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What Can And Cannot Be Repaired On Carbon Wheels?

Whilst clearly we can repair most areas of damage on a carbon frame, can the same be said for carbon wheels? Carbon wheels are certainly a lot more subjective in terms of whether a repair is viable, but we can effect repairs to some areas.

The areas that we generally can’t repair are fracturing to the brake track (on a rim brake wheel), the bead area and spoke hole areas. As rider safety is our first priority, these specific areas are very difficult to test to the limits with non-destructive testing. As such, we do not undertake these repairs.

In terms of fracturing, we can generally repair any other area, as long as it doesn’t go into any of the above areas. We have successfully repaired many types of damage to rim fairings for example.

If you have cosmetic or other damage, we generally treat each case on its own merits. Perhaps email in with your issue first and we can advise from there.

We sometimes get requests where a brake track has warped after heat build-up going down a descent. We can generally help here but we need to ascertain how warped the brake track is and make a judgement from there.

So if you do manage to damage your carbon wheels, before you bin them or just go for a straight replacement, why not get in touch with us first to see if we can help?

The Importance Of A Stripped Frame

If you have ever enquired for a quote or had a repair or restoration work carried out by CBR, you’ll know that we require a completely stripped and clean frame to work on. We can, of course, strip it for you. Yes, even little things such as bottle cage bolts, hangers, cable guides and bearings need to be removed! Whilst perhaps you might think of this as somewhat over the top with some of the modern designs out there (I’m thinking integrated front ends, frames with convoluted cable routing to name but a few examples), there are various logical reasons why this is required.

During the repair and restoration process, your frame is hung in various mounts to allow it to be worked on at different angles. Both the carbon and spray departments have specific jigs and during transitionary phases between and during each departmental stage, we employ storage racks. With the amount of frames we have here at CBR, we have to be extremely thorough and organized to run a coherent operation.

Your frame will be cured at various points during the repair process. We have a specialist curing system that allows a more efficient operation in that they cure quicker than just hanging them to dry for a few days. Curing may also adversely affect the finish on components left on the frame if it wasn’t fully stripped.

Your frame will also be going into a spray booth. When the spray team work, they have to carefully mask the entire frame, which is a time-consuming process. If components are not removed, it makes masking more difficult and there is a greater chance of overspray.

We hope this article has provided more insight into our processes and why we require a stripped frame. If you are unable to strip the frame fully yourself, we also have a fully equipped workshop here at CBR with Cytech-qualified expert mechanics. Alternatively, you could use your trusted local bike shop. If you are going to part-strip the frame yourself and let us do the rest, as some customers do, please note that we require the wheels if you would like us to set your gears and brakes up.

Supporting our NHS Heroes – 15% Discount!

Carbon Bike Repair Ltd are offering all NHS staff 15% off any carbon fibre repair, paint restoration and / or servicing.

The discount will be added to the final invoice. You will need to show us your NHS ID card to qualify for this discount.

This offer excludes any replacement parts or components, full resprays, courier / postage fees, and cardboard boxes.

This offer is only valid on authorisations received on the ‘final’ estimates (i.e. we have your bike in our possession and have seen the damage) up to and including 10th June 2020.

 

WARRANTY CLAIMS ON CARBON FIBRE FRAMES

I am going to keep this high level for the purposes of understanding the logic behind warranty terms and conditions.

In the early days warranty claims on carbon fibre bikes were largely successful even in cases where the accident was the owners fault. Nowadays it is much tougher if you have caused the damage knowingly or even unknowingly.

The circled areas on the left image are the key areas where frames are shored up in the manufacturing process.

The centre picture shows the actual parts shown in these circled areas. These are injection moulded carbon ‘lugs’ which are much more dense and heavier in construction then the rest of the frame. They form the foundation of the interconnecting parts. In the right image you can see the BB shell part in situ. Most carbon frames hide this join in the design and finish of the frame but if your frame cracks anywhere near this area it is best to have it inspected. These areas ‘shouldn’t’ crack.

Here are a few tips on how to spot a potential claim on your frame.

Claimable areas*: Any join interface (highlighted in red) which is bonded in the factory which comes away through normal use is a potential claim. (* Depends on whether the manufacturer can prove negligence). In many cases there are faulty designs on the market which are subject to recall so look at your manufacturer’s website or contact your bike shop.

Non-claimable areas*: Any sections in-between these marked areas. Any locations where the customer can tighten components such as seat post, rear/ front dérailleur, skewers and BB cups (*In some special cases these areas can be claimed against but it will be much harder)

Carbon wear on non-removable dropouts and seat clamp cracks are largely unsuccessful claims. Although I have made it clear in the past of my dislike of carbon dropouts the customer is still responsible for ensuring the rear wheel is sufficiently clamped not to cause undue wear.

We have seen many grey areas in warranty claims but I suggest if you are confident you were not at fault and the warranty claim is unsuccessful come to us and we can investigate. In some cases we find manufacturing flaws which the manufacturer is happy to address again.

I hope that clears it up a bit. Happy riding in 2015!

IT’S NO JOKE

Carbon repair on a bicycle is no joke. Your life is in the repairers hands. For goodness sake go and see the carbon repairer and see for yourself what work they do. Do they offer any guarantees?

Some claim they have F1 or aerospace routes using the latest space age carbon and technology – Bollocks

Carbon bicycle repair requires:

  1. Experience of your specific carbon bike’s construction.
  2. The specific assembly process for each brand where possible.
  3. Each brands paint colour, decal and finishing process.

Safe repair can only be achieved by brand endorsement, evidence of investment and reputation.

Next time you descend on a ride ask yourself can you be happy with anything less?