“Good Work Ain’t Cheap and Cheap Work Ain’t Good” — We live in a period where people want everything under the moon for the cheapest price and then blame someone else when it doesn’t perform to the same level as the more expensive option. We’re continuing to appreciate less and less quality work. We want the “quick fix” and throw foundations and aesthetics aside. We even have “Do It Yourself Carbon Repair” kits. Sure, let’s throw structural engineering out the window! When a carbon frame breaks and requires repair, there are two factors that come into play: engineering and aesthetics. Today’s carbon frames have been engineered to the T, so when it comes to reviving them, science plays a vital role, but there is also an art to making a repair look like it never happened. In this post, I’m addressing the latter — body work.
A mountain biker contacted us about his carbon repair. He had gone to a prominent shop on the West Coast because the price and location were good. When he received his frame back, he was quite disappointed. He contacted us and said he wanted his repair done right. When his GT carbon frame arrived in our shop, I couldn’t help myself and said, “Buzz, your girlfriend… WOOF”. Jack simply shook his head.
In the gallery below, we have provided before and after photos of the carbon fiber body repair.
What’s Wrong With this Body Work Repair:
- Tubes aren’t tapered or smoothed.
- Edges aren’t straight and properly radiused.
- Imperfections like chips aren’t filled in.
- Paint work is abrupt and isn’t faded gradually to blend the repair.
What We Did:
- In order to properly assess what we were dealing with, we needed to see photos of the break so we could assess what had been done and see the original contours.
- Once we understood what happened we began sanding to remove the poor work.
- With a clean slate, we were able to start properly building and shaping. Note: If there was a structural concern we would have addressed that with the customer. Your safety is our number one concern.
- Good body work takes experience, good eyes, and good feel. You can clearly see what sub-par workmanship looks like.
- Once the body work was done, we were able to start painting.
- Paint, especially black paint, showed every imperfection, so that allowed us to further correct and shape the tube.
- The customer elected to wipe clean the memory of his old frame and went with a black on black paint job
No one ever wants to be in a situation where a carbon repair is necessary. However, it happens. There are lot of carbon repair “professionals” popping up. These people think by simply wrapping a tube, it’s fixed. That’s not the case. Additionally, some pricing is so cheap, it’s hard to understand how they stay in business. They are skimping somewhere like body work. We’re not playing that game. We stand for quality. We stand for safety. We stand for aesthetics. Think about how much time you spend on your bike: When you look at it, do you always want to be reminded about the accident or do you want to forget that it ever happened? It’s worth doing it the right way. It’s saves you time and money in the long run.
[pullquote cite=”Zane Schweer” type=”right”]Think about how much time you spend on your bike: When you look at it, do you always want to be reminded about the accident or do you want to forget that it ever happened? It’s worth doing it the right way.[/pullquote]