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Old 04-19-05, 02:46 PM   #1
H_Roark
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How long do Aluminum frames last?

I've got a Fisher Wahoo that I love to death. I ride single-track, but avoid any crazy drops. I was just wondering how long people expect aluminum-framed bikes to last.
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Old 04-19-05, 02:54 PM   #2
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Well, Shelf life on an aluminium frame is roughly five years depending on what you do on it, im not sure if different types of alumium have a higher quality and last longer though
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Old 04-19-05, 06:35 PM   #3
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Impossible to say. There are literally thousands of variables that play into the life of a frame.
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Old 04-19-05, 07:58 PM   #4
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I've almost (literally) wore 3 holes in my frame from cable rub. The LBS put on some special tape to help protect the frame in those areas, but I'm just wearing the frame out from riding so much.... I bought it new last April, so it's about 1 yr. old.

I figure it's a good thing to wear stuff out. That way I "have" to buy new stuff (bikes) to replace it....
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Old 04-19-05, 08:46 PM   #5
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What, dont they last way longer because they dont rust? Also when you say "shelf life"
what are you meaning? They should last longer than 10 years and also be stong i would think.
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Old 04-19-05, 08:50 PM   #6
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There has yet to be fail safe building materials. It all depens on how you ride and how you take care of the bike.
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Old 04-19-05, 11:14 PM   #7
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Ridden hard every week - figure 5 years tops. Chances are you'll upgrade by then. It may not fail right at 5 years but the difference in feel is palpable.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_Roark
I've got a Fisher Wahoo that I love to death. I ride single-track, but avoid any crazy drops. I was just wondering how long people expect aluminum-framed bikes to last.
Until you break it or get tired of it and buy another one.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:54 PM   #9
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im gonna agree with 5 years, even for full suspension bikes.. i found this out the hard way when i discovered several cracks in my beloved 2000 fsr enduro frame
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Old 04-21-05, 12:13 AM   #10
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even for full suspension bikes..
Even? Nope better make that ESPECIALLY FS bikes. I say this simply because of the different load characteristics inherent in a FS design.
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Old 04-21-05, 01:28 AM   #11
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Until you break it or get tired of it and buy another one.
Good post!
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Old 04-21-05, 08:32 AM   #12
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I agree with all the posts above. It really depends on how you ride the bike. If you are a weekend warrior and don't ride too hard than 5 + years is reasonable.

If you are a heavier rider like myself, than less. If you jump or ride aggressively, than less. Too many factors.

The best thing to do is to ride it like you stole it, then when you break it, buy another one!

Frames can be found for reasonable prices. I bought a N.O.S. aluminum frame that was sitting in a shop for 4 years, never used for under a hundred dollars.
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Old 04-21-05, 08:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
Even? Nope better make that ESPECIALLY FS bikes. I say this simply because of the different load characteristics inherent in a FS design.
i would think its the other way around, the inherent give in the f/s frame would make it easier on the metal, because the rear shock is doing some of the work. then again, my frame is cracking right on the shock tower
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Old 04-21-05, 08:43 AM   #14
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The best thing to do is to ride it like you stole it, then when you break it, buy another one!

i agree 100%. if you don't have the funds or if you don't have to have the latest design or just don't want to spend the cash this is the best advice.
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Old 04-21-05, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handlebarsfsr
i would think its the other way around, the inherent give in the f/s frame would make it easier on the metal, because the rear shock is doing some of the work. then again, my frame is cracking right on the shock tower
Nope because as you discovered all the forces are being transmitted to points like the shock tower and the pivots where the hardtails forces are distributed a bit more evenly across a larger surface
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Old 04-21-05, 04:30 PM   #16
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Ride it hard...

and when it breaks make a warranty claim...

(this is only made possible if your frame manufacturer has such warranties...)
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Old 04-21-05, 09:23 PM   #17
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im gonna agree with 5 years, even for full suspension bikes.. i found this out the hard way when i discovered several cracks in my beloved 2000 fsr enduro frame
I can't comment on a bike lasting 5 years as I've never had one for more than 4 years. Either I break them or I get tired of them and buy another. Actually, I only tired of my first mtb, a 92 Marin Bear Valley. It was a tank of a bike-and probably still is-and no matter how hard I tried to kill it, I couldn't. All the rest either I broke (Kestrel, Lightspeed) or had warranty issues (Rocky Element TO with a bad pivot). My current bike is 4 years old and this summer will be its fifth, but I've only had it for 3 years. I hope I can get a couple more years out of my Fuel as I really like the way it rides, but by then I'm sure I'll be jonesing for something newer.
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Old 04-22-05, 07:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbasuraj
Ride it hard...

and when it breaks make a warranty claim...

