Repairing clear-coat on carbon parts

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Master-Ti
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm

by Master-Ti

I just returned from a trip with my Ritchey Break-Away, and when reassembling the bike at home, I found the clear coat on the tip of my Campagnolo Ergopower brake lever to have been chipped off completely, leaving the bare carbon exposed. It seems cosmetic only, with no obvious damage to the underlying carbon lever.

I would appreciate any tips on how this would be best repaired. I'm guessing that I should sand the edges of the clear coat down, then re-apply some new clear coat. What types and grits of sand-paper, and what brands of clear coat would work for this application?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

artray
Posts: 1365
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:08 pm

by artray

Go down to your local hardware store and get a couple of sheets of fine wet and dry sandpaper . The thinnest one you can find and the next thinnest one you can find. Then use clear nail varnish to recoat . Easy peasy . If It was me I would strip the shifters down to the carbon stick some aero 303 on them and you would never have to worry about scratches again. :thumbup:

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Hennreypaul
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:08 pm
Location: 10300 Highway 196, Collierville, TN

by Hennreypaul

I'll suggest you to take it to the mechanic, he will use his own sheet and he will repair it. Though it will be little expensive but he will manage it and you will not have to worry.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5858
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

Actually it's not that hard at all to repair it yourself.

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=53264

I use coarse wet sanding paper first (#180) followed by the finer grit ones, #400 and #600 until the transition between the damaged area and the rest of the lever is no longer felt when you run your finger over it.
Make sure everything is dry and clean, than use some alcohol or other degreaser to further clean the lever.
Mask everything that does not need a coat thoroughly.
Beware that the propelling gas from the spray can will drop on just about everything near the painting area. So if you do this with the shifter still on the bike make sure to take proper precautions. The stuff can be removed but it can be time consuming to do so.

Best practice is to use several thin layers of glossy clearcoat with enough time inbetween so you can correct mishaps as you go using fine grit sanding paper. Once you're happy with the result let it all dry for a week or so. You can shine it with some polish if you like.
The endresult should be indistinguishable from a new lever which is certainly possible. 8)

Personally I don't use nailpolish as it tends to dissolve in some of the chemicals I sometimes use to thoroughly clean the bikes.
Besides that I also find it to be too easy to spot as a "repair" area. (May be my own fault, dunno.)

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

Master-Ti
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm

by Master-Ti

Great! Thanks for the helpful reply and link.

Pardon my ignorance for never having done this before, but when wet sanding, what is used for wetting?

Any specific type or brand of clear coat that you'd recommend that would be best for the underlying carbon?

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5858
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

For wetting sanding paper, plain tab water is what's used.

As for the clearcoat I use spray cans from Pinty and Motip. Pinty being the more "professional" one, Motip's more for the "hobbyist". Both are just "off the shelf" brands, the difference isn't major anyhow.

Either way, when in doubt explain to the shop what you want to do and you'll be fine. Basically you want a glossy clearcoat to be used on a non-metallic, non-wooden surface, for outdoors use in a small size spray can. (Not necessarily all in a single sentence :P )

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

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