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Carbon repair: Options for repairing carbon bike frames

  • By Caley Fretz
  • Published Oct. 24, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM EST
After the repair, before detailing.

Carbonframerepair.com

The guys behind Carbonframerepair.com have more than 20 years of experience repairing composites, from U.S. Air Force aircraft to molded epoxy surfboards. They now apply that extensive knowledge to bringing broken frames and wheels back to life.

While some shops use tape to compress the patch, the company “vacuum-bag most of our repairs, which helps us achieve maximum compaction, squeezing out as much excess resin as possible.” That means a lighter, stronger patch.

They’re also experts in finishing and detailing, matching paint, clearcoat, and decals perfectly so only you will know your frame has been repaired at all.

Prices are based on the damage present, ranging from under $200 for a partial tube patch to $400 for “missing chunks of carbon or partially flattened tubes.” Clear coat is $75, and is required to gain carbonframerepair.com’s 5-year warranty. One color of paint is $100, and $250 will get you decal matching and up to 3 colors of paint.

Carbonframerepair.com offers a 5-year warranty on repairs, and a 1-year warranty on paint and detail work. Be aware, though, that “the warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, defects or failures from abuse, neglect, being an unmitigated hamfist, tightening carbon components with a 3-foot long breaker bar or doing some crazy ass MacGyver modification to your bike.”

Response to the VeloNews.com frame:
Kurt Gensheimer responded quickly to our query, but was hesitant to put a definitive number on the repair without seeing it first hand:

From just the photograph, a ballpark estimate for repair only would be $250-$300. But it’s impossible to tell the extent of damage to a frame by what’s visible on the outside. That crack could potentially wrap halfway or all the way around the tube, which would alter the repair cost. We wouldn’t know for sure until we inspected the frame or actually cut out all the damage.

Although the frame would be repaired and rideable, clearcoat is really a requirement because if left unpainted, UV rays can damage the resin system holding the carbon fiber, causing delamination and compromising structural integrity.

That clearcoat would add $75 to the cost, putting the total at $325 assuming the damage isn’t more extensive than what’s visible in the photo.

Carbonframerepair.com

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Caley Fretz

Caley Fretz

Tech Editor Caley Fretz can usually be found chasing races along the backroads of Europe or testing bikes and gear in the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado. If you can't find him there, check the coffee shop across from VN World Headquarters.

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