I've decided to write this blog post to give you a clear idea of how it works and a better understanding about sending your bike to be repaired.
Before we start the bicycle frame gets thoroughly inspected and goes through a few stress test to find damage that is not visible. These test don't compromise the structure of the frame, if the frame is in good condition. But if the structure has been compromised due to a crash or just too much abuse then the bicycle frame can show signs of fatigue and or break. The first sign of deterioration is noticed by sound. I used to use a Stethoscope to look for small cracking sounds in the joints, now I use a Fetal Doppler and an Ultrasound Thickness Guage. These devices allow me to look for movement inside the structure more accurately and with less intensity during the stress test and check variations in wall thicknesses. If the structure vibrates or moves during the test then it's damaged. Finding out the structure is damaged with lower pressure is a lot better than having the bicycle blow up in front of my face or worse, have the bicycle fail while you are riding it.
So let's say you need my services. You send me an e-mail with photos of your damaged bicycle and a brief story of how it happened. This is important to me, it helps he visualize how the damage happened and pay extra attention to other parts in the frame that in theory would be compromised also. Please don't send the "I was just riding along on PCH and all of a sudden my _ snapped so I had to call my wife to pick me up" . No, I don't buy it. These bicycles don't break if if they were properly used. You must've done something the bike didn't like or crashed or dropped it, etc.
Once I have an idea to what happened to this bike and checked it for additional damage, I'm ready to move on perform my magic. The structure is sanded down to the last damaged layer of carbon. The whole damaged area gets removed to the last layer. Many structures will need an inner core to build the structure back up since they can't hold compression on their own. Different types of carbon fiber and other composites are used (such as Kevlar) to rebuild a structure. After the structure is rebuilt, the frame is in good enough condition to get back on the road, but I prefer to take it a step further. A few extra layers of 3k twill plain weave carbon are used to top off the repair. This makes it stronger than before and provides extra support to the frame. Then after many hours of finishing and sanding, the frame gets clear coated or repainted. In the gallery below you can see a few steps of this procedure
While I may make it sound very simple, it is not and it requires a lot of patience, skill and experience. I believe I provide the fastest and most reliable service, but every repair needs its time and attention. So please allow me 7 to 10 business day to repair your frame. My prices are very reasonable and I can guarantee you'll be happy with the results.
Thank you for reading. Hern