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  1. #1
    post-ride specialist
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    anyone near Denver weld aluminum?

    I've got a frame with a wee bit of a crack.

  2. #2
    Dr. Porkenheimer
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    No good

    Welding reduces the strength of aluminum, so all al bike frames are baked after welding to re-strengthen the al near the welds. This means if you re-weld a crack, that area will again be weakened, requiring additional heat treatment. The net result is that al frames are non-repairable. Steel and ti are repairable, although steel obviously needs to be repainted afterwards.

    If you do a search on this topic you will see other posts confirming this fact. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  3. #3
    I can't ride 45!
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    which frame?

  4. #4
    Gaa-zee-raaaa!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykhed
    Welding reduces the strength of aluminum, so all al bike frames are baked after welding to re-strengthen the al near the welds. This means if you re-weld a crack, that area will again be weakened, requiring additional heat treatment. The net result is that al frames are non-repairable. Steel and ti are repairable, although steel obviously needs to be repainted afterwards.

    If you do a search on this topic you will see other posts confirming this fact. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
    I thought this was the case also, but I just got a frame back from Foes that was repaired / re-heat treated.

    I think that maybe it is a matter of finding the right builder / how much you are willing to pay. DWF could probably give you better info on this topic.
    Now with more vitriol!

  5. #5
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykhed
    Welding reduces the strength of aluminum, so all al bike frames are baked after welding to re-strengthen the al near the welds. This means if you re-weld a crack, that area will again be weakened, requiring additional heat treatment. The net result is that al frames are non-repairable. Steel and ti are repairable, although steel obviously needs to be repainted afterwards.

    If you do a search on this topic you will see other posts confirming this fact. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, loooking for a bandaid solution to get a few more weeks of riding while a proper solution can be demo-ed, lusted for, spec-ed, ordered, shipped and built. Down time suxxors.

    I know there are folks out there that can work some magic with Al, I'm just hoping to find one locally.

  6. #6
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    Yeah, yeah, I know, loooking for a bandaid solution to get a few more weeks of riding while a proper solution can be demo-ed, lusted for, spec-ed, ordered, shipped and built. Down time suxxors.

    I know there are folks out there that can work some magic with Al, I'm just hoping to find one locally.

    The Ventana? They going to do anything for you?
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  7. #7
    post-ride specialist
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    No no, it's not the Ventana. It's a friends bike with a cracked weld, and we're heading off Thursday to GJ/FU/MB.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Icegeek.

    If your frame is 6000 series aluminum, it should really be heat treated after welding. That being said, if it's just a small area that has to be welded it probably would be ok for a while. The real problem with 6000 series is it tends to get soft when welded. Heat treating brings the hardness back.

    If it is 7000 series aluminum, it can most likely be re-welded without heat treating. Technically all aluminum should be re-treated after welding to reach full strength, but 7000 series still retains most of its strength without treating. I forget the exact percentage, but it's pretty high. Something like the 90 percentile.

    I had a 2001 Nicolai Lambda, that got a huge dent by the BB in 2003. I had a large (like 2" x 3.5") gussett welded over the dent and raced it for a full season, then sold it and that guy is still racing it to this day. That frame was 7005 series aluminum.

    I also had aluminum pipe racks welded for my service truck out of 1" square, solid 7005 series stock , no heat treating. They are now 5 years old and are still going strong and I have had massive amounts of weight on them.

    If your not sure what series aluminum your frame is made of, check the manufacturers website, they often list what kind of aluminum they use. Also, it is normally stamped somewhere on the bike tubing, usually the downtube, but it can sometimes be hard to see after powdercoating. And there is often a sticker on the seattube listing the series.

    Sorry, I can't recommend a local welder. The guy I used is back in California. I would just look in the yellow pages, under welding and try to find a guy who's specialty is aluminum. It's actually becoming a pretty common type of welding. If he seems to no what he's talking about, get his opinion on whether or not he thinks it needs to be re-treated. If it's just a small repair, I'll bet he says don't worry about it, just check it for cracking on a regular basis.

    Hope this helps.

    Rick

  9. #9
    Time to go farther
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    Doh I had a post typed but I lost it...

    Anyway i've got a 400amp tig and know how to use it on aluminum. No promises but I'm willing to take a shot at it for a fellow biker in a jam. I mostly weld aluminum race car stuff (.065" thick) but I've done thinner. Anyway I'm in Westminster. Post a picture here too if you've got one or email/PM me.
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  10. #10
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    Doh I had a post typed but I lost it...

    Hey Piway, Here's the crack...



    Its the top - seat tube junction. A catch will be that the seat tube will likely need to be reamed after welding. Anyone have thoughts on how to get that done?

    (RickD, re-read my second post in this thread. The alternative will be riding with a cracked frame.)

  11. #11
    Flowtronic engineer
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    [QUOTE=Godzilla]I thought this was the case also, but I just got a frame back from Foes that was repaired / re-heat treated.
    [QUOTE]

    Foes did that for me 2 years ago, charged me 90 bucks to repair and paint, then I found cracks in a weld right next to the one they repaired a few months later. I'm not much of a Foes fan after that (and the "warranty" crap that occured before that.)
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