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On a scale of one to completely shagged, how bad is this crack in my frame? The top of the rear left wheel stay is soft with carbon sticking out and the rear wheel moves offline dragging against the brakes. It seems broken through. I've never had a broken carbon frame before and immediately looked at whether repairs can be done. Apparently so, but does anyone have an idea of what this would cost to repair?

I have identified atlantic-boulevard.co.uk in Bury and targetcomposites.co.uk in Cheshire as possible CF specialists. Does anyone know of other good carbon specialists in or around Manchester?

What are your experiences of carbon repairs? Are they costly, can you trust them or was it the deathknell for your bike? I am imaging the weeks ahead without my bike and have to stop myself immediately looking online for a replacement.

30 comments

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Organon [325 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pictures:

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Organon [325 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pic 2:

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Organon [325 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pic. 3 

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DoctorFish [223 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Have you contacted canyon to enquire about a replacement frame?  When the frame of my words specialized bike cracked on the head tube (aluminium) they replaced the bike, which was 10 years old

 

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Organon [325 posts] 4 weeks ago
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DoctorFish wrote:

Have you contacted canyon to enquire about a replacement frame?  When the frame of my words specialized bike cracked on the head tube (aluminium) they replaced the bike, which was 10 years old

I bought it on ebay, nearly new, 18 months ago. It wouldn't be under any guarantee. I've done about 11.5 thousand KM on it since.

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Pilot Pete [190 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Did it crack under the weight of the dirt?   sad

Looks repairable to me...

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brooksby [4875 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pilot Pete wrote:

Did it crack under the weight of the dirt? 

  

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Xenophon2 [102 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I've seen grubbier frames, it's what tends to happen if you ride every day.  It's repairable by a specialist company but you need to consider if it's going to be worth it taking into account the age of the bike and its general condition.  How did it break?  Did you respect the weight limits?  You may have overloaded the other stay and caused internal delamination, without ultrasound/X-ray it won't be possible to tell.  That costs $$.  Or the previous owner may have crashed it and there may be other weak spots, there's no telling.  One of the reasons why I'd never ever purchase a used carbon frame.

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Organon [325 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Xenophon2 wrote:

I've seen grubbier frames, it's what tends to happen if you ride every day.  It's repairable by a specialist company but you need to consider if it's going to be worth it taking into account the age of the bike and its general condition.  How did it break?  Did you respect the weight limits?  You may have overloaded the other stay and caused internal delamination, without ultrasound/X-ray it won't be possible to tell.  That costs $$.  Or the previous owner may have crashed it and there may be other weak spots, there's no telling.  One of the reasons why I'd never ever purchase a used carbon frame.

Okay, full rundown: I've had it since april 18, the previous owner said they only used it on a trainer for a few thousand mile, and I believe them, it was virtually brand new when I got it. It is therefore no more then two years and all outdoors damage is due to me. I had a slow puncture and stopped to pump it up whilst leaning on a lamppost - bike vertical; when satisfied with the pressure I swung the back wheel down, but dropped it a bit too much and it made a loud noise. I wasn't too worried as the rear cage bouncing up and down can often make splinking noises, eg. when going over a put hole. However the rear wheel started to rub on the brakes and I found the crack. 

As for the frame, it isn't otherwise worn, or excessively dirty. I did spray it with a reflective coating last winter (the white bits) and that is a bit of a dirt magnet. I do ride a lot and the brake arches look extra muddy because I was trying to clean the frame for these very pics. 

It has never been crashed, just this freak accident/lack of care taken on my part.

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wycombewheeler [1368 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I reckon £300 to £400, but don't take my word for it, send the same photo to carbon bike repair in surrey, (or someone more local to you) and let them give you an estimate.

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Boombang [66 posts] 3 weeks ago
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That sounds a seriously soft way to break a frame. No way would I trust that frame even after a repair.

Unsure what Canyon's viewpoint on turbo trainers is but it could be that usage that led to the crack.

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Xenophon2 [102 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Boombang wrote:

That sounds a seriously soft way to break a frame. No way would I trust that frame even after a repair. Unsure what Canyon's viewpoint on turbo trainers is but it could be that usage that led to the crack.

+1.  I'm not a carbon specialist but if it broke after what the OP described and which doesn't sound like a massive hit then for me personally the frame would be a goner, I'd never be at ease on it again.  You rode it after the break so there's no telling what that extra load did to the other stay (if indeed it did anything). Obviously I'm not the one who'll be paying for a replacement but there's little profit in throwing good money after bad money. 

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kil0ran [1647 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I'd bin it and sell the parts, or bin it, strip it, and find  a new carbon frame (PlanetX currently have the Pro Carbon for £400, or the team-issue Holdsworth Super Pro for £500). That way you get to build your bike up, don't have to wait for a repair, and it's brand-new with a guarantee. Vs what, £3-400 for a repair where you're without your bike for a while.

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Organon [325 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Woah, guys aren't you being a bit hasty? I don't know that it will cost that much. As far as I am concerned the frame is the bike, some part used wheels and cassette are good back up for spares but I am not going to be striping and rebuilding everything on a new frame. I've done quite a lot over the years but I would never expect to build my own bike back up from a new frame and expect it to all run perfectly with old components. I didn't ride it very far until I found the damage. 

I... err... just wanted a bit of hope. I'll report back once I've got some estimates.

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jaysa [153 posts] 3 weeks ago
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If that lets go descending a bumpy hill or in a left bend with oncoming, you could be history.

Please get advice from a specialist.

Manufacturers aren't keen on carbon frames being used on a trainer, I'd guess because it stresses the seat stays. See https://road.cc/content/feature/216681-it-okay-use-your-bike-turbo-trainer

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Bobbinogs [338 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I'm with the others, probably the softest way to crack a seatstay I have ever heard of. I would bin it, buy a replacement and swap everything over.

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crazy-legs [1126 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Try @re_carb in Manchester. I've seen him repair far worse than that, you'd never know it had been broken.

I'd say the stresses of mounting the bike on a turbo is likely to have created that stress point, all you did was give it the final knock.

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Organon [325 posts] 3 weeks ago
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crazy-legs wrote:

Try @re_carb in Manchester. I've seen him repair far worse than that, you'd never know it had been broken. I'd say the stresses of mounting the bike on a turbo is likely to have created that stress point, all you did was give it the final knock.

I've just emailed three firms including recarb (in new mills I see, not too far away by train.) I've never heard that trainers can be stressful on bikes, though I've never used one. Do all these Zwifters know this?

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kil0ran [1647 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Organon wrote:
crazy-legs wrote:

Try @re_carb in Manchester. I've seen him repair far worse than that, you'd never know it had been broken. I'd say the stresses of mounting the bike on a turbo is likely to have created that stress point, all you did was give it the final knock.

I've just emailed three firms including recarb (in new mills I see, not too far away by train.) I've never heard that trainers can be stressful on bikes, though I've never used one. Do all these Zwifters know this?

I'm a heavy rider and the one time I stuck my best bike on a trainer I could feel loads more flex than I ever do on the road. And that was before I'd read the articles about it.

If you think about it, even seated you're getting a small amount of side-to-side sway on the road. On a trainer the bike is clamped solid and all the force has to go somewhere. Elite supply a very sturdy steel QR with their trainers and specifically state that you shouldn't use anything else.

Oh and my best bike is 931 stainless steel, not carbon. I've built up an old aluminium frame out of spares to use for trainer season.

Seriously, if you have the time, have a go at building a replacement frame up. £30 toolkit and access to Youtube is all you'll need. You might even get away with using your existing cables and outers. Just get a professional to cut the steerer for you. 

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matthewn5 [1406 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Carbon can usually be repaired. It's one of its advantages as a material over alloy or welded (not brazed) metal frames.

Please let us know what the carbon repair companies say.

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Bobbinogs [338 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I think what concerns most of us is not whether the damage can be repaired...it is the fact that such a simple and soft impact caused it in the first place.  Then, even with a short ride, there would have been a lot of very unusual stresses on the other areas (particularly the other seat stay which is the bit that would be a concern given the location of this break).  

So, more about the damage that cannot be seen rather, than the simple fracture that can be seen/fixed.

 

At the end of the day, this is one for the OP to decide on.  Hindsight will dictate the right choice in the end.

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Bobbinogs [338 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Boombang wrote:

..Unsure what Canyon's viewpoint on turbo trainers is...

From their FAQ website:

No Canyon bikes are intended for use, or officially approved to be used, with turbo trainers. However, in our experience, all models can handle stationary training. This may seem like a contradiction, but let us explain what this means. At Canyon, we have an unparalleled approach to testing our bikes. We are the only bike manufacturer in the world that checks 100% of its carbon forks, handle bars and stems. However, at this time, we do not conduct long-term testing for the use of carbon bikes on turbo trainers. For this reason, we cannot recommend their use in good confidence. It all comes down to our ability to guarantee product safety, and to our responsibility, as a manufacturer, for you and your health. 

So, nice and clear then!

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vonhelmet [1410 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Bobbinogs wrote:
Boombang wrote:

..Unsure what Canyon's viewpoint on turbo trainers is...

From their FAQ website:

No Canyon bikes are intended for use, or officially approved to be used, with turbo trainers. However, in our experience, all models can handle stationary training. This may seem like a contradiction, but let us explain what this means. At Canyon, we have an unparalleled approach to testing our bikes. We are the only bike manufacturer in the world that checks 100% of its carbon forks, handle bars and stems. However, at this time, we do not conduct long-term testing for the use of carbon bikes on turbo trainers. For this reason, we cannot recommend their use in good confidence. It all comes down to our ability to guarantee product safety, and to our responsibility, as a manufacturer, for you and your health. 

So, nice and clear then!

It means you're on your own, but they don't want to come out and say it.

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peted76 [1538 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I suspect that your frame was damaged before you sat on it a bit hard and heard a crack. 

And if you'd not been hard on it, it's logical that it would have been damaged on a trainer. If I were Canyon, I'd not warranty race or lightweight bikes used on trainers either. I can only imagine the force being put through the seat stays by a big guy sprinting. 

 

However that's totally repairable and a very common fix for a carbon repairer. A decent repairer will let you know of any other damage also. The £400 odd quote above is on the upper price end for a seat stay repair, I'd guesstimate more like £250. 

 

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Pilot Pete [190 posts] 3 weeks ago
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 “The £400 odd quote above is on the upper price end for a seat stay repair, I'd guesstimate more like £250.”

The other £150 will be used up trying to match the scrapes, scratches and general wear and tear to the paintwork to make the repair look invisible! 

PP

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Rick_Rude [344 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Put it on eBay. Some idiot will underestimate the repair and overpay...maybe. Worth a shot.

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CXR94Di2 [2693 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Ive use my carbon cyclocross bike on a turbo for nearly 5 years.  It hasnt broken.  However I have heard of the odd failure, but its extremely rare.  I understand the extra stresses if you try and mimic outdoor power riding-standing up try to rock the bike.  

In my quest to improve my indoor experience I built a full length rocker board, which does allow rocking motion and has I suspect lessened frame stresses.

Carbon fibre is extremely strong in longitudinal direction, but easy damaged under side impact where its vulnerable.  Just gently squeeze a top tube with your hand feel it bend.  Thats why in high stress areas the lay up carbon fabric layer is rotated 45 degrees to increase multi directional strength.  Tubes could be made thicker walled ,but would offer less ride comfort and add weight.

 

Personally I would scrap frame and rebuild bike onto new cheap carbon frame or even go for another material.  I like steel or titanium more these days

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MartinKiely [7 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I know the guys at Target Composites, and I know they have some pretty high tech kit for checking frames out for hidden damage, and the repairs & paint matching he does is fantastic. Fairly standard job for them, so I'd not worry about the repair at all - whether it stacks up financially is up to you of course, but to reply to some of the above, I'd certainly be getting it looked at first before just binning a frame you seem to be pretty happy with otherwise.

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srchar [1540 posts] 3 weeks ago
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It's a Canyon Ultimate, yes? With no sentimental value and, even after being repaired, much reduced monetary value.

Stick the whole bike on eBay. Someone will buy it either to repair, or for the components. Repairing it, assuming you are honest when it comes to sell, will add barely any value, as there are very few people who would risk a repaired third-hand frame from eBay.

When you've got shot of the broken bike, buy a new one from Canyon, enjoy that "new bike" feeling, and don't ever mount it on a turbo trainer.

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DrG82 [261 posts] 3 weeks ago
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As it's a seat stay the risk from a repair failing is less life threatening than if it were a repair to a fork or head/down tube. I'd have a laugh and buy a carbon repair kit to have a go at fixing it yourself and keep it as a winter bike. It's fairly easy to do a solid and safe but not massively pretty repair.