Head tube shell source needed badly

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Wheres my dog, May 19, 2011.

  1. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog New Member

    Been searching the internet for a source for a head tube shell, and so far have only found one company which may be out of business I think???

    Anyone know of a place to buy a head tube shell for bicycles?

    Or anyone know if steel tubing can be found somewhere locally? And what size it must be?

    Any standard size head tube is ok... just need to find a head tube shell to start

  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  3. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog New Member

    Really trying to take the nice clean new approach for a head tube...

    Yes, building a bike of sorts...

    Even scoured Ebay to no avail!
  4. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  5. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    head tube,seat tube and any place in between

    Cue spotlight: When I am looking for bicycle tubes the place I go is NOVA Bike Supply or Henry James tubing. both folks do a grate job but wont hose ya.


    they do Columbus tubing and lugs and a few in house brands.


    Hank is the True temper guy(made in the US) and he has the best frame jigs in the biz.

    both guys have lots of braze ons and tools so you can spend all of your money on. If you are not a official shop they can set you up with somebody who can.


  6. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Nova and Gaerlan was the two places I knew of.

    Gaerlan is changing their products, but still shows tru-temper head tubes available in both 1" and 1-1/8"-

    $15 and $20, for 10" long tubes.

    For a 1-1/8" head tube--you could also get them from McMaster-Carr, there is a 1.5" OD size of 4130 tube they offer that has a wall thickness of .083", that comes in about .004" too small of an ID,,, but you could sand that out easily by hand with some 1000-grit sandpaper. And fitting a bit tight is much better than being a bit loose anyway.

    If you wanted a 1" head tube, the size of tube that McMaster sells that has the right ID is too thin to use without lugs, since it's only .035" wall-thickness. The 1.5mm wall thickness that Gaerlan offers comes out to about .050" inches.
  7. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog New Member

    Great information from you guys...

    Many thanks for the replies
  8. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog New Member

    Just a note here... I used the following site to order parts from


    Was having trouble ordering through the website so I called them to place order.

    They answered on the second ring and were extremely friendly and helpful on the phone and promised it would be shipped out immediately!

    Excellent company to do business with!!!
  9. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Note that head tubes also need to be cut off perfectly squared. The easiest & best way to do that by far is in a metal lathe.

    To that end (assuming you don't have a metal lathe) srdavo's suggestion of just cutting one off an existing frame is not a bad idea at all. It is usually possible to grind & sand off all the extra metal and get something that looks basically new, if that's what you want. All the cheaper bicycles I've seen appeared to be welded, making them easy to clean up.

    I was planning another bicycle project once (that never really got started, by the way) and wanted a number of various bicycle parts--gears, cranks, rear 26" wheel, key frame pieces to weld a frame from, brakes, ect ect.... After considering a few options I went and bought an entire steel-framed 15-speed non-suspended MTB from Wal-Mart for $79. There was no way I could possibly buy [separately] all the parts I wanted for that much.

    It was a pretty cheap bike top to bottom, but I didn't have any source of free used bikes (-didn't want to go out hunting on trash day, or wrench apart a bunch of rusted busted bikes looking for one good part-) and you can get a project rolling on those cheap parts. If you want to upgrade later, better parts would fit in the same place as the cheap parts you took out.


    There are places some have noted to buy "bike-frame specific" tubing, like Columbus, Reynolds, Tru Temper, ect. The main difference between this tubing and standard structural tubing is that the bicycle-frame tubing is double-butted in lengths specific for building conventional (upright) bike frames from, and the frame lugs and dropouts commonly sold are the right size to accept it. Industrial tubing is pretty much always the same wall thickness along its entire length.
  10. rustycase

    rustycase New Member

    Good observation, D !

    It's frequently more cost efficient to purchase a complete unit than components to fabricate one on a small scale.

    (I've once again growing a pile of junkers I hope to re-cycle into something I would like.)
    Problem is, only thing more HATED than something useful is old cars, ...and tires!

    I dunno!