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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A rock hit my S-works while riding and put a hole in my carbon frame down tube. The hole is about the same size as one of the pre-drilled holes in the frame that is used to attach a water bottle onto the frame.

Given that the damage was caused by a road hazard, Specialized warranty does not apply.

I am wondering what is the best way to repair the hole? Would a 2-part structural adhesive be strong enough to fill and provide the strength needed to keep riding this frame?

Brown Text Photograph White Line


Is there a better way to repair?

Specialized is telling me it is not safe to repair - but it does not look like there is any structural damage. The frame has 24,900 miles on it and I would love to blow past the 25,000 mile mark and then hopefully onto 30,000.

Should I be concerned about riding this frame - even after repairing?

Any recommendations regarding what to do and what to use to repair would be appreciated.

Bicycle wheel rim Rim Bicycle tire Fender Spoke
 

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A rock hit my S-works while riding and put a hole in my carbon frame down tube. The hole is about the same size as one of the pre-drilled holes in the frame that is used to attach a water bottle onto the frame.
Hate to break it to you, but that is structural damage. The composite continuum has been broken. It can probably be repaired pretty easily by someone knowledgable.


I am wondering what is the best way to repair the hole? Would a 2-part structural adhesive be strong enough to fill and provide the strength needed to keep riding this frame?

Is there a better way to repair?
Yes. The hole needs to be drilled/reamed/machined to assure stress relief. Otherwise, the edges may easily lead to stress risers that will serve for crack propagation along the tube. It's more than simply filling the hole.

Specialized is telling me it is not safe to repair - but it does not look like there is any structural damage.
Looks can be very deceiving.

The frame has 24,900 miles on it and I would love to blow past the 25,000 mile mark and then hopefully onto 30,000.

Should I be concerned about riding this frame - even after repairing?
After repairing by someone competent, no, not all.

Any recommendations regarding what to do and what to use to repair would be appreciated.
Find a competent carbon bike repair facility. Calfee Designs has a reputation for being one of the best. But as they're in CA and you're in New England, that may not be practical. Check with a good, knowledgeable LBS or local framebuilder. Given the age of the bike the total cost of repair may exceed the current value. Just something to consider. You should also ask about a crash replacement discount for a new frame, and see what Specialized may offfer.
 

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This is a clear cut case for a need for professional repair.

It's not hard.
It's not expensive.
It doesn't take very long.
You really should have it done.

Calfee is good, Predator is good, Ruckus is good, there's many out there that are good and proven.

That being said, you do not have to send your frame away. You can do this yourself. What you have though, that epoxy, is not the right way to do this.

Predator does sell a DIY kit. It has the correct epoxy, replacement carbon fiber, compression tape, sand paper, everything you need.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZUlgEe1z08VUlrY_5Cwx_3Yqg9JYvEF0

You can watch the above 3 videos to show you the process of doing it yourself with their kit. That being said it's really much easier to send it off.

I would just strip the frame down and mail it off. It will only cost about $50 or so to ship and the repair should be less than $500 total.
 

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Well, that sucks. Jay Strongbow raised a good point that I didn't mention - the possibility of underlying cracking on the composite. While the pic looks like a fairly clean hole, it's impossible to tell what may be lurking beneath the paint at this point. A well equipped and knowledgeable repair facility will be able to determine if there is more extensive damage via imaging the damaged area, either thermally, with ultrasound, or possibly by X-ray.
 

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I'm still trying to imagine how a flying rock can do that damage.....I'm suspicious this is another JRA story......and thus our assumptions of underlying or consequential damage and this type of repair needed are wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
saw the rock immediately after it hit my bike.

But I appreciate all the comments and sounds like a DIY repair may be the wrong way to go. The Forum has never steered me wrong.

Will check the recommended carbon repair companies provided - but given the price to ship to and from and the cost of the repair itself - alas i fear my black stallion is no more.
 

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Predator does sell a DIY kit. It has the correct epoxy, replacement carbon fiber, compression tape, sand paper, everything you need.
It's interesting that anyone would offer a DIY kit for carbon fiber repair to the public.

Two words: liability bomb.

Other than the materials, Predator has zero quality control over the repairs that are being attempted with their kits. Okay, the job is fairly straightforward, but there are many things in life that that are straightforward yet can be (and consistently are) 'effed up to a fare-thee-well on a consistent basis.

I'd offer to sell a kit to a shop if they agree to be trained and certified that they can do the repair safely. Sort of like S&S - they only offer to sell their couplers to professional frame builders in order to maintain some level of quality control.
 

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It's interesting that anyone would offer a DIY kit for carbon fiber repair to the public.

Two words: liability bomb. ...
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has been selling DIY epoxy repair systems and kits for boat constuction and repair for decades. What's different about bicycles?
 

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saw the rock immediately after it hit my bike.

But I appreciate all the comments and sounds like a DIY repair may be the wrong way to go. The Forum has never steered me wrong.

Will check the recommended carbon repair companies provided - but given the price to ship to and from and the cost of the repair itself - alas i fear my black stallion is no more.
Carbon Fiber Bike Repair | Ruckus Composites

would be top on my list, along with calfee. Treat yourself to a nice custom paint ala 'Chavanel' too, now that Spesh is out of the equation for a warranty issue...
 

