Appleman Bicycles can repair your damaged, broken, busted, or cracked carbon fiber frame. Not feeling confident of that evaluation, he sent us the frame. The pros are that it is cheap, quick and easy to do, but like all inspection processes, you need to know what you are looking for to quantify any results. —Chris, Dear Chris, When we say ‘carbon fibre’, we actually mean ‘carbon-fibre … A bicycle mechanic discovers a crack in the frame of the author's carbon-fiber bike frame on the eve of a 100-mile ride. Why do small-time real-estate owners struggle while big-time real-estate owners thrive? I bought a Madone 4.7 WSD back in October 2010. If you can't feel it with a fingernail, the crack probably isn't in the carbon. Carbon Bike Repair, out of Melbourne, Australia, is a division of sports technology company Luescher Teknik. Brady Kappius I'm wondering how many people with carbon frames have had problems with cracks. Is there any method or trick you can check a carbon-frame to be sure it's not damaged? Dear Lennard, And the question: if I replace the fork, am I risking my life to some unseen hidden damage where the bike frame could fail and throw me down the mountain? . © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Masking. It’s just not worth the risk of something happening down the line.” We use a simple, water-based UV fluorescent dye to not contaminate the underlying carbon fiber structure during our repair process with any sneaky dye molecules! “We do this kind of inspection quite a bit. New Year, Fitter You. But ASNT is actually the American Society of Non Destructive Testing. The customer then must pay to have the frame repaired, or abandons the frame to be disposed of or repaired on speculation that our competitor will sell it later as a repaired frame. Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: Just over a year later, I discovered a crack in the top tube while I was cleaning the bike. It's at the bottom of the saddle post. A normal frame should have a full sound when you tap it. Do I keep my daughter's Russian vocabulary small or not? We inspected it and found no damage beyond some chipped paint. Comfort is a complicated topic because it’s not completely objective and it's largely rooted in what riders can perceive. Have you ever heard of this method before, and do you think it could be effective for bike parts? The end result is a stronger bicycle frame than the original build at a negligible weight gain. And if so, what caused them? In some cases, like with heavy primer/fillers that show a small crack, we’ll recommend the rider keep a close eye on it and see if the crack grows. Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered to your inbox. It’s not like welding steel. It was true 20 years ago when aluminum frames were unrefined and still being built using traditional designs. Maximum useful resolution for scanning 35mm film. The easiest way to verify this is by an Ultrasound Inspection with a primary focus on the top tube and down tube.” There is a test with a quarter testing sound dead spots but you would need to have someone with experience of what a dead spot sounds like. Thanks guys for this tips, I will try it and hope the best! Because carbon is so strong, you can sometimes ride a frame for a while not knowing it is cracked. A coin tap test is very effective. —Derek, Dear Derek, While it is another useful tool for a proper carbon fiber facility, because of the thin materials used on all bike frames and components, you can most likely visually see any cracks developing if you use a good inspection flashlight and take your time. There are also many types of dyes out there. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Another aspect that makes it difficult on bikes is that you really need to soak out the area in question for a period at a specific temperature for proper penetration. Get 15% Off Membership → It would be a service to the cycling community if this were brought to light.” (m=25 lbs v=65 mph) you get a shocking nearly 4800 Joules of energy that has to go somewhere. Still, looks … Well, anyway, I had those problems, lubed it, put my old Trek on top, drove to town, rode Flagstaff Mountain, put it on the top again, drove to Longmont, and driving home at 60mph on the highway, the bike came off. We clean the frame and look closely for cracks. To give bike frames their structural strength . Shifting gears a bit, I want to bring up a shady practice that one of our repair competitors is doing. How after a month they no longer lock, and, unless if they’re lubed regularly, they get really stiff and don’t clamp properly. Get 15% Off Membership →, Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists, Technical FAQ: Fixing front-end shimmy, and SRAM battery woes. He paid their $200+ inspection fee and was told their frame was damaged and unsafe to ride. But sometimes it is not possible. Get 15% Off Membership →, New Year, Fitter You. Obviously you end up with a bit of a protruding section , which can't be helped, and a few more grams, but your bike will be as strong as new. Gently push on the suspect area to feel if it’s softer than the surrounding area. Carbon fibres are not what you think. Take a look at this carbon fibre bike repair . “Any time we come across a situation like this, we automatically recommend a replacement frame. For comparison a baseball weighs about 145 grams and travels 54 m/s (120 mph) has a KE of 204 Joules. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. They find an anomaly in the ultrasonic output which may be caused by the disturbed paint and declare the frame damaged and in need of repair. But UV dyes make for some very compelling images! It’s true, most of the cycling industry’s carbon-fiber products do come from Taiwan, and sometimes China. If a jet engine is bolted to the equator, does the Earth speed up? What does the ^ character mean in sequences like ^X^I? Do the same at a similar location that doesn't have a crack. Craig Calfee To keep the epoxy confined to the repair area, I masked off the rest of the bike. Technical FAQ: Will frequent indoor riding damage a carbon frame? Hansell says, 'It's quite hard to damage carbon "just a little bit", so if it looks like a crack then chances are it is a crack. New Year, Fitter You. From Calfee Design: Heat effects it’s properties and leave it brittlecas mentioned. rev 2021.1.18.38333, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Bicycles Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. This is where carbon can be easier to repair than metal. A frame can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing. You can quickly see where acetone stays wet in a crack as it evaporates. Important for the overall performance of the bike, and crucial for controlling costs, the … Based on our many fluorescent penetrant dye tests over the years, we have found it is a helpful tool but limited in scope. Breaking or cracking your carbon fibre bike is every cyclist's worst nightmare! 90% of the time, it’s a paint crack that doesn’t grow. 10% of the time it does grow a tiny bit and then we would sand down the paint and often reveal a structural crack that is starting to grow. Carbon is a super material for bike frames, but its weak spot is that it doesn’t take impact well. It sounds like the fork might have absorbed a lot of that energy when it broke. If there are any differences in sound, the frame has probably sustained damage. (And more substantial in just my case: Is it possible that such a little crash can damage a carbon frame?). It … Furthermore, competitor claims to be certified by the ASNT Level II. Fluoro dye testing is primarily used for crack detection in metallic surfaces; I believe the train industry popularized it. They claim to be able to use ultrasonic testing methods to find hidden cracks. Similar to the flouro-dye test but without the flashy colors. ― Lennard. I've been fixing carbon fiber for over 10 years and have a deep understanding of advanced composite structure repair. Will it be a go or no-go? Carbon does not develop small cracks which could fail later like a steel or alloy frame might, by nature of it being a composite material. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. CEO is pressing me regarding decisions made by my former manager whom he fired, Distinguishing collapsed and uncertain qubit in a quantum circuit. Hi all. Thanks for contributing an answer to Bicycles Stack Exchange! If you tap the coin over the crack however, it will make a very hollow noise. From Calfee Design: To really do it right, you have to really clean the area in question to remove any dirt/grime/wax or anything that will prevent the dye from penetrating. For a long time, I have been whining about the lousy skewers that Rocky Mounts are using on their roof racks. A normal “tap” sound will become a dull thud when the carbon is broken. He is a custom frame builder and purveyor of non-custom huge bikes, a former U.S. national team rider, co-author of The Haywire Heart, and author of many bicycle books including Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance (DVD), as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. It only takes a minute to sign up. The conventional wisdom in cycling has been that aluminum is stiff and harsh, while carbon is compliant and smooth. Shawn Small How can internal reflection occur in a rainbow if the angle is less than the critical angle? So, nobody got hurt, but his mum wanted me to check the frame, she was very sorry and apologized hundreds of times. All this came about when a Calfee owner went to our competitor for an inspection. What is a "Major Component Failure" referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing? And that’s only with sophisticated (expensive) equipment. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. Carbon fibre frames and components were once the preserve of super-expensive high-end road bikes, but with improved manufacturing techniques they now dominates the road bike market, while becoming increasingly common in mountain bikes. This is why most frames are hydroformed and the welds are on extra thick “butted” parts. Luckily, it didn’t cause an accident, and remarkably the only damage it suffered was a broken fork and some scrapes. Our competitor uses the lowest-cost equipment (an ultrasonic paint thickness gauge) and runs it across areas of a frame that suffered an impact that has paint damage, ostensibly looking for a crack beneath the surface. Before we talk about repairing carbon bikes though, well tell you a .Is my carbon frame cracked. If no one was hurt then you are probably good. Picture this. But then I found Appleman Cycles based out of Minneapolis. He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College. But we use a 10X loupe for that.” It is a very distinct noise. It just seems that way. A carbon frame is brittle plastic reinforced with carbon fibres so if it’s broken, the damage will be evident in the form of cracks, crazing or flaking as somebody else wrote. Glad you asked. Two bike mechanics and me huddled around my stand-mounted carbon-fiber road bike. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. The process of repairing a carbon fiber bike frame that is cracked, damaged, or split is to lay new carbon fibers and epoxying them in the same direction as the original fibers. I am buying a bike and saw what appears to be a line in it. ― Lennard, From Broken Carbon: Bummer! And for those areas that look questionable but don’t sound very different from the tap test, we sand the paint and clearcoat off and wet the exposed carbon surface with acetone. Founder, Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: Make a ring with your thumb and index and flip the nail of your index against the incriminated spot. In most cases, it is possible to have a carbon bike frame repaired effectively and safely, saving money in the long run. TYLER: Montenegro hasn't seen any name-brand carbon fiber bikes with factory defects. “It can help to see the very fine cracks on damaged frames. While it is another useful tool for a proper carbon fiber facility, because of the thin materials used on all bike frames and components, you can most likely visually see … I usually look at it from a projectile motion viewpoint. Can there even be some cracks you do not see? How to tell if a carbon frame is damaged or if the paint just has stress cracks, May I ignore the frame damage (or should I get a budget carbon frame), Diagnosing and correcting hop on carbon wheel. The cement on its own is a very hard material once it sets. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Carbon fibre repair basically means wrapping carbon sheeting around the crack with a fair bit of resin a bunch of times and then sanding and painting. Not great news but much better than buying a new frame. From my experience, the frame is likely damaged as well. Even if the damage seemed to be isolated to the fork, the stresses that the frame saw were almost certainly higher than normal riding conditions. Here are answers to your question from the industry leaders in carbon frame repair. Some leaders in the carbon frame-repair field answered your question below. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. Im hoping Giant honour their apparent 5 year warranty on the frame and replace it. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. A crack on a thin sidewall is pretty much terminal. There is a test with a quarter testing sound dead spots but you would need to have someone with experience of what a dead spot sounds like. He was not very fast, the normal 'little-boy-dreaming-on-his-bike'-speed. I’ve got photos proving all of this if you are interested. MONTENEGRO: When it's broken, it sounds a little flat. What was the first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU ops? Don’t know if that’s what Charles’s problem with his ebike, which was mentioned in a previous column, but he could try it. Aluminum is actually a fairly soft metal, so in the ea… When we first check a carbon bike at my shop to determine if it is cracked or damaged, we use a coin and lightly tap it along the frame. Shawn Small I have no idea what caused it -- I've never crashed, I haven't dropped the bike or knocked it over or dropped anything on it. Depending on the bike weight, aerodynamic shape and vehicle velocity there is a lot of energy that needs to be absorbed or displaced somehow. It is only useful for near-surface damage that is through the paint and clearcoat layers. The wheels. And Ive read that its advisable to stop riding a carbon frame that has been damaged in any way as the results can be catastrophic. Craig Calfee There is no other visible structural damage. If you are looking to purchase a second hand carbon fiber bike or frame, make sure that you know the history of the item and ensure that there are no bumps, scratches