Is my carbon frame cracked?

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Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby clack3rz » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:24 pm

After cleaning the bike, I noticed what looks like to be a crack in the frame.
However I'm not sure if it's just the paint, or whether it's the FD, or actually a crack.
I've never crashed the bike etc so not sure what may have caused it - flex maybe? Strange place for enough flex to cause a crack though.

I've had the bike for 2 years, bought second-hand, the frame was brand-new never ridden. I definitely know it's only a recent appearance as I inspect the bike quite regularly.

Where is the best place to get the frame inspected (I'm in Vic - Melbourne SE 'burbs)? LBS? Or does anyone know a reputable builder/repairer?

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by BNA » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:34 pm

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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:34 pm

Guessing (ultrasound inspection is the only way to tell for sure) that the crack is where the plate ends for the FD mount that was bonded into the frame before finishing.

Could be cosmetic only due to differential thermal expansion of the metal and CF, hard to tell. Does your bike creak at all?

Luescher Technik is somewhere in Melbourne and they do ultrasound CF checking and repairs. Not cheap, though. You wouldn't bother if it was a set of bars or a seatpost, but a frame you would consider.

On the upside, CF is repairable. If it were alloy, your frame would likely be binworthy.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby Cossie Phil » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:04 pm

My vote is that the paint/gel coat is cracked...not the carbon, mark it up with an artline or sharpie and put some clear tape over it, and keep an eye on it.

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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:40 pm

Not definitive but definitely worth a try...

Take a coin and tap the top or down tube to get an idea of the sound of a known healthy tube then work your way down the seat tube.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby biker jk » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:04 pm

Perhaps there's reason to be more concerned with the scoring in the brake track of your rear wheel?
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby ball bearing » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:25 pm

I freaks me a bit when I see multiple posts about cracked carbon frames because mine is black and I doubt that a crack would show up like they do on light coloured bikes.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby Metor » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:38 pm

biker jk wrote:Perhaps there's reason to be more concerned with the scoring in the brake track of your rear wheel?

:lol:
Time to take some stones out of your brake pads?

I guess it is a paint crack. Exactly on the line of the FD plate. Althought there shouldn't be to much movement on the plate and carbon to cause a (paint) crack.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby outnabike » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:47 pm

That to me is the beginning of a stress fracture, and I reckon will only get worse. Definitely worth getting it checked out.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby sogood » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Highly likely it's the paint. Given a sudden transition in stiffness at that point and brittle paint coat, it's bound to part way. Not good either way. Should also check wether the FD mounting is secure.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby cpical » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:33 pm

Raoul Luescher is in Alphington. Does great job. Contact him, and go there with your bike. He fixed one frame twice, frame (spare bike) that I rode today!

I don't like the paint/built job around the FD mount.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby open roader » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:41 pm

We are all guessing here without expert diagnosis.

I have a clear coat paint layer crack in my frame which looks very similar to this so my guess is paint depth only.

I have ridden with the paint crack on my frame for 2.5 years / 3500km and it has not altered at all since first observation.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby clack3rz » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:46 am

Thanks everyone for your advice (even if it's limited to a diagnosis from a pic).
My feeling is that it's where the FD is mounted, and I agree that I still need to get it checked.
Regarding the scoring on the rims. There is some minor ones, It appears to be trick photography making it look like there's a major one, but trust me it's not nearly as bad as it looks. I checked it out. There 'appears' to be no movement in the crack when I apply some pressure to the FD, so it maybe just the top layer.

I'll try out the coin test as well.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby Howzat » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:20 pm

Keep us updated when you get it checked. It's possible the coin test might be indeterminate given the proximity of the internal FD mount.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby jacks1071 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:20 pm

The crack in the paint appears to be where the FD bracket is mounted, I wouldn't be too worried about it.
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby InTheWoods » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:07 pm

ball bearing wrote:I freaks me a bit when I see multiple posts about cracked carbon frames because mine is black and I doubt that a crack would show up like they do on light coloured bikes.


Dark garage at night, and a decent headlamp (or bright torch held in front of your face). Its amazing what you can then see on the frame :) Until I tried this on my frame I thought it was just pure black, but suddenly I could see where the outermost fibre layups ended and everything :)
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby ball bearing » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:01 pm

InTheWoods wrote:
ball bearing wrote:I freaks me a bit when I see multiple posts about cracked carbon frames because mine is black and I doubt that a crack would show up like they do on light coloured bikes.


Dark garage at night, and a decent headlamp (or bright torch held in front of your face). Its amazing what you can then see on the frame :) Until I tried this on my frame I thought it was just pure black, but suddenly I could see where the outermost fibre layups ended and everything :)

Thanks for the tip!
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Re: Is my carbon frame cracked?

Postby chrisle » Fri May 10, 2013 4:41 pm

please be aware the hidden costs with frame and fork inspection via Luescher Teknik, and timing.
i rang and was advised "$290 for frame and fork inspection" and "a couple of days", and to "bring my bike in".
Two whole (business) days later after i contacted them, i got an email advising it would cost an extra $230 (so total $520) to disassemble and
reassemble my bike (why didnt they tell me beforehand) and it's clear to me now that it will take some
days to weeks not "a couple days". FYI My bike on visual inspection has no
damage but because of a high speed crash, I wanted an ultrasound
check, probably an overkill. I would NOT recommend this business.
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