Aluminium Frames Are Rubbish
Earlier this summer, Tom reported that he’d managed to break the frame of his touring / commuting bike while on a ride from Scotchland down to Hexham. It was a clean break of the down tube, just below the weld connecting it to the head tube. Being a resourceful lad, he jury-rigged a repair using insulating tape & string, which was good enough to get him to the night’s stop, where he picked up a replacement bike:
Later, David had a similar problem - an aluminium tube snapping clean in two:
After riding Sunday’s Durham Beast (3h:21m, including taking a wrong turn and adding ~3.5 miles onto the route - quite pleased with that!), I was checking my road bike over, when I found a pair of cracks running from either side of the back end of the top tube, and around the seat tube. They’re too faint to photograph at the moment, but follow lines something like this photo from elsewhere on the internets:
People will try and tell you that this sort of thing can be welded. It can’t - aluminium needs heat treatment and all sorts of other TCL if it’s welded. Sure - non-structural lumps of aluminium can be welded & the evidence of repairs polished out, but thin-walled tubing that you need to really, really trust downhill at 40mph, with a car behind whose driver is thinking about overtaking?
No. No, thank you.
Someone should probably tell Jaguar Landrover about this before they make an expensive mistake.