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Buy Aluminum, Kill The Poor(7 posts)

Buy Aluminum, Kill The PoorSelfPropelled
Jun 21, 2002 3:24 AM
The thought ocurred to me late last night, I just graduated high school, how will I carry out my existence? why doing the things I love most! I sure wont make much money at that but I will have lots of time to roll my wheels! I will always buy used old bikes, no biggy, love those old steel Raleighs and Schwinns anyways, but look here, its 2002 and everythins' aluminum! Give an aluminum frame 6-8 years for safety then recycle it like a can, but as we all know that wont happen when people can always sell them...yikes! I think this is more of an issue for the future generations of used market buyers, i.e. not just me :].As of now there seems to be plenty and plenty of those wholesome older bikes that were in thier day top of the line now available for "reasonable" prices. When you could possibly look forward to finding the exspensive quality models of today in some years ahead ridden nice and hard for considerably cheaper, its just plain unsafe to now as most frames may be spent (near fatique) in 6-8 years. Long lasting frames (excluding Ti) just arent the push of todays seemingly anti-reuseable cycling world (would it be so unreasonable to add the whole world?). So the day when I ask where all the Reynolds 531 tubes and Nervex lugs trickled off to is the day some poor sap brakes his neck on my street when his "Vintage" aluminum frame fatiques.
re: Buy Aluminum, Kill The Poorkoala
Jun 21, 2002 3:43 AM
You are really a retro in youths disgiuse.
I've got an '85 C-daleMel Erickson
Jun 21, 2002 6:14 AM
and it's still going strong. It's now my trainer bike but was my main ride up 'til three years ago. I sure hope my Santana tandem lasts more than two years, since it's four years old now. Maybe my Softride is ready for the trash heap, it's six years old now. Or, maybe that old '96 C-dale SuperV 900 I replaced last year with a Giant NRS should just be given to the trash man, too. Seems a shame since I was riding it and it was serving me well 'til last September and my friend would hate to stop riding it now. Better start saving my pennies for a replacement for the NRS in four years. Me thinks you buy into the hype a little too much.
I've got an '85 C-daleSelfPropelled
Jun 21, 2002 11:19 PM
This was not meant to be a showdown between steel & aluminum it was just a thought about resale issues.

It does matter how hard aluminum bikes are ridden for how long, its no rule of thumb to say alluminum frames will be forbidden to exist 6 to 8 years...thats just playin it safe. What I was getting at was the short term and often deceptive resale issues in the used market. Would aluminum last say 20 to 30 years of multiple owners like the 70s & 80s steel influx frames? Probably not even close. Springs are made out steel not aluminum. Every bit of force on aluminum is stored making it stiff and responsive but it will have to give structual integrity at some point, steel is softer and rebounds the force thats pushed down upon it to a certain degree. Rust isnt too big of an issue in the used market because its a visible sign of sketchyness (except for internal tubing corosion due to moisture entering through the small holes in frames when they are made for venting reasons) but aluminum will look great until it suddenly gives. What im saying wouldn't have much validity unless the bicycle market didnt recognize it. It does and its a premium called Titanium. It wont rust, its light, its stiff, its lasts longer than non heat treated steel, its expensive.

1st vertical row = heat treated steel
2nd = non heat treated steel
3rd = 7005 aluminum
4th = 3/2.5 grade Ti
Density lbs/cubic in 0.28 0.28 0.10 0.16
Modulus Ksi 29000 29000 10500 15250
0.2% Proof Ksi 150 95 45 90
Fatigue Limit Ksi 90 55 21 57
Elongation % 10 15 12 15
Jun 21, 2002 3:50 PM
I hope you are giving those old steel frames a thorough once over and checking out the inside of each and every tube for rust.

I'd hate to see you have a catastrophic failure due to oxidation, which happens all the time with old steel know, just like those aluminum fatigue crashes I hear so much about.


A. (Rides a wooden frame for that very reason)
Jun 21, 2002 11:28 PM
I try to :]...If your serious about the wooden frames you should check out the bamboo tandems, I checked one out on display at Encino Cyclrey (Los Angeles) what a trip!
Jun 22, 2002 7:06 AM
It's more a matter of physics than opinion...aluminum becomes brittle with use. Naturally, an aluminum frame that is stressed infrequently will outlast one that is stressed regularly, but the fact still remains that this is not an issue with steel. This is something I took into consideration when purchasing a used bike. You wouldn't catch me paying top dollar for an older aluminum frame....actually, you wouldn't catch me paying any amount for an older aluminum bike period.