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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a used Spec. Tarmac Pro SL4 frame on eBay for $1K. The listing stated it was purchased new in 2015 and only ridden for 200 miles. When it arrived, it looked good, but not new. Lots of dirt packed into the head tube around the bearings. Derailleur hanger was scraped up. Some chips to the paint around the dropouts and rear brake boss.

I e-mailed the seller, and he insisted that it only had 200 miles. The seller also has a good feedback profile on eBay.

Other than above, I don't see any obvious damage. No cracks or weak spots. Should I be concerned that he crashed it and sold it? Or should I just stop worrying?

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I e-mailed the seller, and he insisted that it only had 200 miles. The seller also has a good feedback profile on eBay.

Other than above, I don't see any obvious damage. No cracks or weak spots. Should I be concerned that he crashed it and sold it? Or should I just stop worrying?
Didn't the seller disclose those pics in the ebay listing?

There's no way in hell that bike only has 200mi. If so, the owner beat the sh!t out of it and has zero clue how to get a wheel into a dropout. Not sure why you'd have to remove a wheel that much in 200mi to cause all those paint chips.
Dirt in the headset bearings is a give away too. That doesn't happen in 200mi.

Not sure what you could really do about it now though. You bought it used. Your only chance would be to convince ebay that the bike had more than 200mi which isn't likely.

How does the rest of the bike look? Are there any scratches or chips in the paint elsewhere? If not, then I wouldn't worry about it. It's pretty difficult to crash a bike and not get scratches or chips somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had my LBS install a new BB, and they agreed that it had more than 200 mi, but they didn't mention finding any damage. I've looked it over carefully myself, and I didn't see anything that set of any alarm bells. I figure if it were crashed, there would be obvious paint damage.

I e-mailed the seller to ask him about the chips. He offered to send me a new hanger, and in reference to the mileage: "It is possible the hanger was damaged in shipping, but that number and time of riding is accurate."

I really don't see how someone would damage a hanger like that.

I kind of feel like this frame was simply handled roughly. I touched up the dropouts with some Testors. As long as it's safe to ride, I'm happy.
 

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Come on there isn't any noticeable chips or damage. What you're picturing is extremely common. Even the hanger isn't a big deal. Could have hit a rock? So what. It's used. Maybe he rode it in less than ideal conditions or god forbid a dirt road. It's a bike. If you want perfection buy from a LBS and stop *****ing about nothing.
 

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Miles mean nothing as far as the frame goes. It could be totaled in 3 feet and just fine in 100,000 miles.

You bought a bike on eBay. you need to accept you'll never really know when choosing ebay. The frame is either good or not and knowing miles won't tell you which it is.

Chain, bearings, and stuff like that needs to be replaced eventually anyway so I wouldn't worry about that. And riding just a short distance in the rain on gravel can do quite a bit so I wouldn't assume the guys is full of BS about miles because you found some dirt in the headset.
 

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I e-mailed the seller to ask him about the chips. He offered to send me a new hanger, and in reference to the mileage: "It is possible the hanger was damaged in shipping, but that number and time of riding is accurate."

I really don't see how someone would damage a hanger like that.
Leaning the bike up against a wall. Setting the frame on the ground without the wheel installed. There are ways to damage a hanger like that. I'd definitely have it checked for alignment.

I kind of feel like this frame was simply handled roughly. I touched up the dropouts with some Testors.
I wouldn't bother. It's covered when the wheel is installed.
 

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Suppose the seller had been a bit more honest and said it had 2000 miles on it. Or 4000 miles. Would that have altered your decision? Even 4000 miles isn't a lot of miles for a bike frame. I bought a used steel frame a couple years ago that the seller claimed to have put 5600 miles on. He'd recently repainted it and it looked brand new. As others have said, if it was crashed, there would be visible evidence of it.
 

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Leaning the bike up against a wall. Setting the frame on the ground without the wheel installed. There are ways to damage a hanger like that. I'd definitely have it checked for alignment.

I wouldn't bother. It's covered when the wheel is installed.
Man I guess i don't worry about a lot of things you guys do...Why? If it look reasonably straight and it shift up and down the block fine then it's good to go.
 

