The frames we sell are inspected for quality, structural and appearance. Here’s what we look for:
HISTORY & SIZING
We spend a considerable amount of time researching every frame that comes through. We research the internet for specific details such as:
Many times we find exactly what we need. We try to provide as much original information as possible. In the event that we cannot find that information, we still want to provide out buyers with the necessary measurements to insure a good fit such as:
center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube
center of the seat tube to the center of the head tube
length of the head tube
length of steerer tube (if fork is included) above the head tube
If you are unsure if a certain frame will fit you, we always suggest that you first measure the bike you are riding. We are happy to make additional measurements so feel free to ask. If you are still unsure, we suggest reaching out to your favorite local bike-fitting specialist.
STRUCTURAL & MATERIAL QUALITY
We thoroughly clean and inspect every frame for any flaws such as cracks, chips, scratches, dents or dings. Every frame material has its own qualities and we base our decisions on experience with each material:
Carbon Fiber - bikes made of carbon fiber today are tougher than ever however older bikes are more susceptible to damage from impacts, even small impacts. For every paint chip we find, we look at the surrounding area. If it is lightly cracked, we do the “thumb” test - if it pushes in too easily, we assume the structural quality is compromised. Any light gouges are inspected thoroughly. We will sometimes sand away the paint to see if there is any deeper damage. Any splintering means the quality is below our standards.
Aluminum - this material is subject to failure by fatigue quicker than most other materials. Any signs of cracking deems the frame is below our standards. Large dents do also. Smaller dents and dings (less than the diameter of your smallest finger) are inspected.
Steel - this material is likely the most resilient to damage. We still look for cracks and large dents. We also look for any bubbling of the paint, the first signs of rust. If the area is large enough (larger than the diameter of your smallest finger), we will carefully sand away the paint to inspect the affected area. Any major pitting of the metal will deem the frame below our standards. Refinishing any exposed areas will fall upon the buyer (and the price will reflect this as well.)
Titanium - this metal is usually left with a raw finish which means spotting any cracks, dents or dings is easy. Cracks and dents larger than your smallest finger will deem the frame below our standards. Small dings and scratches are noted in the description.
Just to be clear, any frame deemed below our standards will not be sold.
We also do not sell repaired frames, cosmetic or structural.
Road bikes are pretty simple - if there are no cracks or alignment issues, the frame is pretty good! Full-suspension mountain bikes may need a bit more attention. Before we completely disassemble a mountain bike, we will clean and tune the bike enough to ride it around in the neighborhood. We are looking and listening for any noises in the moving parts of the bike.
We will sometimes disassemble the parts of the bike for evaluation of the bearings and bushings. If any bearing or bushing does not feel as smooth as new, we will replace that part. We do not always reassemble the bike completely (since we only sell components) but we will test the function of the bike on the stand.
If the structural integrity of the frame is intact, we will finish off the process by documenting any flaws we find - scratches, chips, small dents or dings. We also note any areas that may need attention while researching the quality of the frame (sanded areas, chipped paint, etc.) While many online forums only allow a few photographs, we tend to take as many as needed to tell the story. If you have any questions about the frame’s appearance, feel free to ask for more specific images.