Lifespan of Glued Aluminum frames...



JesusGarcia

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Oct 19, 2006
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Hello... what's the lifespan of glued aluminum frames like the Vitus 979, circa late 1980's? A friend of mine says aluminum frames that old tend to become unglued? Thank you in advance...
 

Bro Deal

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Jun 26, 2006
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JesusGarcia said:
Hello... what's the lifespan of glued aluminum frames like the Vitus 979, circa late 1980's? A friend of mine says aluminum frames that old tend to become unglued? Thank you in advance...
Vitus had spotty quality control. If you were lucky you could be quite heavy and the frame would still last forever. If you were not you could be light and they would fail quickly. I am not sure it has so much to do with the age as much as whether or not it was put together correctly in the first place. Bonded AL frames did become more reliable during the early and mid 90s.
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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JesusGarcia said:
Hello... what's the lifespan of glued aluminum frames like the Vitus 979, circa late 1980's? A friend of mine says aluminum frames that old tend to become unglued? Thank you in advance...
A buddy of mine had an 80's Vitus frame that came unstuck at the top of the right seatstay a couple of years ago. Would guess he had at least 60K miles on it by then. He rode it for most of a summer held together with a ziptie waiting for a replacement Fuji steel frame to arrive. Certainly got his money's worth out of the old dog.

IMO, on any used frame that old, whether bonded or welded, it's a **** shoot as to how much life is remaining. If the frame was only ridden gently on good roads, you might get many more years from it. If it's been raced by a strong rider for many seasons, crashed, or hammered over rough roads for 50K miles, it could be "used up" and on the verge of fatigue failure when you get it.
 
Jun 6, 2006
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Heat it gently, bust the bonds without annealing the frame, clean it out, get some epoxy and glue it! I am sure the correct materials and procedures are documented somewhere.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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i remember the early vitus and alan frames coming undone.

water and sweat in the joints affected and weaked the glue according to the talk back in the day. on some of the early frames you could witness a white powder forming at the lug glue joint.

keep in mind, this was a long time ago when bonding technology in the bicycle industry was still in its' infancy.