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  1. #1
    Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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    Machine shop derailleur hanger?

    Anyone ever had a derailleur hanger made by a local machinist? I've tried all the online places and they won't do one-offs (Wheels Mfg, Pilo, derailleurhangers.com). The original frame manufacturer (Merckx) doesn't support their 6-year old models (under new management). It seems simple enough to make, and should be cheaper than a new frame.

  2. #2
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    I own a precision CNC machining business. I once did a run of custom made dropouts for steel mtb frames made by a local builder in the 80's (Ken Beach). If you wanted ONE derailleur hanger made, it would require a CAD file, CNC programming and setup of the machine then cutting the part. If you gave me the CAD file, I may be able to make you one in about a day, and at current CNC shop rates, that would cost you about $600. Of course, I'd make a few more once running, if they could be sold to offset your costs. You really need to get the frame builder to get you one.
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  3. #3
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    God I know how frustrating it is to have a bike and not a hanger, been there, done that earlier this year.

    If you have the hanger and it's broken or bent and that difficult to source then I personally would go ahead and and make a copy and that would really not be that difficult if you have basic hand tool stills and access to a basic post drill that can be used to both drill the required screw holes but also with a router bit be used to do some simple shape routing as well if pushed.

    Most common hangers are made from Aluminium which if you choose the right grade if not difficult to work and if it takes you 8 hours or so to do then thats still not the bad.

  4. #4
    Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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    Wheels Mfg suggested buying a hanger that looked close to fitting, then filing/dremeling to make do. But they won't tell me the dimensions of any of theirs, so I've no idea if it would be close enough to begin with. In the meantime I've ordered a universal hanger which should get me back on the road. It's only held in place by the QR so I envision changing a tire tube and then spending 15 minutes repeatedly stopping to adjust the derailleur position.

  5. #5
    Militant commuter
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    Just compare your current hangar with the photos on Derailleurhanger.com, and buy the one that looks closest. A decent file or Dremel tool is enough to shape one to suit your frame.
    "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter!"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Wheels Mfg suggested buying a hanger that looked close to fitting, then filing/dremeling to make do. But they won't tell me the dimensions of any of theirs, so I've no idea if it would be close enough to begin with. In the meantime I've ordered a universal hanger which should get me back on the road. It's only held in place by the QR so I envision changing a tire tube and then spending 15 minutes repeatedly stopping to adjust the derailleur position.
    use some sharpie for a few witness marks

  7. #7
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    It's only held in place by the QR so I envision changing a tire tube and then spending 15 minutes repeatedly stopping to adjust the derailleur position.
    Perhaps not. Most of the ones that replace the QR nut are designed so they can't rotate even at less than fiull clamping pressure. And with the large contact area between the universal hanger and the dropout face, they usually line themselves up perfectly when you clamp them back down.

  8. #8
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    As pointed out, if the frame maker doesnít have them, then attempt to find a match at Derailleurhanger.com, as that will be the only cost effective method.

    If it were my valued frame and I couldn't obtain a suitable replacement from the frame manufacturer or Derailleurhanger.com, I wouldn't hesitate to make a hanger in my basement machine shop, as I am quite comfortable making much more complex high precision parts than hangers. If you donít have a good friend with the suitable skills and access to a milling machine and rotary table, who might be willing to do the job for a case of beer, or this is some exotic frame restoration, the cost of paying to have someone custom machine a hanger is going to be cost prohibitive.

    Since it is unlikely you would have access to CAD drawings of the part, you would have to take the mangled hanger and frame to a machinist so they could take measurements and trial fit the work in progress as they manually machined a replacement. Depending on the profiling required to fit the hanger to your specific dropout, you could be looking at between 4 and 8 hours of labour time to manually machine a replacement. Without proper drawings, CNCíing such a part would be crazy unless you wanted a large quantity of them made to offset the upfront cost of making and refining a drawing and setup time.

  9. #9
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    Merckx is not really a manufacturer. I'd call them back and find out who made your model for them, then look for hangers from that brand, or contact that manufacturer directly.

    I would also say what frame you have and post a picture of your hanger on the board - you never know who's going to recognize the part and be able to help.
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  10. #10
    Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    Merckx is not really a manufacturer. I'd call them back and find out who made your model for them, then look for hangers from that brand, or contact that manufacturer directly.

    I would also say what frame you have and post a picture of your hanger on the board - you never know who's going to recognize the part and be able to help.
    Merckx is under new management. They have washed their hands of any support for frames made prior to 2012.

