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Has anyone modified their carbon/aluminum bonded frames to last long term?

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Has anyone modified their carbon/aluminum bonded frames to last long term?

Old 10-23-18, 05:17 PM
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Has anyone modified their carbon/aluminum bonded frames to last long term?

After a fair amount of searching, there's basically two points of view on the subject,
1. Carbon-aluminum galvanic corrosion will eventually cause them all to fail, or 2. I keep my bike dry therefore the bonds should be acceptable.
Reading a thread last year on a pretty bad crash after a Vitus carbon bonded frame let go that left the rider with a couple operations, I wondered if anyone has tried to improve the frames to last vs. retiring them?
Ideas such as rebonding the frame with modern epoxy and a fiberglass galvanic insulator and/or pinning the joints (which I think the Peugeot race team did)
have come up, but couldn't find any examples of owners doing these.
Also, it's understandable that many would say "why do this, the frames/bikes aren't worth it, make it a wall ornament", but I'm looking for ideas/examples to actually keep the bikes rideable.

Last edited by andrewcd; 10-23-18 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-23-18, 06:53 PM
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i have not done anything to mine, but: I do recommend painting as non invasive and very effective preventative. the bikes that tend to have the corrosion issue are the bare aluminum lugged sort with clearcoated carbon weave. Sure that looks cool, but you see that pretty much everyone went to just painting the whole bike later on, and this pretty much stopped any problems.

my look has painted lugs, with clearcoated carbon. this seems to help as well, but not as good as a full paint job I am sure.
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Old 10-23-18, 06:58 PM
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I just ride the heck out of mine. Including in the rain on Thunder Ridge. Long-term?
I don't know, but I spent some coin on the components.
It's as long term as I'm going to be.

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Old 10-23-18, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jetboy
i have not done anything to mine, but: I do recommend painting as non invasive and very effective preventative. the bikes that tend to have the corrosion issue are the bare aluminum lugged sort with clearcoated carbon weave. Sure that looks cool, but you see that pretty much everyone went to just painting the whole bike later on, and this pretty much stopped any problems.

my look has painted lugs, with clearcoated carbon. this seems to help as well, but not as good as a full paint job I am sure.
True, that would be preferable if we knew the condition of the aluminum lug inside the joint.
But with 25-35 year old (unpainted) frames put through unknown moisture exposure, imho the tubes/bonds have to be separated to start a baseline.
I was actually surprised at the number of people who'd known someone with a separation while going back through google with it, with a few ugly stories of the crashes. (which is bad with my job)
Currently, every shop I've contacted with frame repair experience has declined to try to resolve the issue.

Last edited by andrewcd; 10-23-18 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 10-23-18, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
I just ride the heck out of mine. Including in the rain on Thunder Ridge. Long-term?
I don't know, but I spent some coin on the components.
It's as long term as I'm going to be.

yeah, but the centurion has more than just glue holding it together. look inside - it looks like compression fittings- even has an allen key. also the tube is aluminum wrapped in CF so it should be pretty tough! I am pretty excited to build mine up

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Old 10-23-18, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewcd
I'm looking for ideas/examples to actually keep the bikes rideable.
What frame-set do you own that you are concerned about riding in OEM condition?

-Bandera
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Old 10-23-18, 07:23 PM
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Considering a Peugeot PY10FC but I only want to do it if I can use the bike fully.
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Old 10-23-18, 07:43 PM
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For what it's worth, aluminum/carbon bonding is actually commonplace in modern aviation construction. The problem of corrosion as I have seen in the aviation context is if it was bonded with voids or inclusions of impurity. If the joints were properly cleaned and bonded without voids the epoxy should be able to seal out the air/moisture to prevent corrosion. Obviously there are failures and they can be attributed to such errors which are indeed hard to detect along the process. If I owned a such frame I would inspect the joints heavily. What you can check for externally are slipped areas or clearcoat cracks. Not all clear cracks mean slippage but slippage will always have cracks. What they teach us in school is "There are no spontaneous cracks" short of explosions. They sneak up on you if you don't watch. If you do find such issues early, the good news is it is very fixable to the right shop.
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Old 10-23-18, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
For what it's worth, aluminum/carbon bonding is actually commonplace in modern aviation construction. The problem of corrosion as I have seen in the aviation context is if it was bonded with voids or inclusions of impurity. If the joints were properly cleaned and bonded without voids the epoxy should be able to seal out the air/moisture to prevent corrosion. Obviously there are failures and they can be attributed to such errors which are indeed hard to detect along the process. If I owned a such frame I would inspect the joints heavily. What you can check for externally are slipped areas or clearcoat cracks. Not all clear cracks mean slippage but slippage will always have cracks. What they teach us in school is "There are no spontaneous cracks" short of explosions. They sneak up on you if you don't watch. If you do find such issues early, the good news is it is very fixable to the right shop.
Unfortunately the PY10FC/Carbone 3 Vitus (they are slightly different but I believe used the same TVT construction)
didn't have the joints sealed or clearcoat to inspect and the more common Vitus frame was one of the ones that has surfaced on the search for issues.
Here's one example https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=101656.0
Also, I messaged multiple experienced frame/carbon repair shops today and all declined to take on a rebonding of the frame.

Last edited by andrewcd; 10-23-18 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 10-23-18, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk
Trek went to full paint on their second generation Epic.
1991


1994
Err, Specialized, not Trek
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Old 10-24-18, 12:06 AM
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sure is a good looking bike, but that lug construction does not look well thought out. its not even one piece as there is no external lug at all, just a tiny split ring that probably does very little, if not nothing to hold it together. Its just a carbon tube glued onto a short aluminum tube with nothing holding it but old glue. not to be a hater, but that looks like the worst version of a carbon lugged frame I have seen. Its super pretty but if I were thinking to get a vintage lugged carbon, id look somewhere else.



