Unridden bike with dent in top tube - bargain or avoid?


New Member
May 17, 2011
Hi, I'm after my first cyclocross bike, but can't afford to pay RRP so have been looking on eBay for a second hand bargain. Then I came across a Kona Jake, brand new, never ridden and in my size. It's effectively going for half price because it has a dent in the top tube (pics below). I'm not in the slightest bit bothered about the aesthetics, but do have my concerns that it has been compromised structurally. Anyone have any experience/advice in this area? Many thanks, Ian
FWIW. The frame will probably be "okay" to ride ([COLOR= #808080]a friend had as severe a dent in a vintage Paramount which he rode without qualms other than his concern for the cosmetics[/COLOR]), but I think that if you pay more than $100US, then you will probably be unhappy with having bought it vs. another frame, particularly if the ready-to-ride BASE model JAKE (which is what that frame presumably is) doesn't cost that much ...

You have to tell me, is the particular frame Scandium OR is it plain aluminum?

Does the BASE model JAKE come with a Scandium OR a plain aluminum frame?

What fork does the BASE model JAKE come with?

That may be a long way of saying that if the BASE model JAKE comes with a Scandium frame then I recommend that you simply buy one of those, move your existing parts to it AND/OR upgrade the particular parts as time-and-wallet allow ...

BECAUSE, even if that dent doesn't present a structural problem, I think that unless you BONDO it, I think that the cosmetics will bother you after a while.
BTW. If the shop-or-individual is selling the BASE model KONA JAKE, ready-to-ride, then I would hope it is selling for 50% of MSRP, at the most ...

If the shop is selling the ready-to-ride bike, then look at the components YOU would & wouldn't buy ... assess how much you would pay for them, add about $100 for the frame ... the rest of the components should be treated as flotsam-and-jetsam which may-or-may not have long term value to you.
Base model Kona Jake comes with a Tiagra drivetrain except for the BB and crankset which are Sora. Brakes are cantilever Kore Sport Brakes. The alloy is 7005 Aluminum, which I don't think is scandium...but I may be wrong. The fork is Kona,s aluminum Project Two, rough ride. MSRP is US$999.00 which sounds about right given the component level.

That ding looks fairly severe but it is in the center of the tube and on the side which means that it is not going to be subjected to the same forces that it would encounter if it were on the top or bottom of the tube or near the welds. It is probably useable but I would watch it closely for any kind of cracking or other signs of fatigue as aluminum is knot known for its tensile strength.
That's a serious dent, right in the middle of the TT where bending forces from compression loads are highest. The dent could result in the TT buckling under load, ie, a big bump or dropoff. For a cyclocross bike, I'd certainly avoid it. Doubt the LBS's I know would sell a frame in this condition.....they would sent it to the trash heap.