Do Aluminum frames have a limited shelf life? Is scandium better?



vegasbabee

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Mar 20, 2005
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On my other posts, I asked about the strength of Cannondale CAAD 8 frames and apparently they aren't meant to last past 3 years(?).

True or bs? That would suck since Cannies aren't cheap but I think they make good looking bikes and for them to have planned obsolescence for that kind of $ is a load of shiite.:mad:

Merckx makes some like Scandium frames. How is the durability of that material?:)
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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vegasbabee said:
On my other posts, I asked about the strength of Cannondale CAAD 8 frames and apparently they aren't meant to last past 3 years(?).

True or bs? That would suck since Cannies aren't cheap but I think they make good looking bikes and for them to have planned obsolescence for that kind of $ is a load of shiite.:mad:

Merckx makes some like Scandium frames. How is the durability of that material?:)
That is just BS the muppets like to regurgitate. As for Scandium, the rule is, 'more fairy dust is always better'( at least acording to the marketing guys).
 

53-11

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Mar 21, 2005
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vegasbabee said:
On my other posts, I asked about the strength of Cannondale CAAD 8 frames and apparently they aren't meant to last past 3 years(?).

True or bs? That would suck since Cannies aren't cheap but I think they make good looking bikes and for them to have planned obsolescence for that kind of $ is a load of shiite.:mad:

Merckx makes some like Scandium frames. How is the durability of that material?:)
Sincity, Are you sure you haven't asked this question before?

P.S. What happened to bikeforums.net?

It says they are not accepting new posts?
 

mises

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May 27, 2005
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Technically speaking all Aluminum bikes will fail eventually (if ridden). For the heavy ones that failure, barring crashes, could be long after you are dead. At the light end of the spectrum for a strong high mileage rider 2 years could be a real stretch.

Weight is a good indicator of relative durability with any material and the lighter you get the quicker it's going to fail. Despite their advertising Cannondale really haven't pushed the weight envelope (Deda's new 7.9 Al tubes can produce an 800g frameset), so they clearly have more margin for error than some.

With US companies the length of the warranty is usually a pretty good indicator of what the manufacturer is willing to risk so the easiest way to estimate longevity is to just go by that.
 

Daremo

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Jul 29, 2003
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In reality, yes, aluminum frames have a limited shelf life, and no that is not a marketing ploy, or a hater response.

After about 3 -4 years of really hard riding, the frame will start to feel "dead" which you will not really be able to notice until you get on a new frame and fel the difference.

Not too mention, you crash once on it, and the frame is basically worthless. Stick to steel, ti, or carbon.
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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Daremo said:
In reality, yes, aluminum frames have a limited shelf life, and no that is not a marketing ploy, or a hater response.

After about 3 -4 years of really hard riding, the frame will start to feel "dead" which you will not really be able to notice until you get on a new frame and fel the difference.

Not too mention, you crash once on it, and the frame is basically worthless. Stick to steel, ti, or carbon.
Sort of, but not for the reasons you think. After 3 years of hard training and racing (10-20k) miles, a light weight aluminum frame may be at high risk for fatigue failure. There are too many variable to put any kind of number on expected mileage. The "dead" feeling is all in your head. There's not a single material used in bike construction that experiences a significant change in its elastic properties over time. If you were to make a real comparisson between a frame that's been ridden hard for three years and an identical one that spent that time on a shelf, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. As for crashing, I've gone down pretty hard with my aluminum Cannondale without damaging it. Steel, ti, carbon... It doesn't matter. If you hit any of them the wrong way they're going to break.
 

Don Shipp

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I'm going to be pedantic and say that alu frames have an unlimited shelf life, but a short working life because of poor fatigue resistance. Scandium/aluminium alloys have good fatigue resistance, so for a given weight, the frame will last much longer in use.
Magnesium frames have a short shelf life.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Daremo said:
In reality, yes, aluminum frames have a limited shelf life, and no that is not a marketing ploy, or a hater response.

After about 3 -4 years of really hard riding, the frame will start to feel "dead" which you will not really be able to notice until you get on a new frame and fel the difference.

Not too mention, you crash once on it, and the frame is basically worthless. Stick to steel, ti, or carbon.
What a load of BS. :rolleyes:
 

Ozark Bicycle

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Oct 28, 2005
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mises said:
Technically speaking all Aluminum bikes will fail eventually (if ridden). For the heavy ones that failure, barring crashes, could be long after you are dead. At the light end of the spectrum for a strong high mileage rider 2 years could be a real stretch.

Weight is a good indicator of relative durability with any material and the lighter you get the quicker it's going to fail. Despite their advertising Cannondale really haven't pushed the weight envelope (Deda's new 7.9 Al tubes can produce an 800g frameset), so they clearly have more margin for error than some.

With US companies the length of the warranty is usually a pretty good indicator of what the manufacturer is willing to risk so the easiest way to estimate longevity is to just go by that.
Alas, sometimes the "length of the warranty" isn't what it appears at first glance. Let's look at the Cannondale warranty, for example:

http://tinyurl.com/9z365

At first glance, we see "Cannondale frames...are warranted...against manufacturing defects in materials and/or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner."

Sounds great! No wonder it's a big part of the Cannondale sales pitch down at the LBS.

But wait! Looking further, we see "Damage from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use."

Translation: the frame is warranted for life until it wears out and cracks, then the warranty doesn't apply!
 

boudreaux

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Ozark Bicycle said:
Alas, sometimes the "length of the warranty" isn't what it appears at first glance. Let's look at the Cannondale warranty, for example:

http://tinyurl.com/9z365

At first glance, we see "Cannondale frames...are warranted...against manufacturing defects in materials and/or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner."

Sounds great! No wonder it's a big part of the Cannondale sales pitch down at the LBS.

But wait! Looking further, we see "Damage from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use."

Translation: the frame is warranted for life until it wears out and cracks, then the warranty doesn't apply!
Same with any frame maker. None of them warranty fatigue. Cdale is just up front about it.
 

Daremo

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Jul 29, 2003
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Not BS ......... personal experience.

Can't tell you how many people with CDale, QRoo and Klein frames that bit it on the bike and dented the frame basically ruined it for good. Also, CDale used to only warranty their frames for 5 years, and even trying to get a legitimate warranty frame out of them was like pulling teeth. Yeah, it could have been our rep., but it did not bode well with our confidence when someone tried to get a frame warrantied.

Steel dings, you're fine, ti or carbon dings, you must have been hit by a train and chances are the frame is toast anyways.

Some rookie crimps the seat tube in the stand on an alumnium frame? Game over, basically need a new one.

I've raced beer cans, and they are just not worth the headache for the weight to me when you can get ti or carbon the same weight with less worries for similar pricing (for the ones that are worth forking the cash out for).
 

Ozark Bicycle

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boudreaux said:
Same with any frame maker. None of them warranty fatigue. Cdale is just up front about it.
IMO, the "lifetime warranty" bit is deceptive, at least in the way it is presented on the sales floor. I have never heard of a case where a Cannondale dealer told a potential buyer that the CAAD (pick a number) frames could be expected to "wear out" through normal use and fail in a way that would not be covered by the wonderful "lifetime warranty".
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Daremo said:
Not BS ......... personal experience.

Can't tell you how many people with CDale, QRoo and Klein frames that bit it on the bike and dented the frame basically ruined it for good. Also, CDale used to only warranty their frames for 5 years, and even trying to get a legitimate warranty frame out of them was like pulling teeth. Yeah, it could have been our rep., but it did not bode well with our confidence when someone tried to get a frame warrantied.

Steel dings, you're fine, ti or carbon dings, you must have been hit by a train and chances are the frame is toast anyways.

Some rookie crimps the seat tube in the stand on an alumnium frame? Game over, basically need a new one.

I've raced beer cans, and they are just not worth the headache for the weight to me when you can get ti or carbon the same weight with less worries for similar pricing (for the ones that are worth forking the cash out for).
You can tell it's winter.The muppets and BS'ers hang up their riding gear and start pontificating on the bike forums. The bigger shovel and hip boots are ready... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

boudreaux

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Ozark Bicycle said:
IMO, the "lifetime warranty" bit is deceptive, at least in the way it is presented on the sales floor. I have never heard of a case where a Cannondale dealer told a potential buyer that the CAAD (pick a number) frames could be expected to "wear out" through normal use and fail in a way that would not be covered by the wonderful "lifetime warranty".
And you won't hear it from any other either. Time to move on.
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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"Can't tell you how many people with CDale, QRoo and Klein frames that bit it on the bike and dented the frame basically ruined it for good."

I think the OP was talking more about fatigue than failure caused by damage. Granted an old school steel frame can take far more "abuse" than a thin walled AL tube bike, but that's another topic.

Anyone hear stories that start with "I was riding my perfectly good aluminum frame bike down the road when all of a sudden .....". nah

Spend your time worrying about other things in this world. Go ride your bicycle.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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capwater said:
"Can't tell you how many people with CDale, QRoo and Klein frames that bit it on the bike and dented the frame basically ruined it for good."

I think the OP was talking more about fatigue than failure caused by damage. Granted an old school steel frame can take far more "abuse" than a thin walled AL tube bike, but that's another topic.

Anyone hear stories that start with "I was riding my perfectly good aluminum frame bike down the road when all of a sudden .....". nah

Spend your time worrying about other things in this world. Go ride your bicycle.
Yeah, anyone that starts off asking the totally lame question about aluminum 'shelf life' should just say no and buy something else, but should probably also aviod the CF that explodes catastrophically if you run over a cigarette butt with one. ;)
 

Daremo

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I'll trust my local LBS mechanic and salesman over the Fred's on the boards every day of the week ........ oh wait, that LBS guy was me for years.

Believe what you want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that's all that it is.

To the original poster, as so eloquently stated, if you are really worrying about the life of a specific frame material, then look at something completely different.
 

artmichalek

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Daremo said:
I'll trust my local LBS mechanic and salesman over the Fred's on the boards every day of the week ........ oh wait, that LBS guy was me for years.

Believe what you want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that's all that it is.
I'll have to remember never to shop there. There's nothing wrong with opinions until you start pretending that they're facts.
 

Daremo

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artmichalek said:
I'll have to remember never to shop there. There's nothing wrong with opinions until you start pretending that they're facts.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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artmichalek said:
I'll have to remember never to shop there. There's nothing wrong with opinions until you start pretending that they're facts.
Yeah, and you know what is said about them relative to some part of the anatomy.