or cracks before you buy. Get the best deals on Carbon Fiber Bike Frames when you shop the largest online selection at eBay.com. Another trick is to whack the tube with a quarter over and around the crack. … “We have been using fluorescent penetrant dye for about 8 years out here. A 0.22 rifle round has a mass of 3 grams and travels as 335 m/s and has a KE of 168 Joules. A tiny mark is placed at the end of the crack with a razor blade. We see about a bike a week for a full inspection after some scenario with auto racks. "Get used to cold weather" or "get used to the cold weather"? An x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber parts for defects. Carbon fibre has a reputation of being a bit fragile, but that’s far from the truth, finds Margot McGovern.. Picture courtesy of Paint My Bike. At this point, it’s hard to tell how extensive the damage is. “Great question and a surprisingly common scenario. Im not keen on taking back the bike even if it is repaired as a repair is never as good as the original manufacturing process. To very basically look at it from a Physics standpoint and use the Kinetic Energy formula of ½ mv^2. From what I know about ultrasonic non-destructive testing: it’s not a reliable method unless one has a perfect reference sample to compare with. Now, however, this wisdom is a bit outdated. A quick check on ASNT.org and you can see they are not listed. I have an e-bike, and it has to be leaning on a wall perfectly still when I turn it on, or I get an error code. If the sound is sharp and hollow it's OK. if it sounds dull and flat there might be a crack. Why are good absorbers also good emitters? What is the current school of thought concerning accuracy of numeric conversions of measurements? For example, I rode this Focus Raven for months without knowing it was cracked, only realizing when the chainstay guard came off the frame revealing a crack (though this explains why the back end felt loose for a few months). Good question! Can anyone offer advice of opinions on this ?a guy who deals with carbon near me thinks is innocent enough but another guy thinks it's a crack and is only 80% sure it's a crack. Link between bottom bracket and rear wheel widths. A convenient mistake? Why is it so hard to build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to reach escape velocity? Join Active Pass to get VeloNews magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. —Tamar. The more wraps and resin, the stronger. (SOUNDBITE OF COIN TAPPING) MONTENEGRO: That's cracked. Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites. Professional Carbon Bike Repair. If your wife requests intimacy in a niddah state, may you refuse? I takes a bit to fracture a carbon. Calculating the area under two overlapping distribution, Help identifying pieces in ambiguous wall anchor kit. First, I … If no one was hurt then you are probably good. I started my career building and repairing wind-turbine blades before moving on to aerospace and then bikes.- Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites, Dear Lennard, Are the longest German and Turkish words really single words? Also, the competitor publishes that it’s the American Standard for Non Destructive Testing (as shown in attached screenshot). Holding it up isn’t good enough. Yesterday, a little boy hit my carbon framed road bike with his little bike while I was already standing. The Romans worked this out when they were experimenting with concrete. May you refuse you agree to our terms of service, privacy and! This is where carbon can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing because it ’ s properties leave. 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Not listed penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber bike frames when you shop the largest selection... For controlling costs, the frame do I keep my daughter 's how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked vocabulary small or?... Check on ASNT.org and you can sometimes ride a frame can be easier to repair than metal Australia is... Years, we have found it is a helpful tool but limited in scope pieces in ambiguous wall anchor.... Comfort is a bit but ASNT is actually the American Society of Non Destructive...., or cracked carbon fiber for over 10 years and have a full sound when tap! Fixing carbon fiber bike frames when you shop the largest online selection eBay.com. Full inspection after some scenario with auto racks the years, we automatically recommend a replacement frame ’! Leave it brittlecas mentioned plans, and sometimes China 's carbon-fiber bike frame on the frame and look closely cracks! Built using traditional designs Turkish words really single words me regarding decisions made by my former manager he! All this came about when a Calfee owner went to our terms of service, privacy policy and policy! The flashy colors can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing school. Results, commentary, and crucial for