here, here, here


When is it a good idea to scan your bike?


It is a good idea to have your bike scanned with Ultrasound if there is any uncertainty regarding the general condition of the bike, examples of this include: 

  • If you have had a crash or dropped your bike.
  • If the bike has taken a large impact.
  • It is an older frame.
  • If you heard a cracking noise in the workshop or out riding.
  • If you hit something with the bike on the car rack.
  • If you found any crack or damage indication on the bike.
  • If you have bought a used bike.
  • If you want to check the quality of a carbon repair.


Even if no visible damage is found, delamination can exist within the laminate. This delamination can cause a sudden catastrophic failure during use. Ultrasonic inspection is the proven method used in aerospace to find delamination in composite materials.


The manufacturers of today's bikes also recommend regular inspections by an experienced bicycle technician. Because we can find things with an Ultrasound scan that even the manufacturers can't find in the factory, nobody is better placed than us to do this regular inspection.


What is the focus of the assessment?


The focus of the assessment is to determine the probability of a dangerous failure by utilizing advanced quality assurance and inspection methods combined with specific engineering knowledge of the types of loads placed on bicycles during use.

A completely defect-free frame, fork, handlebar, etc. does not exist. However not every defect is considered rejectable meaning that it will lead to failure. 

Things to consider are:

  • Are there defects in high load areas?
  • Are there voids, delaminations or other defects in critical areas?
  • Are there non consistent changes in wall thickness?
  • The probability of failure is greatly reduced if the answer to these questions is known.



Why should I test, doesn’t the factory design parts to be safe?


Mostly yes, however the theoretical design often assumes perfectly made products. In reality the parts are hand-made and prone to a range of manufacturing variables, this is not dissimilar to baking a cake where the ingredients can be the same but the cake tastes slightly different. Back to bikes, the small inconsistencies such as voids or porosity in the material make the designer’s job difficult as they do not know exactly how strong the material really is. The two methods typically used to reduce failures are a) overbuild the product to allow a safety margin that compensates for deficiencies, and b) using quality assurance methods to better determine the actual strength of the material.


A carbon fork is a good example. Problems can arise, when defects are introduced in the material in areas that need to withstand large loads. For example a void in a critical area can grow into a major delamination. The calculated strength is now meaningless as the material cannot sustain the high loads placed on it and it could fail catastrophically.


Doesn’t the factory test the production frames?


There are standards such as EN 14781 but these apply to destructive testing on the design using samples before production but they don’t apply to the production frames. This means that although your frame model has passed the standards, the bike that you actually own has typically not had any individual testing such as Ultrasound that validates the manufacturing process on each individual frame. In aerospace each part is checked and tested before assembly and as a whole. That is a major difference between an aircraft and a bicycle. The aircraft is tested at all stages of production, primarily with Ultrasound methods. The aviation standards define exactly what, how and how often a component is to be tested. Bikes do not have these standards so there is very little non destructive testing of the actual bike that you own.


What is provided in the report?


The report lists any indications which are considered to be of a rejectable nature, that is indications that are of structural concern. Items of concern are graded with our proprietary grading system making it easy to understand the seriousness of the indication. Items such as paint chips or surface wear that are of no structural concern may not be shown on the report. The report may also list our recommendations for the components, and if repair is recommended an estimate of the repair cost.


How long does a scan take?


The typical turn around time for an assessment is 1-2 days.


How much does an assessment cost?


The list of service fees can be found here. Inspection fees


How should a bike be packed and shipped?


The bike should be disassembled as far as possible to allow clear access to all areas of the bike, parts such as cranks and other parts may hide potential damage. This will also reduce the size of box needed and thus the shipping cost. Only send parts specifically requested for testing. Each part should be packed in protective wrap such as bubble-wrap and put in a box. The bike can also be delivered personally and we have a full workshop to disassemble and reassemble bikes, however a service fee is applicable for this work.


How much does shipping cost?


Shipping charges vary depending on size and the carrier used. A typical bike box is 110cm x 70cm x 20 cm and costs between $35 and $60, depending on location.