Friday, September 10, 2010

Crazy busy this month

I'm pretty slammed this month and have not been able to photograph many of the frames going out to various points across the country. Broken team bikes, new team bikes, new anything bikes......I could be here 24-7 and still not keep up. At least now the broken team bikes are all fixed and bound for the heat treater .( Note the red one in the photo with a new front triangle..) To answer the obvious questions, # 1. Yes, aluminum and sandium frames can be repaired and re-heat treated for more seasons of abuse.# 2, yes, team bikes can and do break after many races and pounding rides. # 3, How long does the typical scandium 'cross frame last ? That's up to you....ride it like a BMX bike and you'll be lucky to get two seasons out of it. Ride it like and old man ( Me.......26th in the Nationals.....not bad, actually-just not noteable) and you'll be on season 6 on your frame with a big smile. #4 How do they fail ? Typical failures : Cracked chainstay , fatigue cracks near welds in the front end. These frames don't break in half catastrophically unless you don't pay attention to weird noises , and or front-end riding characteristics. The frame will warn you when it is ailing. Essentially, race bikes are just that-made to go fast, not made to wind up being handed down to your grandchildren. ....Yeah, I'm pretty burnt out from the repairs but happy that the bikes will be back out on the circuit getting the same beating as always.

1 comment:

Peter W. Polack said...

I think it's great you can "recycle" damaged frames; I imagine it gives you invaluable insight into failures, repair methods, and possible improvements. And, it's a cost effective way to sponsor riders and get advertising.

Regarding aluminum frames: can you hold the same tolerances as with steel frames? I read on a forum recently of a rider who purchased a new frame at a hefty discount from an unknown builder. The poster complained the dropout spacing was "millimeters" too narrow. I just wondered whether this is a result of the heat treating process or construction.