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  1. #26
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    Heh, it's just a name they earned in the '90s. I've never owned one, so I can't comment.

    Back to the original post - I do think that carbon will always be seen as "better" than aluminum by the majority of people, at least in the mass-produced road bike world. It very well may be better than others in a lot of ways, but it can't be denied that carbon is marketed as the "best".

    It's not like there are many shops out there with high-end alternatives made of steel or titanium either, so carbon it is. In the vast majority of the shops that I've been in, you typically have entry to mid aluminum bikes, and then you step up to carbon. There just aren't any other options in most stores, and that's where most people seem to get bikes (as opposed to online or from a smaller shop that isn't tied to a big name).

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Cracknfail? Unless you regularly ride over cliffs and drop your bike from tall buildings, I doubt you'll crack your Cannondale aluminum frame.
    They earned the name.

    And as for the pretty welds. Either the filled the ridges with putty to look smooth or they didn't know how to weld aluminum.
    I know with my USA made CAD it's putty like stuff. Aluminum weld beads are huge because they have to be big as compared to steeel to get the best weld.

    Here's a picture of a alloy bike where the welding objective is to do the job right looks be darned: https://gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-s...bike-Di2-3.jpg
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 05-08-2017 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #28
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    Are they still making frames out of Scandium-Aluminum alloy? Good stuff.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    They earned the name.

    And as for the pretty welds. Either the filled the ridges with putty to look smooth or they didn't know how to weld aluminum.
    I know with my USA made CAD it's putty like stuff. Aluminum weld beads are huge because they have to be big as compared to steeel to get the best weld.

    Here's a picture of a alloy bike where the welding objective is to do the job right looks be darned: https://gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-s...bike-Di2-3.jpg
    It's neither, Smartweld is a completely different process. Let me help you:

    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    It's neither, Smartweld is a completely different process. Let me help you:

    Nothing personal but strangers on the internet posting specialized marketing material doesn't carry much weight to me compared to what welders with years of experience and knowledge have told me.

    Let's get real here: Welding will "change performance"? Um, okay Specialized.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Here's a picture of a alloy bike where the welding objective is to do the job right looks be darned: https://gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-s...bike-Di2-3.jpg

    Those welds don't look too bad. I've seen much uglier ones.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  7. #32
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Aluminum weld beads are huge because they have to be big as compared to steeel to get the best weld.
    No they don't have to be. Aluminum weld beads are large because it's very difficult and time consuming to make them smaller. It can be done. But it's expensive. It takes time and very skilled welder.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Nothing personal but strangers on the internet posting specialized marketing material doesn't carry much weight to me compared to what welders with years of experience and knowledge have told me.

    Let's get real here: Welding will "change performance"? Um, okay Specialized.
    I am absolutely fine with that, but you have to understand that it flows both ways. Some of of us probably aren't going to take your and your "elders'" opinions over a respected bike builder like Chuck Teixeira, who has building bikes since like forever as I understand it. To each his own though.

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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    No they don't have to be. Aluminum weld beads are large because it's very difficult and time consuming to make them smaller. It can be done. But it's expensive. It takes time and very skilled welder.
    Not true from what I've been told. Aluminum is different from steel and requires bigger beads to hold, I believe due to it melting easier. It's not a skill thing, it's a material specific thing.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    They earned the name.
    Seriously, this is the first time I have heard of Cannondale welds failing. I'm not saying it's never happened. But is it really more common than other aluminum welds?

    To put things in perspective, carbon frame failures are way more common than aluminum weld failures. Also, I would think that with the right amount of abuse, you could make any material fail.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Seriously, this is the first time I have heard of Cannondale welds failing. I'm not saying it's never happened. But is it really more common than other aluminum welds?
    I have no idea how they compare to others. I do know plenty of Cannondale frames have cracked. As a percentage of total and compared others.....I have no idea.

  12. #37
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Not true from what I've been told. Aluminum is different from steel and requires bigger beads to hold, I believe due to it melting easier. It's not a skill thing, it's a material specific thing.
    Well you've been told wrong. I'm an engineer and design welded structures of all sorts of material. Including aluminum.
    Welding aluminum is absolutely a skill thing. It's very hard to do right.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Well you've been told wrong. I'm an engineer and design welded structures of all sorts of material. Including aluminum.
    Welding aluminum is absolutely a skill thing. It's very hard to do right.
    I didn't mean to say welding it right isn't a skill thing. More specifically I mean it's having bigger uglier beads than steel is due to the difference in material (melting point) having different requirements not necessarily a mark of less skill.

    But it sounds like you're saying that's wrong too.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I didn't mean to say welding it right isn't a skill thing. More specifically I mean it's having bigger uglier beads than steel is due to the difference in material (melting point) having different requirements not necessarily a mark of less skill.

