Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

primer on Trek bonded aluminum

Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

primer on Trek bonded aluminum

Old 09-26-14, 04:10 PM
  #1  
mrv 
BIKE RIDE
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 913

Bikes: 198? Specialized RockHopper / 2013 KONA JtS / 1985 Asian Modification / and that's not ALL!

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
primer on Trek bonded aluminum

I ended up with this Trek 1400 ZX frame for free. It's a nice size for me, and now I'm riding it regularly (instead of my awesome 1992 Schwinn Paramount, I set up for my son).

I'd like to know how Trek bonded the aluminum; what did they use to bond it; what kind of life does the bonding have; should I be doing anything to take care of it (besides not sand blasting; using toxic paint stripper; or baking it in a powder coating machine).
- Actually, I hate the color to the point I don't think I'd ever change it. It's kind of this dark copper / brownish / burgundy.

I've not been able to identify how old it is, but I'm thinking 1992. I've pursued the Trek catalogs and have not seen any of the above colors listed.
mrv is offline  
Old 09-27-14, 10:58 AM
  #2  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,407

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1699 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 43 Posts
The Trek bonded aluminum frames used epoxy. Our recommendation for refinishing at the time was bead blasting the old finish to remove it. The original finish was Imron; not sure if that's even available anymore.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 10-03-14, 04:40 AM
  #3  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You can still get Imron in Mexico. I stockpiled a couple gallons of clear when the low-VOC regulations went into effect. Currently, I cannot find any paint that flows as smoothly for as long to give a glass-smooth finish.
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 10-03-14, 06:01 AM
  #4  
mrv 
BIKE RIDE
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 913

Bikes: 198? Specialized RockHopper / 2013 KONA JtS / 1985 Asian Modification / and that's not ALL!

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I'm planning on keeping the original paint. I am going to try to buff out some of the lighter scratches.
I'm not sure how to handle the deeper paint marring. There's a few places where it looks like it spent lots of time bouncing around on a car-carrier - sides of the fork; sides of the seat stays. Since it's aluminum, corrosion is of no concern.

Any advice on care and feeding of the epoxy joints? Watch them for crack / separation like any old bike?
mrv is offline  
Old 10-03-14, 02:30 PM
  #5  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,407

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1699 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by mrv View Post
Any advice on care and feeding of the epoxy joints? Watch them for crack / separation like any old bike?
Just keep solvents away from them. We some issues with the first production run of those frames, where the epoxy in the joints was more flexible than the paint covering the joints. This caused a disconcerting crack in the paint at the joints, but eventually we figured out it was a cosmetic, rather than structural problem. IIRC, a little tweaking with the paint and epoxy formulation took care of the problem.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 10-17-14, 10:59 AM
  #6  
MikeDeM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've got two of these bikes. One has the original aluminum fork. That one has a softer ride, which I prefer. Great bike frames, in my opinion. A Trek rep once said they were their most reliable frames.
MikeDeM is offline  
Old 10-17-14, 03:31 PM
  #7  
mrv 
BIKE RIDE
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 913

Bikes: 198? Specialized RockHopper / 2013 KONA JtS / 1985 Asian Modification / and that's not ALL!

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by MikeDeM View Post
A Trek rep once said they were their most reliable frames.
good to hear! i'm a man of steel, so this is a bit of a stretch for me.
i had a Cannondale touring bike and a Cannondale cyclocross bike for a while. probably i'm going to keep this one long term as my +1 road bike. it's a better ride than the Cannondales, i think. it fits well and it's a unique colour. the Cannondales ended up on dirt roads a lot - maybe not a fair comparison....
i'll ride it until i can build my own stainless steel frame, anyway.
mrv is offline  
Old 03-10-16, 06:09 PM
  #8  
slackard
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MikeDeM View Post
I've got two of these bikes. One has the original aluminum fork. That one has a softer ride, which I prefer. Great bike frames, in my opinion. A Trek rep once said they were their most reliable frames.
Old thread, but fwiw.. I'm still rocking my 97 6500 bonded Trek. I'm a ~200lb rider and pummel my 6500 regularly on advanced XC and more. Ive had about 6 different forks on it over the years, up to 150mm travel. Today, I rock a RS Revalation with 120/150mm travel. Over the years this bike has been jumped, dropped, trials'ed, ditched, crashed and more.

20 yrs after the original date of mfg, my bonded trek still rides pro champ!

The bonded frames are great and have stood the test of time.. Lots of people have voiced concerns over the aging of bonded frames and the epoxy used in them...

Know this:
Aluminum aircraft manufactured as early as the 1950s, with millions of hours of commercial & military operation, are still flying today. Those aircraft made extensive use of aluminum bonding techniques that Trek later adapted for their bonded frames.

Rest easy my friends.
slackard is offline  
Old 03-10-16, 08:34 PM
  #9  
mrv 
BIKE RIDE
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 913

Bikes: 198? Specialized RockHopper / 2013 KONA JtS / 1985 Asian Modification / and that's not ALL!

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I sold my Trek 1400. It's a great bike - rides smooth, comfortable. I just had too many bikes. https://goo.gl/photos/LmLqaGyAhGdLjThi6
I think it went to a good owner. Maybe got $275ish for it. The wheels on it were not in great shape, but I was up front about that.
I've still got my old Schwinn Paramount I like a lot.
mrv is offline  
Old 03-10-16, 11:51 PM
  #10  
slackard
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Oh yeah.. forgot to add a photo of my trek.. Your 1400 looks sweet.. really nice shape.. I'd be sad to see it go :/

Here is my 97 6500, circa 2013... I upgraded the fork since then, but thats it... No welds! Its awesome!


slackard is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vol
Commuting
45
10-22-15 08:13 AM
RUOkie
Road Cycling
25
03-08-10 06:39 PM
Caliente
Advocacy & Safety
49
06-17-07 08:23 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.