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is this seat stay normal or is there a dent / damage here?

Hard to tell it's near the welding but the other side does not have this.

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From https://imgur.com/a/xUtmeKN

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    Bit hard to tell for sure off the pictures, but that looks to me like the rot (rust) has got in under the paint. If that is the case and it were my bike, I'd be stripping the parts and binning the frame. Otherwise strip the paint in the area and post more photos
    – Hursey
    Commented Jul 23, 2023 at 20:48
  • May be the lens but it does look bent to me. Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 16:03

2 Answers 2

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I would scratch around the paint edges with a sharp pick or screwdriver. You're looking for rust, and that means flaking off loose paint.

Once you expose all the damage and poke at it to make sure there's metal behind, then decide if its a dent or a crack or a poor braze or bog/filler.

If you decide to keep the bike, then treat all the rust with rust-stopper as many times as it takes to remove. Then sand and prime, paint, sand, topcoat, sand, and clearcoat.

If you're not happy with what lies beneath, replace the bike frame. While "steel can be fixed by anyone" its rarely worth the cost.

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    This is the way to keep the bike. I'd insert a stage between the 1st and 2nd points (or 2nd and 3rd) - get a wire brush on it. I prefer to mechanically remove rust and loose material before chemical treatment, at the expense of scratching any old but good paint. But those scratches will help key the necessary overlap with the new paint
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 8:52
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I cannot tell you what you should do. Your tolerance for risk of a failed seat stay determines that. If concern about it means you are no longer enjoying riding the bike, further investigation is required.

It is hard to tell what has happened, I suspect it has been like that since new. Given the apparent age of the bike, and it is steel, there is nothing there that would stop me riding that bike. (Perhaps retire it from stunt riding and downhill mountain biking till you are sure it is not a problem)

I would probably add it to my regular inspections (and suspect it would drop off after a while if not changed). You could remove the paint and clean up the steel looking for signs of cracking, then repaint it, but I wouldn't do that immediately.

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