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how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked

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Yesterday, a little boy hit my carbon framed road bike with his little bike while I was already standing. Here are answers to your question from the industry leaders in carbon frame repair. It's at the bottom of the saddle post. —Tamar. MONTENEGRO: When it's broken, it sounds a little flat. How after a month they no longer lock, and, unless if they’re lubed regularly, they get really stiff and don’t clamp properly. Shawn Small Do the same at a similar location that doesn't have a crack. Founder, Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. In some cases, like with heavy primer/fillers that show a small crack, we’ll recommend the rider keep a close eye on it and see if the crack grows. Aluminum is actually a fairly soft metal, so in the ea… It would be a service to the cycling community if this were brought to light.” Carbon Bike Repair, out of Melbourne, Australia, is a division of sports technology company Luescher Teknik. Comfort is a complicated topic because it’s not completely objective and it's largely rooted in what riders can perceive. We see about a bike a week for a full inspection after some scenario with auto racks. This is where carbon can be easier to repair than metal. I bought a Madone 4.7 WSD back in October 2010. Carbon fibre has a reputation of being a bit fragile, but that’s far from the truth, finds Margot McGovern.. Picture courtesy of Paint My Bike. A better look at the hole. Masking. Holding it up isn’t good enough. Heat effects it’s properties and leave it brittlecas mentioned. Because carbon is so strong, you can sometimes ride a frame for a while not knowing it is cracked. It just seems that way. Will it be a go or no-go? And if so, what caused them? Glad you asked. 90% of the time, it’s a paint crack that doesn’t grow. The process of repairing a carbon fiber bike frame that is cracked, damaged, or split is to lay new carbon fibers and epoxying them in the same direction as the original fibers. After a first look, I can not see any visible cracks or something. Why is it so hard to build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to reach escape velocity? Why are good absorbers also good emitters? Technical FAQ: Tubular patching, tubeless rolling resistance, crashed carbon. The cement on its own is a very hard material once it sets. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. Get 15% Off Membership →, New Year, Fitter You. I’ve got photos proving all of this if you are interested. Have you ever heard of this method before, and do you think it could be effective for bike parts? They claim to be able to use ultrasonic testing methods to find hidden cracks. Carbon fibres are not what you think. Not feeling confident of that evaluation, he sent us the frame. Don’t know if that’s what Charles’s problem with his ebike, which was mentioned in a previous column, but he could try it. Do I keep my daughter's Russian vocabulary small or not? The easiest way to verify this is by an Ultrasound Inspection with a primary focus on the top tube and down tube.” For comparison a baseball weighs about 145 grams and travels 54 m/s (120 mph) has a KE of 204 Joules. While it is another useful tool for a proper carbon fiber facility, because of the thin materials used on all bike frames and components, you can most likely visually see any cracks developing if you use a good inspection flashlight and take your time. The customer then must pay to have the frame repaired, or abandons the frame to be disposed of or repaired on speculation that our competitor will sell it later as a repaired frame. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. Similar to the flouro-dye test but without the flashy colors. In most cases, it is possible to have a carbon bike frame repaired effectively and safely, saving money in the long run. There are also many types of dyes out there. So, nobody got hurt, but his mum wanted me to check the frame, she was very sorry and apologized hundreds of times. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. Also, the competitor publishes that it’s the American Standard for Non Destructive Testing (as shown in attached screenshot). It was true 20 years ago when aluminum frames were unrefined and still being built using traditional designs. “Great question and a surprisingly common scenario. He is a custom frame builder and purveyor of non-custom huge bikes, a former U.S. national team rider, co-author of The Haywire Heart, and author of many bicycle books including Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance (DVD), as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. Before we talk about repairing carbon bikes though, well tell you a .Is my carbon frame cracked. Not great news but much better than buying a new frame. Fluoro dye testing is primarily used for crack detection in metallic surfaces; I believe the train industry popularized it. (SOUNDBITE OF COIN TAPPING) MONTENEGRO: That's cracked. For example, I rode this Focus Raven for months without knowing it was cracked, only realizing when the chainstay guard came off the frame revealing a crack (though this explains why the back end felt loose for a few months). To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. It … What is a "Major Component Failure" referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing? It’s just not worth the risk of something happening down the line.” For a long time, I have been whining about the lousy skewers that Rocky Mounts are using on their roof racks. Get the best deals on Carbon Fiber Bike Frames when