The surface properties of original high strength and preoxidized high modulus carbon fibers were altered by electrocopolymerizing acryl amide and carbazole and therefore depositing a copolymer coating onto the fibers. Scanning electron microscopy and zeta-potential measurements confirmed the presence of a rough but dense and continuous electrocoating with a basic surface character. Therefore, 'good' adhesion behavior between the electrocoated carbon fibers and an epoxy resin matrix should be expected. The interfacial adhesion was measured using the single fiber pull-out and single fiber indentation test. It was shown that only 'intermediate' adhesion was present between the carbon fibers and the electrocoating, but superior adhesion between the coating and epoxy resin exists. The single fiber model composites always failed at the fiber/electrocoating interface. However, as shown by using the indentation test, the interfacial adhesion between fibers and electrocoating can be significantly improved if preoxidized fibers are used as substrate for electropolymerization. A very high tensile strength for the electrocoating can be expected as derived from the single fiber pull-out tests. (C) 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers.