Proper Carbon Fiber Care

March 11, 2014

Carbon has a proven performance pedigree. However, with the current advances in carbon and resin technology carbon frames and components are getting hyper light. This makes proper carbon fiber care and maintenance even more crucial.

Unlike metal parts, carbon fiber parts that have damage do not dramatically change form, they break without warning! Carbon forks, stems and handlebars are most critical to your control and safety and should be regularly inspected.

To begin, the following tests may not be conclusive. There may be damage you or your dealer can't find. If you have any doubts, DO NOT RIDE the bicycle. Have your dealer contact supplier.

No matter what brand you ride, if you have crashed or impacted the bike (ran into garage car topping, crashed) take your bike to your dealer for a close inspection.

Use the following checklist to inspect your carbon frame and parts:

1. Visual Test

  • Clean the part thoroughly
  • Check for deep scratches, gouges, loose fibers, other surface irregularities
  • Check for loss of rigidity
  • Check for delamination
  • Note: Vast majority of cracks are paint or clear coat chips around mold lines or fork crown. Carbon will pass tap test and crack will not be overly deep

2. Tactile Flex Test

  • Change in bike's ride quality or handling, shifting or braking performance
  • Unexpected movement, flex

3. Audible Test

  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds could indicate a problem
  • Use a coin and tap near possible damage and areas to be in good condition and listen for sound indicating part is not solid

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