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Old 09-26-04, 04:48 PM   #1
barndog
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steel frame question

Hello,

Recently purchased a Trek 820 steel frame and was wondering if could get some experienced opinion on how long this thing might last. Most likely, I'll probably upgrade to an aluminum frame when $ permits but was thinking about keeping this bike as a secondary for friends and relatives who might want to ride with me. Its not a high end steel by any means (just high tensile), but if I keep the paint pretty much on this thing and keep it clean, how long can a person expect it to last? I don't live in a salt air environment and probably won't be exposing it to too much hard elemant riding. Any info is most appreciated. Thx.
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Old 09-26-04, 05:18 PM   #2
dafydd
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in theory forever, in reality the components will wear out long before the frame does. um yeah.
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Old 09-26-04, 07:26 PM   #3
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I have several steel frames 30+ years old, and they're all still fine. And probably will be in another thirty years. I have a pair of 1984 steel framed Treks as well, and they are beasts, extremely well put together bikes. On the other hand, the only aluminum frame I've ever had I rode into the ground. It was newer than any of my steel bikes, too.
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Old 09-26-04, 07:43 PM   #4
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In the Trek Navigator line, all of the bike frames are aluminum, except for the Trek Navigator-50, which is made of steel. It is also the least expensive bike (under $300.00) in the same line.

From what I have heard, aluminum frames tend to fatigue after about 5 years of good use.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:41 AM   #5
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I own a 1981 Peugeot PSV10. The frame is a Super Vitus 980 (Butted CrMo Steel). I've ridden it in the rain many times and always wipe it dry and keep it indoors. It looks almost as new as the day I bought it. The tubular aluminum rims and spokes are also in perfect condition without any rust around the spoke eye-let area.

I have replaced Cables, Brake Pads, Tires, Chains, and Rear Derailleur over the 23 years. I have just disassembled the bottom bracket and greased the bearings. The bottom bracket bearings are still shiney and appear new. It will most likely out live me and be passed on to my children. I think that keeping it maintained, clean and indoors has preserved it as there is no rust anywhere on the bicycle.

Last edited by wildjim; 09-27-04 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-27-04, 09:30 AM   #6
toolbox63
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[QUOTE=wildjim] The tubular alluminum rims and spokes are also in perfect condition without rust.../QUOTE]


I beleive that you are not seeing any rust on your "alluminum rims" is because aluminum does not rust. I have seen it fade or get a yellowish tint from neglect, but I have never seen it rust the way steel does.
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Old 09-27-04, 09:59 AM   #7
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From a materials stand point alone steel will far outlast
aluminum by decades. That said I will NOT buy an aluminum
bike due the harsh ride and lesser frame materials.

Steel will "ring" and flex.....Aluminum will not.

The only reason I see for using aluminum is the never ending
quest for a light weight bikes. From where I stand this is
foolish due the scrafice of frame strength that aluminum
entails.
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Old 09-27-04, 04:07 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=toolbox63]
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjim
The tubular alluminum rims and spokes are also in perfect condition without rust.../QUOTE]


I beleive that you are not seeing any rust on your "alluminum rims" is because aluminum does not rust. I have seen it fade or get a yellowish tint from neglect, but I have never seen it rust the way steel does.
I understand that aluminum does not rust. What I intended to say is that there is no rust as I've noticed some old wheels with rust around the spoke nipple area or maybe the rim eye-lets or spokes. Anyway since 23 years and indoor care there is no rust.
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Old 09-27-04, 06:43 PM   #9
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If cared for and protected from rust..........

-I got a 20 year old MTB that's had a hard life and still works great,

-plus 5 road frames aged between 15 and 45! Each has at least 10000 miles under it's wheels, a couple lots more than that.

Never rode an aluminium frame comfortable enough to want to ride it more than 30-40 miles.....
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Old 09-27-04, 07:16 PM   #10
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Does anybody think there is a noticeable difference in ride smoothness between high tensile and chromoly?
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Old 09-27-04, 07:30 PM   #11
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Somewhat off topic, but I just recently purchased a used Trek 850 Antelope. I'm uncertain of the year. Is there any way I can find out specifics of the materials used to make it? It was donated to a church for a yard sale, so I never got to get any detailed info from the original owner.

Thanks,

Hoshyoto
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Old 09-27-04, 07:42 PM   #12
jeff williams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoshyoto
Somewhat off topic, but I just recently purchased a used Trek 850 Antelope. I'm uncertain of the year. Is there any way I can find out specifics of the materials used to make it? It was donated to a church for a yard sale, so I never got to get any detailed info from the original owner.

Thanks,

Hoshyoto
The one in my basement says ' double butted 830 Chromoly.' strong> heavy.
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