failures. Perhaps others can speak to this. The frames were known to be robust and not necessarily the lightest available.
I have no idea how many frames were made in the early years; there do not seem to be as common as the early bikes from the west coast builders. Maybe Scott can help with this?
I have an 82 bike (#8213) and have seen no others. I know a couple of people with 83 bikes (including First Flight Bikes.)

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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #3
I-ROBOT
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Hey Gang

I don't have any info on pre-1986 totals. I started working there in November 1986 part-time and went full time in June 1987. I know in 1986, we made just under 1000 frames. That would be the total of all Fats, Trials and Team Comps. The Wicked came along in 1987 and we had surpassed 1000 frames total by September. I would guess that we wound up at around 1250 total for '87. For '88 through '91 I would estimate total production at around 1500 frames each year. For '92 and '93 (Linden St) we may have gotten up around 2000 each of those years but certainly no more than that. That would include TI's, Slims, Yo's, Wickeds, Fats, and Monsters/Bucks. I'm not sure of the total for 1994 since Somerville closed in October. I have no idea how many were built in NY or VT since I left the company after Somerville closed.

On the subject of failures, I don't ever remember seeing a completely broken frame come back during the time I worked there. We had several downtubes crack at the head tube and we came up with the chin gusset after that. Even a couple of those cracked. There were several seat tube cracks at the collar - we put on the reinforcing washer after that. I saw a few broken brake mounts and a bunch of chain suck issues. There were rusted seat tubes, ovalized bottom bracket shells, bent and dented tubes from misuse or accident.

We had one bike come back with a failed weld in the downtube - not a Fat City weld but a True Temper weld - down the entire length of the tube!! The welds we did at the head tube and bottom bracket held up so the frame itself did not fail. You should have seen the look on the TT guys faces when we showed them the failed tube. It looked like somebody used a can opener on the tube. They also made a batch of chainstays from 4140 instead of 4130 and that led to some problems. I don't remember exactly when that happened but it was at the old Olive Square shop.

My TI bike was a warranty replacement too. It somehow developed a small crack in the middle of the downtube sleeve near the bottom bracket. The crack was not in a weld or the result of a weld. Chris couldn't figure out how the crack had happened so he simply gave the guy a new frame. I was given the cracked frame right before Somerville closed and I just rewelded the crack and it has held up to this day.

Happy trails
Scott

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Old June 8th, 2010, 3:00 PM   #4
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I put a crack in the lower end of the head tube on my '91 Yo in a nasty crash and it was fixed for free under warranty back in '92. I should have got another Yo fork to replace the once I mangled, but went to Mag 20s instead.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 8:21 AM   #5
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Yo Natey

That reminds me that we did have some issues with the the YO head tubes early on. For the first few batches, I just fused the bearing inserts to the tube without adding filler metal. They looked nice but the rapid cooling rate of the thin fusion weld led to excessive brittleness in the welds and some of them did crack. I fixed those by grinding the cracks and rewelding with filler wire. After that, we started using the same filler wire on the insert welds that we used on the rest of the frame welds.

If anybody ever needs a weld repair on a 4130 steel frame, be sure to ask the welder to use ER80S-D2 filler wire. This weld rod gives superior fracture toughness in chrome-moly welds that are not heat-treated. DO NOT USE 4130 FILLER METAL if you are not having heat treatment done. The welds will be brittle and will fail in fatigue.

Plain carbon steel wire can be used (ER70S-2 through ER70S-6) but these do not have the same level of strength and toughness. We proved this out using our home-built fatigue tester when we were designing the chin gusset.

ER309L stainless steel weld rod can also be used to weld 4130 that is not heat treated but that wire is much more expensive than ER80S-D2. That is what I used to join the 17-4PH stainless dropouts to 4130 tubes. I also built myself a custom YO using all 309L wire as a tester.

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Old June 11th, 2010, 1:06 PM   #6
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Great info, thanks!

When I took it back to the shop when I noticed the crack after the crash they made the call to Somerville. The response was quick: stick her in the mail and we will take care of the rest.

Another lament besides not getting a new rigid fork made, I opted to repaint in black instead of the original kandy wild cherry. D'oh.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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A friend of mine who is an excellent long time mechanic and rider broke one wicked frame (downtube) and cracked another. He then decided to go with Bontrager (pre-trek) and they have held up very well. Interestingly at the time he worked for a shop that sold Fats and he said he had a very difficult time getting a replacement frame. This would have been early 90's.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 1:08 PM   #8
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That sucks. Mine I only paid shipping to Somerville. The repaint, repair, and shipping back was free.
The color options were any of the stock colors for 92.
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