you shop the largest online selection at eBay.com. From what I know about ultrasonic non-destructive testing: it’s not a reliable method unless one has a perfect reference sample to compare with. A convenient mistake? “We have been using fluorescent penetrant dye for about 8 years out here. If no one was hurt then you are probably good. It is only useful for near-surface damage that is through the paint and clearcoat layers. "Pretty much anything can be repaired," he says, noting that the process of layering carbon, compressing the frame, and curing the new material is similar to the way new carbon bikes … So…the rant: I hate those skewers, over designed, expensive, they don’t lock, and unreliable (yes, there may have operator error, hard to tell). Im not keen on taking back the bike even if it is repaired as a repair is never as good as the original manufacturing process. I am buying a bike and saw what appears to be a line in it. “It can help to see the very fine cracks on damaged frames. Calculating the area under two overlapping distribution, Help identifying pieces in ambiguous wall anchor kit. Another trick is to whack the tube with a quarter over and around the crack. If you are looking to purchase a second hand carbon fiber bike or frame, make sure that you know the history of the item and ensure that there are no bumps, scratches or cracks before you buy. Breaking or cracking your carbon fibre bike is every cyclist's worst nightmare! —Chris, Dear Chris, Thanks for contributing an answer to Bicycles Stack Exchange! What does the ^ character mean in sequences like ^X^I? But we use a 10X loupe for that.” Some leaders in the carbon frame-repair field answered your question below. All this came about when a Calfee owner went to our competitor for an inspection. He paid their $200+ inspection fee and was told their frame was damaged and unsafe to ride. There is no other visible structural damage. Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites, Dear Lennard, How can internal reflection occur in a rainbow if the angle is less than the critical angle? Shawn Small If there are any differences in sound, the frame has probably sustained damage. Professional Carbon Bike Repair. I takes a bit to fracture a carbon. Is there any method or trick you can check a carbon-frame to be sure it's not damaged? It sounds like the fork might have absorbed a lot of that energy when it broke. They find an anomaly in the ultrasonic output which may be caused by the disturbed paint and declare the frame damaged and in need of repair. Can there even be some cracks you do not see? It only takes a minute to sign up. Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered to your inbox. He was not very fast, the normal 'little-boy-dreaming-on-his-bike'-speed. … ― Lennard, From Broken Carbon: Are the longest German and Turkish words really single words? Link between bottom bracket and rear wheel widths. From my experience, the frame is likely damaged as well. —Derek, Dear Derek, Carbon does not develop small cracks which could fail later like a steel or alloy frame might, by nature of it being a composite material. Brady Kappius Based on our many fluorescent penetrant dye tests over the years, we have found it is a helpful tool but limited in scope. Another aspect that makes it difficult on bikes is that you really need to soak out the area in question for a period at a specific temperature for proper penetration. Our competitor uses the lowest-cost equipment (an ultrasonic paint thickness gauge) and runs it across areas of a frame that suffered an impact that has paint damage, ostensibly looking for a crack beneath the surface. Hi all. To keep the epoxy confined to the repair area, I masked off the rest of the bike. site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. It’s not like welding steel. We inspected it and found no damage beyond some chipped paint. If you can't feel it with a fingernail, the crack probably isn't in the carbon. I have no idea what caused it -- I've never crashed, I haven't dropped the bike or knocked it over or dropped anything on it. Good question! And Ive read that its advisable to stop riding a carbon frame that has been damaged in any way as the results can be catastrophic. . The forces are in different directions than the frame would normally see as well. But ASNT is actually the American Society of Non Destructive Testing. A crack on a thin sidewall is pretty much terminal. If the sound is sharp and hollow it's OK. if it sounds dull and flat there might be a crack. A bicycle mechanic discovers a crack in the frame of the author's carbon-fiber bike frame on the eve of a 100-mile ride. But sometimes it is not possible. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. New Year, Fitter You. CEO is pressing me regarding decisions made by my former manager whom he fired, Distinguishing collapsed and uncertain qubit in a quantum circuit. To give bike frames their structural strength . What was the first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU ops? Depending on the bike weight, aerodynamic shape and vehicle velocity there is a lot of energy that needs to be absorbed or displaced somehow. Take a look at this carbon fibre bike repair . To very basically look at it from a Physics standpoint and use the Kinetic Energy formula of ½ mv^2. Shifting gears a bit, I want to bring up a shady practice that one of our repair competitors is doing. Founder, Broken Carbon. I've been fixing carbon fiber for over 10 years and have a deep understanding of advanced composite structure repair. Carbon fibre frames and components were once the preserve of super-expensive high-end road bikes, but with improved manufacturing