(this is only made possible if your frame manufacturer has such warranties...)
Not to bash you directly. O.k., well I am, but. This is a pet-peeve of mine!

You ride it hard, you break it, take some personal responsibility. Spend the money on a new frame! You broke it, you bought it!

Warranties only cover manufacturer's defects. Breaking a frame by riding it hard should NOT be covered under warranty. Maybe under a warranty upgrade where the manuf. sells you a frame at cost to keep you as a customer.

Too many people illigitimately claim Warranty when it's rider error! This in turn cuts into the manufactuer's profit, so they in turn charge more for their product. If manuf. where more realistic in regards to their claims, they'd keep costs down and we'd all be spending less on frames/bikes/components..etc. However, it's all in the aim to please mentality and customer relations.

I've seen too many JRA stories, and Manuf. reps who'll warranty a broken frame to keep the peace.

I'd rather save $200 on my next bike!
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Old 04-22-05, 08:16 AM   #19
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I think I've mentioned it before, but my HT is, let's see, 10-11 years old now and my FS is goin' on 7. So far, so good and I am trying to break them. Raced the HT a few seasons, too. Haven't ridden it much, but I'm in the process of beating the hell out of my FS. MTB's no good to me if I can't ride it hard. Hopefully, I'll break one soon so I can get a new bike.
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Old 04-22-05, 09:04 AM   #20
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Let me add an analogy.

You buy a new car. You pay for it. You drive it off the lot. You crash it into a light pole. Completely your fault.

Do you go back to the dealership and ask for a new car?????
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Old 04-22-05, 04:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
Not to bash you directly. O.k., well I am, but. This is a pet-peeve of mine!

You ride it hard, you break it, take some personal responsibility. Spend the money on a new frame! You broke it, you bought it!

Warranties only cover manufacturer's defects. Breaking a frame by riding it hard should NOT be covered under warranty. Maybe under a warranty upgrade where the manuf. sells you a frame at cost to keep you as a customer.

Too many people illigitimately claim Warranty when it's rider error! This in turn cuts into the manufactuer's profit, so they in turn charge more for their product. If manuf. where more realistic in regards to their claims, they'd keep costs down and we'd all be spending less on frames/bikes/components..etc. However, it's all in the aim to please mentality and customer relations.

I've seen too many JRA stories, and Manuf. reps who'll warranty a broken frame to keep the peace.

I'd rather save $200 on my next bike!
Preach on brother
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Old 04-22-05, 07:46 PM   #22
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What about companies like Trek and their lifetime replacement policy on their frames? Wouldnt that include it being broken while riding it as long as it was during its intended use?
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Old 04-22-05, 07:53 PM   #23
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Yes, it should be covered. I broke the piston rod on my shock about 3 yrs. ago, and K2 sent me a new shock along with the entire rear triangle. It had bent the seat stays when the shock rod snapped.... I wouldn't deliberately tear something up just to get a new one. Remember, what goes around, comes around.... Be honest. That's what's wrong with the world today....
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Old 04-23-05, 12:34 AM   #24
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What about companies like Trek and their lifetime replacement policy on their frames? Wouldnt that include it being broken while riding it as long as it was during its intended use?
Are you HONESTLY going to keep a DJ bike for your entire lifetime? I think not.

You have to use your head on this it covers MANUFACTURERS DEFECTS not "I cased that 20 ft huck to flat and snapped my frame." That's NOT a defect that's a "You done F'd up"
Take some ownership of the problem. If I break my frame seeing as how it's two years old. I'm not going to demand I get a brand new frame for free.
If it was a legit JRA type of thing the first or second year I'd want a new frame. However if I do something stupid, or if I have the bike long enough to where they change designs (like they did- figure a couple years) I'm going to look to buy a replacement frame at cost, and I wouldn't stay at the same level I'd look at getting set up with a Stumpy frame or (if they're generous) a S-works Stumpy The thing is I would buy the frame at their cost that way I get a smoking deal and they don't lose anything. Win Win situation
Chances are I'll retire the bike in one piece after building up the next, better rig
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Old 04-23-05, 12:48 AM   #25
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6 years and counting for me. Depends what you do with it. Use it everyday it's bound to put stresses on the welds, especially head tube and seat area join. Leave it in a room untouched for 25 years and it should ride as good as the day you got it because I don't think alloy softens with age, not like some steels. So theoritically it should last forever.

- I know some alluminium frames come with lifetime guarantee*if used ONLY for XC.
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