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Reasonble Frame life(12 posts)

Reasonble Frame lifeJoshua
Mar 15, 2002 3:55 PM
I was wondering what the reasonable frame life for a colombus slx steel frame is. I am getting one that is 8 years old with about 9000 miles on it. It looks structurally sound but is there a rule of thumb as to whats too much. And when is a bike considered vintage, Thanks
1988 ibis Steel Road...MrCelloBoy
Mar 15, 2002 4:10 PM
still going strong 15 years later...
Some put on 9K miles per yearKerry
Mar 15, 2002 5:21 PM
and don't consider their frames anything close to worn out. A lot will depend on the frame (SLX is very durable) and the rider (weight and style). I put 90K miles on a Columbus SL frame (SLX without the rifling) and it lost nothing - I weigh 180 lbs and 15K of those miles were pulling kids in a trailer. I sold it in 1988, and it is still in use. Vintage is totally perception. Some would say 80s, others 70s and others 50s.
re: Reasonble Frame lifekev01
Mar 15, 2002 5:24 PM
I have an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra made from SLX tubing. I have ridden it over 30,000 miles since I got it in 1989. It has been out in rain and snow. I strip it down and over haul it every year. So far the frame dosen't show any sign of rust or fatigue. Except for a fewnicks and scratches,it still looks and rides like new. That also includes getting hit by a car. That required a trip to a frame shop to be straightend,another strong point for steel frames.
Still ticking...djg
Mar 15, 2002 8:11 PM
My last steel bike was an 80's Masi (also Columbus tubes), which I rode for 11 years before I sold it. It was still perfectly good. I sort of regret that it's gone, but so far as I know it's still going strong.

Check for cracks, check for rust (maybe look inside the seat tube, or in the bottom bracket shell), and check alignment. Although I cannot tell you whether the one you are getting is any good, I can tell you that there's no reason in principle why an SLX bike couldn't be good for a second 8 years.
re: Reasonble Frame life..considered vintagebic
Mar 15, 2002 8:18 PM
I thought that only applied to great wine?!?!?
re: Reasonble Frame lifeguido
Mar 15, 2002 8:41 PM
I've got over 30K miles on an SLX frame, and slightly more on an SL frame. Both are still in excellent condition and ride the same as they did 18 years ago. I've read about Italian "veterans" who've been riding their handmade frames for 30, 40, 50 years. I met a man in his 70s who raced a Reynolds 531 frame in his youth in the Thirties. He fought WWII, raised a family, and started riding again in the Seventies, on the same frame. He had different rear dropouts brazed on to accomodate a rear derailleur, and new components. That's why steel bikes are referred to as "lifers," a totally alien concept in an economy based on consumption.
re: Reasonble Frame lifegtx
Mar 15, 2002 8:48 PM
my SL frame from '89 has about 50,000 miles on it and it's still my main ride--good as new.
re: Reasonble Frame life ~ quality steelcentury2
Mar 16, 2002 1:04 AM
I do not know about aluminum or Ti or Carbon; but a good quality steel frame should last 100,000 without a problem at all. My last one was reynolds 531 and still rides Ok after that many miles - but ready to be retired
Vintage is subjective but as a rule of thumb..Lone Gunman
Mar 16, 2002 6:43 AM
126mm spacing in the rear and non indexing shifting, mdi 80's I think is a timeline of definition.
steel merckx-6 years-35,000+miles-still rides great!(nm)merckx56
Mar 16, 2002 11:08 AM
30 years, 25k miles estimated ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2002 4:54 PM
... has survived BMX jumping and hard MTB use, left outdoors for 7 years, neglected for about 20 more. Still seems as strong as the day it was made.

Some steel frames built in 1890 are still ridable. If the frame looks good, it probably is.