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My carbon frame's clearcoat is bubbling underneath the seat clamp. It has been starting to bubble on the last few rides, and now the seat clamp is cutting into the clearcoat bubble. I could probably cut away a large chunk with a sharp knife.

What role does the clearcoat play over the carbon? I assume it is some protective layer, or is it strictly for cosmetics? Can I continue to ride the frame without worry, or does it need to be warrantied? The frame is about 1.5 years old.
 

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My carbon frame's clearcoat is bubbling underneath the seat clamp. It has been starting to bubble on the last few rides, and now the seat clamp is cutting into the clearcoat bubble. I could probably cut away a large chunk with a sharp knife.
I wouldn't recommend doing this.

What role does the clearcoat play over the carbon?
The matrix material in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (the plastic part) is vulnerable to damage from sunlight. The clearcoat filters out the harmful light frequencies.

I assume it is some protective layer, or is it strictly for cosmetics?
The layer is protective.

Can I continue to ride the frame without worry, or does it need to be warrantied?
Check with your bike shop. They may be able to do something about it. It is possible that the frame is damaged from having the seat post clamp too tight. The layers might be delaminating. If that is the case, it may be unridable soon. Also, is the seat post long enough for the frame?
The frame is about 1.5 years old.
 
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