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I'm looking to get an MTB and have been looking for this particular one for quite a while but stock is hard to get hold of. I managed to find one in a store but the bike is damaged unfortuntely and the store is offering it with a discount of 10% because of that. The damage doesn't bother me too much but I don't know much about carbon fibre bikes and it seems like it is pretty deep so wanted to understand if this will cause me long term issues, I'll probably have this bike for the next 10 years.

Should I buy it or is this kind of damage not worth it / going to cause me issues later on? enter image description here

Close up:
enter image description here

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    I see a white mesh in the deepest crater, is that the carbon or some kind of fibre overlay? – Criggie Oct 20 '20 at 20:59
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    Is the shop offering a warranty? Has the manufacturer rep to looked at it (if not, ask the shop to arrange it or phone the manufacturer)? Personally if the manufacturer rep documents the chip does not affect frame warranty, I would buy it, if not, then I would probably leave it alone (10% is not a big discount where I live). If you decide that damage means that is not the bike for you, consider that maybe carbon is the wrong material for you, because that is the kind of damage can happen to any bike at any time. – mattnz Oct 20 '20 at 22:21
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    Well, presumably the flat white stuff is the paint's clear coat. Once you've chipped past that, you are at the carbon fiber. I think the better question may be: has the dent just chipped away at the resin, or are any actual fibers torn? If the latter, the bike is definitely compromised, and the manufacturer may not warranty a failure. It doesn't look like this is the case at first glance, though. – Weiwen Ng Oct 20 '20 at 22:32
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    I’m thinking if the shop is willing to sell you the bike, it’s safe to ride. Selling a known defective product is a big no-no. Plus, as Matt said, you’ll pick up damage along the way anyways. – MaplePanda Oct 20 '20 at 23:55
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    The thin line down the tube that starts at the chipping worries me even more than the chip. It could be a crack under the paint. – Carel Oct 21 '20 at 6:35
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I would not. You are paying for the frame. The SX Eagle RD has quite a few reports of failure, and it's bad quality overall. There's nothing special about the brakes (bog-standard entry-level), or the fork (Judy Silver TK, 30mm steel stanchions & basic Turnkey damper).

A carbon frame will provide more responsiveness on trails than alloy, but on-road this is no better - you'd be better off buying two bikes if, as per your previous questions, you'll be riding on road a lot as well. The weight saving here is nothing compared to the heavy tyres and upright position which will slow you down on asphalt.

And if you want a pure off-road machine then full-suspension alloy frame would be better.

If you are buying a bike with the advantage over alloy that it's 'more confidence-inspiring', then it doesn't make sense to buy one where you are concerned about frame damage before purchase.....

As far as this bike goes the frame seems to be the ONLY feature out of the ordinary, where the brakes are merely 'good enough', the fork 'entry-level', and the groupset 'cheap and nasty'.

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  • +1 - I did not try to answer this, I knew I would head into the obvious question "Why Carbon". Virtually every bicycle website and blog today says at lower price points modern alloy frames make a much superior bike for the same cost ( Alloy frame is much cheaper to make, so the cost savings can go into superior components). Even the weight god's are not sated by modern 1000 quid carbon bikes, as a 1000 quid alloy bike is often lighter.. – mattnz Oct 21 '20 at 22:53
  • I know I'm in a Sisyphus fight against this, but... please don't use “alloy” as a material description! It expresses exactly the same thing as simply “metal”. Using it to mean specifically aluminium alloys is just wrong, because steel and any other structural metals are also alloys. – leftaroundabout Oct 23 '20 at 1:02
  • Thanks, in the end I decided against buying the bike as the damage seems too deep to me. As a side note my question was actually specifically for whether to buy it with the damage or not, not whether to buy that bike haha. I know very much that a cheap carbon bike will have it's issues but I have my reasons for it to be the right pick for me :D. – KillerKode Oct 23 '20 at 13:27
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I don't know much about carbon fibre bikes

Before buying a carbon bike, you should learn about the qualities of carbon fiber.

I honestly do not understand why people buy carbon fiber stuff. The warning about the special qualities of carbon fiber in nearly any bike manual should be a good reason to stay away from this dangerous technology.

Unlike a metal component that always cracks from the outside, by developing a visible crack, a carbon fiber component can just suddenly fail with no prior warning (well, unless you X-ray your bike weekly).

Unlike a metal component that can withstand impacts far beyond its fatigue limit, a carbon fiber component can dangerously weaken from a single crash impact. If you crash on a metal bike, you can always investigate the bike for bent parts and then keep a close eye on developing cracks for a certain number of miles, whereas the only advice I can give for carbon fiber components is "replace it if you don't know whether it's invisibly damaged".

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    Unlike a metal component that permanently deforms & degrades a little with every stronger impact, a carbon one will just not change at all until you get to that point of no return where it really goes sour – the only real damage is to the paint. And carbon basically doesn't have any of the corrosion issues you get with metals. – leftaroundabout Oct 23 '20 at 0:57

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