I LOVE MY BIKE NO MATTER WHAT THE REPAIR

There are occasions when cyclist bring home to me the importance of feeling comfortable with the bike they ride.

Some Far Eastern frames ’can’ sometimes be inconsistent in the way the bikes are manufactured.

This Hongfu 95 has had many race miles already so it has been tested. However when the cyclist got on the power at the start she heard a loud crack in the top tube and went into the barrier. Luckily all ok!

On inspection we found there to be insufficient resin within the carbon pre-preg. Not sure if this is going to be something we see more of. The layers were not as bound together as we normally like to see.

As a result, the additional power applied due to the lateral twisting of the top tube, was enough to expose the problem.

She loves the bike so there was nothing for it – ‘Take the lid off’ and start again.

INSURANCE CARBON RESTORATION

Should bike insurers offer repair options and is it safe? Our Insurance partners send claims to us for feasibility inspection before proceeding. Only then is the cost of repair weighed up against replacement. The insurer can, in turn, offer a saving to the policy holder (policy dependent) which is of course good news for us all.

Above is a typical insurance repair example. The repair has to be largely undetectable to satisfy the claim. It is simply wasteful to discard perfectly repairable frames so it is encouraging to see industry taking note by reducing waste…and ultimately cost.

HELP! STUCK SEAT POST

If you have an alloy seat post in your carbon frame, I suggest you go out to the shed or glass cabinet and see if you can still move it. If you can then get it out ASAP and do 1 of 2 things:

1 – Grease the seat post with carbon gripper grease. Keep refreshing it every season. Look at pic 3 if you want reminding.
2 – Get a carbon seat post. It can still jam but not nearly as badly.

Alloy and carbon are reluctant bedfellows. Any wet or winter grime seems to irritate that partnership into an eternal head lock…..  It’s not pretty to remove! Sometimes that could be the end of your bike……  Remember that to ‘grease and forget’ is a mistake.

‘TOUGH’ CARBON REPAIRS

Here is a cross section of repairs we consider to be complex where the structure, at one location, is under huge load.

Cyclist’s will know what they are looking at here, some might even wince at the thought of failure in such areas. However, as carbon repair engineers we know how to repair these parts safely but we also know how not to ‘over-repair.’

An over-strengthened’ repair can run the risk of weakening another part of the frame. Repairs must only be made to the specification set out for that frame.

Pic 1 shows an example of a ‘tough’ repair (blue arrows) which can withstand a reoccurring impact only affecting the original carbon (red arrow).

THE ART OF RESTORING COLNAGO C59

Here is another example of adapting to the Colnago ‘metodo’ of spraying. Most of the graphics are masked and stencilled which makes each bike unique. To get the restore spot on you need to restore a lot of them. There is no short cut. Colnago are amongst the hardest to restore.

This one was an over-clamp which crushed the top tube. This section was re-laid in specific carbon and profiled. The ‘C59′ and ‘dice’ were sympathetically replaced and the white colour matched 100% to the UV exposed surface. As you can see this repair is invisible. Just the way we like it!

REPLACEMENT FORK MATCHING

We receive a few inquiries where the manufacturer can not provide matched forks for older frames when replacement parts are offered.

In this case the customer received white non branded forks which we have now matched with the original colour specs and design of the original. To the left of the blue line shows the detailed document provided by the design team to the spray team to ensure accuracy of replication. The centre image shows the painstaking process of cleaning the edges to ensure a crisp clean line is achieved before the lacquer layers are applied.

28MM TYRES A GOOD OR BAD WIDTH OF CARBON BIKES?

Recent studies have shown that 28mm wheels roll better then 25′s and 23’s. Certainly on the rear. The area displacement provides less resistance to that of any other size. 28mm are also more comfortable on longer rides or bad surfaces.

Some things you need to be aware of:

Check that your bike is ‘modern’ enough to take these widths. Older frames, as recently as 3 or 4 years old, tended to design the BB arches for max of 25mm unless cyclocross. Initially you might think your 28 fits in ok – just, then clearance might not enough when riding.

The larger circumference can cause the top of the wheel to eat away alarmingly at the break arch on both front and rear (pics 1&2).

Lateral flex will rapidly diminish the wall thickness of the inner chain stays potentially making the frame unstable and prone to cracking under pedal power alone (pic 3) .

Don’t think this only happens slowly. We have seen a frame after 30 miles that was a time bomb waiting to fail.

My advice – when cleaning you bike always take the wheels out and check for wear. You might be in for a shock!

CUSTOM TREK MADONE

Thought we would share this unusual paint effect called ‘Crystal’. The customer sent us his Trek Madone with this ‘sample’ picture of a Klein bike.

It is a 3 phase process with the result that the colour changes in different angles and light.  Because there is no masking other then the stencil graphics this design is quite cost effective for a very custom result.