    But it sounds like you're saying that's wrong too.
    Aluminum welds are generally bigger yes. Because of the melting point. Aluminum "puddles" when welding and flows quicker. So it's really hard to keep the welds small. But it can be done. It requires the right equipment, the right settings, fast speed (but not too fast) and a skilled welder. And still a good chance of getting it wrong and scrapping parts. It's just not economical to do, especially in a production environment.
    So the "bigger weld is stronger method" rules, because it's more economical and you don't have to rely on the perfect welding environment.

    As far as ugly beads... that's pure skill.

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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    They earned the name.

    And as for the pretty welds. Either the filled the ridges with putty to look smooth or they didn't know how to weld aluminum.
    I know with my USA made CAD it's putty like stuff. Aluminum weld beads are huge because they have to be big as compared to steeel to get the best weld.

    Here's a picture of a alloy bike where the welding objective is to do the job right looks be darned: https://gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-s...bike-Di2-3.jpg
    Yup, in the early 90's my mate went through 3 frames...here's you new warranty frame, o look it's got a different headtube size and your fork won't fit (mtb not road)... oh your new warrany replacement if you want the same heatube size again (1-1/4)...yeah you'll have to wait a while for that one.
    But it was interesting to see how they filed down the welds to make them look nice, which they did, not klein nice, but still nice.
    And of course my 1st road bike was a cannondale...which broke, but thats life.
    All the gear and no idea

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Aluminum welds are generally bigger yes. Because of the melting point. Aluminum "puddles" when welding and flows quicker. So it's really hard to keep the welds small. But it can be done. It requires the right equipment, the right settings, fast speed (but not too fast) and a skilled welder. And still a good chance of getting it wrong and scrapping parts. It's just not economical to do, especially in a production environment.
    So the "bigger weld is stronger method" rules, because it's more economical and you don't have to rely on the perfect welding environment.
    that's pretty much what I was trying to say. But I didn't know smaller steel size beads 'could' be done without compromise as compared to bigger.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Yep, old Cracknfail made/makes some nice looking aluminum frames, along with Klein and probably some others that I'm forgetting. Most are not like that though. It's not like the blobbery welds are indicative of a lower level of craftsmanship; it's just how regular aluminum welds look.
    Cannondale sanded down their welds to make them look like that.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Cannondale sanded down their welds to make them look like that.


    That's what I figured. But hey, that's more labor = extra cost. After Cannondale was bought by Dorel and production went to Taiwan, they stopped the nice smooth welds.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Well you've been told wrong. I'm an engineer and design welded structures of all sorts of material. Including aluminum.
    Welding aluminum is absolutely a skill thing. It's very hard to do right.

    Is there any media for welding that one can honestly say "Ma, LOOKIE! This is EASY!"



    I should snag some photos of the ugly-ass stick-welding some of our old apprentices did on schedule-40 steel pipe for our lighting instrument racks...Would make people in this thread sing love ballads about any cheapo al frameset from a major brand...
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Is there any media for welding that one can honestly say "Ma, LOOKIE! This is EASY!"
    Compared to aluminum... yea steel.
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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Compared to aluminum... yea steel.

    Heh, compared to, sure. But to make a beautiful and strong weld in steel still takes practice with the right tools setup right.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Heh, compared to, sure. But to make a beautiful and strong weld in steel still takes practice with the right tools setup right.
    I never said or implied it doesn't.
    I'm only talking about professional certified welders. For whom welding steel is no big deal. But welding alum still presents challenges.
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Cracknfail? Unless you regularly ride over cliffs and drop your bike from tall buildings, I doubt you'll crack your Cannondale aluminum frame.
    They are the only bike company required by the CPSC to place stickers on their frames warning the rider to regularly inspect the frame for cracks. This wasn't done on a lark - they had a tremendous number of warranty frame failures.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    They are the only bike company required by the CPSC to place stickers on their frames warning the rider to regularly inspect the frame for cracks. This wasn't done on a lark - they had a tremendous number of warranty frame failures.
    Perhaps back in the 90's. I have a 2001 CAAD5 and 2007 CAAD9, and neither came with a CPSC sticker on them.
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  25. #50
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    The Current State of the Alloy vs Carbon Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    They are the only bike company required by the CPSC to place stickers on their frames warning the rider to regularly inspect the frame for cracks. This wasn't done on a lark - they had a tremendous number of warranty frame failures.
    Remember when they changed their warranty to say that cracks were normal wear and tear and not covered by warranty?

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."
    Last edited by mfdemicco; 05-10-2017 at 03:31 PM.

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