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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! I've been looking around here for a few days and decided to join tonight to ask a few questions. I've got a 2000 Trek 6000 that I've got a lot of miles and good memories on and I really don't want to get rid of. The trouble is that my house burned last year, and the bike was damaged in the fire. My wife has a 2006 Gary Fisher Tarpon that was also damaged, but not quite as badly as the old 6000. My LBS (which I trust greatly) has checked the bikes over and told me that they are rebuildable. The 6000 is basically shot except for the frame and front and possibly rear derailleurs. The fork is not leaking yet but I was told it was most likely damaged from the heat. The Gary Fisher basically needs shifters (which I think are part of the brake levers), cables, seat, and handgrips. Also probably worthy to note is that these bikes sat in dirty water over the level of the hubs for about a day until the we were able to pump the basement out. I'm not in a hurry to finish this, as our homeowner's insurance bought us a 2011 Trek 6000 and a 2010 Trek Skye S to replace them. I guess my first question is where do I start? I don't have a lot of extra money laying around (even with insurance, a house fire is financially devastating) so I'd like to do it a few parts at a time so that I don't have to downgrade anything. I've been a trained certified auto and diesel technician for 10 years, but I've got very limited bicycle experience. Is this something I'll be able to handle, or are specialized skills and tools required for what I'm going to have to do? I'm also looking for suggestions of equivalent parts for what has to be replaced. I'm guessing the Shimano Deore LX rear derailleur from 2000 is not really equivalent to the 2011 model Deore LX... if there even is a 2011 model? I have not kept up with the changes lately. I fell out of the loop when I got married and had kids, etc. Anyway, any support, suggestions, or helpful information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Obsession? Its a Passion!
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Welcome to MTBR Sabre,
Lots to look at here. Without pictures or a personal look, and not knowing the extent of the heat and damage, I can only give limited advice, so bear with me here...
Your fork has plastic/rubber seals and bushings in it, which are most likely trashed due to the heat. The choice on that is up to you, after feeling it after everything else has been replaced, as it is an expensive part.
As for the other components, decent shifter/brake lever combo's are hard to come by these days, so look at new shifters and brake levers (either separately or as a combo). Also, new tires, tubes, rim strips, and brake pads in addition to what you have mentioned. The derailleurs have plastic pieces (the mechanism on the front, the mechanism and pulleys on the back) that may have been warped/weakened during the fire. Also, the LX from '10 has been replaced with SLX for 2011 (maybe why finding parts is difficult).
The water has definitely gotten into your hub bearings, in addition to possibly the headset. These will need to be overhauled as well. The hidden water may also have rusted parts such as spokes, spoke nipples, etc. These will have to be looked over extensively to prevent breakage on a ride.
This is a bit of info to get you thinking, and as much as I can give with the information given. It depends on how much you are willing to spend on these bikes.
Anyways, good luck with it all!
 

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What plan do you have for these bikes? If it's more than just tooling along bike paths I'm not sure I'd take the risk if they were truly "in the fire". Heat treating of Alu is an important thing and if the frame experiences heat above 400F after (most common number I've heard while researchign powder coating frames) it will damage the heat treating and weaken the frame.

If the temp didn't get that hot or over, then build them back slowly as funds allow. You might also consider getting the frames refinished by a trusted business accustomed to dealing with bikes if the finishes are damaged. As I said, if you happen to want to have them powder coated, the curring temp must be under 400F for most alu frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, JRA and Lynx, and thanks for the welcome! I was wondering about whether the aluminum frames could be trusted anymore. The GF doesn't appear to have any paint damage other than soot and smoke. The Trek has minor discoloration of the paint in some spots. Overall, they don't look bad until you look closely, but the hidden damage that you guys are talking about is what I'm worried about. I just noticed how rusty the chain and cassette are, and I've always kept them lubed. I believe the derailleurs were underwater. I didn't even think about the headset taking on water from the high volume/high pressure firehoses. Our plan is just light bike path usage for these two. As far as the temps, I don't have any idea how hot they actually got. Would the paint have survived 400 degrees? I don't believe these bikes were directly in the fire, but some items very close to them did burn completely. There were three cheap bikes a few feet from these two that all burnt to a crisp. I'm not sure what the melting points of the various rubbers and plastics on the bikes are, but most of it has melted or distorted. Well, I have some crappy pics, I'll let them speak for themselves. I'll try to get better pictures of anything else you guys need to see, just let me know.





 

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Aluminium is heat treated (age hardened) at temperatures from 250 F to 350 F. It takes say at least a half an hour or so to affect the metal at those temperatures...

The aluminium frame now likely over hardened, that means that the aluminium was already near or at maximum strength, and now has been needlessly hardened.

In the end the frame will likely be more prone to cracking than it was before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your input, Jeffscott. So, is the general consensus that maybe it's not a good idea to rebuild these bikes? I don't need the bikes, it's just that I have put a lot of miles on the 6000 next to a couple of family members who have since passed away, and I'm a sentimental guy. Does anyone know the heat tolerance of the paint? Maybe that would tell us whether or not they hit a dangerous temperature. Or maybe I'm just grasping for straws...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I take it that since the 6000 has some discoloration, it was probably at or above that temperature. The paint on the GF looks dull now, but it's hard to tell if there is any discoloration because of the dark paint. I thought the dullness was a result of the bike being covered with that sticky soot, but I'll wipe it down and see if it gets its shine back. The 6000's paint is still glossy, just discolored in a few spots. Some of the white has turned yellow, and the gray has darkened slightly in places.
 

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Looking at the pics of the bikes, I see no reason not to build them up as bike path bikes. As said if they were subjected to greater than 400F heat in the fire it would make the alu more brittle and prone to cracking, but since bike paths are generally smooth the frames wouldn't be taking the normal abuse they were designed for. Up to you, the other alternative since they are sentimental is to quite simple either hang them as is on the wall, or strip them down and hang the frames only - I have 2 frames hanging on my wall :D
 

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Take this opportunity to learn how to repair a bike yourself. After all, what's the worse that can happen? To save cost, now might be a good time to go single speed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's kind of what I'm thinking, use these to learn on and in the end have a bike for gentle bike path use. Maybe I'll strip them down and hang them on the wall until I get enough time and money to rebuild them.

I'm open to trying new things... What is the purpose/advantage of a single speed?
 

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From the pictures, it doesnt look like the bikes were exposed to very high heat.
I don't know where the fire was in your house but from the bikes, it looks like you came out of it alot better than you could have.
 

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Shock boots does not melt below 120C. Hence the temp has been above that.

I would not trust an aluminum frame that has been heated above 120C.

Having said that, the easy way to tell if the frame is ok, is to find an identical frame, and for instance pull the rear dropouts sideways, with a fish scale. That way you can measure if the frame is still at the same rigidity as it was, by comparing the results.

Magura :)
 

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I don't think you would have any trouble working on them, but I would trash 'em. I've been through a fire as well and you learn to let go of old things, after all they are just things.
 

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the frame is probably fine- however i would just trash them- if there is something wrong its just not worth the risk- esp when you have new bikes to enjoy ;)
 
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