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Bonded Frames

Old 01-17-24, 12:10 PM
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Built a 60 cm Allez Epic for a friend who didn't ride road too much. I was surprised at seeing him ride it as a cross bike. More surprising was that it was holding together. Owned Alan, Specialized and, presently, a Miyata Titanium. None of them have separated but it is always in the back of my mind...thanks to these threads. I'm a 250 pounder so I'm sure I'm pressing the frame limits.
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Old 01-17-24, 01:18 PM
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Couldn't say if they're selling but recent ebay listings of various vintage carbon tubed bonded ally lugged bikes and frames seem to have a comeback and stronger prices vs a decade ago.

Less around, a renewed interest for collectors?
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Old 01-17-24, 01:59 PM
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Here’s my 1989 Vitus 979 (all Mavic). These were introduced in 1979 and raced extensively in the 1980s by Sean Kelly, including at Paris Roubaix. They’re no slouch.


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Old 01-17-24, 02:58 PM
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I've come across hundreds of bonded Treks, never found one that was separating. Seen dozens of Raleigh Techniums, two or three had lugs starting to separate. Only seen a few Vitus 979s, one had a cracked lug. Given enough time, I'd expect that even the bonded Treks will start to fail, but we aren't there yet.
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Old 01-17-24, 03:13 PM
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I had a bonded frame mountain bike a few years ago. I don't remember what brand it was but it was one of the decent Japanese made ones I am a big guy and I had no concerns about it structurely it was just as stiff/ harsh riding as any other aluminum frame bike I have rode. I wanted to like it,but aluminum bikes just don't feel right to me
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Old 01-17-24, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chain_whipped
Couldn't say if they're selling but recent ebay listings of various vintage carbon tubed bonded ally lugged bikes and frames seem to have a comeback and stronger prices vs a decade ago.
Less around, a renewed interest for collectors?
true it seems. There have been a few around here that get a lot of attention and sell quick.
The Treks that come in the coop get turned around and sell fast. All within 2 weeks. We're getting $350+/-
There is also a sweet centurian on the marketplace right now for 5 bills. It's a looker....
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Old 01-17-24, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by velomateo
Glad to hear so many have had good luck with their bonded frames, but I would recommend caution when buying/riding these frames. I purchased an old Vitus Carbon fiber bonded frame some time ago. I purchased it for the groupset really, but while checking the frame once I removed all the components, I was amazed to find I was able to pull the frame apart with my bare hands with not much force at all. Not saying they will all fail, but that glue from the 90's isn't going to last forever, especially if your bike lives in a harsh climate.
Check out this video from youtuber Bike-it.
https://youtu.be/2k6OsRGAADo?si=0JoGpmTMlrXg-fO6

That's the video I mentioned.
I'm pretty sure the failure was due to the heat applied to the frame during the paint job. No matter which glue is used, aerospace quality or not, heat will cause it to fail.
Not talking ambient, but excessive or extended.
No matter what, it's prudent to think about these things.

Last edited by macstuff; 01-17-24 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 01-17-24, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrowana
I've come across hundreds of bonded Treks, never found one that was separating. Seen dozens of Raleigh Techniums, two or three had lugs starting to separate. Only seen a few Vitus 979s, one had a cracked lug. Given enough time, I'd expect that even the bonded Treks will start to fail, but we aren't there yet.
People occasionally say they see evidence of Technium tubes separating from the lugs. In the examples I've seen, when they've posted pictures, it has always turned out that all that had happened was that the cosmetic rings Raleigh used to conceal the lug-to-tube seam had come loose, with the lug/tube bond still intact.
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Old 01-17-24, 05:01 PM
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Got this 1984 Vitus from the original owner:


But it's badged as a Fraysse (Paris Sport) the importer


These empty roads aren't around Austin any more...
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Old 01-17-24, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
...I've read somewhere here on BF that this 1988 Ironman "Carbon" is actually carbon-fiber-clad aluminum. It certainly appears so, peering down the seat tube:

Makes me wonder if some of its contemporaries (Allez Epic, etc), aren't actually constructed the same way.

I recall reading at least one thread referencing the bonds on one of these frames coming loose, rendering it a wall queen. I wondered about mine the first couple times I rode it, but I'm quite certain now that it's just the squirrely nature of the frame material that I'm feeling in the handling, not any reflection on the bonds. It was an impulse buy/build, completed with parts-bin parts, so I'm just going to ride it until... I can't.
The Epic and (similarly Giant-built) Cadex frames had no metal core tube, but the Epic lugs did actually bond to both the inside and the outside of the carbon tubes, allowing shorter lug sockets.

And while the Epic (as tested on Bicycling's Tarantula apparatus) was one of the stiffer frames that they had tested, the Centurion Carbon was the flexiest!

My own Ironman Carbon had it's aluminum fork replaced with a Look carbon fork by it's previous owner, I don't feel any excess flex out of it since I weigh only 145lb at the moment, but it does soften the ride on chip seal while using 23mm tires.
Sadly, I did pass the lovely Helium wheels on to a new owner, but I did recoup almost the entire cost of the bike with that move, so...


