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Thread: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Aluminum has always had a reputation for being very stiff and usually harsh riding as a bike frame.

    What is your reasoning of experimenting with aluminum vs say Ti?

    Do you feel aluminum can offer the same level of ride/performance to a steel or Ti bike?

    Just curious what the benefit of an aluminum bike these days would be over other materials.

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    When I saw the other Zank aluminium thread I thought it was the perfect time for me to insert my knowledge of building alloy frames for quite a few years but it looks like this is the one. Flatout at the shop today selling christmas bikes (different time zone) but will chime in as I have a spare block of time.
    Bill
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Spinelli View Post
    why are there not more polished aluminum frames on the market? in my opinion, that is a very nice look.

    thank you,
    justin
    I still have a mid 90's polished c-dale mtb. Polished looks nice in the catalog and showroom, but unless you are religious about maintaining the polish, that goes away pretty quickly. Lots of little surface scratches and bare metal does not play well with sweat.
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Cool. It would have been fun seeing that shop at its peak.
    I was lucky enough to get a tour in 2005/06. There are probably many here who have had more access than I did, but I could describe the experience if you think its germane to the thread.
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Strength and stiffness.
    Not true! Heat treatment has almost no effect on stiffness.

    In fact, for practical purposes you can assume that all aluminums have the same stiffness (or modulus). The same goes for all steels.

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    I see some Al frames with riveted cable stops and others with welded-on clusters of cable stops. Yet others look like they have been brazed on. Can the cable stops be brazed on with Al?
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    I don't think aluminum bikes ride any more harsh than any other material. I think it is the overall design that contributes to the ride quality. On the 6061 vs. 7005 debate I can't comment on ride differences, but manufacturing is way different. 6061 is intended to be heat treated at 900 degrees F (or there abouts) and then quickly quenched in a liquid coolant bath to bring it down. Big operation that is not appropriate for a small custom builder. 7005 only needs a few hours in a large oven to artificially age the material. I have a small industrial oven in the garage I use for this. I'm also mixing materials using 7005 in the front and scandium for the rear. I use the 5356 up front but a special rod supplied by Dedacciai for the rear joints. Scandium is not to be sanded smooth or used in a multi-pass method.

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Sure, but that's not what the bike guys were doing.
    with exception of the early '00 giant TCR's. still by far the finest aluminum welding the bike industry has ever seen.
    Nick Crumpton
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    "Tradition is a guide, not a jailer" —Justin Robinson

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpton

    with exception of the early '00 giant TCR's. still by far the finest aluminum welding the bike industry has ever seen.
    What about the smooth welding technique used now by Kinesis? I've only seen pictures but it looks amazing.
    Tödd Höllând

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    What about the smooth welding technique used now by Kinesis? I've only seen pictures but it looks amazing.
    i only know of the fat bead private labeled kinesis bikes. not a great track record from my shop days. haven't seen the current stuff.
    Nick Crumpton
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    "Tradition is a guide, not a jailer" —Justin Robinson

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by houston View Post
    I see some Al frames with riveted cable stops and others with welded-on clusters of cable stops. Yet others look like they have been brazed on. Can the cable stops be brazed on with Al?
    We braze aluminum. We're prototyping right now for a fully brazed aluminum frame. I'M leaving that to dicky though.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    We braze aluminum. We're prototyping right now for a fully brazed aluminum frame. I'M leaving that to dicky though.
    that was gonna be my next topic. brazed aluminum. they have been brazing aluminum pressure vassals for years. folks always said cant be done in the bike world. my money says it can be done. as well as mig. i look forward to seeing what dicky comes up with. there is some trick brazing materials out there these days.
    Nick Crumpton
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    "Tradition is a guide, not a jailer" —Justin Robinson

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    I was lucky enough to get a tour in 2005/06. There are probably many here who have had more access than I did, but I could describe the experience if you think its germane to the thread.
    Cannondale production video:
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    And it's really fucking hard to brazen aluminum.

    The guys who weld my bikes have decades of experience doing this shit. It's messy, difficult and smells terrible. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy or cheap at least in a small batch/one off environment. We do alloy bikes because it's the best material for the job.
    Last edited by Too Tall; 12-14-2012 at 07:45 AM.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

    www.summercycles.com

    www.gaulzetti.co

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by crumpton View Post
    that was gonna be my next topic. brazed aluminum. they have been brazing aluminum pressure vassals for years. folks always said cant be done in the bike world. my money says it can be done. as well as mig. i look forward to seeing what dicky comes up with. there is some trick brazing materials out there these days.
    I meant ricky- we're gonna do it. On paper it looks really compelling.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

    www.summercycles.com

    www.gaulzetti.co

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    I have read a bunch of these type threads and the prevailing opinion is that the method of joinery isn't really that big of a deal compared to other factors. Why pursue a difficult and more expensive method? What is the advantage?
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    And it's really fucking hard to brazen aluminum.

    The guys who weld my bikes have decades of experience doing this shit. It's messy, difficult and smells terrible. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy or cheap at least in a small batch/one off environment. We do alloy bikes because it's the best material for the job.
    I just love aluminum. There's something about it...

    The color, the lightness, the sound when you ping it. Just everything about it.

    It's relatively inexpensive, easy to source, easy to work with.

    It looks great when hit with Scotchbrite, it doesn't corrode in the classic sense, and the idea of it being made into a frame, coupled with other aluminum components to make a practically all-aluminum bike just seems really neat and cohesive to me!

    A truly great material.

    Jim
    Last edited by Too Tall; 12-14-2012 at 07:46 AM.
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    I meant ricky- we're gonna do it. On paper it looks really compelling.
    Why? No heat treatment needed post brazing?
    Less warping?
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    I love this place. In all the random searches and crap on the internet on aluminum. In a couple posts on VSalon, I have learned more than anywhere else. Thanks Zanc and others.
     

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    Default Re: The definitive no marketing BS thread about aluminum

    I had an engineer that I worked with a long time ago explain some notable differences between 6000 series and 7000 series and also how the temper (referring to the "T" designation) applied to any series affects hardness as well as "strength". I seem to remember that 2000 series (like 2014 T6) was stronger than some of the more commonly used 6061 or 7075. Strength is not the same as stiffness. I would like to know more about this if anybody can chime in, especially as it refers to bending tubes and welding them.

    Something else... I've built 3 steel frames, measured twice and cut once and achieved accuracy. I was told by an aluminum builder once that aluminum frames shrunk (the tubes got shorter) during the welding process. I find this hard to believe and have never heard it anywhere else. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Great thread, thanks!
     

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