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  1. #1
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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    Old Aluminum frame , life span??

    I am riding an old school Cad 3 in good shape no crashes. it is not my daily but my triathlon bike rides well light stiff..Any way I am going to get it painted and wanted to know if I am at the end of it's life span & is there anything I need to look for in regards to possible issues?

    Thanks..

  2. #2
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    If you don't crash then the bike will last longer than you. If you don't believe that don't ever fly in a 747 or better yet a DC3. Roger

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Advantage , Bikes don't have cabin pressurization stretching the metal & all the holes & rivets, with every flight.

  4. #4
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    I have heard, (heard this is NOT my first hand experience) that if it has an aluminum fork that there is a sort of lifespan and recommend replacement time for aluminum forks. If thats what yours has, you may want to do further research on that specific topic.

  5. #5
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    There's really no easily accessible way to determine where in life your bike is at this moment. If you're planning to have it stripped before paint you could look for cracks, but that's about it.
    There was a Cannondale with protruding rear dropouts, these were known to fail within some sort of recognizable span. But apart from that there are too many different conditions affecting the durability for there to be any solid recommendations.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    There was a Cannondale with protruding rear dropouts, these were known to fail within some sort of recognizable span.
    In '94 I bought an M700 with those goofy-looking dropouts.
    I'm still riding it.
    Of course the only original parts are the frame, fork, and handlebar.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    In '94 I bought an M700 with those goofy-looking dropouts.
    I'm still riding it.
    I didn't mean to imply that failure was mandatory, only that it was more consistent than compared to the "average" bike.

  8. #8
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    thehammerdog, I've a '99 CAAD3, a '98 2.8 and an '89 3.0 CR (last two with the cantilevered seatstays) all with mucho milage and multiple builds. These are long lived frames and very race worthy (I just recently removed my aerobars from the CAAD3 and 3.0).

    Issues? Don't try to remove a dent and inspect the drive side chainstay for deep gouges from chain suck. My '89 has a couple of shallow chainstay gouges that are over ten years old and those are a non issue. If the frame is to have it's paint blasted off be careful at the center of the main tubes, it's pretty thin. IIRC Cannondale used Dupont Imron paint, a pretty tough, durable paint. Some who've stripped/media blasted their older C'Dales have had them powder coated with excellant results.

    Brad

    My CAAD3:
    Last edited by bradtx; 09-13-10 at 10:39 AM. Reason: shameless picture

  9. #9
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    If nobody else tells these two they're destined to fail, I won't!

    First year of the cantilevered seatstays for the road bike. 1989 3.0


    OMG, this one has the aluminum fork as well. 1996 2.8


    Brad

  10. #10
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    How much do you weigh? A friend who rides Cannondales is over 6' tall and over 200 lbs. He has had his frame replaced under the warantee a couple of times because of cracks. The bikes did not fail catastrophically.
    Aluminum has a finite fatigue life, even in airliners. Planes are checked for cracks diring their life and panels replaced as necessary.

  11. #11
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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    The bike is about 10 year old give or take I am about 190ls give or take. The fork is 1inch carbon.....it will be powdercoated, what is the pro's or con's of powder coat vs normal paint if any......I will attemp to attach a photo.
    Thanks for the info....i will strip it down in the winter as a project.

  12. #12
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    thehammerdog, Powder coating seems to be a more durable finish, but I'm not sure if it's available in a metallic. While not a bike I've had a set of auto wheels powder coated and then shot with clear and it's proven quite tough. You can try Cannondale for decals.

    I weigh ~195 lbs. and taco'd both wheels on the '89 in a not-so-smart jump. The last thing I worry about is the frame and if it does break, Cannondale has a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

    Brad

  13. #13
    Senior Member thehammerdog's Avatar
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  14. #14
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    thehammerdog, That was a pretty popular, but hard to get paint scheme when it came out. I think it was called 'Blaze Fade'.

    Brad

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