SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint

SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint

Yes, that is a Cervelo R5ca frame getting whacked with another tube repeatedly. This interesting demonstration was to illustrate Carbon Solutions’ proprietary clear coat additive that can be mixed in with any color paint to form a super hard, protective layer. The paint is said to prevent chipping in almost any circumstance – which includes beating the frame repeatedly for all passers by. In addition to the clear coat, Joe’s Bicycle Painting is evolving to create their own carbon repair and painting company called Carbon Solutions. With years of experience painting and repairing carbon frames for Calfee, Kestrel, and more, you might not have heard of Carbon Solutions, but if you’ve seen repaired carbon frames, you’ve probably seen their work.

SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint

Carbon gets a bad wrap for being “fragile” or prone to breaking. Truth is, it’s actually amazingly strong, and better yet – it’s repairable. The number of carbon repair companies springing up is proof that if you break your fancy frame, you don’t have to throw it away. Carbon Solutions is one of a handful of companies now accepting broken carbon bikes for repair.

The Orbea above was in a crash that broke both the chain and seat stay, and Carbon Solutions just finished up the repair. The next step is for Joe to work his magic matching the paint and decals almost perfectly, so you’d never know it was broken. To date, Joe’s has managed repairs for over 8,000 carbon frames and painted over 20,000. That’s over 24 years of experience both repairing and painting composite frames. They mention they can repair carbon rims as well, as long as the damage isn’t along the braking surface.

The repair process usually involves sanding or cutting away the damaged carbon including 1-2 inches surrounding the break. From there new 3k carbon weave is laid down in an attempt to match the orientation of the original carbon layup. Lugs or joints usually require some sort of custom mold to be able to apply enough pressure, with the addition of an insert on the inside of the frame to repair catastrophic failures. The final product is built back up to match the oritinal contours as best as possible, and then finished to match the frame. Testing of repaired frames has shown that Carbon Solution’s repairs meet or exceed the original stiffness of the tubing.

SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint SOC13: Carbon Solutions Offer Carbon Repair and Paint

No, those aren’t the original decals. Carbon Solutions can match any decal, but it doesn’t come cheap. Expect $125-200 just for the decals. As far as carbon frame repairs, small blemishes start at $100 ranging up to $350 for catastrophic crash damage such as separated or missing carbon, major holes, or seat mast reattachment. Paint touch up for carbon repairs starts at $50 for a clear coat over the area, $75 for a single opaque touch up, or $125 for two color touch ups. Complete paint jobs will cost you $400 for a single color, with options for more all the way up to full custom.

 

 

 

Comments

don - 05/15/13 - 11:25am

Not sure who did the paint, but my repair from Calfee and paint, June 2012, was not great. My repair has a visible deflection in the top tube (not trivial either), the paint on the actual repair spot was very good, but was dissapointed they ignored a 2x3mm chip that was on the head-tube same side. My message to Calfee was make it look new as the frame was only 2 months old when crashed. These shops are very busy these days due to all the carbon fixes, make sure to ask questions about being satisfied after the repair.

don

Steve @ G4G - 05/15/13 - 11:36am

I had Joe fix a failed headtube and touch up some paint on a Colnago, and it came back flawless. He’s also a really nice guy. I’ve sent several other people to him who have been equally happy with the results.

patrik - 05/15/13 - 11:45am

When I get in a car wreck that deploys the airbags, I save money by reusing the airbags.

Why buy new ones? This guy down the street, who goes by “Slimy” Joe, stuffs the airbags back in, (he used to pack parachutes in the Air Force), charges me $20, and we’re both happy.

I just hope they work.

Carbon fiber is tricky. You’re well-off enough to buy a carbon frame in the first place, replace it with a NEW one. Don’t be a miser. If it’s past the manufacturer’s warranty, usually lifetime, it’s too old anyway.

GW - 05/15/13 - 11:53am

“$350 for catastrophic crash damage” seems an exceptionally good deal given the amount of work it requires to make the repairs!!!

travis - 05/15/13 - 12:14pm

I had Ruckus here in Portland install custom fender eyelets and carbon fenders on my On-One Dirty Disco. I have an old six13 I with a cracked top tube that I need to have them fix here soon. They do amazing work!

Alan - 05/15/13 - 1:20pm

@patrik,

Why repair when you can replace? That’s a pretty solid consumer mentality. Also, what’s the tricky part of carbon fiber? I agree, it’s beyond my ability, but too tricky for experts like calfee, carbon solutions, or kappius?

Mindless - 05/15/13 - 2:04pm

For that money I can buy another frame direct from China. They actually are holding up quite fine.

Dale - 05/15/13 - 2:32pm

Ehh i like the look of this service esp the chip proof paint. I want to have this guy paint away the terrible s-works pin stripes with a solid color. Simply want to keep it cuz I still can’t find a better frame than my tarmac! And i have plenty others.

vhom - 05/15/13 - 3:59pm

@Dale….Why don’t you plastic Dip your frame? I did that to my Giant TCR and it was pretty easy and durable. Cost me about 25.00

Mindless - 05/15/13 - 6:54pm

@vhom: That is probably what they are doing.

Gravity - 05/15/13 - 10:19pm

There’s nothing remotely “slimy” about Joe (who learned his trade under Calfee, the godfather of carbon bicycles). I have personally sent him dozens of frames for repair, and each one has come back looking excellent to flawless. Several of my friends and coworkers are riding frames that he repaired, many have 5000+ miles post repair, and none of them have any hint or inkling of a failing. For the most part, the repairs have been 99% seamless, and only detectable under close examination with the right light.

I imagine that the same is true for any of the other credible carbon repair places.

I am incredulous, yet not surprised, that so many people feel you should simply throw your (un-recyclable) frame away, when repairs are safe, effective, and inexpensive.

Padrote - 05/15/13 - 11:44pm

Carbon fiber is quite recyclable. That’s not to say the process is energy efficient or clean.

ABW - 05/16/13 - 10:32am

@Padrote – yup, I’m gonna be that guy – downcycling is not the same as recycling. It’s true, you can send carbon bits and pieces to a place like Materials Innovation Technologies (where Trek and Specialized send their broken frames and scraps), where they’re chopped up and processed into a usable material, but that material is unsuited to anything structural, like bike frames. At least with steel and aluminum, it conceivable that an old frame could become a new frame.

Markus - 05/16/13 - 8:02pm

Having looked around a bit now, it’s less expensive, easier and quicker to get carbon repaired than steel. Now we just need to go back to threaded BB’s and we’ll have the perfect bikes!

Erik - 05/17/13 - 1:42am

*rap

Alecks - 05/17/13 - 7:18pm

I totally believe in carbon repair as a viable alternative to frame replacement. Predator carbon has a team thats been racing some NRC and NCC races on repaired frames. If they can be ridden by pros than i dont see why i cant ride them. They fixed a BMC that had its drive side chain stay broken all the way through and its fine so far.

http://predatorcycling.com/carbon-fiber-repair/

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