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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? – David Richerby Jun 8 '17 at 13:56
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    @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 '17 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 '17 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 '17 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 '17 at 6:45
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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.

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

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    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 '17 at 16:51

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