Down Tube Dent [Pictures]- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Down Tube Dent [Pictures]

    Hi Guys,

    I purchased a used 2014 Salsa El Mariachi SS recently. When I was inspecting the bike, I somehow missed a decent scratch and small dent in the frame. During the inspection, the owner told me there were no scratches/cracks/dents in the frame. Perhaps I was too excited about the purchase, and missed these two flaws during inspection. Only when I had the bike at home on my repair stand, did I notice these items. Is there a good way to prevent these from getting worse (cracking)? Can the dent be repaired? Should I try to apply some touch-up paint where the paint is scratched off? Disappointed.




  2. #2
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    I don't think the dent can be repaired. It doesn't look bad or at least it is non strucural.I would sand /scrape off any loose paint and touch it up. It's a great bike that came broken in.

  3. #3
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    Down Tube Dent [Pictures]

    That's no big deal. Go ride it and have fun. That dent wont start a possible crack
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  4. #4
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    Hey I'd like to thank both of you for your input. I'm feeling a bit better about this bike. I rode a few miles on gravel along the canal last night. This is a much livelier feeling steed than my portly Rumblefish.

  5. #5
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    It's steel: don't worry about it.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  6. #6
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    Here's the response from Salsa when I sent them a couple pictures. I understand their response takes liability into account.

    "Hi Nathan, sorry to hear about your frame issue there. Unfortunately there isnít really a lot we can tell by images. We donít want to say, ďyeah, go ahead and ride itĒ and then come to find out that there is some sort of structural issue going on there that isnít visible due to the dent or the paint. Iíd reach out and see if there is a local frame builder in your area and see if they have any thoughts on it. The scratches in the finish by the bottle cage bosses look to be just deep scratches, but the dent by the BB shell looks a little gnarly, possible puncture? Again, we just canít tell anything from images, so I canít say itís good to ride for certain; hence the need to get to a reputable frame builder for some sort of assessment. This is a real bummer Nathan, I wish I had better news for you."

    Looks like it could be more of an issue if the more prominent dent is actually a puncture (which haven't looked at closely enough to see yet).

  7. #7
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    Dude, it's steel. Unless the previous owner hit a pile of hardened chisels and one somehow flew into the tube hard enough, the dent is not a puncture. Ride it. Enjoy it. Keep an eye on the dented area, though. Even if it were to crack from the dent, it probably will do so slowly, opening a little at first. Just check it after each ride and maybe during on longer rides.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  8. #8
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    Fair enough. Thanks - I'll keep an eye on it. It rides quite nice by the way =).

  9. #9
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    If you ride it long enough, something will eventually break, but it won't be that part of the downtube.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Popper View Post
    If you ride it long enough, something will eventually break, but it won't be that part of the downtube.
    Huh?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonathan85 View Post
    Huh?
    Maybe, maybe not.

    Aluminum frames are more likely to crack somewhere during their ride life. Steel tends to be more durable, can go through more flex cycles. Eventually, given enough cycles, all frames can break or crack under normal use.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  12. #12
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    Ah jeez. Don't worry about the dent. If something breaks on that frame, say 90 years from now, it is extremely unlikely to be where that dent is.

    Steel frames do crack occasionally. Usually it takes a lot of hard miles or some serious abuse, but failures are not unheard of, especially on very light frames. Fargo frames are very strong.

  13. #13
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    Re: Down Tube Dent [Pictures]

    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    It's steel: don't worry about it.
    100% correct. I have run steel frames with dents like that and greater for ten years.

  14. #14
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    I have still a '91 Trek 830 (back when they were steel and made in the USA) that the frame is still going. Geared to ss, now looking at converting to a commuter. Only thing I had done was once after the derralliur hanger was bent it had to be sent to get is brazed on/back straight. That was in '95. This was my primary bike 'til '08.

    To ease your mind, have the frame checked out in person by either a trusty bike shop or frame builder. I love my El Mar and one reason I went with it was the steel frame.

  15. #15
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    I've got a much worse dent than that in the top tube of my 'cross-check (a steel cyclocross bike) that's been there for many years. I beat the hell out of it, it's fine. Also, I had a crack about a third of the way around the non-drive side chainstay a few years back. Had a local machine shop weld it up, and it's been going strong for at least 3-4 years. Point is, don't sweat it. Might get rusty around those spots, but nothing a little nail polish won't cover up.

  16. #16
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    I appreciate the replies guys =). I really do. You know the feeling of buying something then discovering a previously unknown flaw, right? Thanks for helping put that at ease.

    After a quick cleanup, here's what she looks like...




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