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How old is too old when buying a used Aluminum frame?(10 posts)

How old is too old when buying a used Aluminum frame?Tele_Pathic
Jun 30, 2002 8:06 PM
Hey all. I'm getting into road cycling again after a 10 year hiatus. I've been researching, and I've come across a decision I need help with. Many have pointed out that old aluminum frames become fragile. If I buy a used frame and build it up, how old is too old? Is a five year old Cannondale too old to consider purchasing? Ten years? 15 or 20 years? See where I'm going with this. TIA.

re: How old is too old when buying a used Aluminum frame?siclmn
Jun 30, 2002 8:18 PM
The only way you break them is to hit something like the ground or a car. The problem is that they are stiff and the ride is not like other frames. If you do not believe this statement just look at all the other posts of people who would like to soften their ride with carbon forks and seatposts and bigger tires.
re: How old is too old when buying a used Aluminum frame?Jekyll
Jun 30, 2002 8:41 PM
Not really how old but how much use is the better question. Al will fatigue from loading and unloading during its life time. Allegedly, steel and ti have basically infinite fatigue lives at typical cycling loads. This of course says nothing of the typical areas of brakeage like welds and fixtures. An Al frame that is 10 years old but has 5000 miles on it is a better bet than a 3 year old version with 40k.
Lots of people still ride decade old Al with no ill effects. Just make sure to check the frame for cracks, etc before buying - if unsure, have a good shop check it out.
"Al ride" quality probably has a lot more to do with geometry than with materials. Get a short wheelbase, aggressive crit frame made out of just about anything and it will ride like a brick.
They're all aluminum.Spoke Wrench
Jul 1, 2002 5:47 AM
So what material are you going to specify for your fork, handlebar and stem? To me those are by far the scariest parts of a bike to imagine breaking. I think there is a big gulf between theory and real world bicycle frame fatigue resistance. I wouldn't worry about it.
They're all aluminum.No_sprint
Jul 1, 2002 7:33 AM
I broke a steam while riding to a local race. Sued the manufacturer, won. Spent two total months out of the gym, off the bike and in PT. It's taken me over a year to get past the fright now and back into pre-crash shape. They should have paid me double.
what stem and where did it break, any warning. scary thought nmishmael
Jul 1, 2002 7:44 AM
what stem and where did it break, any warning. scary thought nmNo_sprint
Jul 1, 2002 8:36 AM
It broke at the weld. I'm sorry, I cannot mention any details. It is not made any more and was not a mass produced stem installed on lots of bikes. I've only seen two others. You likely have nothing at all to worry about. It was a year 1986 stem on an ultra high end American bike.
why cant you sayishmael
Jul 1, 2002 11:06 AM
I cant imagine you are being restained legally.
you go to law school?No_sprint
Jul 2, 2002 9:57 AM
I did.

That was part of my settlement.
no i didnt go to law school. why cant you say what stem? nmishmael
Jul 2, 2002 11:17 AM