Carbon fibre is renowned for being a cost-effective, lightweight material that is often used in vehicles and bicycles. The material is composed of fibres from carbon and resin mixtures that often form a square- or diamond-checkered pattern. Although carbon fibre is lightweight, the material can break, as well as become damaged due to nicks from rocks. These damaged areas to the bicycle frame must be fixed to prevent and avoid bicycle accidents. You can repair minor damage to carbon fibre frames for a low cost with materials found at most hardware stores.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 80-grit sandpaper
- Filler putty
- Box cutter
- Plexiglas patches
- Epoxy resin
- Electrical tape
Remove any carbon shards and lose fibres in the break, as well as decals and dirt. Sand the area lightly to remove the paint and any remaining loose fibres with 80-grit sandpaper.
Fill the hole or depressed area with filler putty. Allow enough time for the filler putty to dry. Read the label to determine drying time.
Use 80-grit sandpaper to smooth the area covered in filler putty. Sand down the surface so it is flush with the surrounding carbon fibre areas.
Use a box knife to cut several fibreglass patches to a size large enough to cover the damaged area and overlap slightly over undamaged carbon fibre areas. Use several patch layers if the area of damage is large.
Mix enough epoxy resin to cover the damaged area by following the manufacturer's instructions. Apply epoxy resin to the damaged area and adhere the fibreglass patches to the area. Secure each patch individually.
Wrap the patched area with electrical tape to apply pressure. Start the tape a few inches away from the repair and wrap the tape with the sticky side up and away from the repairs. Ensure that there is an even number of tape layers along the patched area.
Use a pin to carefully make pin holes approximately 1/4-inch apart along the tape. This will allow excess epoxy resin to escape.
Allow enough time for the epoxy resin to cure and dry. Remove the tape covering the patched area.
Sand the patch area with 80-grit sandpaper until the area is smooth and flush with neighbouring carbon fibre areas.
Tips and warnings
- Polish and paint the repaired areas for a sleek, finished look.
- Consult an expert to determine whether the damage to the frame can be repaired or if the bike is damaged beyond repair.
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