Carbon Bike Repair - is it worth it?

Hi all,

Was in the process of upgrading the crankset on my one year old bike and found the below.

Sent it to the shop who’ve said its not under warranty because its been damaged from a dropped chain, so I’m in the process of getting a quote from a repair shop but wondering if anyone has had any experience with something similar? How much did it cost and is it worth it in general?

I’m worried it will cost a large fraction of what i paid for it, and i wont be able to sell it later down the line. I was in the process of upgrading it anyway so does it make more sense to go through the specialized assisted purchase program and try and get a better frame? Stock is just so limited at the moment…

Any thoughts welcome.


Hard to tell if that damage actually warrants a repair or not. That area tends to be pretty thick with carbon, if there’s no splintered fibers I would just keep riding it

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yeah, is it structural or cosmetic?

I had a significantly-damaged frame repaired by Ruckus Composites in the past. The rebuilt frame was indistinguishable in ride quality and appearance from before it got damaged. Small repairs like your chain suck damage probably cost less than you expect, while larger tube repairs can get fairly expensive.

I was able to sell the bike later on at a fair price, essentially as an undamaged frame. Some buyers might not be ok with it, but be transparent about it. Since your repair would not be a major structural one, I do not see it being a major resale issue, especially in the current seller’s market.


Took a nice dive with my S-work Roubaix and the handlebars slammed into the frame. Smallest of cracks in the top tube, only visible in direct sunlight. Impossible to tell if its was the decal, the paint or the frame. So I decided to not take any chances since I like my teeth to remain where they are and took it to a LBS for an inspection.

Ended up being €450 including matching two sets of paint and it’s completely invisible.

As you mentioned, it’s not a good time to have to look for a new bike. It’s going to be more expensive (possibly more than repairing the crack) or you’ll have a couple of months to wait for it.

It also might be just cosmetic damage, but I would prefer knowing for sure next time I ride on cobbles.

Is it sad I recognised that immediately as a Specialized before reading the text? :rofl:

I wouldn’t fix that. It just looks like some top layers scraped off. The very top layers are paint and primer and maybe filler. Also, as someone else said, it’s a thick area. And it didn’t take an impact.

I’d clean it up, put some clear coat on the area and continue to ride it.

Install a chain catcher so it doesn’t happen again.


Yes, definitely worth it. On my race bike/workhorse, I had a freehub bind up on a new wheel, ultimately causing the rear derailleur to be ripped off the dropout and into the seatstay causing damage. For about $350 I got it repaired and have ridden/raced about 25k miles since with no issue. For a little more $$ he would have gotten the original decals from Fuji. I just wanted cheap and told him it was ok to put his business decal on it.

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Everyone is way more calm about this than i was :sweat_smile: i saw those little white fibres and thought that was it!

Those are the pictures i sent the repair shop so presume they will want to scan it to make sure its not structural, cant imagine that costing much for peace of mind.

Bake it. Seal it. Reinforce it. $140. Your market may differ…AND I may be a poor negotiator.

There probably isn’t any immediate failure risk with that type of damage. The problem is the laminate is compromised…so moisture gets into the laminate and damage propagates over time even if you protect the chainstay from further damage. But it’s probably a slow process so for you it may never be an issue.

Try leaving it in the SUV for a couple of super hot summer days & then painting it over with clear fingernail polish. That’ll bake a little bit of the moisture out and then seal it. Be advised that I am not a material scientist & you could be risking your life by taking my advice. :wink:

Ha i think this is one of the issues I’m contemplating if i can just suck it up or not.

If i just do a fixer upper with polish anytime i go for sprints i’ll be stupidly worried about the frame just cracking in half. Irrational i know, but likely.

I tried a frame repair myself. It is much harder to do than it appears on YouTube. However I made sure to error on the side of strength vs. finish quality… In other words, it ain’t pretty. But it was a fun thing to learn and I custom painted the bike with a fun theme. I was able to build my son a carbon bike for the price of some parts, many of which were second hand. Throwing away a frame that can function seemed wasteful to me especially during a bike shortage.

I crashed hard in a rainy crit 6 months after buying my first carbon bike. Matt Appleman repaired my drive side seat stay and non-drive side chain stay. I don’t remember the exact price but I was able to afford it as a grad student, and I’m still happily riding that bike ten years later.

Ugh…I can’t believe contemplating buying a repaired carbon frame but, here I am. It’s a 2022 with one seat stay repaired. The price and 5 year warranty from the owner who owns a shop dealing the brand keeps me circling like a hawk over road kill. He and the shop have a good rep. Still need to see it live. Thinking it might have potential for a really fun build. I have everything I need except a BB and group to finish it.

For anyone…would repaired seat stay completely change how the bike rides? The section is maybe 2 inches and I do not know the details of the damage (cracked, crushed, hairline)…

Doubt it’ll make a big difference. Repairing carbon frames is usually done by wrapping a bit a carbon tape and then infusing the area with resin. As a result, there is likely more resin in that area than before, and the carbon fibres don’t run the direction they were originally intended, so it can change how that part loads/feels. However, I doubt a chainstay makes much of a difference. Commonly slim chainstays are seen as compliant, so a bit stiffer might make the bike slightly harsher maybe? I was wondering about having different stiffness in the two chainstays, and whether it would result in some sort of inbalance, but afaik the forces on the chainstays are different anyway, due to the drivetrain being on one side only.

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I wouldn’t worry about the repair at all. I’d want to know how it broke and if there could have been any other damage. I’d have to be a screaming deal as well!

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In theory a good composite repair will restore the bike back to the original design. I wouldn’t worry about a properly done repair at all. I’ve seen a lot of very impressive composite repairs.

My bigger concern is who did the repair. I am assuming if the guy is giving you a 5 year warranty then he knows who did the repair, and is confident in their work.

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I have used both and Perfect repairs on some pretty war-torn bikes.


Once carbon is cracked, it will never be PERFECTLY back to new, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be totally safe, ride-able, and all-around awesome. Maybe it adds a few grams of resin? I bet you can get the frame for an absolute steal. I repaired the top-tube on my SWorks Tarmac, and I’ve never noticed it a single bit, other than loving the fact that I clear-coated it so you can see the new carbon weave on a pink frame :slight_smile:

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