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Old 07-07-08, 12:51 PM   #1
Smallguy
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aluminum bars when to replace??

Hi

I was recently talking to a guy after a group ride and he said regardless of any visible damage after 5 years he scraps and aluminum frame because it is just a mater of time until the frame will fail catastrophically

that made me think about bars and how if they were to fail it might be several K of dental work

so is there any rule of thumb for how often you should replace your handle bars ??
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Old 07-07-08, 12:57 PM   #2
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Well, I had a bar that was on one bike or another for about 12 years. Raced on it, rode on it, loaned it to people. I sold it last year [attached to a bike] and there hasn't been a phone call from a coroner. So 12 years sounds safe to me. YMMV...
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Old 07-07-08, 12:58 PM   #3
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I don't know what he's talking about- aluminum lasts forever if it's well made. He just has too much money to throw away.
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Old 07-07-08, 03:05 PM   #4
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I don't know what he's talking about- aluminum lasts forever if it's well made. He just has too much money to throw away.
The idea isn't entirely without merit. Aluminum is subject to metal fatigue, which can produce failure. I am not really sure that you should be so concerned with this that you get rid of a frame after 5 years.
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Old 07-07-08, 03:11 PM   #5
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I don't know what he's talking about- aluminum lasts forever if it's well made. He just has too much money to throw away.
Wrong.

I still wouldn't toss a frame after 5 years but aluminum will fail under normal service loads. The question that is hard to answer is when will it fail.
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Old 07-07-08, 03:21 PM   #6
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so does anyone replace a bar after say 2-3 years even if it looks rock solid or do you trade in your bikes every few years so it doesn't matter?
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Old 07-07-08, 06:29 PM   #7
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so does anyone replace a bar after say 2-3 years even if it looks rock solid or do you trade in your bikes every few years so it doesn't matter?
Last ATB bar I purchased said that "the bar needs to be changed periodically", but did not give a time frame. My aluminum road bar is from 1984... But it gets much less abuse than the ATB one :-) .
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Old 07-07-08, 07:18 PM   #8
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Time was when an AL bar was to be replaced every two years or one good crash; whichever comes first. That was back in the daze of stupid lite. c. 1995-98. Now-a-days I'd say five-six years or one good crash. YMMV.
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Old 07-07-08, 10:47 PM   #9
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I suppose you could say my old Motobecane frame failed 'catastrophically', since the seat mast developed a crack 3/4 of the way around, and the lower of the interrupted seat tube broke just above the weld to the BB. Kept riding the last mile to work.

Carbon is dangerous at failure; unless you're catching air, aluminum isn't. Well, maybe pinballing through a rock garden....
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