However, if you have purchased a budget bike as an adult, you would likely have received a very simple, minimalist bike with hardly any extra features.
This is where you might be interested in adding braze-ons to the bike frame to customize it further.
What are Braze-Ons?
You have probably seen those small fittings that appear as a bolt mount permanently fastened to a bicycle frame; those are called braze-ons. They are attached to a bike’s frame so that your ride can have new support parts such as bottle cage mounts, cable guides, cable stops, and reinforcements.
In essence, the “braze-on” term defines how these parts were applied to traditional steel frames for bicycles.
This video introduces you to the various types of braze-ons (Courtesy of Cobra Framebuilding):
Steps to Add Braze-Ons to a Bike Frame
Adding braze-ons to a bike frame requires several steps, and may be daunting if you are not familiar with do-it-yourself (DIY) work on your bike.
Note: This method is apt for steel frames. You should refer to welding for Aluminum or Titanium frames.
- Prepare your materials for brazing: Ensure that all the pieces required for brazing on are available.
- Brazing clamps
- Brazing materials – Cable stops/guides, brake mouths, reinforcements; basically, whatever little pieces you want brazed on
- Torch – Oxy acetylene
- Welding glasses
- Filler wire – Silver or Bronze
- Select your desired braze-on pieces. Use the braze clamps subsequently to support each of those pieces to the frame.
- Put on your welding glasses to protect your eyes from heat and ultraviolet/infrared light from the torch.
- Now, use the torch to heat the frame and braze-on together with the flux to prevent oxidation in the process.
- At your desired heated temperature, add some filler wire, which melts at a lower temperature than the steel. Leave for a while to allow the filler metal to freeze again, giving you a firmly bonded braze-on result!
Adding braze-ons to your bike frame may not be as popular as welding, but it is proven as a more accessible, easier, and smoother method. Nevertheless, thick welding can also provide a clean outcome, particularly when dealing with aluminum or titanium frames.