Returned an Optibike 2008 to the road, ideas on touchup paint? repair of rear fender?


New Member
Dear EBR Optibike forum,

I had the good fortune to get an excellent condition blue Optibike 2008, serial number 10, back on the road. The NiMH pack took a bit of coaxing with a multichemistry charger, but now has about 25-30 mi in it for my tests the past month in Central NC, US which is probably 1/2 my effort for most rides.

There are a few nicks and scratches and one rubbed off area on the bottom bracket cover:
? What do any of you suggest for touch-up of the paint on the blue aluminum main body section and on the bottom bracket cover which is the same blue color?

This rear fender has a piece broken off near the two bolts in the frame. For now, I am using a Topeak MTB QX rack with the mud flap extension.
? Any ideas on matching and patching up the OEM rear fender?

Ann M.

@msw4chl, find a local nail salon or beauty supply shop and see if you can find a nail polish that's a close color match. Use some super fine grit sandpaper (tear off a small piece to work with) to smooth the edges of the area you want to paint. Start with a hidden area to get your technique down. Tear a corner off a small painting sponge (you want the triangular shape for better control) and lightly dab a bit of paint/nail polish on. Let it dry thoroughly and do a second coat if needed or top with a clear coat so that it will wear longer.

If you have a more generic shade of blue, like a candy apple blue, consider using either automotive touch-up paint or paint designed to work on metal surfaces. If the paint is in a spray can, spray a small amount into the inside of the lid and use a small sponge piece to pick up the paint and apply it. Some automotive touch-up paints come with nice tapered and brush applicators built in and like fingernail polish, you don't have to buy much. Hobby shops, especially the larger chains, will also have a good selection of small bottles of paints for models plus applicators and possibly staff that could guide you.

I suggest you have the bike with you when you're matching the color; it's very easy to be off by a shade or two.

All of these possible touch-up paints contain volatile chemicals that you don't want to use indoors. And yes, even though many nail polishes use less toxic hardeners now, I would still recommend doing this task outdoors. Be sure and put some paper or cloth beneath the area you're painting to catch any drips. Use another small clean sponge to dab up excess paint and fingernail polish remover (Acetone) to remove the paint if you don't like how it looks but be careful, acetone could damage adjacent painted areas.