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Is it abnormal to fret about a small scratch on a nice bike?

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Is it abnormal to fret about a small scratch on a nice bike?

Old 12-01-22, 07:48 PM
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AJW2W11E
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Is it abnormal to fret about a small scratch on a nice bike?

I have a Specialized Diverge Comp, the best bike I may ever have. I took her for a ride in the snow and ice she was so stable.
The other day I came back from a ride and I saw this paint scratch, maybe from a tree branch?
I realize this is maybe childish, but does anyone know where I can find touch up paint in the red Specialized is using on its 2019 plus models? It's more of an orange red.
Thank you in Advance.
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Old 12-01-22, 07:51 PM
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Go to a hobby store or find nail polish.

And it’s not abnormal if its on someone else’s bike.
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Old 12-01-22, 07:58 PM
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That's not a scratch; it's patina. If you ride your bike, it will look like it. You'll get used to it. But as rsbob says, nail polish is the easiest solution.

My newest bike has a rather unusual color that would be hard to match, and so I fill in those nicks with the clear polish that my wife always has around. And I only do that because the frame is steel and I don't want it to rust.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:06 PM
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Time for a new bike!
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Old 12-01-22, 08:07 PM
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Buy some oranges and some red or some orange/red little bottles of Testor's or similar at a hobby or craft store (I get mine at Michaels), and a little pack of cheap fine tip art brushes. Try a couple of different mixes to get something that's close enough. Use the 6 foot/2 meter rule - if it's not visible at 6 feet (better yet, 3 meters/9 feet), it's irrelevant. You will not notice it once you get over it, and anyone else will never notice it.

Even if you dabbed pure red on that little nick, it would be unnoticeable at anything more than up close.

But the best thing to do is get a chain stay protector in a color you like - black probably and just cover the entire chain stay because you'll get more nicks there. IF you're not familiar, just do a web search for options. Most are just very tough stick on tape type stuff. All my bikes have them, some clear, some black.

FWIW, I challenge anyone who has owned and ridden a bike for any meaningful amount of time and mileage not to have blemishes like this. It's not even a scar, it's a blemish.

Last edited by Camilo; 12-01-22 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:09 PM
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Just take your bike into Sally Beauty Supply. They have like 500 colors of nail polish.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:20 PM
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I'd be willing to bet nobody else even notices like you do. Don't let it bother you either.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
FWIW, I challenge anyone who has owned and ridden a bike for any meaningful amount of time and mileage not to have blemishes like this. It's not even a scar, it's a blemish.
Yep. My gravel bike is built on a custom frame, and the shop sent the frame back a couple times to have the builder redo the paint -- it wasn't up to their standards. I think about that each time another rock gets kicked up and dings the frame.
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Old 12-01-22, 08:26 PM
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Minor blemishes like the OP don't bother me one whit, even if they happen on the first ride. Not to say I like large blemishes, especially if they're where I have to look at them. But a chain stay blemish would not bother me. BUT....
I got a titanium gravel bike so there's no worries about stuff like this My previous "gravel" bike (re-worked cross bike) was very battle scarred and it was just fine. They should look like that after a while.
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Old 12-01-22, 09:04 PM
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I’d be more concerned about the dork disc, at least if you want to be considered a serious cyclist.
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Old 12-01-22, 09:59 PM
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Chances are good it will happen again if not several times due to chain slap. What you really need is a ‘chain stay protector’ like this or similar https://www.amazon.com/Chainstay-Pro...g%2C174&sr=1-8
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Old 12-01-22, 10:24 PM
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Obsessing about a scratch on any new item is perfectly normal.
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Old 12-01-22, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Obsessing about a scratch on any new item is perfectly normal.
Yes, it's fairly normal, but while knowing that may be reassuring to the OP it doesn't solve his question.

