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True Temper S3 Top Tube Dent - Salsa Primero

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True Temper S3 Top Tube Dent - Salsa Primero

Old 06-03-20, 05:09 PM
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True Temper S3 Top Tube Dent - Salsa Primero

Dent in the top tube of a Salsa Primero road bike made out of True Temper S3 steel. I believe that the thickness of S3 tubes is 0.5mm on the ends and 0.4mm in the middle. Strong but thin tubes, very lightweight. I believe the bike was damaged during shipping. Pics of the bike didn't show the dent before it was shipped. Working to get it resolved.

Anyways... Taking into consideration the severity of the dent, how thin the top tube is, and the strength of S3; how bad is it? It this a high stress area?










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Old 06-03-20, 07:14 PM
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How bad is this is only opinion. What the outcome is is a time dependent answer. best is years of worry but enjoyable riding. Worst is worry and a crack developing... when is the guess.

I would not try repairing this as the hardening of the tube is also going to limit the after manipulation life (the first was making the tube, the second was the dent).On face value the dent looks not too bad, no sharp crease in it's base. And it's location is a fairly low stressed spot. But others might disagree. Andy
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Old 06-03-20, 09:09 PM
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If you do try to get it fixed, use a master framebuilder who also does paint like most do.

They'll likely heat up the general area, twist, bend, manipulate the frame area until most of it pops out. A little bondo work, then paint.

Won't be cheap though.

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Old 06-03-20, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
How bad is this is only opinion. What the outcome is is a time dependent answer. best is years of worry but enjoyable riding. Worst is worry and a crack developing... when is the guess.


I would not try repairing this as the hardening of the tube is also going to limit the after manipulation life (the first was making the tube, the second was the dent).On face value the dent looks not too bad, no sharp crease in it's base. And it's location is a fairly low stressed spot. But others might disagree. Andy

Thank you for your opinion. I appreciate it. I ran a string across the dent to give perspective on how deep the dent is.













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Old 06-03-20, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
If you do try to get it fixed, use a master framebuilder who also does paint like most do.

They'll likely heat up the general area, twist, bend, manipulate the frame area until most of it pops out. A little bondo work, then paint.

Won't be cheap though.

=8-|
What kind of cost estimate would I be looking at? A few hundred? Closer to a thousand? Just a guess is fine.
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Old 06-03-20, 09:31 PM
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Basic rolling out of however much of the dent can be done (less with thin wall heat treated tube then more common medium walled stuff) is not too expensive. But it does ruin the paint pretty well. Figure $50 t0 $150 depending. The paint job can be as little as $150 for a poor powder coating with no decals or fork match to as much as $800 for a wet job with hand details and decals. Of course since I am not a pro or a painter this is mere speculation, if supported by years of doing this stuff. Andy
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Old 06-03-20, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Basic rolling out of however much of the dent can be done (less with thin wall heat treated tube then more common medium walled stuff) is not too expensive. But it does ruin the paint pretty well. Figure $50 t0 $150 depending. The paint job can be as little as $150 for a poor powder coating with no decals or fork match to as much as $800 for a wet job with hand details and decals. Of course since I am not a pro or a painter this is mere speculation, if supported by years of doing this stuff. Andy
I think you pretty much covered the range of possible costs and type of work.

=8-|
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Old 06-03-20, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
How bad is this is only opinion. What the outcome is is a time dependent answer. best is years of worry but enjoyable riding. Worst is worry and a crack developing... when is the guess.

I would not try repairing this as the hardening of the tube is also going to limit the after manipulation life (the first was making the tube, the second was the dent).On face value the dent looks not too bad, no sharp crease in it's base. And it's location is a fairly low stressed spot. But others might disagree. Andy
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Basic rolling out of however much of the dent can be done (less with thin wall heat treated tube then more common medium walled stuff) is not too expensive. But it does ruin the paint pretty well. Figure $50 t0 $150 depending. The paint job can be as little as $150 for a poor powder coating with no decals or fork match to as much as $800 for a wet job with hand details and decals. Of course since I am not a pro or a painter this is mere speculation, if supported by years of doing this stuff. Andy
It sounds like rolling out the dent and painting over it will will actually weaken the dented area and that structural integrity can't be improved at this point. Is that correct?

I think that is what i am most concerned about. I know that every time that I look at it I will wish that is was repaired and not dented. I'm just not sure that I am willing to put the money into it, especially if it won't strengthen the area. On the other hand it is a really lightweight frame with high quality tubing, that might tip the scales towards repairing it. Especially if I can find a repair/paint option that will fit my budget.

Thanks for explaining different options.
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Old 06-03-20, 10:01 PM
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Any dent "correction" will be a more cosmetic thing then structural. If you want solid structure replace the tube. So I suggest just living with it or chose your "poison". Andy
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Old 06-04-20, 01:01 AM
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That's a real bummer for the value of the bike, and I hope you get a good resolution for it, but it'll probably be fine structurally and would probably show slow cracking well before failure.
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Old 06-04-20, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
How bad is this is only opinion. What the outcome is is a time dependent answer. best is years of worry but enjoyable riding. Worst is worry and a crack developing... when is the guess.

I would not try repairing this as the hardening of the tube is also going to limit the after manipulation life (the first was making the tube, the second was the dent).On face value the dent looks not too bad, no sharp crease in it's base. And it's location is a fairly low stressed spot. But others might disagree. Andy
How would adding heat to the equation work? IE: heating the area before rolling, and filling with silver?
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Old 06-04-20, 07:54 AM
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Almost all manipulations of bike tubes are done cold. The issue isn't being able to bend the stuff, the forces are rather small given the thin wall, but being able to control and locate the bending. IIRC heat is used on thicker sections when the forces are so high that the bending is hard to do, so heating to a plastic state reduces the force needed. But with S3 (and other high strength heat treated steels) one doesn't want to loose the strength that heat treating has gained and with enough heat to get to a plastic state this would be the result.

