Mark asked in SportsCycling · 2 months ago

When might the integrity of 6061 aluminum start to be something I should be concerned about, and should I consider recoating it?

It's a Marin Mount Vision Pro, i think from 2008.

It's anodized, blue, but that coating is pretty sad looking (looks like it has hard water spots all over it).  It's even completely missing, showing bare aluminum, in many crucial spots (wear and tear), like even under the top bar, where the rear suspension has apparently made contact and chipped off the blue.  Should the aluminum be recoated with something?  What something could that be?  I just want to get the most out of this, but I don't want the frame suddenly busting on me.  I don't ride all that hard, but yeah, figured I'd ask. 


Pardon me, I guess it's 6066 aluminum, not 6061

Update 2:

I would post the question again, making the correctly, but I'm afraid Yahoo Answers will shadow ban me if I do (as they have before). 

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    Aluminum is not as strong as steel, so bicycles built with aluminum can be more easily damaged when the metal if flexed. For that reason aluminum bikes tend to have fatter tubes, as the larger diameter tubes make them stiffer and less likely to flex. Therefore aluminum bikes can last just about as long as steel or chromoly bikes but they tend to give a stiffer ride since steel bikes can be made to flex more easily to soften the ride by using smaller diameter tubes. . 

    What you describe is not a question of structural integrity. Your bike is not going to fall apart because of loss of paint. Steel bikes need paint to prevent rusting. Aluminum does not need a coat of paint to prevent rusting. So there is no worry. However, you can ease your mind by applying a coat of fingernail polish to the spots that have missing paint. The fingernail polish is as strong as oil based paint and prevents corrosion. Or you can apply some touch up paint to the spots that have missing paint. For aluminum bikes, missing paint is mainly a cosmetic issue and does not affect structural integrity. 

  • 2 months ago

    The fact that it's both 12 years old & a full suspension MTB would have me concerned right now.  You say you don't ride "all that hard", but we all know how MTB'ers lie.  (sarcasm)  

    1) As usual, I'd say find a bike shop; one that specializes in mountain bikes.  Have a mechanic go over the frame with a fine tooth comb.  If there's even the tiniest crack, I'm betting they'll find it.

    2) If you really think it's worth the time & expense for sentimental value, you can always have the bike repainted.  In the case of Groody Bros. located in Kansas, it wouldn't be just paint but powder coated.  They do excellent work.  But fair warning in advance,,,they do not come cheap.  Be prepared for a hefty price tag.  More if they have to disassemble the bike.  They recommend shipping only the bare frame.  Add up the price for a bike shop to completely disassemble it, ship it plus the powder coating and you might faint.  Plus all the man hours to reassemble the bike.  I'll leave a link anyway.  Full suspension bikes start around $225.      

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