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Bought my first carbon fiber bike last month. Just found this damage by the rear derailer. How can I tell if this is just a chip in the paint or of the frame is damaged? The bike has not been in any crashes.

  • 1
    Looks like a chip. Usually the drop outs are made of alloy which is then bonded to the carbon frame stays. A chip on top of an alloy drop out is nothing to get too worked up about. Even a chip of paint on carbon may be fine as there is a cosmetic carbon layer over the structural carbon. Damage into the structural carbon is what you need to worry about.
    – Rider_X
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 23:27
  • There is another nearly identical question (though with more extensive damage pictured), posted maybe 2 months ago. However, I can't find it. Commented May 28, 2017 at 2:57
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    (Your main problem is that there's not nearly enough grease and grime in that area. If there were you wouldn't notice the chip.) Commented May 28, 2017 at 2:59
  • @DanielRHicks Is this just the paint cracks? Not sure this is really a duplicate since, as you say, the damage on the other question is more severe. But maybe somebody could write a reference question along the lines of "I found chipped paint on my rear dropouts -- how do I tell if it's more than cosmetic?" Commented May 28, 2017 at 11:26
  • @DavidRicherby - Yeah, that's the one -- virtually identical. And I don't know a lot about carbon fiber frames, but I have to believe that there is a metal piece embedded in the carbon, in the area of the dropout. Commented May 28, 2017 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


As mentioned, it looks like a chip, I wouldn't worry about it except to just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't worsen. I mainly wanted to add that not all carbon frames have aluminium drop outs, some have carbon and I'd say that is more and more common on newer frames. I have a 2013 Scott Foil and that has carbon drop outs, so it's not a new thing.

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