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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Didn't think this belonged in frame sub or not so hope this works.

I experimented with raw aluminum frame on my commuter build (04 trek 4100) then my son liked it so did it in the mt60 I got used for him. Love the look alot. And have a connection for custom vinyl decals which helped lol.

Thing is I have a '12 trek marlin ht 29er I bought new last year (and upgraded everything except seatpost now) so its warrantied. Alpha gold grade aluminum if that matters.

Curious to find out how common frame cracking is under normal xc type riding. Dont jump or do drops for than maybe several inches. Jumps are always log piles I can role over and any drops that are more than small have alt lines. I error on the side of caution cause not flush with funds lol.

Reason being, want to go to polished aluminum on it too. Contacted trek to see if either frame failure will be covered or if a replacement frame could be purchased in the event of a crack that's not $1k+.

But overall, would I have to worry about it??? I am a 260lb rider.



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Aluminum (other than 6061 and similar) will corrode rather quickly if actually raw. Depending on the aluminum, this can lead to cracking very quickly (stress corrosion cracking). You'll definitely void your warranty, and can screw up your frame.

Raw aluminum has to be passivated using something. Typically, some sort of chromate conversion coating or anodizing is used and then painted or dyed.
 

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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Then y do so many do it without an issue as severe as ur saying. I understand some variants may but that reasoning says that any part of a bike that gets scratched, from frame to wheels etc will rapidly fail in that location?

Not being sarcastic just everything I read thus far says otherwise as long as maintained

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Live 2 Ride
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I weigh around 270. I do light XC riding. Never had a frame crack. At one point even rode a friends Kona. It was stripped down to bare aluminum. Never cracked that frame. And after all of these years it has not corroded either.
 

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BM and PQ Trail Rep
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1,938 Posts
Aluminum will corrode rather quickly if actually raw. Depending on the aluminum, this can lead to cracking very quickly (stress corrosion cracking). You'll definitely void your warranty, and can screw up your frame.

Raw aluminum has to be passivated using something. Typically, some sort of chromate conversion coating or anodizing is used and then painted or dyed.
This is a false statement. There are lots of raw aluminum frames that have lasted for years under heavy use and are still going strong. An aluminum frame, treated or not has a finite life expectancy. The quick corrosion is only on the surface and acts as a barrier to further problems. You can defeat the protection and destroy aluminum using chemicals (I forget which but not normally something normal folk have access to) but that is not a realistic problem.

EDIT found this --> Is this aluminum "rust" in my frame? - Bicycles Stack Exchange

If the raw aluminum was a such a liability as stated, then all frames would fail from the inside since they are not treated there. This argument was addressed for a steel bikle in a "Rusted after 10 rides" thread last week.

http://forums.mtbr.com/frame-building/how-should-i-finish-%93raw-aluminum%94-frame-553152.html

Does aluminum oxidize with water? - North Shore Mountain Biking Forums

Bottom line, your safety and your frame's integrity are not a liability due to corrosion of an unfinished aluminum frame.
 

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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Those were some of my reading I was referring too. My thing was just seeing how often frames crack, basically what chances am I going to have a warranty issue with a frame (raw or not).

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BM and PQ Trail Rep
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the failure rate would not be any higher than a painted or sealed frame.

It is kind of a lame answer because aluminum frames will fail at some point. I just can't say when. No need to be Naked and Afraid.
 

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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lol. Well being seems only stuff I see about cracking are ppl that beat their bikes beyond what they are intended for prolonged periods think I can say im safe. Strip it and ride it lol

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~ B A D A S S ~
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0nly 6000 series is really suitable for polished look imo. 2000 series is highly unsuitable. You can clear anodize alu, most apparant raw alu is.
 

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Yes, that's fonetic
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Aluminum will corrode rather quickly if actually raw. Depending on the aluminum, this can lead to cracking very quickly (stress corrosion cracking). You'll definitely void your warranty, and can screw up your frame.

Raw aluminum has to be passivated using something. Typically, some sort of chromate conversion coating or anodizing is used and then painted or dyed.
Except for the part about voiding warranty, this is patently false. Three of my bikes were purchased raw from a high end company and the 8 year old one has no corrosion whatsoever...and I live and ride in a very wet environment.
 

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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just happened to check my email, rep has opened a full support ticket (trek) to investigate the matter and see if I can maintain some warranty or if replacement frames for entry lvl range can be available for purchase. He has never heard of a situation like mine being asked and want to see if something can be worked out till at least I save up for a new/better bike in the next couple seasons (fatty fund is up first for fall/winter)

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RAKC
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had to resurrect this because after couple email exchanges to explain my request and so on. Then reps at Trek doing some digging into full details behind warranty process: Warranty being void is actually wrong. They go into further detail behind warranty request and a frame cracking due to material failure will be covered. BUT there's a catch. No paint (raw/polished) is non issue. However paint color change can be. If improper paint system is used and damages the metal in any way, then failure is not covered.

Final reply from Trek:

"Thanks for rocking out on your Trek and supporting our company as a fellow rider. Our warranty policy deals with three main points: defects in materials, workmanship, or material failure. If you submit your bike for a warranty and we find that the paint was the cause of the issue then, we will not cover it. But, it sounds like you know what you are doing and you are aware of what is warranty and what is non-warranty. With that being said we do not "recommend" changing the surface of the frame. But, if there is a warranty issue and it has nothing to do with the paint we would cover it.
Thanks for your time and enjoy your riding!"

Which actually adds to my happiness. If the frame cracks its covered, polished or color change, all covered against material failure provided surface change does not damage the material. I'll take that!!!

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Except for the part about voiding warranty, this is patently false. Three of my bikes were purchased raw from a high end company and the 8 year old one has no corrosion whatsoever...and I live and ride in a very wet environment.
The surface is passivated during manufacture. I deal with aluminum for a living. It does, can and will crack (alloy dependent). Depending on what you ride in, it may happen quickly or not. Just because the surface looks silver, doesn't mean it is just a bare surface (though 6xxx and 2xxx series alloys could be).

edit: 7075 is most suceptible. oh and frames are sometimes treated on the inside. if you know what your frame is made of, here's a good guid to it: Stress Corrosion Cracking of Aluminum Alloys :: KEY to METALS Articles
 

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Crazed Country Rebel
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6,345 Posts
Didn't think this belonged in frame sub or not so hope this works.

I experimented with raw aluminum frame on my commuter build (04 trek 4100) then my son liked it so did it in the mt60 I got used for him. Love the look alot. And have a connection for custom vinyl decals which helped lol.

Thing is I have a '12 trek marlin ht 29er I bought new last year (and upgraded everything except seatpost now) so its warrantied. Alpha gold grade aluminum if that matters.

Curious to find out how common frame cracking is under normal xc type riding. Dont jump or do drops for than maybe several inches. Jumps are always log piles I can role over and any drops that are more than small have alt lines. I error on the side of caution cause not flush with funds lol.

Reason being, want to go to polished aluminum on it too. Contacted trek to see if either frame failure will be covered or if a replacement frame could be purchased in the event of a crack that's not $1k+.

But overall, would I have to worry about it??? I am a 260lb rider.

Sent from my Nokia Stupidphone using Tapatalk
I've had many naked aluminum frames and never had an issue.

Many companies have produced bare, polished and unpolished aluminum frames - without issue.
 
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