Buying a dented DH bike

I’m looking to buy a downhill bike. I am currently looking at a stock 2007 demo 7 that’s going for 1500. The owner does say that there is a small dent on the down tube “an inch long and a third of an inch deep”. I am a light rider (130 lbs) and I’m wondering if this will affect the integrity of the frame, and if the asking price is reasonable.

Hey Joseph,

That price sounds decent, but — dude — be careful.

Specialized Demos are burly. You could probably drill out half that down tube and be OK. Wait, I didn’t say that.

Get a photo of the dent. Take the photo to your local dealer and ask their opinion. Wait, don’t do that! They might know it’s a fatal flaw and send you to Whistler anyway.

If the dent is in the middle of the tube, it might not be a major issue. I’ve ridden bikes with dents like this, no problem. Wait, I didn’t say that.

When you buy a used DH bike — especially one with a visible dent — you’re taking a risk. If the frame is dented, how are the other components doing? “Bargain” bikes can get expensive.

Balance the costs and benefits. On the cost side, you might get a catastrophic failure (in Whistler, with a possible injury), an unrideable bike or a POS that’s a pain in the A. On the benefit side, you might get a great bike that you’ll really enjoy.

The potential benefit is pretty cool. The potential cost is very bad. I wouldn’t do it.

If you’re still wanting this bike, ask about the bike’s overall condition and how the dent happened. Get that photo so you can make a more informed decision.

Just in case: Tape your health insurance card and ER copay under your helmet visor.

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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