Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

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Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby DanTheSaxMan » Thu May 31, 2012 5:45 pm

Hey guys,
Yesterday I was loading up my Avanti Cadent 3.0 2010 roadie on a steep hill and all of a sudden I heard a *crack*. I stopped and noticed that the front inner chain ring had snapped in half! As a matter of fact, what had happened is that a few of the bolts holding the inner chain ring on had obviously worked themselves loose over time (something I hadn't even thought to check regularly) and so eventually the chain ring had too much pressure (on the hill) and simply buckled and cracked. That would be fine if that was the only problem, but it turned out that a small 2 inch piece of the chain ring broke off and lodged straight into the carbon frame, creating a thin hole about half an inch wide right at the base of the frame. I have done a photoshop mockup of the location and approximate size of the crack on one of the avanti black frames as I don't have any photos of it. The white crack indicates the approximate size of the crack which has gone right through into the middle of the frame. See the following URL: http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc273/3DanTheSaxMan3/Bikecrack.jpg
As you can see it is right at the base of the frame.
Now this kind of problem isn't naturally covered on the warranty so I have been given the option to pay for the replacement Cadent frame which will cost be around $1300. Seems like such a loss of money since I'll be getting back the same bike as before in essence. Anyway, my issue is what to do with the old frame? Is there a way I can repair it myself? Or would it be better to sell it on to someone who might be happy to fix it and use it? Should I repair it myself and hold off on getting the $1300 replacement frame?

Cheers
Dan
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by BNA » Thu May 31, 2012 6:26 pm

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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby open roader » Thu May 31, 2012 6:26 pm

I'm no c/f repair expert, and touch wood have yet required to have anything c/f repaired - but my bike mechanic has seen a few cracked frames repaired neatly and remained reliable for the long term.

However, my chief concern here is the actual location of the damage. Being right on the BB my un-educated opionion would be that the damage is in a critical stress bearing part of the frame.

However, before considering anything else I'd be getting a reputable c/f bike frame specific repairer to look at the actual damage pics you will eventually take or better still a look at the frame in question. Knowledge is the power to make a better decision.
3rd class cycling is always better than 1st class walking
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby philip » Thu May 31, 2012 6:44 pm

See http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=52413 - when I first contacted them to ask what was possible they said "you'd be surprised at what can be repaired". So yeah, could very well be repaired but you'd have to take it to an expert (Stan at Bike Addiction in Manly if you're in Sydney) to have a look at it to see. Be prepared to pay at least $400 for a repair though.
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby Chris249 » Thu May 31, 2012 8:26 pm

Whoops, double post
Last edited by Chris249 on Thu May 31, 2012 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

2003 Cervelo P2K time trial bike
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2008 Giant SS/track
2008 Vivente Como roadie
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby Chris249 » Thu May 31, 2012 8:29 pm

Carbon is very repairable, and in fact in some highly-loaded minimum weight applications like boat masts that is one of its selling points. If you are in Sydney, try Marty at Rocket Surgeon Composites (google them or PM me). He is (IIRC) a fully qualified engineer, does nice stuff in carbon, and is a keen rider. He fixed up a Zipp of mine nicely.

You could also try Andrew "Dolly" Divola at Divola Boats in Sydney. He builds high tech racing skiffs and repairs cf frames. I've known him for years and will get him or Marty to repair my old cracked cf forks one day (as there are no more of that type left in captivity).

Carbon's easy to work with and even a messy job can be as strong as an ox. Not that Dolly or Marty will do a messy job, but the point is that I've seen some very rough work by amateurs last very well. However, some basic knowledge of resins and materials is vital.

Of course, if it's a 56cm frame and you are in Sydney, you should realise that carbon is incredibly dangerous and you should PM me so that I can pick your broken frame up and dispose of it properly! :D :twisted:
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

2003 Cervelo P2K time trial bike
2010 Merida Cyclocross 4
2008 Giant SS/track
2008 Vivente Como roadie
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby DanTheSaxMan » Thu May 31, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks for your replies guys. So the situation now is that I've got them to get me the new frame, just because I am in the situation to be able to afford it at the moment and want the peace of mind of the brand new frame and to have my bike back soon. But with the old frame (which I also get back) I might look into having it repaired or passing it on to someone who knows what they are doing with it. I am actually in Adelaide not Sydney unfortunately, or those repairers would be handy to contact. I have however contacted BMCR a place that does bike and carbon repairs here in Adelaide. I'll look to sell the frame on, whether it is repaired or whether someone knows that it has a crack and is willing to fix it.
If you know of anyone in need of a high quality (>$3000) frame going cheap and negotiable, let me know. Can arrange postage if needed.
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby open roader » Thu May 31, 2012 10:29 pm

If a repair is do-able then you can always keep riding the repaired frame and on sell the new replacement..........
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby DanTheSaxMan » Thu May 31, 2012 11:00 pm

Yes thinking about doing that actually.
Also, I think I remember taking out insurance on the bike for about $30 a week...would have to check up in my documentation though as it was a while ago. Would the insurance company cover the bike if I presented it to them just as the frame without any of the wheels and gear etc (cos they would be on the new frame) but with the crack still there, so just the raw bike frame ?
Just curious, only had just thought about the insurance side of things, and I know that it covered me for on-road accidents and the like. Could be an option. Velosure I think it is with...
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby jaseyjase » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:07 pm

put cracked frame on ebay with full disclosure, let them know it 'may' be repaireable and point them to where they can have it assessed/fixed.

build your new frame, ride and enjoy. I think for peace of mind, youd want the new frame. Last thing you want is to have that niggling thought in the back of your mind that something 'may' fail because of the crack.

my 2c
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Re: Cracked carbon fiber frame - repairable?

Postby BMCR » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi guys! Just jumping in for a quick clarification: BMCR is a service and repairs-based shop but one of the few things we don't do is carbon fibre repairs. If anyone in Adelaide is needing this work done, they could try Neil Waterhouse at Universal Composite Engineering ( [email protected] ).

Cheers and happy trails. :-)
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