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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Over the last year, I've come to realize that the clearcoat (gloss) on my Cannondale Synapse seems super brittle. My frame and fork have a bunch of crack that don't go paint-deep, cracks that seem to propagate in pretty much any direction when I push on the tubes (gently) but stay put when I ride. I'd post pictures, but it's almost impossible to take pictures showing what I'm talking about. It really looks like they used a clear coat too brittle for the amount of flex the underlying carbon frame can have.

Had anyone experienced anything similar either with Cannondale or any other brand? I've heard of Giant clearcoat being prone to that too, but have no personal experience with them so I don't know how much truth there is in that.

Edit: managed to take a picture (and probably burned my retina with the flashlight). You can see a bunch of scratches but what is circled is a vertical clearcoat crack and the arrow points to another one that appeared when pushing with my finger gently on the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I don't push on my tubes trying to crack the clearcoat or for any other reason.

Might I suggest you sell the bike and get the metal version or another metal bike?
Wouldn't change anything, I'd find another reason to worry

I wasn't trying to crack the clearcoat, it just happened as a result. It explains a lot of similar patterns I see all over the bike actually.
 

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Unfortunately, paint issues aren't usually covered by a warranty.

I have a custom frame that was powdercoated, with a gloss powdercoat clear on top of the color coat. The clear began to flake away from the paint if the frame made contact with something, shortly after I took delivery. The builder didn't hesitate to take back the frame and correct the issue. It happens.

Black Metal Composite material Steel Material property
 

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Over the last year, I've come to realize that the clearcoat (gloss) on my Cannondale Synapse seems super brittle. My frame and fork have a bunch of crack that don't go paint-deep, cracks that seem to propagate in pretty much any direction when I push on the tubes (gently) but stay put when I ride. I'd post pictures, but it's almost impossible to take pictures showing what I'm talking about. It really looks like they used a clear coat too brittle for the amount of flex the underlying carbon frame can have.

Had anyone experienced anything similar either with Cannondale or any other brand? I've heard of Giant clearcoat being prone to that too, but have no personal experience with them so I don't know how much truth there is in that.

Edit: managed to take a picture (and probably burned my retina with the flashlight). You can see a bunch of scratches but what is circled is a vertical clearcoat crack and the arrow points to another one that appeared when pushing with my finger gently on the tube.
Decals on my Ti frames develop similar "cracks." I assume it is because the frames go through thermal expansion/contraction and stretch the decals to the point of breaking.
 

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My buddy has a Trek Madone and a Cannondale Synapse. Cannondale is five years old, and Madone 17 months. Both bikes have similar issue. His Synapse was inspected a almost two years ago when he noticed it. They told him it was cosmetic. No problems so far. Trek seems fine too.
 
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