This article, ‘Carbon Bicycle Frame Repair’, came about after a rare crash on a test bike sparked an all too common cycling argument here among our review team: which frame material is the best for repair-ability and longevity? So this is the first of a series of articles covering the repair of different frame materials.
After crashing a titanium frame into the side of a van, through no fault of his own, one of our reviewers was amazed at the resilience that the polished metal showed. In an impact which destroyed other components on the bike, the frame remained unscathed; no damage at all in fact. But another reviewer waded in with his stories of titanium parts snapping and cracking… Still titanium frames are renowned as being tough to beat in longevity terms.
We all had plenty of steel frame crash stories, yet steel is very repairable. Even in one case, where a new top tube had to be fitted to a frame, it is still in regular use today, some 17 years on! Steel is thought to be tough to beat if you want a repairable frame.
Aluminium is not known for the same qualities of titanium or steel, and stories of frames ‘going off’ abound but recent advances have lead to new tubesets which are far more resilient than those of a decade ago and repairs, whilst still relatively rare, are becoming easier. Aluminium is often really only thought of a performance material though.
Then finally our debate turned inevitably to carbon, the material that has come to dominate the higher echelons of our sport. As such carbon seemed like a good place to start. Scare stories abound, but what is the real truth? Well we wanted to find out so we went to Dorking in Surrey to meet a man who knows a lot about carbon fibre… Read More >