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Calling it

Nick09 said:
Can't you judge the frames quality by the welds (on metal frames), the weave (on carbon fiber), and the quality of the material used ex: 6061 Aluminum, etc...? Shouldn't the manufacturer have some type of label on the bike of the material used, or at least have it printed somewhere in a specs list that you can look up? If they do print the material, there has to be superior materials and inferior ones.

Just a guess here, feel free to call me an idiot if I am wrong.
Are you a certified welding expert who can see through paint to determine weld quality without an x-ray machine? Or are you someone who can see through paint and see whether a weld has been ground down? Are you someone who can just look at a weld (through paint) and say "that's a great weld" or "that's a crap weld"? If yes to these questions, then judge the frames.

As for CF frames, you should know that the weave you see is most often purely cosmetic, and even if it weren't, there's a lot of material under that outer surface that you can see. You can't see how the tubes were joined, how the layup was done, what fibers were used, etc. If you somehow have the ability to see this stuff either through the paint or through the outer layers of the composite, then judge the frames.

As for Al frames (or steel or Ti) can you read the specification sheet and tell how the tubes were shaped and butted? Can you (as above) see the weld quality on visual inspection? Can you see how well the tubes were mitered before the frame was assembled? Again, if yest to these questions, then judge the frames.
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