He can seek a touch-up approach (I've always had good luck with nail polish) or he can try to adjust his outlook. One person's scratch or dent is another's fond memory of a great day or hard riding.
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Old 12-01-22, 10:47 PM
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I get miffed about it too. I was watching a bike video on YouTube the other night and it had a guy showing his Rivendell. The thing was so banged up it was kinda beautiful. If it were my bike I'd rub it with a diaper, but there's something nice about a tool well used. Someone Else's!!
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Old 12-01-22, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MattyWillPDX View Post
If it were my bike I'd rub it with a diaper, but there's something nice about a tool well used. Someone Else's!!
Make sure it isn't used...LOL


I think most of my bikes have some sort of scratching as long as no damage to the integrity of the frame not an issue. On a lower cost bike it is less of a fret but really if you are worried about paint issues get a titanium bike and you can just use a scrubbing pad to remove imperfections and it won't rust or anything so it is perfect for that. That is why I built my mountain bikes out of titanium, I can beat them up and they still look good and if I do get rough with it I can get it back to looking really good easily.
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Old 12-01-22, 11:21 PM
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That's what cool stickers are for.
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Old 12-02-22, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I’d be more concerned about the dork disc, at least if you want to be considered a serious cyclist.
I do like his reflector though.
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Old 12-02-22, 07:40 AM
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I have a bike that has been restored to like new. I have never ridden it for fear of scratching it.

I remember trying to get a Gios Torino with undamaged paint from the distributor in the mid 80's. Right out of the foam pack they all had paint dings. I gave up after the third one.
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Old 12-02-22, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
I have a Specialized Diverge Comp, the best bike I may ever have. I took her for a ride in the snow and ice she was so stable.
The other day I came back from a ride and I saw this paint scratch, maybe from a tree branch?
I realize this is maybe childish, but does anyone know where I can find touch up paint in the red Specialized is using on its 2019 plus models? It's more of an orange red.
Thank you in Advance.
I had a Project 1 Domane and on my 3rd or 4th ride, I got pushed off the road by a car that got a little close and I hit a patch of rocks and such on the road and one shot out from under my front tire and almost put me on the ground, but I was able to maintain. When I got home, I was checking the bike and noticed a small chip in the paint. Was I happy, nope, but, if you ride your bike, this is going to happen. I contacted Trek, got some touch up paint.

It happens. Just like it does on cars. Its a badge showing you are using your bike, not just putting it in a frame observing it like a painting in the Louvre.
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Old 12-02-22, 07:51 AM
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I would only obsess if it was on carbon. I would drive myself crazy wondering if there was more damage than I could see, which is why I don't own carbon bikes.
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Old 12-02-22, 08:21 AM
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Perfectly normal.

FWIW, when I saw dings like that on my previous new bike I tried to find matching paint to cover up the dings. It matched almost perfectly in the store, but stuck out like a sore thumb (to me) on the bike out in the sun. So when my newest bike got a scratch, I took a deep breath and forgot about it. This bike is still a lot of fun to ride, and I'm looking forward to many more great rides -- and that's more important than gazing at the thing!
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Old 12-02-22, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
I realize this is maybe childish....
Maybe. Maybe not.

What would help is a photo of the entire bike to put the subject blemish in context.
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Old 12-02-22, 08:40 AM
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I bought my new bike (my Infinito) used, so it came with a small spot of touch-up paint on the chainstay. Totally wrong shade of green! I really should try to get the right color for it because it is pretty jarring. Fortunately it's vary small!
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Old 12-02-22, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
I would only obsess if it was on carbon. I would drive myself crazy wondering if there was more damage than I could see, which is why I don't own carbon bikes.
Good call. We've already got way too many of those posts on bf.
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Old 12-02-22, 08:54 AM
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If it were my bike, I would install a chain stay protector. If I use my bikes, they are going to accumulate evidence of that use whether riding or loading in and out of a vehicle. I have used nail polish for touch up on my Rockhopper and it passes the 6-foot test. White paint pen on my Specialized Tarmac. While I understand not wanting to damage a perfectly restored bike, I think it is a shame that something is too nice to be used but only admired. Different strokes for different folks.
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