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Dents In Frames - What Do We Think?

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Dents In Frames - What Do We Think?

Old 06-09-12, 01:36 PM
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jyl
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Dents In Frames - What Do We Think?

What's your opinion on dents in frames?

I'm talking about steel frames with small cosmetic dents.

Like, e.g., this one -



Does this make you automatically "pass"? Deduct $X from value (and what's X)? Does it matter if it is a rider, a restore job, a flipper? How about the desirability of the frame, as a factor? If you had such a frame, what would you do about the dent, if anything?

This is an early 1970s, 531, Raleigh frame, otherwise in fairly okay cosmetic shape. "Patina" not "icky".
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Old 06-09-12, 01:57 PM
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No worries. That type of damage is usually the result of the handlebars swinging around and whacking the top tube. Wrap some cloth tape over it to cover it and cushion any further blows.
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Old 06-09-12, 02:05 PM
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Not sure what to tell you regarding value. Not an automatic pass for me. I might be inclined to offer $50 less on an otherwise nice frame--depends on whether or not its glaringly visible.

I have a 531 Trek frame with a larger dent on the underside of the top tube. Doesn't affect performance at all and the frame is in excellent overall condition, with a good original Imron finish.

Curious to see what others think of the dent factor and what methods they employ to pop out those pesky tube dents.

Last edited by wayback; 06-09-12 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-09-12, 02:52 PM
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My Woodrup has a noticeable dent in the top tub. According to the PO the dent occure before he owned it. It does not affect the ride, but still pains me to see it (didn't stop me from buying it ;-) ). Someday I'll have the dent rolled and filled along with some other rehab work.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 06-09-12, 02:59 PM
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That's a very meh dent. Not worth much concern, frankly. I'd be worried if it were around the lugs or something, but mid tube and that small, not worth worry. Paint's not even cracked, by the look of it.

I'd leave it. It would be an easy fill if you were so inclined.
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Old 06-09-12, 03:17 PM
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Depending on the bike, I can tolerate and sometimes desire, bad paint, rust, and mis-matched wheels,
but dents drive me crazy.
Pass, parts or flip.
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Old 06-09-12, 03:33 PM
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For me, it depends on where the dent is located. My gold Colnago has one just behind and above the front derailleur braze-on - it's so inconspicuous I didn't notice it for over 5 years after I got it. I wonder how it got there?

The OP's frame? Maybe ask for a bit of a discount, but I'd do exactly what JDT suggested.

That said, I recently passed up the opportunity to buy yet another orange bike because of a dent/chip on the downtube just behind the head lug. You know, from the brake caliper arm coming around and striking the frame. I hate that - a chip in this area automatically puts a bad taste in my mouth, but a dent? Pass.

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Old 06-09-12, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
For me, it depends on where the dent is located. My gold Colnago has one just behind and above the front derailleur braze-on - it's so inconspicuous I didn't notice it for over 5 years after I got it. I wonder how it got there?

The OP's frame? Maybe ask for a bit of a discount, but I'd do exactly what JDT suggested.

That said, I recently passed up the opportunity to buy yet another orange bike because of a dent/chip on the downtube just behind the head lug. You know, from the brake caliper arm coming around and striking the frame. I hate that - a chip in this area automatically puts a bad taste in my mouth, but a dent? Pass.

DD
The more rare a bike frame the more tolerant I am of a small dent.
On that international shown.... I would want a discount. In the grand scheme of things more fortunate examples show up frequently.
Also mentioned was location. I bought a rare bike with a small dent in the seat tube, I was able to ramrod the dent away.
I have another that someone around here put a dent in... and they are not feting up... bums me out, but so it goes.
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Old 06-09-12, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I have another that someone around here put a dent in... and they are not feting up... bums me out, but so it goes.
Ouch - that sux

My sympathies - I wouldn't want to experience that in this lifetime or any other.

DD
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Old 06-09-12, 04:05 PM
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rust yes, dents no.
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Old 06-09-12, 05:53 PM
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I love that you too a screenshot of your phone rather than just emailing yourself the pic.

As far as dents, it really depends on the frame. As long as it's not crazy light and thin steel, I'll do it- I rode for YEARS on a jamis diablo MTB with a hole in the chainstay from the PO's chainsuck problem. Pretty much anything else I won't toss a leg over.
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Old 06-09-12, 06:41 PM
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I have a couple of bikes with huge dents. I pretend the dents aren't there until I can fix them.
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Old 06-09-12, 06:53 PM
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I have talked 'dents' to my local bike shop. This particular bike shop had been around since the 1930's and had made their own frames. This conversation (and repair) took place in the late 1980's. I had two bike frames with dents in the head tube and top tube respectively.

I was told that the best way to repair the frames was to burn away the original paint and clean the surface with wet and dry paper. Then carefully bronze fill the dented areas then file and sand the areas back to the original profile prior to a touch-up paint in the affected area.

Another way to repair the dents was to fill the dent with car body filler, file and sand it back then paint it.

I chose to fill the two dents with bronze filler rod, file and re-paint. One frame I re-painted fully, the other I colour matched and re-painted the area of the repair.

I had to be very careful not to 'blow' a hole in the thin tubing with the oxy-acetylene torch. I used a very small tip on the torch. The tube heated up very quickly where the filler rod took a little longer to melt due to its thickness. I directed most of the heat towards the filler rod with just enough heat on the tube to maintain a cherry red colour without melting the steel tube. I had the correct bronzing flux by the way. It was a very 'nervous' time and my concentration had to be very high.

The excess bronze filed off with a fair amount of effort and I sanded the areas so the repair was un-detectable.

I don't think I would employ this type of repair now as I am out of metalworking practice and my eyesight is much poorer.

Hope this insight helped.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 06-09-12 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 06-09-12, 07:06 PM
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Better a dent in a frame than in your wallet....besides ridding ugly's is fun
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Old 06-09-12, 07:14 PM
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Small dents like that should not be a worry.
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Old 06-09-12, 07:33 PM
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I've passed on a couple of bicycles with dents.

One was a 1974 Masi last year.

Guess what?

Found another 1974 locally that's nicer than the dented option, that's for sure.

Just ask yourself the simple question, how much do I really want the bike?
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Old 06-09-12, 07:56 PM
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Dents- Don't want them to be there but will not turn away from a wanted bike. Got this situation with an 87 Schwinn traveler and still happy I got it. Love the ride and it's not a mint one anyway.

3SS
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Old 06-09-12, 08:48 PM
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I looked at a Serotta Colorado Legend CRL in my size end of last year. It had a dent in the top tube and some nasty scratches. It pained me but I walked away. If the seller had given a big discount then.... but that did not occur. Plus it was brown.
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Old 06-09-12, 08:56 PM
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Thanks for posting your link(s) Chuck. As a cautious first-timer, I'm not gonna try the rolling routine on my Trek frame. Kinda wish I had a dented beater around here to practice on.

In the same thread Mike Mills suggested an "angioplasty" or DIY hydroforming approach to dent removal.
Clever idea. Wonder if anyone tried running with it...
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Old 06-09-12, 09:59 PM
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I would do absolutely nothing about such a dent. I have a 1978 Woodrup with the same dent! It also has an unobtrusive (IMO) dent on the non-drive side chain stay. Personally I think it's _____ and wasteful to spend the time, money, and effort to omit what I consider "character" from vintage frames.
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Old 06-09-12, 10:38 PM
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I'd ride a dented frame but I wouldn't buy a dented frame
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Old 06-10-12, 01:59 PM
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dents suck.

they rarely affect the bike but they do affect the price.

if you are going to repaint, then they are easy to fill and no one will be the wiser.
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