I got a call from the bike ship yesterday. They found that both seat stays have developed a crack near the top. The metal narrows and flattens there at the braze point, and the worry is that the frame could collapse.
It’s part of the original frame (as the only thing replaced in 2006 was the head tube) which makes it about 15 years old, so I’m not surprised that it’s wearing out. The cheap option is to replace that section of the stay and get a touch-up paint job for the area.
I think I’ll retire the Gemini from active use and treat it as my second bike (and the Diamondback can go). Looking at a replacement, I’m quite interested in Vivente which have some nice options. Apparently they’re basically modern Gemini bikes, as it’s the same guy making them. I’ll go looking for one in the flesh, so to speak, and see what I think.
The only other option locally seems to be a Surly, but I’ve heard that they’re overpriced and that you probably need to upgrade the components for any serious use. Time to look at gearing and bar options etc., no matter which model I go with.