Returned an Optibike 2007 to the road, ideas on touchup paint? repair of rear fender?


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Dear EBR Optibike forum,

I had the good fortune to get an excellent condition blue 2007 Optibike 600, 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?

[Edited to update the year and model ebike]
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@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.
Tx, @Ann M. ! We applied Autozone custom match paint and the 2007 Optibike 600 looks as good as it rides!

We are always adding new Light EVs for the annual Light EV Association Tech Training led by Dr Don Gerhardt, where I assist in developing and teaching battery recovery techniques.

This year we have added Segway scooters, the Segway/Ninebot GoKart, and a 2014 Optibike R8 to review with our next class!
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Did you ever switch the battery cells over to Li Ion type or are the NMH still working?

Jim Turner turned out to be one of the eBike industry visionaries yet he is hardly known or talked about on the forums or bicycle pressl. Back in '07 when his bikes were like $8k people got persnickety about that but he has carried on and built quality products since day 1. I used to live in CO and got by their shop a few times to ogle the goods and take a test ride. The motor noise always bothered me so I never invested but there was no lack of power.

My Optibike story is that later on I had moved to Bellingham, WA and I lived on top of a short steep hill coming off of a flat street below. I was working in the fenced in yard and heard a buzz a ways off, somehow I realized exactly what it was because of my test rides. Couldn't see thru the privacy fence but had plenty of time to get to the gate and watch a couple in their 60's on Optibikes cruising up the hill together. We exchanged waves while they were checking to cross the street and they continued on into the park entrance.
Nice story, @JRA ! Yes, the 2007 model 600 motor has many great features, but being quiet is not one of them!

No we did not switch to Li internally on the Optibike 600, instead have cobbled up an external LiFePO4 battery pack using the external battery connector and the ext battery pack switch setting.

[Edits to answer questions]
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