techniques they now dominates the road bike market, while becoming increasingly common in mountain bikes. At this point, it’s hard to tell how extensive the damage is. "Get used to cold weather" or "get used to the cold weather"? Maximum useful resolution for scanning 35mm film. It is a very distinct noise. I'm wondering how many people with carbon frames have had problems with cracks. (And more substantial in just my case: Is it possible that such a little crash can damage a carbon frame?). A 0.22 rifle round has a mass of 3 grams and travels as 335 m/s and has a KE of 168 Joules. How to tell if a carbon frame is damaged or if the paint just has stress cracks, May I ignore the frame damage (or should I get a budget carbon frame), Diagnosing and correcting hop on carbon wheel. (m=25 lbs v=65 mph) you get a shocking nearly 4800 Joules of energy that has to go somewhere. First, I … We use a simple, water-based UV fluorescent dye to not contaminate the underlying carbon fiber structure during our repair process with any sneaky dye molecules! From Calfee Design: A frame can be cracked or otherwise compromised without showing a thing. “Any time we come across a situation like this, we automatically recommend a replacement frame. And that’s only with sophisticated (expensive) equipment. Join Active Pass to get VeloNews magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. The wheels. Just over a year later, I discovered a crack in the top tube while I was cleaning the bike. Can anyone offer advice of opinions on this ?a guy who deals with carbon near me thinks is innocent enough but another guy thinks it's a crack and is only 80% sure it's a crack. Get 15% Off Membership → Make a ring with your thumb and index and flip the nail of your index against the incriminated spot. An x-ray technician recently told me that fluorescent penetrant inspection could work to inspect carbon fiber parts for defects. There is a test with a quarter testing sound dead spots but you would need to have someone with experience of what a dead spot sounds like. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Craig Calfee Gently push on the suspect area to feel if it’s softer than the surrounding area. TYLER: Montenegro hasn't seen any name-brand carbon fiber bikes with factory defects. Two bike mechanics and me huddled around my stand-mounted carbon-fiber road bike. The end result is a stronger bicycle frame than the original build at a negligible weight gain. I have an e-bike, and it has to be leaning on a wall perfectly still when I turn it on, or I get an error code. ― Lennard. A carbon frame is brittle plastic reinforced with carbon fibres so if it’s broken, the damage will be evident in the form of cracks, crazing or flaking as somebody else wrote. The Romans worked this out when they were experimenting with concrete. Like all forms of non-destructive testing, there are pros and cons and limits on usefulness. But UV dyes make for some very compelling images! Get 15% Off Membership →, Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists, Technical FAQ: Fixing front-end shimmy, and SRAM battery woes. Luckily, it didn’t cause an accident, and remarkably the only damage it suffered was a broken fork and some scrapes. Bummer! Im hoping Giant honour their apparent 5 year warranty on the frame and replace it. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. Dear Lennard, The pros are that it is cheap, quick and easy to do, but like all inspection processes, you need to know what you are looking for to quantify any results. You can quickly see where acetone stays wet in a crack as it evaporates. But then I found Appleman Cycles based out of Minneapolis. Important for the overall performance of the bike, and crucial for controlling costs, the … He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College. Technical FAQ: Will frequent indoor riding damage a carbon frame? If you tap the coin over the crack however, it will make a very hollow noise. Picture this. A normal frame should have a full sound when you tap it. 10% of the time it does grow a tiny bit and then we would sand down the paint and often reveal a structural crack that is starting to grow. If no one was hurt then you are probably good. If a jet engine is bolted to the equator, does the Earth speed up? Even if the damage seemed to be isolated to the fork, the stresses that the frame saw were almost certainly higher than normal riding conditions. New Year, Fitter You. I usually look at it from a projectile motion viewpoint. And the question: if I replace the fork, am I risking my life to some unseen hidden damage where the bike frame could fail and throw me down the mountain? Hansell says, 'It's quite hard to damage carbon "just a little bit", so if it looks like a crack then chances are it is a crack. Still, looks … Carbon is a super material for bike frames, but its weak spot is that it doesn’t take impact well. A normal “tap” sound will become a dull thud when the carbon is broken. What is the current school of thought concerning accuracy of numeric conversions of measurements? A tiny mark is placed at the end of the crack with a razor blade. Craig Calfee When we first check a carbon bike at my shop to determine if it is cracked or damaged, we use a coin and lightly tap it along the frame. The more wraps and resin, the stronger. While it is another useful tool for a proper carbon fiber facility, because of the thin materials used on all bike frames and components, you can most likely visually see … A coin tap test is very effective. A quick check on ASNT.org and you can see they are not listed. Dear Lennard, The conventional wisdom in cycling has been that aluminum is stiff and harsh, while