Scratch or crack, how to tell with a carbon frame?

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for telling if a scratch is a crack or simply a scratch? There’s a few spots on my Trance that I’ve been trying to work out.

I’ve tried the stuff I know, tapping with a coin to hear a dead spot, pushed it in it see if it widens and shined a bright led to see the bottom but still can’t tell. It’s not making any new noises under my weight, but I’m only riding around the block at the moment.

I’ve cracked carbon frames before and it’s been visually apparent, but this is different. I think both come from times I’ve put the bike down on rocks. Giant’s paint is terrible at times and the topcoat chips really easy on this frame.

I’ll add photos soon.

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I had an Opus Fhast frame that I was 100% sure was cracked, and wasn’t.

I would touch base with the Giant Warranty centre and they may be able to deal with it via photos.

I’m hoping to avoid speaking to them at this stage. I got the 2019 Trance as a warranty replacement for a 2016 Anthem after I had 3 frames replaced on that bike.

It’ll be a long complicated story.

I’m sure it’s not cracked but would rather be safe than sorry.

You have two choices:
You take the blue pill—slap an ECMTB sticker overtop, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, hit as many jumps as possible and you will see how deep the rabbit hole goes



Such is life with carbon…

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I’d take it to the dealer. There’s an old saying in the warranty back room: all big cracks started out as small cracks.


No plan to go into Giant just yet but will get there.

Had the bike upside down on the stand and under a bright light it looks like the line I was most worried about is a scratch as it continues into the clear coat on either side.

I’ve always scoffed at frame protection wraps. But the brittle nature of the paint on this frame makes it seems like a better option than constant worry.

I tried to take photos but it’s just too hard!