I have a compact SRAM red crankset with carbon fiber crank arms. On the left side, the outside coating on the end has chipped off from sometimes colliding with the ground while turning.

At what point should I be concerned about the wear & tear on this part?

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  • 1
    You do routine maintenance and safety checks on your bike right? About monthly? So add to your checklist to clean and eyeball the affected area. If any crack gets bigger or chip looks increasingly bad, or swelling appears, or anything is loose then make a decision at that time. Early detection is better than post-crash diagnosis.
    – Criggie
    Jun 28, 2018 at 9:10
  • How do you manage to scratch crank end to ground at turns without first completely destroying the pedal?
    – ojs
    Jun 28, 2018 at 17:57
  • @ojs that's a good question--now that you mention it, it's weirder that it's much much worse on the left side, as my assumption was it was from hitting curbs or resting the bike by leaning the pedal/crank on an object. I just noticed this damage as I switched clipless pedals on and flats off, as lately I've just used the bike for puttering around and other unserious riding. It could be from any bad habit from using it as transit instead of keeping it tuned for long rides.
    – Ross
    Jun 28, 2018 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


The thing with CF components is that you can't really tell much about structural integrity without specialized tools and knowledge unless it's obvious from the first glance.

Anyway, SRAM carbon fiber cranks have a healthy dose of paint and clearcoat, any damage to those aren't structural. Source: I own a set of S2200 that survived a bunch of pedal strikes, coming out deeply scratched in pedal insert area. The coating has been sanded away for a cleaner look and the crankset in question has been performing just fine over years. Take this with a grain of salt, I'm just a guy from the Internet.

If your crankset does not exhibit signs of loose pedal insert, I'd just ride it and check from time to time. If it's loose, a repair is still possible, but the price might be more than a replacement Red.

To protect from scratches in the future you can use silicon crank arm boots.

  • 2
    If not the boots, then lightly sand it and add some layers of clearcoat.
    – Criggie
    Jun 28, 2018 at 9:12
  • The boots look like a great idea. Thanks for the answer!
    – Ross
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:36

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