A good friend of Seven had a really bad New Year’s Eve night. The house where he and his family were storing a lot of possessions, burned to the ground. His family is safe and no one was injured in the fire. The house and all the belongings were not so fortunate; one of those possessions was our friend’s Seven Aerios.
This is not the first time a Seven has been through a fire. Nor the first time we’ve seen the remains of a Seven post-fire. In a clinical sense, it’s a very interesting sight; our friend brought us the frame because he was amazed at the results. Here’s a series of photos that show the surviving skeleton.
a few months ago a customer called after his Seven had gone through a house
fire. He asked if his Seven would be
okay. I can understand why; typically, a
Seven frame after a fire looks a bit rough, but still appears intact—a quick
refinish, new decals, and the frame will be as good as new. Well, not really.
As you can see with the Seven in these photos, all the aluminum parts have pretty much vaporized. Unfortunately, if the aluminum has melted, the titanium frame has been compromised and cannot be ridden safely. The frame must be scrapped.
You can see in this photo of the rear triangle of the frame, the rear derailleur is almost entirely gone; the final remnants of the aluminum was just about completely melted off before the fire subsided.
By the way, titanium melts at 3,020 degrees. Iron melts at a slightly lower temperature of 2,800 degrees. The fire must have been well below 2,800 degrees because you can see the chain and the few other steel parts are still on the frame.
the fire was above 1,200 degrees—all the aluminum parts are either melted away
completely, or well on their way. I’ve
read that the average house fire gets well above 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. This fire obviously went far above that;
I would estimate somewhere around 1,600
degrees. UPDATE: The fire marshal is estimating a temperature in excess of 2,000F. I used 1,600F because I didn't want to sound sensationalist; and I've read somewhere that 1,600F is the average house fire.
Here's a photo of where the Zero Gravity brake was. It really is at zero gravity now. All that's left are the three non-aluminum parts of the brake: the titanium brake bolt, the spring, and the stainless bushings. If you're having trouble figuring out where the bushings are, they look a bit like the spine of a cork screw.
In addition, you can see in this photo that the titanium has gotten hot enough that it almost looks anodized—colored green, purple, red, gold, and blue. This is actually a type of titanium “alpha case” caused by the interaction of high heat in an oxygenated environment. This means the frame is done—the strength of the material has been dramatically compromised. This alpha case begins at about 800F degrees with titanium. And, we know the fire got well above that temperature.
Here's a photo of what looks like an exploded carbon seat post. All the resin vaporized in the fire--in fact, it was probably one of the first elements of the bike to disappear. Carbon melts at a very high temperature--6,400F--so it's not going anywhere; although, as you can see, it's just not very functional without the resin--or the epoxy.
There’s nothing we can do to salvage this frame. The best we can do is make his new frame even better than the first. And we will! It’s certainly not high on our friend's list of priorities right now. In the meantime, we’ll do whatever else we can to help him and his family get their lives back in order.
Here's a parting photo of the steel inards of the right Campagnolo Ergo shift lever. [Marcus, thanks for the information!] It looks like a steampunk part for some insidious device.