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aluminum frame damage/repair(4 posts)

aluminum frame damage/repairAngusMachuge
Jul 8, 2002 10:44 AM
Hi all, I had a family member transport my c'dale to a race site for me this weekend, and noticed after the race that a chunk of paint and about 1/32 - 1/16 inch of aluminum were gouged out of the chainstay near the rear drop out on the side opposite the derailleur. It's not dented, and I'm pretty sure the damage occured as a result of something rubbing on the frame during transit. The gouge is about 1/2 inch long. I'm just wondering if this is a concern structurally, and if so what are the repair options(caad 4 frame). The frame is only about 3 months old(bought a 2001 model new from lbs), but I doubt there is any warranty on damage as such. I've gone through the anger and denial phases of recovery and am slowly entering acceptance. My first quality road bike. C'est la vie.

Cam
re: aluminum frame damage/repairjromack
Jul 8, 2002 11:21 AM
The repair options are more trouble than they're worth. You could remove the wheel, weld the area, contour gring it, stress relieve and repaint.

The gouge should not pose a problem structurally. For cosmetic reasons, you can fill it with spot putty, sand smooth and touch it up with paint.

I have the same frame by the way, great bike!

You can also contact Cannondale Customer service just to make sure.

1-800-245-3872
custserv@cannondale.com
re: aluminum frame damage/repairAkirasho
Jul 8, 2002 11:24 AM
... it's a tough call...

There's no easy or cost effective way to repair (unless you have access to excellent weld services and a heat treatment oven). If I were you, I'd cover the area with clear nail polish... and watch it like a hawk.

I've had small gouges taken out of a couple of older 'Dale frames and over the years, they've not grown (one is a gash under the top tube... about 4 inches behind the headtube). OTOH, if you saw micro cracks radiating from the same area... a catastrophic failure could be in the frame member's future.

I think we've all heard of, and know some of the structural limitations of aluminium... but in general, 'Dales of that vintage are a bit overengineered and probably aren't as fragile as we're often led to believe (CAAD7 notwithstanding... that's an awesome but thin tubeset). Keep and eye on it... and ride.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: aluminum frame damage/repairjdj
Jul 8, 2002 2:43 PM
I have have experience welding thin wall 6061 T6 and I don't recommend it in your case. It sounds like the dammage is more cosmetic than structural. TIG welding this portion of your frame will lead to both distortion and a hard spot which could crack around the HAZ. Even when welding with 4043 you still get dilution and would have to normalize at 600 degrees for awhile. You can try this: Most weld supply stores sell a product called Lab Metal,if the area were sanded and prepped(cleaned)this stuff will form a chemical bond. It is light and strong and works very well on aluminium. It can be prepped and painted and it lasts alot longer than epoxy or spot putty.