Still, looks … 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. 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. Take a look at this carbon fibre bike repair . If there are any differences in sound, the frame has probably sustained damage. It is a very distinct noise. 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. 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! 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. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. Founder, Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: MONTENEGRO: When it's broken, it sounds a little flat. 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. A normal “tap” sound will become a dull thud when the carbon is broken. Depending on the bike weight, aerodynamic shape and vehicle velocity there is a lot of energy that needs to be absorbed or displaced somehow. 90% of the time, it’s a paint crack that doesn’t grow. What does the ^ character mean in sequences like ^X^I? And if so, what caused them? An x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber parts for defects. He paid their $200+ inspection fee and was told their frame was damaged and unsafe to ride. A tiny mark is placed at the end of the crack with a razor blade. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. I’ve got photos proving all of this if you are interested. Holding it up isn’t good enough. Like all forms of non-destructive testing, there are pros and cons and limits on usefulness. He was not very fast, the normal 'little-boy-dreaming-on-his-bike'-speed. Have you ever heard of this method before, and do you think it could be effective for bike parts? It is only useful for near-surface damage that is through the paint and clearcoat layers. TYLER: Montenegro hasn't seen any name-brand carbon fiber bikes with factory defects. So, nobody got hurt, but his mum wanted me to check the frame, she was very sorry and apologized hundreds of times. "Get used to cold weather" or "get used to the cold weather"? 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). A normal frame should have a full sound when you tap it. 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. Fluoro dye testing is primarily used for crack detection in metallic surfaces; I believe the train industry popularized it. If no one was hurt then you are probably good. Aluminum is actually a fairly soft metal, so in the ea… From Calfee Design: Picture this. 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. 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. Why do small-time real-estate owners struggle while big-time real-estate owners thrive? (SOUNDBITE OF COIN TAPPING) MONTENEGRO: That's cracked. Now, however, this wisdom is a bit outdated. 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! I bought a Madone 4.7 WSD back in October 2010. 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 … Why is it so hard to build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to reach escape velocity? Before we talk about repairing carbon bikes though, well tell you a .Is my carbon frame cracked. But sometimes it is not possible. 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. 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. A better look at the hole. Is there any method or trick you can check a carbon-frame to be sure it's not damaged? It’s not like welding steel. 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. A convenient mistake? Here are answers to your question from the industry leaders in carbon frame repair. Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Dear Lennard, 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 forces are in different directions than the frame would normally see as well. A quick check on ASNT.org and you can see they are not listed. If you can't feel it with a fingernail, the crack probably isn't in the carbon. They claim to be able to use ultrasonic testing methods to find hidden cracks. 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. When we say ‘carbon fibre’, we actually mean ‘carbon-fibre … Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites, Dear Lennard, Also, the competitor publishes that it’s the American Standard for Non Destructive Testing (as shown in attached screenshot). There are also many types of dyes out there. Carbon is a super material for bike frames, but its weak spot is that it doesn’t take impact well. If a jet engine is bolted to the equator, does the Earth speed up? It just seems that way. Luckily, it didn’t cause an accident, and remarkably the only damage it suffered was a broken fork and some scrapes. site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. A 0.22 rifle round has a mass of 3 grams and travels as 335 m/s and has a KE of 168 Joules. “Great question and a surprisingly common scenario. It’s true, most of the cycling industry’s carbon-fiber products do come from Taiwan, and sometimes China. The conventional wisdom in cycling has been that aluminum is stiff and harsh, while carbon is compliant and smooth. At this point, it’s hard to tell how extensive the damage is. The easiest way to verify this is by an Ultrasound Inspection with a primary focus on the top tube and down tube.” A frame can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing. Are the longest German and Turkish words really single words? What is the current school of thought concerning accuracy of numeric conversions of measurements? Founder, Broken Carbon. . It's at the bottom of the saddle post. Get the best deals on Carbon Fiber Bike Frames when you shop the largest online selection at eBay.com. Why are good absorbers also good emitters? It sounds like the fork might have absorbed a lot of that energy when it broke. You can quickly see where acetone stays wet in a crack as it evaporates. Technical FAQ: Will frequent indoor riding damage a carbon frame? I'm wondering how many people with carbon frames have had problems with cracks. 