    The frame is a 2005 Merckx Bound. Here's the hanger:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Machine shop derailleur hanger?-imgp2900.jpg  

  11. #11
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Merckx is under new management. They have washed their hands of any support for frames made prior to 2012.
    What Kontact is saying that your frame wasn't actually manufactured by the Merckx company in Belgium, but by a frame building company that you might be able to identify. That frame building company might be able to help you out.

    Failing that, I'd go with the machine shop solution. No need for CAD, no need for CNC. All you need is a savvy machinist.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Merckx is under new management. They have washed their hands of any support for frames made prior to 2012.

    The frame is a 2005 Merckx Bound. Here's the hanger:
    I understood that, but the new management has the files from previous business. But if they don't want to help you, they don't want to help.

    The other option for creating a hanger is to make it at home out of composites and Tee nuts.

    Using layer micarta would allow you to control the thickness of the two levels of the hanger, then drill and epoxy in the threaded inserts to complete. This can be done very accurately at home with simple tools and the original. We can talk about that off line if that becomes your most viable option.


    BTW, what's wrong with the original? It appears to be in one piece.
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    I would suggest that you find the closest local college that offers machine shop technology courses. I would suggest that you go there & contact the instructor for CNC, water-jet cutting or even laser cutting course as all 3 methods will work for you. Explain your problem & ask for their advice. I know that students in those courses have various projects that they must complete for those courses. If you're lucky perhaps the instructor could assign your problem to one of the students. A friend of mine took courses in both CNC & water-jet cutting & he had various projects that he had to make for his grade. Hope this helps.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Special Eyes View Post
    I own a precision CNC machining business. I once did a run of custom made dropouts for steel mtb frames made by a local builder in the 80's (Ken Beach). If you wanted ONE derailleur hanger made, it would require a CAD file, CNC programming and setup of the machine then cutting the part. If you gave me the CAD file, I may be able to make you one in about a day, and at current CNC shop rates, that would cost you about $600. Of course, I'd make a few more once running, if they could be sold to offset your costs. You really need to get the frame builder to get you one.
    +1, I keep seeing advice to go to a machine shop on this forum (from folks who've probably never done so). Proper set up, fixturing and other related prep work can make a 2 minute operation take 2-3 hours or more. In some of my small lot manufacturing operations, the fixture and setup costs are often 3-5 times higher than the actual production costs.
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  15. #15
    Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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    But if they don't want to help you, they don't want to help.
    Exactly. I've had the UK distributor and the new distributor here in Italy ask Merckx as well, and as I said, they aren't supporting their pre-2012 products. They've bought the brand, not the bike company.

    BTW, what's wrong with the original?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Machine shop derailleur hanger?-imgp2904.jpg  
    Last edited by Bill2; 02-08-2012 at 08:49 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Anyone ever had a derailleur hanger made by a local machinist? I've tried all the online places and they won't do one-offs (Wheels Mfg, Pilo, derailleurhangers.com). The original frame manufacturer (Merckx) doesn't support their 6-year old models (under new management). It seems simple enough to make, and should be cheaper than a new frame.
    It's time to work on your skill with a coping saw and file. See if there's a hanger with similar hole placement but more meat surrounding it. Buy that and using the old one as a template saw or file the excess to duplicate yours as closely as possible. If there are small areas where the nearest hanger is smaller than yours, that's probably OK.

    If you can't find a close enough match then start with a 1/4" piece of plate aluminum, (you might phone WOB and see if they can sell you a piece of what they use. Locate and drill the mounting and RD bolt holes, (using yours as a template), rough cut excess material with a hacksaw, then go to the coping saw and file to finish. If you're good it's an hour or two (assuming you have a bench vise), then the last step would be tapping the 1x10 hanger thread which any bike shop can do for you.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Merckx is under new management. They have washed their hands of any support for frames made prior to 2012.

    The frame is a 2005 Merckx Bound. Here's the hanger:
    What is wrong with this hanger that warrants its replacement? I'm not seeing any obvious reason to replace it. If bent, then have it straightened carefully using an alignment tool. the threads look fine.

    Further to my previous point about machining a new hanger - Given how simple your hanger appears, anyone with a drill press, the taps, and a grinder could make that hanger without a whole lot of skill and a few hours of time. A skilled machinist could probably make one in about an hour. They would need to understand that the position of the der stop is critical, likewise the nothc fo rhte wheel axle. An hour of machinst time shouldn't be too costly if that is your only option.

    CNC'ing the part would be a pain in the butt, unless you were trying to prove a point or you had to make hundreds.

