Today I had my Tarmac propped up against a rock wall and it slid down, scratching the paint/frame on the seat stay. I'm pretty new to carbon frames, and have heard they are relatively sturdy, but wanted to see what some more experienced eyes might think of the ding. I tried the coin test and everything sounded okay, but I'm still paranoid. So, in your opinions, cosmetic or structural?

Ding on seat stay

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    My guess is cosmetic, looks like it scraped down to the primer coat but i don't see any actual carbon by the looks of things.
    – Nate W
    Aug 19, 2016 at 22:00
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    +1 For posting a good picture, not something to be taken for granted with newcomers
    – BSO rider
    Aug 19, 2016 at 23:05
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    Keep in mind how the damage occurred. Damage like that caused by an impact might give one pause, but caused by a much less forceful abrasion (assuming the bike fell with basically it's own relative inconsequential weight), I wouldn't be worried. Annoyed that my paint was marred, but not worried. Aug 19, 2016 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


It may have gone beyond the paint, by the looks of it. But I say keep riding it.

Put a piece of electrical tape (or something similar) over the spot to discourage further aggravation.

For the next couple weeks or so, take care to pound your bike over bumps extra hard, and be very perceptive to creaking or cracking sounds. If your frame accepts a couple weeks of beating with no complaints, don't worry and continue on your merry way.

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    +1 For the first two paragraphs. I wouldn't suggest riding it any differently to normal. Just be aware of the normal handling and sounds the bike makes, and be alert for changes. Both of the (non carbon) failures (fork and handle bar) I've had were detected this way before any catastrophe occurred.
    – andy256
    Aug 20, 2016 at 7:09

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