Frame lifespan

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Paul, Apr 4, 2003.

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  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    I'm not intending to start the aluminium vs steel debate again, not least because I don't usually
    understand the answers. However I have noticed that the aluminium frame on my bike is guaranteed for
    3 years whilst the cromoly frame of the cheaper entry level model of the same range is guaranteed
    for 15 years.

    My frame material is plain guage 7005 HT T6. Clearly ally frames don't crumble to dust the minute
    the warranty runs out but I was wondering whether, based on the warranty period, it's possible to
    make a rough guess as to the life expectancy of an aluminium alloy frame.

    Interestingly I have come across bikes in the £2000+ price range (not sure what that is in dollars)
    that also have 7005 frames (butted obviously), mine cost just £260. For that sort of money I would
    have expected that people would have wanted the bike to last quite some time, or perhaps they just
    have more money than me!

    Thanks for any thoughts,

    Paul.
     
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  2. Ajames54™

    Ajames54™ Guest

    On Fri, 4 Apr 2003 10:31:42 +0100, "Paul" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm not intending to start the aluminium vs steel debate again, not least because I don't usually
    >understand the answers. However I have noticed that the aluminium frame on my bike is guaranteed
    >for 3 years whilst the cromoly frame of the cheaper entry level model of the same range is
    >guaranteed for 15 years.
    >
    >My frame material is plain guage 7005 HT T6.
    SNIP
    >Thanks for any thoughts,
    >
    Basically the guarantee differs because the manufacturer can get away with it... people believe that
    that is all they should expect so that is all they get. It is very expensive to warranty something
    that has been out of production for 3+ years. There is one big caveat to that statement ...

    1) there is an engineering component to the issue ... if the frame was designed into the "stupid
    light" range it may be that the designers have put a limit on the life ... a straight gauge frame
    however is probably not in that range.

    There is no reason that the material should be a concern..
     
  3. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Interestingly I have come across bikes in the £2000+ price range (not sure what that is in dollars)
    >that also have 7005 frames (butted obviously), mine cost just £260. For that sort of money I would
    >have expected that people would have wanted the bike to last quite some time, or perhaps they just
    >have more money than me!
    >
    >Thanks for any thoughts,
    >
    >Paul.

    Some comments:

    1. The difference between your frame and those expensive ones is that yours was not heat treated
    after it was fabricated. The fancy ones were. This allows them to make lighter frames.

    2. People don't pay £2000+ price range to get a bicycle that will last 15 or 20 years, they pay
    that sort of money to get a lightweight bike. As such it is likely that it may fail rather
    quickly. But anyone with that sort of money to dump in a bike probably doesn't care because they
    will wanting a new bike soon anyway.

    3. My guess is that your frame could last 15 or 20 years.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  4. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Many thanks for the comments.

    Kind Regards, Paul
     
  5. On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 08:43:56 -0500, ajames54™ wrote:

    >>least because I don't usually understand the answers. However I have noticed that the aluminium
    >>frame on my bike is guaranteed for 3 years whilst the cromoly frame of the cheaper entry level
    >>model of the same range is guaranteed for 15 years.

    > It is very expensive to warranty something that has been out of production for 3+ years.

    I have had a number of items (a water heater comes to mind) with long-term warantees. But when they
    fail, as the water heater did, there is often no way to make a warrantee claim since the company
    itself did not last that long.

    I have one bike that has far outlasted the company that made it, and had one that died an early
    death -- but I bought it at a swap meet so no warrantee.

    A well-made bike should last a lifetime -- most certainly last long enough so that the rider is
    either tired of it, or has managed to break it in a crash.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember _`\(,_ | that your initial
    objective was to drain the swamp. -- LBJ (_)/ (_) |
     
  6. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    Warranties in the bicycle industry are a marketing tool, nothing more. Companies predict what their
    cost will be for each year of warranty offered, estimate the effect on sales each year of warranty
    will have, and then draw a line where they earn the most profit. Having a 3-year warranty versus a
    5-year warranty saves cost. Have a lifetime warranty versus a 5-year warranty gains sales.

    It is interesting to note, however, the current position of the suspension fork manufacturers that
    they will offer no support whatsoever for product once it is 3 years old. Your $1000 fork need a $5
    part? Too bad. Throw it away and buy a new one. I don't know why anyone is standing for that.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
    http://www.heronbicycles.com http://www.tullios.com
     
  7. Ajames54™

    Ajames54™ Guest

    On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 14:24:47 -0500, "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 08:43:56 -0500, ajames54™ wrote:
    >
    >>>least because I don't usually understand the answers. However I have noticed that the aluminium
    >>>frame on my bike is guaranteed for 3 years whilst the cromoly frame of the cheaper entry level
    >>>model of the same range is guaranteed for 15 years.
    >
    >> It is very expensive to warranty something that has been out of production for 3+ years.
    >
    >I have had a number of items (a water heater comes to mind) with long-term warantees. But when they
    >fail, as the water heater did, there is often no way to make a warrantee claim since the company
    >itself did not last that long.
    >
    Ya gotta remember too that the warrantee covers "defects in workmanship or material" ... EVERYTHING
    will eventually wear out. A lifetime warrantee is as much a sales tool as a promise of performance.

    That being said I've seen some companies warrantee frames that were obviously crashed, and others
    refuse warrantee for failed welds. Ultimately it comes down to only one thing... no matter what your
    warrantee says it is only as good as the company backing it up...
     
  8. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Light. Cheap. Durable.

    Chose two.
     
  9. Eric Holeman

    Eric Holeman Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, David L. Johnson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I have one bike that has far outlasted the company that made it, and had one that died an early
    >death -- but I bought it at a swap meet so no warrantee.

    Only one? Here, we've got one Bridgestone and two Schwinns, which have outlasted two of that
    company's lives. (Heck, I think the tires lasted longer than the original company did, but the
    original Schwinn Bicycle Co. was only around for 100 years or so--what can ya do?)

    --
    ---
    Eric Holeman Chicago Illinois USA
     
  10. Mark Janeba

    Mark Janeba Guest

    David L. Johnson wrote:
    > I have one bike that has far outlasted the company that made it, and had one that died an early
    > death -- but I bought it at a swap meet so no warrantee.

    I had a Centurion (nicer model - "ProTour" from 1977) that I commuted on for about 10 years, and had
    a rear dropout snap at the chainstay in 1994.

    The company who owned the "Centurion" name had stopped using it, and was only selling as "Diamond
    Back" at the time. I inquired at the local Diamond Back dealer, and was promptly offered a choice of
    a few hybrid frames that were not of the same sort. The dealer then called the mfr, and arranged to
    have new dropouts brazed in locally with repainting of the stays - all at zero cost to me.

    I was seriously impressed, especially since I had bought the bike in a different state (where I
    lived at the time), 17 years earlier. Needless to say, I try to steer business to this shop (Scott's
    Cycling in Salem, OR), this incident is representative of the good service I've seen there.

    Regards,
    --
    Mark Janeba remove antispam phrase in address to reply
     
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