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I am buying a bike from eBay and before I bid on it I just wanted to know what you though about one of the pictures. The bike is carbon and it looks like some paint has come off. What do you think about the picture? Thanks.

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  • Don't know why there is an off-topic close vote on this, questions on CFC frame damage are commonly answered here. – Argenti Apparatus Oct 8 '18 at 20:38
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    Great decision to ask before spending money, I wish more people did this – ojs Oct 8 '18 at 21:03
  • I’m the close vote. It’s impossible for us to tell with just one photo and because the bike is not in the OP’s possession we can’t ask for clarification. – RoboKaren Oct 9 '18 at 0:01
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    @RoboKaren Hard to answer isn't off topic – Argenti Apparatus Oct 10 '18 at 11:26
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As others have noted it can be difficult to assess damage for carbon frames in general, and it is especially difficult from only a photo. That caveat aside it looks like a superficial paint chip, the first layer of carbon (which is typically non-structural) appears intact which is a good sign.

The damage is on the lower drive side chain stay so it might have been from a shoe heel strike. That, said it could have been due to something else like a crash. If you do purchase make sure to inspect this area further. You can tap in the area to see if the tone suddenly changes, and you can try squeezing to see if it is weaker there. If either of those tests show a difference I would treat the frame suspiciously.

  • I've seen chips like this from clumsy use of a allen key when removing the pedals. Very difficult to tell from photos alone, but I agree it looks like paint chip only. – Andy P Oct 9 '18 at 10:54
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Impossible to tell if there is a crack but the fork has taken a hit hard enough to chip the paint all the way through to the carbon fiber composite. That might have caused structural problems.

Personally, I would not take the risk. Move on, there are many, many more bikes on Ebay.

  • This is probably not the fork but a chainstay since the crank arm is visible in the picture. It also looks like a hit/scratch, not like it has been bent far enough to chip the paint. – Michael Oct 12 '18 at 7:05

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