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Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has been selling DIY epoxy repair systems and kits for boat constuction and repair for decades. What's different about bicycles?
I'd posit that a botched repair on bike frame is more likely to result in a catastrophic failure that would result in injuries than doing a rotten job patching a small hole on a boat hull. especially in a non-critical area like a deck or on the hull above the water line. There are really no non-critical areas on a bike frame. Plus, a catastrophic failure on a bike frame at speed is far more likely to result in a serious injury. On a boat, you sink and get wet. Don the life vests....
 

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I'd posit that a botched repair on bike frame is more likely to result in a catastrophic failure that would result in injuries than doing a rotten job patching a small hole on a boat hull. especially in a non-critical area like a deck or on the hull above the water line. There are really no non-critical areas on a bike frame. Plus, a catastrophic failure on a bike frame at speed is far more likely to result in a serious injury. On a boat, you sink and get wet. Don the life vests....
You do realize that West System epoxies are used widely by DIY boat builders and boat owners to do way more than patch a small hole. We're talking about whole boat hull construction. As I see it the risk in boat building is death from drowning. It happens around here every year, multiple times.

I think the liability issue with a composite repair kit would end with the product, not the quality of the ensung repair, provided that appropriate cautionary statements, etc. are supplied along with the kit (you lawyer types get that one).

You buy frame parts, including fork parts, for building your own bicycle and fork. How is that different from buying an epoxy-carbon fiber kit?
 

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You do realize that West System epoxies are used widely by DIY boat builders and boat owners to do way more than patch a small hole. We're talking about whole boat hull construction. As I see it the risk in boat building is death from drowning. It happens around here every year, multiple times.

I think the liability issue with a composite repair kit would end with the product, not the quality of the ensung repair, provided that appropriate cautionary statements, etc. are supplied along with the kit (you lawyer types get that one).

You buy frame parts, including fork parts, for building your own bicycle and fork. How is that different from buying an epoxy-carbon fiber kit?
Actually, the warnings and disclaimers only go so far to defuse liability. And, as we all know, you can sue anyone...even if you are wrong.

There is a bit of a difference between a situation where, say, a person is building a bike or a boat from scratch and a repair kit designed to fix damage on a bike frame that, if repaired incorrectly, can injure or maim.

With the bike or the boat, the person doing the building is pretty much presumed to be assuming the risk that their construction or design skills aren't up to snuff. Just like the way that if Lowes sells you wood and nails to build a deck they have little exposure if it collapses because, chances are, the problem is your bad design and not the supplies. Granted, if I bought some tubes that turned out to be defective, I (or my heirs) could sue. But good luck proving that the cause of my injury or untimely demise was the result of a defective product and not my own kack-handed design or construction.

A repair kit is different. Here you are attempting to fix something that is already known or assumed to be properly designed. Compounding the issue is the fact that, unless the fix is carried out properly, you are risking a catastrophic failure that is likely to result in an injury. To do a proper repair you need to be able to assess the condition of the structure and the damage and figure out if it can be repaired and how to carry it out. There is, I imagine, a fairly low threshold imposed by the manufacturer for being able to get your hands on this kit - all you need is money, and not a lot of that. No showing of skill, no proof that you know how to work with carbon fiber or assess damage. Plus, I am willing to wager that there are far more folks who are tempted to try a carbon fiber repair on a biffed bike - in order to save money - than there are folks who would attempt to build a frame and fork (or sea-going fiberglass Titanic) from scratch.

One could argue that, by not requiring some sort of training or certification as a prerequisite for buying the repair kit, the manufacturer was willfully or recklessly ignoring the risks that could foreseeably result if an unskilled person made a botched repair with their kit, or if they attempted to repair a frame that was beyond saving. The way that it is set up now, it is entirely foreseeable that unskilled folks will attempt to use the kit to attempt dumb repairs. And hurt themselves.

Or at least that's how I would argue it.
 

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I understand your arguments, counselor. But considering the vast array of DIY repair kits, tools, and materials widely available to enthusiasts and average users across a multitude of markets, I would submit this is a case of pounding on the table. However, in a plaintiff's liability case about all that's needed is to sway the thinking of a simple majority of a jury, and for that pounding the table is just as good as pounding the facts or the law, and is in fact often superior as has been witnessed many, many times in product liability suits.
 

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I understand your arguments, counselor. But considering the vast array of DIY repair kits, tools, and materials widely available to enthusiasts and average users across a multitude of markets, I would submit this is a case of pounding on the table. However, in a plaintiff's liability case about all that's needed is to sway the thinking of a simple majority of a jury, and for that pounding the table is just as good as pounding the facts or the law, and is in fact often superior as has been witnessed many, many times in product liability suits.
Good God, man! Think of the children! Their tiny little lives cut tragically short by all of that exploding carbon fiber. Bright, hopeful futures that will now never happen all because of unchecked corporate greed...shameless moguls and captains of industry lining their pockets with cash...cash earned from selling The Carbon Fiber Repair Kits Of Death to unwitting cyclists ....convincing the otherwise artless Joe and Jane Cyclist that they too have the knowledge and the skills that are necessary to repair their hopelessly damaged racing bicycles.....flim-flammery of the worst sort....innocent victims of penury and poorly applied carbon fiber resin. Oh, the humanity....
 

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Good God, man! Think of the children! Their tiny little lives cut tragically short by all of that exploding carbon fiber. Bright futures that will now never happen all because of unchecked corporate greed...shameless moguls and captains of industry lining their pockets with cash...cash earned from tempting unwitting cyclists, convinced that they have the skills to repair damaged carbon fiber racing bicycles.....victims of penury and poorly applied carbon fiber resin.
Fist hurting yet?
 
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