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Old 01-18-24, 08:54 AM
  #36  
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I have an early Technium 440 I picked up at ReStore for $70.

It still had the original tires on it and a sofa for a saddle. I hate stem shifters, so I went with bar-ends. I also just wrapped over the foam crap on the bars because it wasn't coming off without a fight. Anyway, it rides similar to my Miyata 710 and 600GT and I've seen no indication of separation at the lugs.

I did have a Miyata CarbonTech 3000. I got the frame for a song because it was built without shift lugs or cable guides. A friend who did CF layups patched it up where the holes were. I built a 18 lb fixed gear and rode the piss out of it. A guy came by with an open wallet and went home with it.
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Old 01-18-24, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
Here’s my 1989 Vitus 979 (all Mavic). These were introduced in 1979 and raced extensively in the 1980s by Sean Kelly, including at Paris Roubaix. They’re no slouch.


Here's mine - absolutely love the ride of this bike. But, I admit I don't ride it as aggressively as I do my steel rides.


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Old 01-18-24, 10:29 AM
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SR Sakea Litage - AL into AL '89 I think





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Old 01-18-24, 11:05 AM
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Intersting video and test ride of a bonded frame. Bikeit uk
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Old 01-18-24, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb
https://youtu.be/2k6OsRGAADo?si=M2zX0TBJL2kxfPrK
Intersting video and test ride of a bonded frame. Bikeit uk
This vid is mentioned in the thread and linked already.
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Old 01-18-24, 09:24 PM
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Seems to me that the advantage of bonded frames is simplification of assembly.
It let Trek continue manufacture in the USA until 1998 I think.
And they worked well! The 1xxx series wasn't light, but it rode like a steel bike.
The 2xxx series make great distance bikes.


1996 Trek 2100


1998 Trek 2300
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Old 01-18-24, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
People occasionally say they see evidence of Technium tubes separating from the lugs. In the examples I've seen, when they've posted pictures, it has always turned out that all that had happened was that the cosmetic rings Raleigh used to conceal the lug-to-tube seam had come loose, with the lug/tube bond still intact.
Good to know, will take a closer look next time I see one that looks suspicious.
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Old 01-19-24, 07:42 AM
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Yes! BOTH the 753 Techniums I've had showed paint failure and oxidation around the rings.
Not a good thing, but didn't seem to effect the joint.
The rings are ugly enough anyway.

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Old 01-19-24, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk
Yes! BOTH the 753 Techniums I've had showed paint failure and oxidation around the rings.
Not a good thing, but didn't seem to effect the joint.
The rings are ugly enough anyway.
That's the galvanic reaction of the small-surface-area steel ring being electrically overcome by the much greater surface area of the aluminum lug.
Keeping the frame clean and dry is the only way to prevent it, since even galvanizing the steel ring would not prevent it's surface from oxidizing (what galvanizing is supposed to do, act like a "sacrificial anode").
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Old 01-19-24, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk

These empty roads aren't around Austin any more...
No, they sure are not. The growth outside Austin has been insane. How old is that photo? I live in San Antonio and thankfully just a 30 minute ride from my house I am on roads that still look like your photo. I stopped meeting friends up in your neck of the woods and now they drive down my way and meet me closer to SA’s northwestern country when I am in town.
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Old 01-21-24, 09:15 AM
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I will add I had a bonded seatpost fail. Not particularly dangerous at the time but it could have been. It failed slow. Thompson masterpiece I think.
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Old 01-22-24, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by blamester
I will add I had a bonded seatpost fail. Not particularly dangerous at the time but it could have been. It failed slow. Thompson masterpiece I think.
Every Thompson post that I've seen was of one-piece construction, no welds, bonds or press fits.

Even their titanium post is I believe of one piece.

I've seen a good number of bonded (two-piece) posts either crack at the joint or have the joint's bonding fail, or both.
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Old 01-22-24, 10:07 AM
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I never cared for the first generation Technium frames, but appreciate the second generation frames with aluminum lugs and 531, 753, carbon and titanium tubes!
Kent was really trying to show what the process could do.


1993 Raleigh USA MT500 Front half of the frame is 7005 double butted aluminum with only two bonding points to a Tange Prestige steel rear triangle.


1993 Raleigh USA Technium RT600 Competition - 531 mains and fork. Please forgive ugly bars and stem


Too small! 1990's Raleigh USA Team Technium - 753 mains and SR Litage fork. Drove too far for what was supposed to be a 58cm frame to pass it up.


As purchased two weeks ago 1990's Raleigh USA Team Technium -753 mains and fork (fork brazed by Raleigh in England). It will clean up and be ride-able, but missing FD bracket,
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Old 01-22-24, 10:56 AM
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After dealing with all the stuck seatpost I can see where steel to an aluminum lug would be a good idea.
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Old 01-22-24, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk
Got this 1984 Vitus from the original owner:


But it's badged as a Fraysse (Paris Sport) the importer


These empty roads aren't around Austin any more...

Mine an 86 I think. Shimano Tri-color and 600. I'm 265 lbs while I rode it and it never came apart. Mostly wall art these days.

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