  18. #18
    Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    If you can't find a close enough match then start with a 1/4" piece of plate aluminum, (you might phone WOB and see if they can sell you a piece of what they use.
    What is WOB?

  19. #19
    jpz
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    I really believe you best bet is what was earlier suggested, get a hanger *close* to yours & use a file or dremel tool to match it.
    Years ago, a friend broke his hanger from acarbon Bianchi road bike, nobody local had one. Amazingly, it was almost identical to a spare for a gary fisher Sugar MTB bike I had. Used a dremel to make a small change, its been on his bike since & works fine.

    JimPz

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    What is WOB?
    My error, back when I did business with them Wheels mfg, used to be called Wheels of Boulder, and I still think of them as that.
    I also call Avenue of the Americas "6th Avenue" even though the name was changed before I was born. (go figure)
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  21. #21
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    +1, I keep seeing advice to go to a machine shop on this forum (from folks who've probably never done so). Proper set up, fixturing and other related prep work can make a 2 minute operation take 2-3 hours or more. In some of my small lot manufacturing operations, the fixture and setup costs are often 3-5 times higher than the actual production costs.
    Perhaps the definition of "machine shop" is not clear. The one that made some parts for me some years ago was simply one man, a small concrete-block building and a number of machine tools. My suggestion was simply to have someone in a "machine shop" do what you suggested for the OP to do.

  22. #22
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    Now that I've seen pics, I see that my comments about CNC were overkill. A machinist with a mill, bandsaw, belt sander and files can fab one of those up from your sample. Please people, a dremel tool is not for machining. Maybe for deburring or finishing.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  23. #23
    wim
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    If my (rapidly deteriorating) memory serves me here, I think our esteemed member Touch0Gray has the tools and the skills to make one of those. Hope I'm not doing him a disservice...

  24. #24
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    Edit: I didn't see the second pic that Bill2 posted. Now I understand the problem but my comments about keeping things in perspective still stand.

    Bill2:

    I can't tell from the pic you posted and you didn't say so I have to ask, what is wrong with the hanger?

    From the pic the threads that hold the hanger to the bike look OK and I don't see any huge cracks so if it is something minor I have a feeling you may be able to fix it temporarily (or maybe permanently) so you can ride your bike until you find a replacement.

    I think all of us need to keep in mind that just because something can be done doesn't mean that it should be done like the person who responded and offered to mock a replacement up for ONLY $600. Whatever kool-aid he is drinking I want some. You could buy a replacement frame for that much. Must be some sort of Engineer trying to justify his job . . .

    As many commented, chances are with a file and a grinder you could take a hanger that was close and make it even closer and you would never know the difference. Sometimes there are people who go a little crazy with all of their new age toys and they forget that a lot of times just a bit of good old-fashioned inguenity and some elbow grease are all that is needed. I remember many nights back in the day working in my Dad's shop under a drop light with a hammer, file, hacksaw, and other tools trying to modify various parts to work on my '68 Z-28 Camaro. It is amazing what a person can do when they put their mind to it so let's keep it real everybody and not go too far off the deep end.
    Last edited by RoadBoy1; 02-08-2012 at 06:11 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHankey View Post
    As pointed out, if the frame maker doesnít have them, then attempt to find a match at Derailleurhanger.com, as that will be the only cost effective method.

    If it were my valued frame and I couldn't obtain a suitable replacement from the frame manufacturer or Derailleurhanger.com, I wouldn't hesitate to make a hanger in my basement machine shop, as I am quite comfortable making much more complex high precision parts than hangers. If you donít have a good friend with the suitable skills and access to a milling machine and rotary table, who might be willing to do the job for a case of beer, or this is some exotic frame restoration, the cost of paying to have someone custom machine a hanger is going to be cost prohibitive.

    Since it is unlikely you would have access to CAD drawings of the part, you would have to take the mangled hanger and frame to a machinist so they could take measurements and trial fit the work in progress as they manually machined a replacement. Depending on the profiling required to fit the hanger to your specific dropout, you could be looking at between 4 and 8 hours of labour time to manually machine a replacement. Without proper drawings, CNCíing such a part would be crazy unless you wanted a large quantity of them made to offset the upfront cost of making and refining a drawing and setup time.
    Why do we have to CAD or CNC anything? Let's keep it real here. Remember Tulio Campagnolo was making dropouts long before computers were ever dreamed of and probably before slide rules. Let's not do a total reinvent of the wheel; or derailleur hanger to be precise :-)

    For anyone who doesn't know what a slide rule is PM me.

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