Mid tube dents can be mostly rolled out with greased up tube "blocks,, basically a split clamp. But because of the spring back that steel has when the bending is released and that the bent spot tends to work harden somewhat the dent is nearly never fully removed. The hills and valley are reduced in their amount but remain. Filling in the remaining valley results in a shallow sloped mount, with the central valley now filled to the height of the surrounding hills.

All this is why I suggested to either live with the dent as the "least amount of damage done" stays that way or replace the tube completely. One way costs nothing but your mind set. The other way can approach the cost of a new frame after paint. By learning to live with the dent you also do nothing that can't be revisited later and the cost to change it remains much the same. I have known a few people that were unhappy with the dent rolling out results, had the remaining area filled and a repaint done. Yet they spend considerable $ to get there. Andy
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Old 06-04-20, 09:44 AM
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Has anyone taken their bikes to a regular body shop? How they do it is they spot weld a metal wire to the dent and then use a dent puller to pull it out. Afterwards they snip the wire off and sand it smooth again.
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Old 06-04-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Has anyone taken their bikes to a regular body shop? How they do it is they spot weld a metal wire to the dent and then use a dent puller to pull it out. Afterwards they snip the wire off and sand it smooth again.
It's about the material and material treatment.

Some can be heated up and wiggled, the dents pop out on their own.
Some can be approached as you noted.
Some can be patched and welded with regional baking.
Some can be patched and welded with whole item baking.
Some require piece replacement.

The biggest concern driving the approach is:

"Will the approach result in a change of the property of material? - is it safe or unsafe?"

Reynolds 753 was an example of a change in bicycle tubing material that required a lot of frame builders to get additional training and approach things with extra caution.

=8-|

Repairing a dent in a door or body panel on a car is not exactly a life threatening repair.

=8-|
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Old 06-04-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AL7000 View Post
I believe the bike was damaged during shipping. Pics of the bike didn't show the dent before it was shipped. Working to get it resolved.
Seems to me you should be entitled to a refund or new frame or cost of a repair whether it be the shipper or the people who packaged the bike being responsible.
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Old 06-04-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Seems to me you should be entitled to a refund or new frame or cost of a repair whether it be the shipper or the people who packaged the bike being responsible.
I hope so. I bought the bike off of Ebay. The bike was shipped through BikeFlights and UPS. Currently I am working with BikeFlights and the seller to resolve it. There is some insurance on it. I was told that up to $250 of premium protection was purchased for the bike. BikeFlights has asked that I provide pictures of the damage, pictures of the box it was shipped in, pictures of how the bike was packed in the box, and an estimate of repair costs. The spot that was dented had foam wrapped around it. Not super thick but something. Part of the handle bar was draped over the top tube (over the foam covering) and I believe it caused the dent when the box was impacted during shipping.

First time buying a bike off of Ebay. I probably won't do it again. Lesson learned. I'm not sure where I will get a repair cost estimate at? Can I get that from my local LBS? Or will I need to seek out a frame builder? I can't imagine the LBS touching a dented steel tube.
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Old 06-04-20, 11:35 AM
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I believe you have two options. One is to return it and find another that suits you. Steel is somewhat forgiving of abuse and should last many thousands of miles in its present condition.
Personally I would return it.
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Old 06-04-20, 01:31 PM
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TECH: On the plus side, its not in an area with a lot of bending force on the tube. Most force in the top tube is compressive. On the down side, failure mode for compression is buckling, and this would likely be a starting point for buckling. Plus side: that's theoretical. I've not seen too many steel tubes that have buckled. Like any. Anyone else? Most failures are breaks around the joints, on either end. Not sure how this plays out, but this is S3 steel, which is an air hardening steel that was heat treated and let cool in air to harden and strengthen. To cold work it back into shape probably involves it work-hardening and becoming more brittle. Welding a welding rod to the dent and pulling it out involves affecting the tube heat treat. So I don't think you want to go that way. Replacing that top tube would involve rewelding both head and seat tube joints, without the benefit of the factory jigs and fixtures, and with a tube that already has been welded once. And those are beautfiul welds presently.

The upshot? As Andrew says, hard to say.

AESTHETICS: Down side: its right on the top of the top tube and you'll see it every time you ride.

If you get adequate compensation for the defect and are ok with it, you could choose to go ahead and ride. Or pay to get the dent minimized and refinished and go and ride. I suspect if you do that, you'll be riding the thing years from now. But there's always a risk

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Old 06-04-20, 01:59 PM
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On a closer looks I see some rust and scuffs around the dent which would tell me that the damage has been there for awhile and before being shipped if you have only purchased this recently. How long have you owned this bike? Possibly the seller tried to hide the damage before shipping and this would entitle you to a refund.
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Old 06-04-20, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
On a closer looks I see some rust and scuffs around the dent which would tell me that the damage has been there for awhile and before being shipped if you have only purchased this recently. How long have you owned this bike? Possibly the seller tried to hide the damage before shipping and this would entitle you to a refund.
I believe some of the scuffs were there before the dent happened. Also the dark lines above and below the dent are creases in the paint, I think.

Here are a few pics from the seller before I received the bike:



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Old 06-04-20, 02:29 PM
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JMO, but I wouldn't waste any more time on it. It's nice but not a grail bike. Return it for a refund, get something that won't annoy you every time you look at it.
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