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Weird imperfection in new Cannondale carbon frame

RobthebubRobthebub Posts: 3
edited October 2019 in Road buying advice
I just bought a new 2018 Cannondale Synapse. I got the last 2018 at a local shop at a great discount (Dura Ace at 50% off). Its my first carbon frame and I just noticed a strange imperfection at the top of the seat tube, right where it meets the seat stays. It kind of a small square indentation, with one of the sides very uneven. Very hard to say if that uneven surface is a crack. Can this be some kind of normal imperfection of the carbon or paint? Naturally I would love to keep the bike given the great deal, but I am nervous that this can be a crack or lead to a crack? Apologies for the quality of the photos, it´s quite difficult to capture, its very small, maybe half an inch.

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Posts

  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,170
    That could be caused by an impact - but there could possibly be other causes as well.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,720
    Unlikely to be a crack. Looks more like an flake in one of the undercoat layers which has been over-painted without re-finishing it first.
  • That’s almost exactly what it looks like when you paint over a wee square of masking tape and then peel it off. Wonder if maybe something stray got overlooked during painting and was never smoothed out. Wouldn’t stop me riding it but I’d probably want an in person second opinion from a frame repairer or painter or some such before I got too near the end of the warranty.
    Custom Albannach Torragar [BUILD IN PROGRESS]
    2020 Ribble CGR SL
    2019 Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS Disc
  • Definitely looks like a manufacturing imperfection and something that has been overlooked. Cannondale is merely a brand nowadays they don't make anything and the brand owner Dorel buys from many different factories in the far east. I watched a video by sickbicker on youtube of a Cannondale mountain bike he purchased and the number of assembly faults on that bike was staggering, it couldn't have been ridden without a fair bit of work before hand correcting the issues.

    There is a trick that Dorel have used in the past where they buy cheap parts from mainland China including frames but get the bikes assembled in Taiwan to get the all important 'Made in Taiwan' sticker which nowadays is a sign of high quality especially for CF frames even though the factories in Taiwan are just very basic low skill assembly plants and don't manufacture the components themselves. It's a trick many use to disguise major components coming from perceived lower end factories maybe in Cambodia or Vietnam. CF frames are very labour intensive with many hours labour going into each frame so moving to a lower wage country can save a huge amount of money.

    I don't think there is a debate regarding that coming from a poor CF frame facility that is very poor workmanship for a CF frame which factory that is who knows. I know about 4 years ago they were using fuji-ta in mainland China for a lot of Cannondale bikes and did see a forum posting where someone stated his bike came from Vietnam but that was a while ago now too. Which factory Dorel used for manufacturing Cannondale CF frames or whole bikes in 2017 doesn't appear to be information available on the internet.

    If you got a canny deal then perhaps show them the issue and state you are not happy with it and see what solution they come up with. I would hope to get a replacement bike or frame. I would not accept re-assurances that , that frame was ok. Surely at worst they refund your money and take the bike back.

    Luescher Technik is a great resource on youtube for showing issues with CF frames. He loves CF frames and actually builds them himself but shows the issues with many commercial CF frames, voids etc.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,720
    Definitely looks like a manufacturing imperfection and something that has been overlooked. Cannondale is merely a brand nowadays they don't make anything and the brand owner Dorel buys from many different factories in the far east. I watched a video by sickbicker on youtube of a Cannondale mountain bike he purchased and the number of assembly faults on that bike was staggering, it couldn't have been ridden without a fair bit of work before hand correcting the issues.

    There is a trick that Dorel have used in the past where they buy cheap parts from mainland China including frames but get the bikes assembled in Taiwan to get the all important 'Made in Taiwan' sticker which nowadays is a sign of high quality especially for CF frames even though the factories in Taiwan are just very basic low skill assembly plants and don't manufacture the components themselves. It's a trick many use to disguise major components coming from perceived lower end factories maybe in Cambodia or Vietnam. CF frames are very labour intensive with many hours labour going into each frame so moving to a lower wage country can save a huge amount of money.

    I don't think there is a debate regarding that coming from a poor CF frame facility that is very poor workmanship for a CF frame which factory that is who knows. I know about 4 years ago they were using fuji-ta in mainland China for a lot of Cannondale bikes and did see a forum posting where someone stated his bike came from Vietnam but that was a while ago now too. Which factory Dorel used for manufacturing Cannondale CF frames or whole bikes in 2017 doesn't appear to be information available on the internet.

    If you got a canny deal then perhaps show them the issue and state you are not happy with it and see what solution they come up with. I would hope to get a replacement bike or frame. I would not accept re-assurances that , that frame was ok. Surely at worst they refund your money and take the bike back.

    Luescher Technik is a great resource on youtube for showing issues with CF frames. He loves CF frames and actually builds them himself but shows the issues with many commercial CF frames, voids etc.

    Not sure what the point of all this was. But just to be clear, the issue is with the paint finish - not the carbon frame itself.
  • Really appreciate everyone’s responses. I definitely felt it must be a paint defect as the paint is not damaged in any way like from an impact or scratch. Something must have happened in manufacturing. I don’t mind it at all as long as it’s not structural so thanks for providing your experience and weighing in.
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