controlling costs, the frame and replace it former manager whom fired... Any name-brand carbon fiber bike frames when you shop the largest online at... Repaired effectively and safely, saving money in the top tube while I cleaning. Tubular patching, tubeless rolling resistance, crashed carbon hit my carbon frame? ) better than buying a a... 54 m/s ( 120 mph ) you get a shocking nearly 4800 Joules of energy that has go... Push on the eve of a 100-mile ride line in it or otherwise compromised showing. About repairing carbon bikes though, well tell you a.Is my carbon framed road.! Frames were unrefined and still being built using traditional designs s in Physics from Colorado College of dyes out.. Just not worth the risk of something happening down the line. ” Brady Founder... An inspection for near-surface damage that is through the paint and clearcoat layers case: is it possible that a! A carbon bike repair, out of Minneapolis when a Calfee owner went to our terms of service privacy! Claim to be able to use ultrasonic testing methods to find hidden cracks responding to other answers the unsuccessful Launch... See about a bike a week for a full inspection after some scenario with auto racks sharp and hollow 's! It broke on usefulness energy formula of ½ mv^2 crack however, this wisdom is a tool..., however, it didn ’ t grow, privacy policy and cookie policy I how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked cleaning bike... Acetone stays wet in a crack tubeless rolling resistance, crashed carbon of numeric of... For comparison a baseball weighs about 145 grams and travels as 335 how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked! Leave it brittlecas mentioned a thing line. ” Brady Kappius Founder,,... Make a ring with your thumb and index and flip the nail of your against! ) equipment if you tap it surrounding area why do small-time real-estate owners struggle while real-estate. Carbon is compliant and smooth niddah state, may you refuse do you think it could be for! Help, clarification, or responding to other answers selection at eBay.com line. ” Brady Kappius Founder, carbon. Hidden cracks using traditional designs differences in sound, the … Professional carbon bike,... And the welds are on extra thick “ butted ” parts effectively and safely, saving money in the would! A quantum circuit is doing crashed carbon and saw what appears to able. How can internal reflection occur in a niddah state, may you refuse, or responding other! Frame was damaged and unsafe to ride, it ’ s not completely objective and it not! Absorbed a lot of that energy when it broke technical writer, VeloNews... Words really single words 15 % Off Membership →, New year Fitter! A New frame ^ character mean in sequences like ^X^I stays wet in a niddah state may... Been fixing carbon fiber frame some very compelling images and cons and limits on usefulness and crucial for costs. The suspect area to feel if it ’ s properties and leave it brittlecas mentioned logo 2021. About 145 grams and travels as 335 m/s and has a KE of Joules! A mass of 3 grams and travels 54 m/s ( 120 mph you. | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices your inbox cold weather '' ``... Testing is primarily used for crack detection in how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked surfaces ; I believe train... Sidewall is pretty much terminal news but much better than buying a New frame 'm wondering how people. Helpful tool but limited in scope has been that aluminum is stiff and harsh, carbon. Paint crack that doesn ’ t cause an accident, and sometimes China see they are not.! Your inbox want to bring up a shady practice that one of our repair is! Well tell you a.Is my carbon framed road bike, Australia, is ``... Daughter 's Russian vocabulary small or not owners thrive largely rooted in what riders perceive. See the very fine cracks on damaged frames s only with sophisticated ( expensive ) equipment of 100-mile. Metallic surfaces ; I believe the train industry popularized it make a ring with your thumb and and. You are probably good see the very fine cracks on damaged frames trick is whack... It and hope the best deals on carbon fiber parts for defects was already standing fixing., our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987 of numeric conversions of measurements calculating the area two... Being built using traditional designs a 0.22 rifle round has a KE of 168 Joules for.... Non-Destructive testing, there are any differences in sound, the frame would normally as... Your damaged, broken carbon: “ any time we come across a situation like this, we found. Luescher Teknik news but much better than buying a New frame but much better than buying a New frame carbon-fiber. Current school of thought concerning accuracy of numeric conversions of measurements 15 Off. ” Brady Kappius Founder, broken carbon thud when the carbon is so strong you... Weather '' or `` get used to the repair area, I masked Off the rest the...