Nederlands | English | Deutsch

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

Cycled through pothole on carbon frame – damaged?

6 min read

Asked by: Edwin Shabazz

How do I know if my carbon bike is damaged?

Look closely for scratches, especially anything deep or through the paint. With a dollar coin, tap on any suspect area and listen for a change in sound. A normal “tap” sound will become a dull thud when the carbon is broken. Gently push on the suspect area to feel if it’s softer than the surrounding area.

How easy is it to 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. ‘Also, the elasticity of carbon fibre is usually less than the paint, so if the paint is cracked, there’s a high chance there’s been some kind of trauma to the carbon too.

Can a chain damage a carbon frame?

A common way for the frame to break is damage caused by the chain coming off on the inside of the chainrings. With the chain off, the chain can become lodged between the crankset and the frame, causing considerable scratching and damage, especially if it’s carbon fibre.

Can you fix a carbon bike crack?

Yes, you can! The process of repairing a carbon fiber bike frame that is cracked, damaged, or split is to lay new carbon fibers and epoxy them in the same direction as the original fibers. The end result is a stronger bicycle frame than the original build at a negligible weight gain.

How long will a carbon frame last?

Unless they are damaged or poorly built, carbon bike frames can last indefinitely. Most manufacturers still recommend that you replace the frame after 6-7 years, however, carbon frames are so strong that they often outlast their riders.

How do I know if my carbon road bike frame is cracked?


Quote from video: Test take a coin and tap all around the frame. Listen for any dead spots. If you hear any push on that part of the frame. And see how much it flexes.

How fragile is a carbon bike?

Myth: Bikes made of carbon are more fragile than aluminum or steel models. Reality: Carbon frames are relatively strong and can withstand a significant amount of force, but only if it’s applied in the direction engineers intended—for example, road shock from a pothole.

Is it easy to break a carbon bike frame?

Carbon Fiber Mtb Frames Are Tougher Than Steel Frames



While it’s less vulnerable to impact damage than steel, it’s still vulnerable to damage caused by moderate impacts, excessive flexing, or age. Carbon fiber can also be damaged by accidents, causing it to crack.

How often do carbon bikes crack?

Carbon frames normally last at least 5 -6 years if riddles regularly. How long your frame with actually last will depend on what type of riding you do (road, MTB, BMX, etc), and also how careful you are with your bike.

How much does it cost to repair carbon fiber?

On average a carbon repair will cost around $400. This does not include paint matching but always includes a protective clear coat finish over the repaired area. Repairing carbon damage is fairly straightforward but matching the original paint design and color can tend to be a lot more complicated.

How do you touch up a carbon bike frame?

Touching up carbon chips can be as simple as dabbing on some clear nail polish. Nail polish is cheap, includes a brush built-into the cap, and it dries fast, too. It will nicely touch up clear coats over natural carbon frames.

How do you fix scratched carbon frames?

Fixing That Scratch



First, you can take the easy route and simply cover the scratches with a clear coat to protect them. Some use high-quality, chip-free nail polish clear coat such as CND Speedy Clear Coat. Just paint a layer or two of the polish for a quick, easy, and no-effort protective coating for your carbon.

What is a disadvantage of using carbon Fibre for bikes?

Flexible strength and fatigue life is the biggest disadvantage with carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a very rigid material that doesn’t like to be flexed and bent. As well much flexing causes cracks and fissures in the structure and exposes the individual fibers which aren’t so strong by themselves.

Are carbon frames worth it?

The feel of carbon is superior to aluminum and may be worth the upgrade cost in itself. Two major benefits of a carbon frame over an aluminum one are dampening and torsional stiffness. Damping: A carbon frame has a damping effect, lowering the ride’s harshness.

Are carbon bike frames durable?

“A lot of these carbon-fiber components are lightweight and cheap, but they are not durable.” Reed and other experts in carbon fiber agree that any material can fail. Wrecks happen from faulty aluminum, steel, and even rock-hard titanium.

Is it worth repairing a carbon frame?

Fixing a carbon frame is, in fact, considerably easier and more effective than trying to mend a broken alloy one, and the repair will be as strong or stronger than the surrounding material. Yes, there is a slight weight gain, but we’re talking less than the difference between an aluminium and titanium bottle cage bolt.

How do I know if my bike frame is broken?

Check – Run your fingers along the Top Tube to feel for any dents or cracks. Take a flashlight and look for cracks on the welds that meet the seat tube and the rest of the bike frame. The Top Tube on a bike can be surprisingly strong for how thin it is. Nonetheless, it is still vulnerable to damage during a crash.

Can you repair damaged carbon fiber?

With a light cosmetic scratch, the panel can be clear-coated to hide the scratch. But if the carbon fibers are torn, a repair patch would be visible and not acceptable to the customer. For replacement procedures, a mechanically fastened or bonded carbon fiber component can be replaced in the shop.

Can you fix a broken carbon frame?

Repairing a carbon composite frame is definitely possible but it’s a complicated process — one best performed by people with experience, knowledge and the correct tools. Original manufacturers and specialist composite bicycle repair companies are best suited to repair composite frames.”

How much does it cost to fix a carbon bike?

On average a carbon repair will cost around $400. This does not include paint matching but always includes a protective clear coat finish over the repaired area. Repairing carbon damage is fairly straightforward but matching the original paint design and color can tend to be a lot more complicated.

How much does it cost to repair a cracked carbon bike frame?

Smaller cracks (1/3 of tube diameter or smaller) are $200. Medium cracks (fractures greater than 1/3 of the tube diameter) are $300. $400 will fix major damage (missing carbon, damage greater than 6 inches along the tube. The VeloNews.com frame would likely fall into the $300 range.