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Old 03-29-10, 06:15 PM   #1
ChinookPass
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Aluminum welder to fix frames

This is a longshot, but I'll give it a try. I have two Redline CX frames. Both failed in the same place, where the rear derailleur hanger attaches. It's a poor design because the bolt hole removes most of the structural metal in that location. There is a pic of the failure here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25206767@N06/4467908902/
My question: does anyone know of a welder locally (Seattle area) who can weld this so it is rideable again? My idea is to make these into single speed frames for myself and my son, or just weld the frame and hanger together and try to get a few more years out of them. Otherwise they are off to the dump which is very hard for me to do. They are aluminum but I don't know the particular alloy. I'd probably pay about $50 per frame.

Thanks.
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Old 03-29-10, 09:24 PM   #2
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You could probably take it into any muffler shop and have them do it, probably be in your price range.

FYI: Performance bike has a brand new aluminum frame for $50.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400314
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Old 03-29-10, 11:28 PM   #3
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Have you stopped in at a Raleigh dealer bike shop? If its a common failure and possibly out of warranty, Raleigh should do the right thing and fix it for free. Its worth asking. I had a similar issue from a different bike manufacturer and even when it was out of warranty, they fixed it for free and ever since I've been a loyal customer from that point on.
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Old 03-30-10, 12:49 PM   #4
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^^ I think what jazzyrider meant was REDLINE. Since SBS is Redline, that might not be a bad idea, though. If SBS won't warranty them out for you, then see if Glenn's Welding in Lynnwood (well, Alderwood, really) will weld it. They always have had someone on staff with a steady hand at the heli-arc torch.
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Old 03-30-10, 02:47 PM   #5
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My bad-- Yes I meant Redline.
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Old 03-31-10, 06:31 AM   #6
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Thanks. I'm not the original owner of the frames so I didn't think SBS would warranty them. I'll check out the welder.
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Old 04-02-10, 04:10 PM   #7
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Thanks. I'm not the original owner of the frames so I didn't think SBS would warranty them. I'll check out the welder.
FYI, if the frame is made of 6061-T6, I wouldn't attempt a repair without post heat treating. The welding will anneal the immediate area and result in a 40% loss in tensile strength.
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Old 04-02-10, 04:33 PM   #8
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^^ That's what the wife's oven is for isn't it?
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Old 04-02-10, 10:02 PM   #9
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So the U6 alloy is the same as 6061-T6? If so, thanks for the heads up, I was afraid of that. Oh well, guess they are off to the dump.
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Old 04-03-10, 09:25 PM   #10
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So the U6 alloy is the same as 6061-T6?
I didn't imply that U6 was 6061. I said "if". IMHO, it doesn't matter anyway as both are aluminum and U6 (i'm guessing here) likely suffers from the same (or similar) temper degradation as 6061 does. Bottom line; Your initial assessment that TWO frames suffer from identical failures, should be enough to substantiate a genuine design flaw, and therefor should not be ridden - even after a repair - post heat treated or not. I certainly would NOT put my son on such a frame.

As an option, if can't locate suitable replacements, I have a Trek 930 MTB frame & fork I'd part with, which has True Temper OS Comp II double butted (steel) tubes. This is an early '90's circa, lugged frameset. Sadly, I only have one. I'm in So. ID.
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Old 04-07-10, 12:59 PM   #11
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You people give up too easily.
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Old 04-07-10, 09:39 PM   #12
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As of last night, I've just had my THIRD frame fail on me in a little over a year, the two Redlines, and an '06 Bianchi Cross Concept. I bought the Bianchi very lightly used in January and have a about 1000 miles on it since then. It also failed at the rear dropout although it was the carbon/aluminum bond that failed. I'm not a heavy guy (6'0" 190lbs) and well aware that these were poorly designed or manufactured frames (a mix of bad luck and poor choice by me). It's time for me to move on. I rely on these bikes for transportation. I've been planning to get a Ti frame for awhile but just put it off thinking that a deal on a used AL frame, is worth it. Although I'd planned to get at least half the life I've gotten out of my AL Giant TCR0 (9 summers so far).

I talked with some mechanical engineers and all have the same conclusion, welding the AL frames is just not worth it, especially if I don't have access to heat treatment.

I'm going to give it a try returning the Bianchi to the factory and see if they will warranty it or replace it for a low cost cuz that frame has seen very little use. Thanks for all your replies. I hate throwing stuff away so really I should be riding steel or Ti for durability and repair-ability.
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