Bicycle Mechanics - Protective Clear Bicycle Tape?
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07-18-11, 04:03 PM
Just purchased a gorgeous frame and would like to protect it (within reason) from nicks and scratches. Wouldn't wrap the entire bike, but probably the fork, chain stay and down tube.
Already familiar with 3M's automotive tape per my cars. Have read about 3M's helicopter tape in the forums.
Eager for a great recommendation on a tape to protect my aluminum frame's OEM paint job. Looking for CLEAR tape with great protective properties that leaves no trace on the frame when removed.
Recos please? :)
07-18-11, 05:10 PM
You don't believe in patina?
07-18-11, 05:12 PM
haha touche gitarzan :)
but i've got enough patina whenever i look in the mirror!
thinking a little wrap here and there could help me enjoy the ride even when the road gets a bit bumpy.
So you're seriously going to wrap the entire fork, downtube and both chainstays?
You know that this is a bicycle with automotive-grade paint, actually designed to be used, right? It's not grandma's antique china.
Typical is to put a little tape just where cables rub or the chain may drop, maybe on the seat post where the saddle bag straps on. I've never seen anyone protect more extensively than that. How much protecting material do you put on your car? Do you have a clear plastic cover on your sofa like my mother in law? Just kidding, but it seems a little overboard to me.
As far as materials, for little spots, clear packing tape works OK, but heavier material is better. I know it's available elswhere, but I happened to have some acoustic guitar clear pickguard material (like a very heavy, but clear vinyl sheeting w/ adhesive). I just cut pieces from that and put it here and there where I need protection.
Clem von Jones
07-18-11, 09:08 PM
How about translucent contact 'paper' / shelf liner from the grocery or hardware store? The public library uses it for book covers. It's plastic and thicker than tape but also peels off easily and probably wouldn't damage paint and decals. It's not completely clear though, only translucent but you wouldn't notice unless you looked closely. It doesn't make fine text on book covers unreadable.
07-18-11, 09:18 PM
Contact paper, many clear tapes, and some other similar materials are not intended for outdoor use and can yellow, crack, or peel quickly when exposed to the elements. I'm not familiar with the 3M products you spoke of, but would like to know more. Have you got a link? I didn't find it with a quick Google search.
Wrap twine on one seatstay where you lean the bike for locking, and shellac over. Looks classy.
07-18-11, 10:40 PM
I've used patches of self adhesive clear mylar on spots where cable housings rub the head tube and on the chain stay to avoid nicks from chain slap. I've used it in a couple of other spots as well where things rub on the paint in normal use. It just seems like common sense.
However I draw the line at doing areas that don't touch stuff in normal riding. That would just be a bit too OCD.
07-18-11, 11:08 PM
yan - my enthusiasm may have gotten the best of me! being a car guy for so long, i'm just used to protecting my investments with a 3M wrap lol. will restrict any bike frame applications to strategic spots on the head tube and chain stay. however, i reserve the right to liberally wrap my helmet. may even throw in liberal use of twine and shellac for good measure ;)
bcrider/myosmith/camilo/clem von jones - 3M makes a range of quality wraps for protecting automotive paint that is widely used. the only restriction is that cars with these wraps shouldn't be run through automatic car washes because the water there has a more acidic content that can create/accelerate yellowing. otherwise, the wraps are nearly invisible. 3M is the clear market leader but there's quite a bit of competition within this space as well. buyers can commission custom jobs, order pre-cut kits or do the wrap themselves. here's a link to one site of many:
Update: Just found this offering specifically for bicycles:
following the lead of others on this thread before me, i was simply expressing interest in wrapping strategic parts of the bike in similar fashion. strikes me as a reasonable DIY with nice upside potential. (camilo's suggestion of a guitar pick guard is a clever one and much appreciated)
btw, i read about "helicopter tape" (also made by 3M) being quite popular in protecting bike frames in several forums. was hoping to learn more about this other product offering as well.
07-19-11, 08:29 AM
Walmart has clear electrical tape in the automotive section. I use it on my chainstay and where the cables rub the bike. So far so good and it is easy to remove.
07-20-11, 09:57 AM
Thanks much for sharing!
Went ahead and purchased 3M's clear bra paint protection in bulk off of Amazon. Roll comes in 6" x 48" and I'll cut it to fit my needs. (There will be a fair amount of roll left which I can use in the years ahead on other projects.)
07-21-11, 02:29 PM
FYI - Found a fascinating demo on YouTube for applying protective tape. The sexy model is a Cervelo S2 :)
Tracked down the company here. (No relation to them.) The kits are too pricey for my taste and I'm going to make a go at cutting my own custom wraps from a bulk 3M roll I ordered from Amazon. Here's the company link for anyone interested:
Cheers all! :)
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