All frame repairs are broken down into 4 categories. The characteristics of the damage is what decides the repair level. The main characteristics that are inspected to decide what level of repair the damage is: the type of damage, location of damage, and size of damage. The type of damage can vary from nicks and scrapes to delamination and full fractures. Usually there is a correlation between the severity of damage and the size of damage. Carbon fiber has a knack for delaminating from severe impacts which cause a crack or fracture in your frame to need more attention then what it appears to need on the surface. One way to test your frame at home for delamination and damage is to use the edge of a small coin and tap along the frame and over the suspected damaged area. If there is a dull change in sound then there is damage under the surface. Just give us a call or contact us through our Order Form page to get the repair process started and we will be happy to get you back on the road.
Level 3 repairs are more serious then Level 2 because they significantly weaken the structure. It is often that you can push in the damaged area easily with a finger (Do not try this yourself, it is possible to further delaminate the structure making it worse then before by over applying pressure to the damaged area.).
Level 3 repairs involve damage that has compromised all layers of carbon through the frame and can encompass up to 2/3 of the circumference of the structure. Significant work must be done to remove the damaged fibers and replace/re-bond/ and finish the repair.
Level 2 repairs are what most damaged frames come in under. They involve cracked tubes that do not fully penetrate all carbon layers of the structure or cracks that do not span more than ½ of the circumference of the tube. Typically they can be repaired with a “skin patch” style of repair and then finished with your paint selection.
Level 1 repairs are less tragic appearing in nature then some other forms of damage, but none the less should be attended to quickly. Carbon fiber has a quality of excepting moisture more readily then other composite materials and because of that the damage can further delaminate and become contaminated if not repaired quickly.
Level 1 repairs are generally damage to the surface of the structure, such as chips and scratches, not exceeding more then the first layer of carbon. This level of damage does not normally exceed ¼ of the structures circumference so the repair area is minor.
Level 4 repairs are very rare and involve catastrophic failure of the frame. This damage occurs when the structure has completely been severed and/or has missing chunks of carbon. This type of damage will keep your frame from being used at all and must be carefully handled so as not to make the damage worse. The quicker the repair service is started, the quicker your frame can get back on the road.