Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Muscle Shoals, AL
    My Bikes
    1985 Bianchi Mondiale; 1990 Specialized Epic Allez; 1995 GT Edge; 2007 Specialized Roubaix;1984 Trek 610
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Specialized Epic Allez - is this galvanic corrosion? Is the frame safe?

    Please give me your opinion about this frame. This is a 1990 Specialized Epic Allez, carbon tubes bonded into aluminum lugs. It has been a great frame for many years.

    I looked at it closely today and noticed an anomaly. The picture below is of the head tube area, and I am not sure what is happening here.

    The gunk (?) appears to be underneath the clear coat.

    1. What is happening here?
    2. Does this impact the frame integrity?
    3. Do I need to try and remove this?

    I would appreciate your input, and would like to hear from anyone that has encountered this previously.

    Sincerely,
    Steve

    IMG_2108.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Va
    My Bikes
    '72 Motobecane Le Champion(totaled), '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '94 Burley Duet, '88 Pinarello Tre Cime, '88 Masi Gran Corsa, '91 Pinarello Montello, '97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster
    Posts
    4,811
    Mentioned
    65 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Looks like oxidation that has migrated under the clear coat. No opinion about safety.

    1. There must have been a break in the clear coating that allowed moisture to attack the AL. Don't know what the impact to the Carbon is.
    2. Well, it still looks localized to me but you don't know how far, if at all, the oxidation has migrated in the lug/tube interface.
    3. You should try to neutralize it, yes. How? I don't have experience to offer an approach other than to remove the clear coat, clean it up and re coat it, then wax periodically to provide a good seal.

    Hopefully someone with waaaaay more knowledge and experience will join in the conversation.
    Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.

  3. #3
    Senior Member andr0id's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,892
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you Google: galvanic corrosion carbon fiber, you'll see several examples of other Al CF bikes with the same corrosion as yours.

    A more in depth discussion is here.

    Galvanic corrosion property of contacts between carbon fiber cloth materials and typical metal alloys in an aggressive environment


    Basically, the differing energy state of the two materials causes this. I was in the Navy and we had to inspect airplanes for this all the time. Back then it was wherever two differing metals touched, but CF behaves like a metal even though it isn't.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Muscle Shoals, AL
    My Bikes
    1985 Bianchi Mondiale; 1990 Specialized Epic Allez; 1995 GT Edge; 2007 Specialized Roubaix;1984 Trek 610
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suspected galvanic corrosion, but did not know how to identify. Thanks, this information helps.

    I lived for 12 years in Boca Raton, FL - until 2013. The time there exposed this frame to the ocean environment, which may have contributed to this corrosion.

    I'll do some research, but still would appreciate any advice on what to do with this issue.

  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Village, New York City
    My Bikes
    too many
    Posts
    26,277
    Mentioned
    339 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Maybe @FBinNY has an opinion. Francis?
    Quote Originally Posted by noglider
    Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  6. #6
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    JP Weigle Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh International, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 1983 Lotus Classique, 2010 VO Rando
    Posts
    2,254
    Mentioned
    137 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had one of those. Make that two: the first frame had a separation at the BB from galvanic corrosion. I noticed it from a clicking noise, took me a couple of months to troubeshoot it. That frame was a warranty replacement. After awhile the second frame had the exact same "crud" around the lug and under the clear coat. I assumed it was galvanic corrosion as well.

    Is it safe? I wouldn't want to find out.

    Too bad, those were very nice riding frames.

  7. #7
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    The Big Tomato
    My Bikes
    old ones
    Posts
    13,523
    Mentioned
    327 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    ...
    ...on the safety front, there was an initial version of those CF bonded Allez Epic bikes that got recalled because of some separation issues. IIRC, the way youi tell is if the lettering on them is in yellow, and they changed lettering and logo colors to distinguish the new ones. I really don't know what they used as the bonding agent, but given the two materials, one presumes some sort of surface bonding epoxy.

    Given the obvious, that this sort of corrosion occurs exactly at that surface interface of the two materials, I think there is reason for concern.

    Honestly, the corrosion might somehow actually contribute to the bond for all I know, but I would not personally take that risk.
    Quote Originally Posted by the Mock Turtle
    You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
    When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    My Bikes
    1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC
    Posts
    10,745
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks like it is galvanic corrosion between the CF material and the Al lugs....
    In the worst case the corrosion can get in between the lug and tube glue bond and displace the glue, causing separation.
    Question is, how far did the corrosion get on your bike, and I'm not sure if there is a way to arrest the progress of the corrosion like one can with steel....
    All you can do at this point is to clean off what you can and watch those frame joints closely between rides for any signs of loosening....
    Stripping the clear coat, cleaning and refinishing the whole frame might help get rid of all visible corrosion, but it's what's happening under the lugs that would be critical to mostly determine how sound the frame is......
    Last edited by Chombi; 01-27-16 at 03:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    Specialized Expedition
    Posts
    246
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting thread. I learn something new here every day. Thanks.

    Galvanic Corrosion in Carbon Fiber Materials

  10. #10
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    JP Weigle Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh International, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 1983 Lotus Classique, 2010 VO Rando
    Posts
    2,254
    Mentioned
    137 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ...
    ...on the safety front, there was an initial version of those CF bonded Allez Epic bikes that got recalled because of some separation issues. IIRC, the way youi tell is if the lettering on them is in yellow, and they changed lettering and logo colors to distinguish the new ones. I really don't know what they used as the bonding agent, but given the two materials, one presumes some sort of surface bonding epoxy.

    Given the obvious, that this sort of corrosion occurs exactly at that surface interface of the two materials, I think there is reason for concern.

    Honestly, the corrosion might somehow actually contribute to the bond for all I know, but I would not personally take that risk.
    Yep, my intial frame had yellow lettering, the replacement had kinda putrid red decals. My understanding is that there was a dielectric barrier between the aluminum and the carbon fiber, but that's just from memory, and from heresay at that.

    This type of corrosion caused a failure at the seat tube/BB interface. I don't have any pictures, as it happened maybe 20 years ago, so I'm pretty sure the corrosion doesn't help with the bond!

    The fact that the second frame started having the same signs as the OP's bike, so I'm not sure how well the fix worked.

  11. #11
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    16,133
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    I really don't know what they used as the bonding agent, but given the two materials, one presumes some sort of surface bonding epoxy.

    Given the obvious, that this sort of corrosion occurs exactly at that surface interface of the two materials, I think there is reason for concern.
    At Trek, we used a fiberglass sleeve to insulate between the aluminum lug and carbon fiber tube. I'm not aware of any failures due to galvanic corrosion on those frames.

  12. #12
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North, Ga.
    My Bikes
    Bernard Hinault Look - 1986 tour winner, Guerciotti, Various Klein's & Panasonic's
    Posts
    1,956
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    At Trek, we used a fiberglass sleeve to insulate between the aluminum lug and carbon fiber tube. I'm not aware of any failures due to galvanic corrosion on those frames.
    Does that mean my Klein Q-pro will last forever?

  13. #13
    Senior Member gugie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    JP Weigle Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh International, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 1983 Lotus Classique, 2010 VO Rando
    Posts
    2,254
    Mentioned
    137 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
    The BB had bonding problems in the early runs of the Epic.
    The answer was a dark coating on the BB instead of the original pearl anodize like all the other lugs - not changing the decal color.
    It was a running change during the first year so there are OK yellow decal Epics, and probably not (m)any pearl BBs left.
    or so I was told

    The best answer is the second generation, painted Epic. Not only is everything sealed, but they also learned enough about the frame to make them quite a bit lighter - they just don't look as cool.

    Interesting back story!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •