Best practices for new carbon road bike?

Bought my first carbon road bike!

What are yours best practices for maintaining your carbon whip?


whoop whoop! Nothing better than new bike day.

I don’t do anything different from I do with other bikes, to be honest. Basically try to minimize the odds of them hitting the ground, always wash them after rides when there is salt on the road, and keep them as clean as I can.


no “maintenance” needed, just ride, even keeping it clean is personal preference, it doesn’t “wear” if it’s dirty like a drivetrain.

Just be careful with clamps, it’s all fine, I still put mine on a car rack with a frame clamp, or a workstand with frame clamp, but don’t crank it super tight!


You could put some protective film on the frame in areas where you may expect cable rub or chips or scratches.


Make sure you have a torque wrench in your toolbox if you’re going to maintain your bike


Yup, my cheap and accessible hack is good ol’ packing tape. Get the quality stuff, trim as needed and is the poor-dude’s version of frame wrap. Plenty good for housing wear, around seat posts and/or frame tubes with bag straps, or other areas of concern for pennies.

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New bike stuff for things I want to stay nice but aren’t 100% necessary.

-Custom sized ride wrap to maintain paint and let me mount frame bags without worry for paint.
-Wax that chain because it’s cleaner to maintain and prolongs the life of components
-Make sure you have a torque wrench and know the specs for things you might adjust early (seat post)
-Register serial number with bike index and manufacturer if they offer extended warranty benefits with registration

Grease the screw threads to make future maintenance easier.

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Don’t crash. :grin:

  1. Don’t ever clamp the frame on a stand, always clamp the seat post :slight_smile:

  2. Always use a torque wrench.

  3. Torque stated on frame (like seat post torque) is always maximum torque, it usually enough to go a little below. For example, my Spedialized frame says 6.2nm for seat post. It’s enough with 5.5 when used with carbon paste.

  4. Use carbon paste


Be extra careful about little knocks and scrapes. Now, it’s true that just because you let your bike tip over at a coffee stop, it’s later going to shatter into a thousand shards suitable only for downcycling into Silca’s sealant. And it’s also true that the same mishandling could doom a lighter metal frame. Nevertheless, it’s better to be more careful. That said, be aware that carbon is actually pretty repairable if it breaks. That doesn’t mean there won’t be sticker shock, but rather that it can be repaired by someone competent.

Buy a spare derailleur hangar before you need it


This is a good reminder for me to buy one!!

3M surface protection film.
Cut to size. Use it where your tyres are close to the frame, the right chain stay, and under the down tube; you’ll never really notice it.

Frame protective polish.
Use it on all carbon parts after each wash, including wheels. It slows the top coat degradation that will eventually show up. You’ve seen old carbon wheels or handlebars and their uneven appearance.

Mind your drivetrain cleaners.
Many will not play nice with carbon.

Carbon paste and carbon paste.

I use this for frame protection. Thicker than packing tape. Cheaper than the custom frame wrap.

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You can get a frontline sports mini torque wrench and bit set for your saddlebag - 100% worth it to avoid destroying things for a minor adjustment on a ride.

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