Do carbon bikes melt in the rain?

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6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Do carbon frames warp when they get wet? I never see anyone with a carbon bike riding in the rain.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Apparently ...


Actually, since carbon doesn't rust or corrode, it's arguably a better choice for rain riding than steel or aluminum.

Anonymous's picture
RB (not verified)

"""Actually, since carbon doesn't rust or corrode""

Actually, it can corrode. Especially in NYC, where you never know what you're rear wheel is kicking up from the street (bleach, acid, God know's what). This has eaten right through the clear finish and into the carbon of my rear carbon monostay, and after only a few weeks on a brand new frame. I even have noticed this problem on the alum. brake calipers (on another bike): where the finish was once mirror smooth, it's now dull in the spot where gunk from the road gets kicked up.
Those with superlight thin-walled carbon frames better hope and pray they don't get a nice rock thrown up into the downtube either!"

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
My madone does...

But only on October 31st. So, I don't ride it that day.


Kidding aside, carbon fiber doesn't warp when it gets wet. I have two bikes and prefer to ride the aluminum/carbon (less expensive) bike when it rains and save the carbon for dry weather and longer rides. It's a personal preference. The only component I usually replace after several rain rides is the shifter cable and ten inches of cable housing for the rear cassette. After a while, the cable/housing tends to cause sluggish shifting. It's not bad, but just becomes an annoyance. Otherwise, regular maintenance keeps the bike working fine.

The one item I am aware of is that carbon fiber won't show damage like steel or metals since it doesn't dent. Researchers have been studying impact damage to carbon fiber on fighter jets/airplanes. They have learned that an impact to carbon fiber can weaken it if the impact separates the carbon fibers from the epoxy(plastic)that holds the fibers together - called delamination. You may not be able to visually see the damage. Since learning this, I don't clamp the top tube of my carbon bike into my repair stand. Instead, I clamp the bike stand onto the seat post on all my bikes. For more information on delamination see

By the way, the manufacturer (Trek) provides a lifetime warranty on the frame and a one year warranty on the paint job.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
rain and winter bikes

They're more commonly seen further north. The really cheaply constructed carbon fiber ones make for good splinter bikes.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
having owned...

...aluminum (canondale), steel (olmo, basso), carbon/aluminum (trek) and carbon (trek), i switched to titanium. can't imagine why i waited so long (aside from cost). easy to clean, doesn't scratch easily, comfortable, and works in the rain. :)


Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

yes. if its raining acid, acetone, blood... otherwise of course not. Rocks and grit might scratch the paint or clear coat but that could happen with any painted material.

i've owned a few bikes and i love the ride of my carbon road bike (kestrel) most of all. but for maintenance and durability's sake alone, brushed ti is great. if you get a scratch, you can sand it out with emory cloth or steel wool. and they never rust. my mtb is ti and I beat the hell out of it.

btw it might be that some people have more than one bike and choose to take the 'winter bike' when it's raining.

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