Aluminum: Who cares?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by B. Sanders, May 7, 2003.

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  1. In article <[email protected]>, Peter wrote:

    > But prior to Klein's popularization of large diameter tubes for aluminum bike frames there were
    > several makes of aluminum frames with 'normal' diameter tubing, of which the best known was the
    > Vitus. These frames were known as being rather lightweight, but not at all stiff. They were
    > described almost exactly opposite to the popular descriptions used now for aluminum - i.e. that
    > they might be comfortable but that they flexed too much on climbs.

    Heh. So why is it so many Columbians won mountain stages on Vitus frames?
    :)

    > So durable aluminum frames can certainly be made that are not particularly stiff. It is an
    > engineering choice by Klein, Cannondale, and others to use large diameter tubes which provide more
    > lateral stiffness, but it's not a requirement for all aluminum frames.

    Another reason for the larger tubes is a larger weld area. Welded aluminum frames with
    standard-diameter tubes fail very quickly at the joints.

    --

    -John ([email protected])
     


  2. In article <[email protected]>, BillX wrote:

    > I owned 3 steel framed bikes before my first aluminum frame and none of them lasted more than 6
    > years before the frame was totaled due to rust. The aluminum frame I bought in 88 (a Trek 1500) is
    > still quite functional with no signs of corrosion. For me aluminum is the best value.

    I suspect that this is largely a climate issue. I have nine steel bikes here and the newest of them
    is over ten years old. None of them have rusted out yet, including my commuter bike which is based
    on a c.1970 steel Italian club racer frame.

    --

    -John ([email protected])
     
  3. "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > What is it? It's $12.95 here.
    >
    > Seriously, it is a thick oil with a carrier. Sprays inside the tubes, the carrier evaporates
    > leaving an oil film on the inside of your steel tubes.

    It's better if you take the bike apart and soak the frame in Frame Saver. Better yet, hot wax the
    whole frame, inside and out, once per week.

    Just rode my 20 year old steel Specialized Expedition to work. I have a hard time finding any rust.
    A little where the shift cable has worn away the paint. It's been rained on, been all over the
    country on planes and trains, to the salt air of Hawaii, and in snow IIRC.
     
  4. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:

    >But I have a confession. I finally became convinced that my aluminum frame _was_ harsh. I saw the
    >light! How could I have been so deluded?

    Must have been all that "harshness" working its way from your butt upward.

    >Then my astrologer pointed out that if I rubbed the seatstays with the juice of spring violets
    >harvested during a full moon, it would smooth out the ride.
    >
    >And it did! Just as effective as adding carbon dropouts - and it smells better! :)

    Nonsense. Every "real racer" knows that the correct method is to tie dandylion stems around each
    seat stay, just above the brake bridge. After all, doesn't it make more sense that would provide
    superior "dampening" due to the liquid content?

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Since carbon fiber composite has a reputation of being high tech, a manufacturer of cheap bikes
    > might be able to get some marketing benefit by putting material labels on their bikes. The
    > technically unsophisticated might just be fooled into thinking "1018 Carbon Steel" was something
    > special.

    Already been done, Avocet "Carbon 12" tires.
     
  6. > > by putting material labels on their bikes. The technically unsophisticated might just be fooled
    > > into thinking "1018 Carbon Steel" was something special.
    >
    > Already been done, Avocet "Carbon 12" tires.

    oooo. what you said.

    there's a storm brewin' somewhere out by the old hp place.
     
  7. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > "A Muzi" <[email protected]> whan asked, "what's Wiegle Frame Saver?",
    wrote in message
    > > What is it? It's $12.95 here.
    > >
    > > Seriously, it is a thick oil with a carrier. Sprays inside the tubes,
    the
    > > carrier evaporates leaving an oil film on the inside of your steel
    tubes.

    "Steven Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > It's better if you take the bike apart and soak the frame in Frame Saver. Better yet, hot wax the
    > whole frame, inside and out, once per week.
    >
    > Just rode my 20 year old steel Specialized Expedition to work. I have a hard time finding any
    > rust. A little where the shift cable has worn away the paint. It's been rained on, been all over
    > the country on planes and trains, to the salt air of Hawaii, and in snow IIRC.

    Indeed. My own 1953 Raleigh ( which I ride a lot) is still rust-free inside. Overmuch is made of
    this (IMHO) for most riders in most conditions but you do see the occasional bike with scads of rust
    flakes inside when you pull the BB out.

    If spraying a few dollars worth of oil in a frame lets someone sleep better and worry less,
    that's fine with me. Scaremongering along the lines of "steel frames will rust through unless
    coated" is not.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  8. Billx

    Billx Guest

    I lived in Michigan and was putting around 5000 miles per year on the bikes. Most of the rust was
    due to my sweat.

    B. Sanders wrote in message ...
    >"BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> I owned 3 steel framed bikes before my first aluminum frame and none of
    >them
    >> lasted more than 6 years before the frame was totaled due to rust. The aluminum frame I bought in
    >> 88 (a Trek 1500) is still quite functional
    with
    >> no signs of corrosion. For me aluminum is the best value.
    >
    >Fair enough. Where do you live? Near the ocean? I have a couple of steel bikes that are nearly 20
    >years old, and neither of them are approaching rust-death. Did you leave yours out in the rain?
    >
    >FrameSaver is all you need to keep a steel bike running until you die of
    old
    >age.
    >
    >-Barry
     
  9. Chris Phillipo <[email protected]> writes:

    >Actually I would say it's cheaper to make a lighter/stiffer bike out of aluminum than steel. If my
    >bike had the same characteristics it does now but was made out of steel, I probably couldn't afford
    >it and it certainly wouldn't look the same.

    Not if you talk to gary klein. he has a tech article on his web site that states that after
    brazing, you need to anneal the aluminum for a long time in an oven in order to relieve the
    stresses induced by brazing. last time i checked, this was never necessary for a steel bike, and i
    think it adds to the cost.

    maybe you can build a "stressed out" aluminum bike cheaper than steel.

    By the way, i now own 3 highly-used steel 1974 framesets. I'd like to see an aluminum frameset last
    that long with that kind of usage. My aluminum pots and pans do not last that long - eventually
    pieces of aluminum begin to chip and flake off, then chunks begin to flake off, and pretty soon the
    entire pot or pan is full of pinholes and won't hold water.

    - Don
     
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