Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carbon Frame Repairs

I read with interest how four German companies have joined forces to provide test and repair services on carbon fiber frames and components. Through the website they target bike makers, bike shops as well as cyclists. Their approach is very high tech and I imagine more of these types of services will be required in the future. It's good to know that an expensive carbon frame is repairable and that the repair has been carried out correctly.

Three test labs and one repair shop started to cooperate to form Each of the three test labs has its own specialty. T-ZfP Carl IR Messtechnik has 11 years experience with thermographic non-destructive testing (see Velotech has 19 years experience with testing and certification of bicycles (see while TPW ROWO Material Testing GmbH has been active for over 40 in material testing (see The repair facility for carbon frames is PolyTube Cycles which has 5 years experience in carbon fiber repair (see

The following photo from shows a frame that was damaged in an accident. The damage is not visible to the naked eye but the carbon layers have suffered delamination. The damage will increase if the bike is ridden any further and depending upon load this can lead to a frame failure.

At the four companies describe all the services they provide including a price list for tests and repairs. For example, a Pulse Thermography test for frame & fork starts at 50 euro each while frame repairs start at 200 euro (clients outside of Germany should ask for a quote first).

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  1. Calfee does carbon repair here in the US. They do a pretty good job and even re-paint if necessary.

  2. @MM: I would be curious to know what "see through" type technologies Calfee uses.

    Don't know if they X-Ray the frames, but Calfee has 20+ years of experience repairing carbon. I've seen a couple of repairs that they've done, and they look good. That being said, I don't think I'd ride a carbon frame that's been anyone.

  4. I had an (irreplaceable) frame repaired and painted by Calfee. They were expensive, but they did an excellent job.

  5. Hi,

    As the owner of PolyTube Cycles I would like to say thanks for writing about us.

    Question for MM: why would you not ride a repaired frame? The Methods used by both Craig Calfee and myself have been proven to be effective in aerospace and motor-sports where repairs are daily business. I would very much appreciate your feedback.

    Kevin Steegmann