I've got a new aluminum cyclocross frame and somehow in shipping or transport the stays were pinched so that the spacing between the rear dropouts is only about 80mm. I would like to save this frame and build it up as a city bike/commuter/fire road...etc. bike. I got the frame for $0.00 and there is no possibility of a warranty or getting it replaced so I want to try spread it to fit a 130mm wheel.
I have heard that it is not safe to cold set aluminum, but I have done a lot of searching and have read testimony of a few different people who have bent damaged aluminum stays back into alignment and then ridden the bikes for years without issue.
There are no sharp bends or creases and if you didn't know any better you would think the spacing is suppsoed to be so narrow. Because of this, I think there might be hope. I'll try to get some pictures up later.
- How should I go about it? Sheldon's 2x4 method for steel frames?
- Would applying heat help or would that weaken the frame? I've read up on re-heat-treating 7005 aluminum but haven't come to any conclusions as most of the stuff I've found is technical.
- How about using some threaded rod with a nut on each end and gradually expanding them to 130mm? Maybe same concept with a vice?