Powder coat paint repair?
April 11, 2006 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Looking for advice on touch-up paint for a powder coated bike.

Took my bike out for the first run of the year today. Long story short, nothing happened on the ride, but on the drive back, my wife's bike slid forward on the bike rack, and rubbed her front suspension against my frame all the way home. I now have a nice dime-sized gouge out of the green powder coat finish.

Aside from being pissed at the bare metal showing through (and concerned about possible corrosion) I have no idea how to fix a powder coat. I know that I probably won't be able to restore it to the original finish, but I want to cover the gouge as best I can. I've done some searching and am finding some places telling me to use an arcrylic hobby paint, while others warn that specific paints will interact poorly with the finish and take more paint off than I'm already missing. Searching bikeforums.net only gave me advice on recoating the entire frame - not an option.

Anybody have any idea what might be the best course of action? I have less than 30 miles on this bike, and am really not pleased that I have already screwed the finish up. (If I'd have done it going off of an obstacle, that would be different - but rubbing on the damn rack? Ugh. Especially given the pads I placed everywhere I thought such rubbing might occur...)

Bike is an '06 Specialized HardRock Comp, army green. They carry touch-up paint, but not for any years after 2004.
posted by caution live frogs to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Hey! your first ding. If you're only worried about corrosion, and not aesthetics, get some clear spray paint and cover the metal.
I know it doesn't answer your question, but I've always been apprehensive about new toys (classic cars, regular cars, bikes, computers whatever) getting munged up, and then once it did, I didn't have to worry about that "first scratch" any more.
posted by notsnot at 8:36 PM on April 11, 2006

I had a few scratches in my Trek 2300 (2001), and used nail polish. Not quite as smooth as a spray, but cheap and easy.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:28 AM on April 12, 2006

FWIW, the HR Comp seems to be an aluminum frame, which won't corrode.

Actually, Specialized tends to recycle colors. Hmm.... OK, I looked at the touch-up paint on their site, and the 2001 415 FSXpert is also Army Green.
posted by JMOZ at 9:10 AM on April 12, 2006

Ah. Thanks, JMOZ. I didn't look far enough back in the touch-up list... something about them not having any paint available for 2005 or newer kind of stopped me from poking around in there.

I'll give it a shot; my plan so far is to try the touch-up paint and then cover the damaged area with a chain stay pad.

The gouge is on the seat stay; I figured painting it won't do me any good if it will just be subject to damage again the next time I load our bikes onto the rack. So, I thought that using a pad designed for the chain stay would both cover the touched-up damaged spot and prevent further rubbing while on the rack.

(Changing the way the bikes are loaded isn't really an option - my wife's frame is so small it only fits on our rack in one direction, so I can't really rearrange.)
posted by caution live frogs at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2006

Perhaps at some point you can try a different type of rack? Personally, I love my Thule top-of-car rack. Otherwise, the lizard skin (or equivalent chainstay protector) should protect the seat stay nicely if it fits.

If it doesn't, any sort of neoprene/rubber pad that fits over the seatstay will work.
posted by JMOZ at 8:25 AM on April 13, 2006

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