Spin Doctor Tech Tip – Assessing carbon fiber damage

Spin Doctor

You just had your first wreck on your new carbon fiber bike. . .  is the frame ruined?

Top tube of 2010 Scattante CFR Race

There are many questions about assessing damage to carbon fiber components and frames.  Simple answers are not always possible, however Brent Downs of Advanced Sports has a good approach to finding obvious problems:

1. Check any chips or blemishes.

If only the clear coat is damaged, it can be sealed with clear nail polish.

2. Thoroughly examine the damaged area.

Are fibers exposed or is the area soft to the touch? If the fibers are damaged, then the frame or component should be replaced.

3. Tap on the frame/component at the damaged area. Then tap on a similar non-damaged area.

If the two areas sound different, there likely is damage to the carbon fiber and replacement is probably necessary.

4. Finally, if you are in any way uncertain, have the manufacturer inspect the suspect part.

That last step is probably the most important.  If you have any doubts, it’s always best to check with the experts!

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