I am buying a second hand frame (Dawes 201 hybrid) build up (first time doing that, so exciting).

I'm paying cash on collection, so can back out if anything looks wrong. What should I look for on the frame to make sure it's up to scratch?.

2 Answers 2


Best in sunlight. Bring towel so you can wipe it down. Inspect all tubes and welds. Any crack is bad. Some times a surface crack on a weld is OK. Press and pull on the dropouts. Check the bearing surfaces. Take a seat post with you to be sure it will insert. Ask questions about the history.


If the bike had a serious crash, the frame will have a deformation where the down tube joins the head tube. Since this is usually hidden from view, inspect this spot.

Most other problems, like a worn-out bottom bracket or a cassette that needs replacing, can be fixed - a damaged frame can't. Of course, you still want to notice these problems to factor them into the price.

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