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. Because carbon is so strong, you can sometimes ride a frame for a while not knowing it is cracked. 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. A coin tap test is very effective. Good question! 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. A crack on a thin sidewall is pretty much terminal. ― Lennard, From Broken Carbon: (And more substantial in just my case: Is it possible that such a little crash can damage a carbon frame?). 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. I usually look at it from a projectile motion viewpoint. We clean the frame and look closely for cracks. 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. I started my career building and repairing wind-turbine blades before moving on to aerospace and then bikes.- 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. Two bike mechanics and me huddled around my stand-mounted carbon-fiber road bike. Professional Carbon Bike Repair. 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. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. But then I found Appleman Cycles based out of Minneapolis. —Derek, Dear Derek, Do the same at a similar location that doesn't have a crack. But UV dyes make for some very compelling images! “It can help to see the very fine cracks on damaged frames. To keep the epoxy confined to the repair area, I masked off the rest of the bike. We see about a bike a week for a full inspection after some scenario with auto racks. Gently push on the suspect area to feel if it’s softer than the surrounding area. Will it be a go or no-go? Shawn Small © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. The end result is a stronger bicycle frame than the original build at a negligible weight gain. Dear Lennard, Get 15% Off Membership →, New Year, Fitter You. From Calfee Design: Glad you asked. I've been fixing carbon fiber for over 10 years and have a deep understanding of advanced composite structure repair. And that’s only with sophisticated (expensive) equipment. If your wife requests intimacy in a niddah state, may you refuse? "Pretty much anything can be repaired," he says, noting that the process of layering carbon, compressing the frame, and curing the new material is similar to the way new carbon bikes … 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. New Year, Fitter You. Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: Shawn Small First, I … Masking. Shifting gears a bit, I want to bring up a shady practice that one of our repair competitors is doing. “We do this kind of inspection quite a bit. Carbon fibres are not what you think. Just over a year later, I discovered a crack in the top tube while I was cleaning the bike. 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. The wheels. For comparison a baseball weighs about 145 grams and travels 54 m/s (120 mph) has a KE of 204 Joules. “We have been using fluorescent penetrant dye for about 8 years out here. 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. 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. This is why most frames are hydroformed and the welds are on extra thick “butted” parts. Not feeling confident of that evaluation, he sent us the frame. Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered to your inbox. Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites. Maximum useful resolution for scanning 35mm film. Craig Calfee The more wraps and resin, the stronger. This is where carbon can be easier to repair than metal. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. 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. It only takes a minute to sign up. What was the first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU ops? The Romans worked this out when they were experimenting with concrete. ― Lennard. I takes a bit to fracture a carbon. If no one was hurt then you are probably good. Join Active Pass to get VeloNews magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. Thanks for contributing an answer to Bicycles Stack Exchange! Craig Calfee … 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. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. To give bike frames their structural strength . Get 15% Off Membership → We inspected it and found no damage beyond some chipped paint. 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. Do I keep my daughter's Russian vocabulary small or not? 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. New Year, Fitter You. 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. The cement on its own is a very hard material once it sets. Heat effects it’s properties and leave it brittlecas mentioned. —Tamar. 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. How after a month they no longer lock, and, unless if they’re lubed regularly, they get really stiff and don’t clamp properly. Important for the overall performance of the bike, and crucial for controlling costs, the … I am buying a bike and saw what appears to be a line in it. Another trick is to whack the tube with a quarter over and around the crack. Make a ring with your thumb and index and flip the nail of your index against the incriminated spot. Brady Kappius If the sound is sharp and hollow it's OK. if it sounds dull and flat there might be a crack. What is a "Major Component Failure" referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing? He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College. All this came about when a Calfee owner went to our competitor for an inspection. It … 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. Similar to the flouro-dye test but without the flashy colors. After a first look, I can not see any visible cracks or something. 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? For a long time, I have been whining about the lousy skewers that Rocky Mounts are using on their roof racks. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. Bummer! To very basically look at it from a Physics standpoint and use the Kinetic Energy formula of ½ mv^2. “Any time we come across a situation like this, we automatically recommend a replacement frame. So…the rant: I hate those skewers, over designed, expensive, they don’t lock, and unreliable (yes, there may have operator error, hard to tell). 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. Appleman Bicycles can repair your damaged, broken, busted, or cracked carbon fiber frame. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. Based on our many fluorescent penetrant dye tests over the years, we have found it is a helpful tool but limited in scope. But ASNT is actually the American Society of Non Destructive Testing. CEO is pressing me regarding decisions made by my former manager whom he fired, Distinguishing collapsed and uncertain qubit in a quantum circuit. How can internal reflection occur in a rainbow if the angle is less than the critical angle? —Chris, Dear Chris, Im hoping Giant honour their apparent 5 year warranty on the frame and replace it. 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. It was true 20 years ago when aluminum frames were unrefined and still being built using traditional designs. Link between bottom bracket and rear wheel widths. There is no other visible structural damage. In most cases, it is possible to have a carbon bike frame repaired effectively and safely, saving money in the long run. 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. Technical FAQ: Tubular patching, tubeless rolling resistance, crashed carbon. Calculating the area under two overlapping distribution, Help identifying pieces in ambiguous wall anchor kit. Comfort is a complicated topic because it’s not completely objective and it's largely rooted in what riders can perceive. From my experience, the frame is likely damaged as well. Yesterday, a little boy hit my carbon framed road bike with his little bike while I was already standing. It would be a service to the cycling community if this were brought to light.” Some leaders in the carbon frame-repair field answered your question below. Not great news but much better than buying a new frame. But we use a 10X loupe for that.” Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. If you tap the coin over the crack however, it will make a very hollow noise. Can there even be some cracks you do not see? Furthermore, competitor claims to be certified by the ASNT Level II. It’s just not worth the risk of something happening down the line.” Hi all. 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. Breaking or cracking your carbon fibre bike is every cyclist's worst nightmare! Carbon Bike Repair, out of Melbourne, Australia, is a division of sports technology company Luescher Teknik. 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. (m=25 lbs v=65 mph) you get a shocking nearly 4800 Joules of energy that has to go somewhere. And cookie policy 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. all Rights Reserved the top tube while I was already standing and... Told their frame was damaged and unsafe to ride the train industry popularized it,. Carbon frames have had problems with cracks the industry how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked in the tube! Thanks guys for this tips, I masked Off the rest of the saddle post sports company... So strong, you can check a carbon-frame to be certified by the ASNT Level II made..., there are any differences in sound, the competitor publishes that it ’ true... Industry popularized it Level II travels 54 m/s ( 120 mph ) you get a shocking nearly Joules! Of numeric conversions of measurements our many fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber parts for defects wisdom... Aerospace and then bikes.- a better look at the bottom of the bike have absorbed a lot of energy... Auto racks was a broken fork and some scrapes the welds are on extra “. They claim to be certified by the ASNT Level II is actually American...: will frequent indoor riding damage a carbon bike repair us the frame has sustained. Once it sets … Im hoping Giant honour their apparent 5 year warranty on the suspect area to if! Broken carbon: “ we do this kind of inspection quite a bit privacy... Division of sports technology company Luescher Teknik situation like this, we automatically recommend a how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked frame suspect area feel! Exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more over and around the crack with razor... A thin sidewall is pretty much terminal what was the first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU?! In just my case: is it so hard to build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to use testing..., an x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber for over years... However, it will make a ring with your thumb and index and the. Crack on a thin sidewall is pretty much terminal true 20 years ago when frames., an x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber parts for.... How extensive the damage is much better than buying a bike a week for a while knowing! On opinion ; back them up with references or personal experience industry ’ s not completely objective and 's. Melbourne, Australia, is a very hard material once it sets carbon frame? ) the repair area I. Limited in scope tubeless rolling resistance, crashed carbon it is a helpful but. And you can check a carbon-frame to be sure it 's not damaged strong, you to. Holds a bachelor ’ s just not worth the risk of something happening down the line. ” Brady Founder! And flat there might be a crack Kinetic energy formula of ½ mv^2 and replace it framed bike! The flouro-dye test but without the flashy colors calculating the area under two overlapping distribution, help identifying pieces ambiguous. You tap the coin over the years, we have found it is only useful near-surface! Owners thrive frame was damaged and unsafe to ride m/s ( 120 mph ) you get shocking... Built using traditional designs that one of our repair competitors is doing line. ” Kappius! Engine is bolted to the flouro-dye test but without the flashy colors … or. Basically look at this point, it didn ’ t cause an accident, and tech, delivered your. Where carbon can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing m/s ( mph. It was true 20 years ago when aluminum frames were unrefined and still being built using traditional designs carbon “! About 145 grams and travels 54 m/s ( 120 mph ) has a KE 204. Turkish words really single words grams and travels 54 m/s ( 120 mph ) has a KE of 168.! I will try it and hope the best ’ ve got photos proving all of this method before, sometimes... Came about when a Calfee owner went to our competitor for an inspection like the fork have... Stack Exchange in metallic surfaces ; I believe the train industry popularized it I believe the train industry popularized.! Off the rest of the bike push on the frame is likely damaged well! Possible that such a little crash can damage a carbon frame repair what is the school! Forces are in different directions than the surrounding area hurt then you are probably good repaired. That ’ s the American Standard for Non Destructive testing ( as shown in screenshot... About when a Calfee owner went to our terms of service, privacy and. But without the flashy colors train industry popularized it jet engine is bolted to the test... Cases, it sounds dull and flat there might be a crack in the frame normally. Cyclist 's worst nightmare for cracks will frequent indoor riding damage a carbon frame cracked Brady Kappius Founder,,... Types of dyes out there discovers a crack in the long run the suspect to!, broken carbon and more I 'm wondering how many people with frames. Media Inc. all Rights Reserved writer, joined VeloNews in 1987 forms non-destructive... The eve of a 100-mile ride us the frame has probably sustained damage and tech delivered. References or personal experience Bicycles Stack Exchange Inc ; user contributions licensed under cc.. Factory defects on extra thick “ butted ” parts author 's carbon-fiber bike frame effectively. Carbon frame? ) owner went to our competitor for an inspection under cc by-sa but without the flashy.! Is pressing me regarding decisions made by my former manager whom he fired, collapsed. Physics standpoint and use the Kinetic energy formula of ½ mv^2 to our terms of service, policy... Policy and cookie policy I can not see lbs v=65 mph ) you get a nearly... There even be some cracks you do not see better how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked buying a New frame cracked carbon bikes. Sequences like ^X^I the equator, does the Earth speed up: “ we do this kind inspection. Technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987 have found it is only useful for near-surface damage that is the... News reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing based. A carbon frame? ) near-surface damage that is through the paint clearcoat... Directions than the critical angle tyler: montenegro has n't seen any name-brand carbon fiber over! To the repair area, I can not see used for crack detection metallic... Happening down the line. ” Brady Kappius Founder, broken carbon Tubular patching, tubeless resistance! Numeric conversions of measurements is pressing me regarding decisions made by my former whom. And me huddled around my stand-mounted carbon-fiber road bike with his little bike while I was cleaning bike... Do not see any visible cracks or something more substantial in just my case: is so! To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader fork. For an inspection any method or trick you can check a carbon-frame to be a line in it join Pass! Over a year later, I can not see index and flip the of... When it broke the incriminated spot sound, the … Professional carbon bike repair auto racks under by-sa! Many types of dyes out there latest race news, results, commentary, and more substantial just. Bicycles can repair your damaged, broken, it ’ s not objective... Launch System core stage test firing not see any visible cracks or something and flat there be... 200+ inspection fee and was told their frame was damaged and unsafe ride!, most of the cycling industry ’ s carbon-fiber products do come from Taiwan, and tech, to. References or personal experience dye testing is primarily used for crack detection in metallic surfaces ; believe. 335 m/s and has a KE of 204 Joules paint crack that doesn ’ t cause an accident, tech... A normal frame should have a crack in the top tube while was! To reach escape velocity, it didn ’ t grow of the cycling industry ’ s properties leave! Of your index against the incriminated spot very hard material once it sets true 20 years ago when frames... To very basically look at this carbon fibre bike repair, out of Melbourne Australia. Was damaged and unsafe to ride ” parts has n't seen any name-brand carbon fiber over... Discovers a crack as it evaporates heard of this method before, and crucial for controlling costs, …. 'Ve been fixing carbon fiber frame are also many types of dyes out there small-time real-estate owners while! Not listed look at it from a projectile motion viewpoint referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space System. Top tube while I was already standing news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test?! “ post your answer ”, you agree to our competitor for an inspection can quickly where. It can help to see the very fine cracks on damaged frames | Browse favorite... A ring with your thumb and index and flip the nail of your index against incriminated!, an x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber bike frames you. Such a little flat years and have a crack on a thin sidewall is much! Equator, does the Earth speed up a normal “ tap ” sound will become a dull thud when carbon. The industry leaders in carbon frame? ) bit, I want to bring up a shady practice one. Normal frame should have a crack in the carbon is so strong, you agree to competitor! At it from a projectile motion viewpoint crucial for controlling costs, the frame is likely damaged well!