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Can Aluminum get "Brittle"

1462 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DaddyB
Great Site!! Thanks!! I have a 1993 GT RTS-1. I rode the bike hard for a couple of years when I bought it and on and off since 2000. Now, I have hooked my 6.5 yr old on riding. Got him a Kona Shred 2-0 20" wheel, disc, etc. I am riding regularly again. Can I trust my 16 yr old frame??? No visible cracks or damage. I am 240lbs. Agressive rider. I really like the ride characteristics of the GT: Rocker tuned Suspension somewhat locks out for climbing. Plus, rr triangle is cro-mo for my crooked landings. I am weary since my goomba in Maui cracked his V-10 and munched his elbow recently. Any advice?
I think I know what I have to do. But would appreciate help!!
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Aluminum has a fatigue life , so in a word yes it can get brittle .
The RTS design is still really cool! I appreciate the engineering history of GT and you are fortunate to have kept yours.

Regarding your question, it doesn't seem your bike could have experienced enough stress cycles to become brittle from fatigue unless you were riding it thousands of miles off road each year or putting it through extreme stress such as big air or fast, bumpy downhill. If it has been stored in the dry, no chance for aluminum to have any serious issues with electrolysis or other reactive issues. Aluminum won't loose integrity just sitting on a shelf.

However, you have a significant piece of GT history and if it were me (and funds allowed it), I would likely retire that bike to some extent, taking it out on occasions to impress those in the GT and old school mountain biking "know" and buy a newer bike for regular riding.

It is a blast getting the kids out on bikes and into this really great sport! Have fun.
Malibu412 said:
Aluminum won't loose integrity just sitting on a shelf.
Well...except for corrosion. Give the frame a good looking over; look for cracks at the toe of welds or blistering paint (corrosion).
Hey thanks alot for the advice and Merry Christmas

I probably should retire it. I actually purchased ($225) a second RTS-1 on ebay a couple of years ago. It is definitely lightly used. Plan is to have a back-up for parts. I just love the feel and performance of this bike. I feel better about using it now. Maybe I'll switch to a full face helmet just in case. Ha! I do have a hard time retiring my stuff. I actually still have my 1982 Skyway BMX and ride it with my kids. I cant deny the ultra coolness of todays MTB's. Where's that left over ham!!
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