Today I left my bike near others, and one of them fell on the rest, causing me this: enter image description here

Some of you may say it's a little scratch, but I really care about my bike and it's a big drama to me. Especially since it's a handlebar handle (or horn, idk the name) and I touch it - it's pretty rough now.
Any tips on how to polish it (to make it smooth), or paint? At least I would like to not feel it
Thanks for ideas

  • 1
    Well I feel for you, nobody likes getting their bike scratched up. Being on the outside of the bar-end, it's probably the most likely point of the bike to get scuffed up in any number of ways. In the past, I would of been running around town looking for touch up paint, all the prep and stuff, just for me to take another dive two weeks later and have the same result. Now days I wouldn't worry about it.
    – Hursey
    May 21, 2023 at 20:57
  • 6
    Wear them with pride, and make up an implausible story how they got there incase someone asks.
    – mattnz
    May 22, 2023 at 2:32
  • Bar ends are so 2000s anyway, just get rid of them. May 23, 2023 at 7:27
  • In keeping with all the other questions about this topic: you should probably check for structural damage, maybe take the bar end to an X-ray specialist just to be sure ;)
    – arne
    May 23, 2023 at 9:34

4 Answers 4


I would wrap the bar-end in bartape - same stuff used on road bikes/drop bars.

This will hide the damage, limit the same thing happening again, provide you some more cushion to your hands, and lets you pick the colour to complement the reset of the bike - perhaps teal.

It doesn't fix the underlying scratch, is the downside.


Some careful sandpaper use will get rid of the scratches. For the areas which used to be black, some nail polish or similar paint will do. It will be harder to color match what used to be the logo and get that looking right, so I'd personally just paint those areas black as well. You could try using a grey paint to reproduce the logo though.


The other answers have some good ideas. I would add a couple more:

  • I can't tell from your photo, but some handlebar "horns" are separately replaceable from the main flat part of the handlebar. You might be able to source a replacement for that single "horn".

  • I have had some success touching up similar scratches/scuffs using a Sharpie Paint Pen (note that this a separate product to their regular pens, which are ink-based). It will likely not exactly match the black colour, but it'll be close enough that nobody will notice.

Aside from that, although the scratch is annoying, with use eventually every bike gets some sort of superficial damage, and that just shows it's being used and enjoyed rather than being left to gather dust in the garage! There are worse places to get a scratch or scuff, so if you can solve the texture problem for your hands, you might learn to live with it.


If you don't like the idea of bartape as Criggie suggested (which I think is the best option - being a road cyclist, I would wrap even the brand new ones), then you need to fix and repaint what you have. (That's excluding the trivial approach of replacing the grips, for which you wouldn't need anyone's advice).

  • Consider the writing gone. Restoring it will be difficult and not worthwhile.
  • Like with car panels, it's difficult to touch-up a small area well. It's better to repaint the whole thing, or at least the outer half of it.
  1. Liberally sand the scuffs with sandpaper. If they are scratchy, start with 320-400 or even a smooth file around the scratches, and then finish the whole area with 600-800 or 1200. You don't need to polish it: your surface is not shiny. Run your finger in all directions to feel the smoothness.
  2. To paint, you want a Black Etch Primer spray, like this or this. No "normal" paint, nail polish etc. will hold well on a grip (if you actually grip it regularly). It gives matt or satin finish which is just right for your purpose.
  3. Either remove the "horn" or tape a sheet of paper to the handlebar to protect it from overspray. If you remove it, it's better to hang it on a hook.
  4. Wipe the piece clean, preferably with alcohol or a similar cleaner. Primer is less sensitive to the surface condition than normal paint, but it shouldn't be dirty.
  5. Spray the whole piece with the primer.
  6. If the tone/colour turns out to be noticeably different, you may want to paint the other "horn" as well.
  7. If you still see the scratches (they become much more visible after painting), repeat the process: sand it again, clean (wipe the dust), spray.
  8. Overall, a single good coat should be sufficient, but you may want to have a couple of coats for better durability.
  • Great description and writeup. It is definitely worth painting both the damaged and undamaged bar-ends. That way they will end up the same colour with the same sheen and hand-feel.
    – Criggie
    May 23, 2023 at 2:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.