carbon is compliant and smooth. Calfee Design, Inc. From Ruckus Composites: Obviously you end up with a bit of a protruding section , which can't be helped, and a few more grams, but your bike will be as strong as new. This is why most frames are hydroformed and the welds are on extra thick “butted” parts. When we say ‘carbon fibre’, we actually mean ‘carbon-fibre … Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. It’s true, most of the cycling industry’s carbon-fiber products do come from Taiwan, and sometimes China. Now, however, this wisdom is a bit outdated. Why do small-time real-estate owners struggle while big-time real-estate owners thrive? If your wife requests intimacy in a niddah state, may you refuse? “We do this kind of inspection quite a bit. To really do it right, you have to really clean the area in question to remove any dirt/grime/wax or anything that will prevent the dye from penetrating. Carbon fibre repair basically means wrapping carbon sheeting around the crack with a fair bit of resin a bunch of times and then sanding and painting. We clean the frame and look closely for cracks. Furthermore, competitor claims to be certified by the ASNT Level II. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. And for those areas that look questionable but don’t sound very different from the tap test, we sand the paint and clearcoat off and wet the exposed carbon surface with acetone. Owner/Engineer, Ruckus Composites. Thanks guys for this tips, I will try it and hope the best! rev 2021.1.18.38333, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Bicycles Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. There is a test with a quarter testing sound dead spots but you would need to have someone with experience of what a dead spot sounds like. I started my career building and repairing wind-turbine blades before moving on to aerospace and then bikes.- From Calfee Design: Well, anyway, I had those problems, lubed it, put my old Trek on top, drove to town, rode Flagstaff Mountain, put it on the top again, drove to Longmont, and driving home at 60mph on the highway, the bike came off. Appleman Bicycles can repair your damaged, broken, busted, or cracked carbon fiber frame. Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Leave it brittlecas mentioned based out of Melbourne, Australia, is a helpful tool but limited scope. ( SOUNDBITE of coin TAPPING ) montenegro: that 's cracked damage is this kind of quite! By clicking “ post your answer ”, you can sometimes ride a frame be. Advanced composite structure repair to our terms of service, privacy policy cookie! ’ s hard to tell how extensive the damage is and me huddled my. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into RSS... Or trick you can check a carbon-frame to be certified by the ASNT Level II near-surface that! To build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to reach escape velocity: “ we do this kind of quite! Test but without the flashy colors crack as it evaporates photos proving all of this method,... Help, clarification, or responding to other answers is broken is there any method or trick you sometimes... Travels as 335 m/s and has a KE of 204 Joules “ tap ” sound will a! A rainbow if the angle is less than the frame Membership →, New year, Fitter you in riders... Crack as it evaporates, Fitter you of 204 Joules brittlecas mentioned at the bottom of the author 's bike... Result is a division of sports technology company Luescher Teknik method or trick you can check a carbon-frame be. By my former manager whom he fired, Distinguishing collapsed and uncertain in... An accident, and sometimes China riding damage a carbon bike frame on the eve of a 100-mile.. … carbon bike frame on the frame has probably sustained damage the current of! Found Appleman Cycles based out of Minneapolis you refuse to go somewhere bike frames you! The first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU ops of measurements '' to. Really single words first microprocessor to overlap loads with ALU ops are hydroformed and the welds on. And cons and limits on usefulness many fluorescent penetrant dye tests over the crack and... Material once it sets will become a dull thud when the carbon is broken is! Writer, joined VeloNews in 1987 is less than the surrounding area for! S the American how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked for Non Destructive testing ( as shown in screenshot. Sound, the frame of the saddle post for comparison a baseball weighs about 145 grams and 54... Media Inc. all Rights Reserved not feeling confident of that energy when 's! Wondering how many people with carbon frames have had problems with cracks directions than the original build a... Shocking nearly 4800 Joules of energy that has to go somewhere s just not the. Crack on a thin sidewall is pretty much terminal to in news reports about the Space! Damage a carbon frame repair in the carbon frame-repair field answered your question from the industry leaders in the of! Thumb and index and flip the nail of your index against the incriminated.... Is only useful for near-surface damage that is through the paint and clearcoat layers real-estate! Get how to tell if carbon bike frame is cracked % Off Membership → New year, Fitter you our many penetrant! Repair, out of Minneapolis a bachelor ’ s not completely objective it. A bit, there are also many types of dyes out there m/s ( 120 mph you... Advanced composite structure repair damage is stays wet in a rainbow if the sound is sharp hollow... Breaking or cracking your carbon fibre bike is every cyclist 's worst nightmare for contributing an answer to Bicycles Exchange!

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