35 year old Alan frame. Safe?

I have acquired a 1980s Alan frame in good condition from a relative. Thoughts on glue integrity? Want to build as a retro bike for events like L’eroica etc but also want to avoid a catastrophic frame failure.

I’ve owned Alan, Vitus and still own a specialized Allez Epic that was repaired. My mother rode vitus 979 for 3 decades, requiring at least 2 repairs.

They do fail. But they don’t tend to fail catastrophically. Usually the weakest link fail, your frame goes out of alignement if it is a dropout/chain/seatstay and you find out very quickly or it becomes noisy and noodly if it happens on the main frame. So you should have time to figure it out and stop before anything catastrophic happens.

Now if it happens on the fork, that is another story. I once broke a vitus cyclocross frame fork in an accident. I could see there were some inserts between the crown and the blade so I guess the blades wouldn’t just separate in a spectacular way.

Stay alert relating to any creak/noise, and stop to check if in doubt. Still I wouldn’t ride one to descend an alpine pass and reach motorbike kind of speed. My spesh failed in a railway crossing at +65kph descending a mountain. I retired it for lower speed duties.


If the Alan frame is a lugged and glued Titanal, avoid it like the plague! Those things have displayed catastrophic failures since they came out.

Thank you @tondrup

From another forum from someone who has actual experience,

Are the old ones. Basic rule for older Alans: All luminum = good, any carbon = bad.

Alan (Vitus as well) simply substituted carbon for aluminum tubes when they offered their carbon frames back in the 1980’s. No glue changes, no insulating layers between carbon and aluminum. Add water, instant battery. Joint erosion and frame failure followed.

The Alan aluminum frames had threaded tube ends and threaded pugs, to the tubes were screwed into the lugs. Also they were glued. I’ve not heard of a tube separation in an aluminum Alan.

Flexible bikes, to be sure. But frame stiffness doesn’t matter anyway. Reasonably light, nice riding bikes.

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Thank you. I think that I might just pass on building it up. I appreciate all the input.