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Not starting anything here but I've crashed a bike really hard 3 times and there's no paint damage. In fact the only damage really is like what's shown here, dropout stuff and the like after almost 10k miles.

Most frame breaks I see from crashes are the top tube from the bars hitting them. The bike I've crashed doesn't allow the bars to hit the top tube (how the cables are setup), so when it's crashed it's been the pedals, rear mech, skewers, seat and shifters/bars that have been torn up, nothing on the frame at all really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice and... tough love. Personally, as long as the frame is safe and looks good, I don't care how many miles it has on it. It just looks more used than 200 miles, so if he said, "1000 miles. Normal wear, but never crashed" I'd be totally fine, and I'd still have paid the same amount. I don't think I overpaid. I just want to make sure that it was an honest sale and the frame is safe. I generally don't care about tiny chips and scratches.

I generally view frames as eternal and ageless.

Meanwhile, I had an altercation with a car on my current bike back in July 2013. The saddle broke. The front wheel got bent, but the shop was able to true it. Other than that, the frame and fork were in perfect condition. So I guess I don't really need to worry.
 

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I wouldn't sweat that. Paint chipping from the der. hanger is par for the course and might happen the first time you put a wheel in it. Dirt is dirt and can be cleaned.
 

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This is the world of buying used... you will probably get a ton of enjoyment out of this frame. Derailleur hanger is cheap, replace if you want.

When I see my used stuff I try to be 100% accurate about mileage, but I don't think that's par for the course...
 

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Looks to me like he slammed the rear wheel in with the skewer closed.
Is it just one drop out that is chipped or both?
It would eventually chip off anyway.
$1K is a good price for that frame, considering a new one is something like $3K.
I had a Tarmac SL3 a few years and decided to sell it after the SL4 came out and couldn't even get half of what I paid for it. Used Tarmacs are one of the best deals out there.
 

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jeez, you got a good frame for 1K. shut up and go ride the thing already. If it won't shift properly check the alignment. Those chips on the dropouts are nothing.
 

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I agree with all who said this was still a good deal. The issue appears to be that the seller obviously lied about usage. I would still call him out. It's questionable whether it's worth hitting him with a negative rating.
 

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Hard to say could be an overzealous mechanic and rode just a few times in the wet? If I was the seller I sure would have made sure that thing was absolutely clean when packed / shipped to say it only had 200 miles. I am sure the bike is in great order if the rest of it is clean.
I have bought many bare frames over the last few years and sure a few came through just a bit rougher than I hoped but they are used and once all assembled those few spots seem to disappear. Funny thing is the frame I paid the least for and definetly has the most miles (seller told me it had 20k on it) is one of my favorites my old 2006 Wilier Imperiale. That being said most come better than expected, good luck with your build.
 

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If I was the seller I sure would have made sure that thing was absolutely clean when packed
You'll be amazed how many people don't want to do even the basic cleaning when selling stuff on ebay. I bought a used saddle that came with caked up mud underside. It took me about 10 seconds under running water to get rid of all that. For some people that's too much, I guess. :(
 

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You'll be amazed how many people don't want to do even the basic cleaning when selling stuff on ebay. I bought a used saddle that came with caked up mud underside. It took me about 10 seconds under running water to get rid of all that. For some people that's too much, I guess. :(
I know exactly what you mean. I bought a few stuff from ebay covered in mud as well. I don't know what's wrong with people. I always make sure that everything I sell on ebay gets cleaned before shipping it.
 

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its just paint chips and in a place where no one can see them, you would've done it yourself at some point. It doesn't even really hurt the aesthetics of the frame, let alone function. It also says nothing about the mileage, which would always be pretty hard to determine.
But yeah, $1K? just go ride it and get several years of enjoyment out of it at $200/year.
 

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its just paint chips and in a place where no one can see them, you would've done it yourself at some point. It doesn't even really hurt the aesthetics of the frame, let alone function. It also says nothing about the mileage, which would always be pretty hard to determine.
But yeah, $1K? just go ride it and get several years of enjoyment out of it at $200/year.
Well said. How was nats?
 
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