Recently I cracked the frame on my Yeti 4.5 and after being left out in the cold by Yeti, I could either purchase a replacement frame at approx $4,000 including frame, labor and tax.
I decided to look into getting the frame repaired and what I learned was excellent news.
Here are some articles on repairing carbon fiber frames,
Forum post of ppl talking about carbon repair: http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-front-range/carbon-frame-repair-front-range-965018.html
Items that can and cannot be repaired
People generally repair frames.
When it comes to forks, wheels, and other components it is usually cheaper to buy new ones.
Carbon Frame Repair Process Overview
If the company/ shop is local, then it is pretty easy. Drive your busted bike to the store chat with the folks that work there, give them some money, leave your bike, then when it is complete, drive back over, give them some more money and go hit the roads/trails like nothing happened.
Long Distance Repairs
I think this may be the more common repair type. It is a little more involved, it is done all the time so do not be scared.
1. Find a Repair Company
Find a company that you like or think could be helpful.
2. Tell them about the damage
Email them images of the damage, the type of bike and frame, the more details and images the better. They will let you know if it can be repaired and what the approximate price will be. Remember they have not seen the damage in real life so things can change once the bike gets to them.
3. They will review the damage and provide a repair estimate
Once the repair company has looked at the frame they will give you an estimate and repair time. The repair fees vary from company to company but generally fall around these ranges
Minor Damage / Mere Flesh Wound
Expect $150 – $250
Major Damage / Healthy Carnage
Expect $200 – $350
Super Major Damage / Hella FUBARed
Expect $350 and Up
Also, note that some areas of the frame are more expensive to fix. I think the bottom bracket or dropouts is one of those places.
Also, you will need to consider what sort of paint repair you want. This can range from $50 to a lot. It depends on how good you want the repair to look. If it were me, I would opt for the minimal paint as possible. You cracked the frame so be proud.
As the daredevil said to Bart Simpson, Bones Heal, Chicks dig scars, and the USA has the best carbon repair shop to bike rider ratio in the world. So where that scar proudly.
4. Prepare the bike for shipment.
This step varies from company to company, some will take the bike as is, some will ask that you clean it and remove certain components, others will insist you strip the bike to the bare minimum. Remove forks handlebars, derailers everything.
For me, I am comfortable with minimum adjustments but striping a bike down to just the frame is above my pay grade, so I will look for a repair shop that can either not require it or do it for me for a charge.
5. Ship the bike to them
Pack up your bike in a bike box, ship it to them.
A very popular method of shipping bikes is Bike Fights. I will be using them for my Yeti Frame Repair. I noticed several of the more experienced companies recommended bike flights.
6. You may pay an inspection fee
One the fixer gets you bike, you may have to pay an inspection fee (usually around $50 or $100) almost always this fee will be applied to the cost of the repair. Should you decide not to do the repair then the fixer keeps the money for their effort.
7. Wait Patiently while they work on your bike
Repair time. This can vary also. I saw estimates anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. My guess is somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks is what you can expect. In a hurry like I was? Not to fear, most repair companies will push you to the front of the line for a fee. I would expect this fee to be anywhere from $100 to $200.
8. Repair is complete. Time to Pay up
The repair company will make the fix let you know it is complete and at this point, you will pay them the remainder of the money.
9. The bike is shipped back to you
Once your bill has been paid, the repair company will pack your bike back up and ship it to you. If you used bike flights then everything is already taken care of.
10. Resume Riding / Life is back to normal, you can breathe again
You will get your good as new bike back and enjoy the ride. This time try not to do what you did before unless you had to dodge an old lady to keep from hitting her.
Carbon Fiber Bike Repair Companies
Companies that perform Carbon Fiber Repair in the USA
Appleman Bicycles: https://www.applemanbicycles.com/repair/
Calfee Design: https://calfeedesign.com/repair/
Ruckus Composites: http://www.ruckuscomp.com/
Coastal Carbon Repair: http://www.coastalcarbonrepair.com/
Location: Atlanta, GA
SE Composites: http://www.secomposites.com/
Kirk Lee: http://www.kirkleebicycles.com/carbon-frame-repair/
Kappius Components: https://www.kappiuscomponents.com/
These guys now sell a kit. https://predatorcycling.com/products/carbon-repair-kit
Turn Around Time:
Kane Bicycles: http://kanebikes.com/carbonrepair/
The Carbon Doctor http://carbondr.com/
Location: South East Wisconsin
Carbon Fix: http://carbon-fix.com/
Altitute Composites: https://altitudecomposites.com/
Broken Carbon: https://www.brokencarbon.com/
This could also be https://www.kappiuscomponents.com/
Location: Boulder Colorado
Carbon Bike Doctor: http://carbonbikedoctor.com/
Home Carbon Fiber Bike Repair Options & Kits
I have not done this but during my research I found a few posts and kits talking about do it your self carbon fiber repair, so I figured I would add this section to the post.
For me home carbon repair on the seat tube on a full suspension mountain bike is not something I am interested in but here is the info I found.
Posts Talking about home carbon fiber repair
Home Carbon Fiber Bicycle Frame Repair Kits
Have you done or thinking about repairing your carbon fiber frame? Let me know in the comments I will be happy to answer any questions I can or maybe others will post what they know.
Hope this post is helpful! — Steven