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Old 10-24-18, 11:08 AM
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I ran my Epic Comp for 15 years until it got stolen, never had an issue with bonding, but it was a fair weather ride only.
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Old 10-24-18, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewcd
Also, I messaged multiple experienced frame/carbon repair shops today and all declined to take on a rebonding of the frame.
Might not that have to do with getting the frame apart enough to be able to do the repairs?
A frame that’s consistently bad at every joint might come apart easily enough, but what do you do with one where either only one is bad or even suspected?
A good bond is still strong, and difficult to take apart w/o damage to the tubing.
If you brought a frame with one joint already failed, or well on its way to failure, I’d have no trouble with doing that particular repair. But I really wouldn’t know what to do with the seemingly solid remaining joints. And doing it as a business there might be liability issues best avoided if another joint than the one worked on failed shortly after releasing the bike back to the customer.

Last edited by dabac; 10-24-18 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 10-24-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac


Might not that have to do with getting the frame apart enough to be able to do the repairs?
A frame that’s consistently bad at every joint might come apart easily enough, but what do you do with one where either only one is bad or even suspected?
A good bond is still strong, and difficult to take apart w/o damage to the tubing.
If you brought a frame with one joint already failed, or well on its way to failure, I’d have no trouble with doing that particular repair. But I really wouldn’t know what to do with the seemingly solid remaining joints. And doing it as a business there might be liability issues best avoided if another joint than the one worked on failed shortly after releasing the bike back to the customer.
AFAIK these use a heat activated epoxy which is released through a reapplication of heat. All joints are rebonded and should be stronger through improvements in epoxy properties.
Two of the shops I contacted used to do these and will no longer do the work and that's repairing all joints ie. all should be restored to baseline. Liability? Association? Complexity? Cost? They didn't say.
Even Vitus in Europe couldn't recommend a shop.
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Old 10-25-18, 07:44 AM
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I have an old ALAN Record Carbonio with a busted chainstay/BB bond as a wallhanger. It was given to me by a friend working in a shop since the bicycle and I have the same name — he said it's a pretty common failure mode for ALANs.
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Old 10-25-18, 10:27 AM
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I think there is a little bit of beating and old bonded tube bike here

The technology has not endured

There are known issues, with some implementations of the technology being better than others (i.e centurion)

Expert epoxy repair shops won't take this one. My guess, experience showing working with bad design/technology does not result in successful or safe repairs.

I personally would ride and inspect but not expect to repair or redo
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Old 10-25-18, 07:01 PM
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How about drill and pin the joint. Bond might fail but tube and lug wouldn't separate right away. You'd have notice of something wrong.

I ride a carbon tube / alloy lug Vitus frequently.
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Old 10-25-18, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
How about drill and pin the joint. Bond might fail but tube and lug wouldn't separate right away. You'd have notice of something wrong.

I ride a carbon tube / alloy lug Vitus frequently.
Was thinking the same thing, I believe Peugeot did it to the race bikes.
The lugs should be mostly in tension and torque about a primary axis, so the stresses from an axial pin should be in the torque axis ie. not promote a failure.
There is one shop that's interested in doing an ultrasound to see how it looks and then potentially disassembling with heat as mentioned earlier.
Would think proper cleaning, prep and bonding along with a pin and then clearcoat should make a long term solution.

Last edited by andrewcd; 10-25-18 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 10-25-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewcd
Was thinking the same thing, I believe Peugeot did it to the race bikes.
The lugs should be mostly in tension and torque about a primary axis, so the stresses from an axial pin should be in the torque axis ie. not promote a failure.
There is one shop that's interested in doing an ultrasound to see how it looks and then potentially disassembling with heat as mentioned earlier.
Would think proper cleaning, prep and bonding along with a pin and then clearcoat should make a long term solution.
Sounds expensive. Personally I'd simply pin and ride. If the joint comes loose then spend the $.
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Old 10-25-18, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
Sounds expensive. Personally I'd simply pin and ride. If the joint comes loose then spend the $.
True, probably will be pricey. Thing is, the moisture exposure/past corrosion/seal will still be an issue even though the tubes shouldn't detach. (but corrosion/loosening will progress)
I'd like to take care of it once and for all, ride the bike as I like in any conditions, rain, hammering hills, downhills etc. etc.
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Old 10-25-18, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewcd
True, probably will be pricey. Thing is, the moisture exposure/past corrosion/seal will still be an issue even though the tubes shouldn't detach. (but corrosion/loosening will progress)
I'd like to take care of it once and for all, ride the bike as I like in any conditions, rain, hammering hills, downhills etc. etc.
You have a PY10FC? That would be a bike worth putting $ into. I think it's the first CF bike ridden in the TdF, surely the first to win stages, piloted by the great Robert Millar.
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Old 10-25-18, 11:53 PM
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Not right now, I'm still on the fence about it.
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Old 10-26-18, 01:52 AM
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I've had a Vitus 979 for many years. If I ride it in the rain, I towel off the frame and then think about when it was I last waxed it. So far so good.

A couple of points reflecting some things mentioned above: Watered-marked 979's — a very few frames Vitus intended for racing team competition — were pinned on the BB. How this might have been done, and at what point in the assembly, I dunno, or have forgotten. The actual bonding was done by an aircraft manufacturer. (My guess, it would have been Sud Aviation.)

I've wondered about TIG welding broken, bonded tube joints and n time found some commentary to the effect — DON'T! But, I cannot remember ever finding out 'why-not'. Maybe someone here has an answer.
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