I am looking to buy a used bike: a Cannondale Super Six Evo. The seller has sent me a picture about which I am not sure what is wrong. It seems like a paint crack, but can experts share their opinion? It will help me buy this bike. Thanks in advance!

[head tube paint crack]

  • Paint damage indicates possibility of a crack in frame. Paint crack on the head tube indicates possibility of past frontal bike crash, like a bike forgotten on a car roof rack when entering a garage door. I would be very cautious buying such stuff May 23, 2018 at 5:47
  • 4
    I'd ask the seller why he hasn't got it sorted under the cannondale frame warranty. That warranty covers manufacturing errors but not accidents. I would not ride cracked carbon fibre bikes, and its worse being in the head tube. Remember, teeth don't grow back - and sudden failure at the front end will leave you sliding before you can think.
    – Criggie
    May 23, 2018 at 5:52
  • You're talking about the mark about a half inch above the cable? That's wear due to cable rub. It appears to have worn through the finish sufficiently that the finish is separating in that flag-shaped region. May 23, 2018 at 11:59
  • it kind of looks like a left over piece of one of the clear sticker to prevent cable rub damage, which then the cable settled beneath and created a new rub wound. Would be a very odd shape for a crack. Could also be a touch up from previous cable rub. Is this at a bike shop? judging by the other bikes lined up beside it
    – Nate W
    May 23, 2018 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


There are 2 marks that I see:

  • The black mark - as someone noted in the comments - looks like it is due to the brake cable rubbing on the frame. Fairly typical.
  • The "cracks" on the white paint are a type of paint failure I have seen before, though it might not have been on a bike frame. It probably is nothing to worry about.

When/if you meet them, ask them whether the bike was in a crash. It probably wasn't. Take comfort in the fact that they posted this picture; only an honest seller would note such imperfections in an ad.


I cant think of how an impact or stress fracture would produce that mark. To me it looks like a chip has come off the outer clear coat. Presumably the black mark is cause by cable rub.

Approach cautiously. You say the seller sent you a photo so you have not inspected the bike in person yet. When you do, check over the whole frame for other marks, and ask the seller specifically about the mark on the head tube.

There are plenty of used bikes out there so don't hesitate to pass if you are not happy.

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