I've bought a new chromoly tourer. It's a very nice bike but I noticed (while on a rather wet ride the other day) a loose flake of paint that fell off when I touched it. It's on a rack-mounting lug, can only be a fault in the original paint job, and appears to be down to bare metal.

It seems to me that this is a weak spot for rust to set in, and should be sorted out by the manufacturer or dealer. Would touching it in be as robust as a factory finish if they could come up with some touch-up paint?

It seems silly to treat something that should be easily fixed as a warranty issue, but I don't want a spot that's going to let rust in. Am I overthinking this?

  • Isn't this just one where you take it back to the shop and see what they propose? If they propose using touch-up paint and you're happy with that, go for it. Or are you trying to figure out what options should be considered OK and what should be rejected? Jun 8, 2017 at 13:56
  • 2
    @DavidRicherby, yes I want to be prepared. Apparently some touch-up paint should have come with it, but it got separated from the bike and the manufacturer doesn't keep a stock (it arrives in the country with the bike). I don't know whether that would be adequate to get back to the finish it should have had.
    – Chris H
    Jun 8, 2017 at 14:15
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    In particular, I don't see it as a cosmetic issue because of the protective role of the paint on steel
    – Chris H
    Jun 8, 2017 at 14:19
  • i would also make sure there is not a tiny bit of rust that created the paint bubble, there is generally a reason, and the oxidization of steel can lift the paint off without requiring much rust. But it could also be chemical related when they brazed on the lug, or if its a screw in lug it could be the results of too much thread prep like locktite and it was not fully dry or removed before the frame was painted
    – Nate W
    Jun 9, 2017 at 22:33
  • @NateWengert there was no sign of rust, and it didn't feel like there was loctite on the thread when I took it out to see how bad it was. So I reckon the surface prep was bad (flux from brazing?). It's going back to the shop in a few days, probably to exchange the whole bike under warranty. In the mean time the first signs of rust have started to appear.
    – Chris H
    Jun 10, 2017 at 6:45

2 Answers 2


I'd have been happy with a repair, even doing the work myself, but neither I nor the bike shop could get suitable paint out of the manufacturer.

It ended up being a warranty replacement. The shop (a major chain of bike specialists) were good; their options were limited.


You can use touch up paint. You may want to start with primer.

  • 1
    Clean, sand, prime, paint. You want the bare metal to be as clean as possible, and you want the surface "roughed up" slightly for better adhesion.
    – CRoberts
    Jun 8, 2017 at 16:51

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