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  1. #1
    One legged rider
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    Surly decal removal

    Anyone know a good way to remove Surly decals without jacking up the paint? Acetone maybe?

  2. #2
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    Acetone works fine only on unpainted Ti since there is nothing but the decals to remove. I wouldn't trust it on any painted frame at all. You could try a little on an inconspicuous part of the frame, say under the bottom bracket, to see if it damages the paint but my money says it will.

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    The adhesive isn't that strong. Try peeling it off with some adhesive tape.

  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Hair dryer, followed by goo-b-gone to remove left over adhesive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Acetone will remove the sticker just fine.... it'll eat away and peel the paint off the frame and the sticker will come with it.... Seriously, no acetone. Acetone is one of the active ingredients in aircraft paint stripper. Also don't even think about lacquer thinner, toluene, xylene, or any other 'lene unless you're after the bare metal look.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  6. #6
    One legged rider
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    So I get it, no acetone. Glad I didn't try it without asking around.

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    just ride it for a month or so, most of the stickers will come off on their own accord.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    just ride it for a month or so, most of the stickers will come off on their own accord.
    After six months and over 500 miles of bad weather riding, the decals on my Cross Check show no signs of leaving.

  9. #9
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    After six months and over 500 miles of bad weather riding, the decals on my Cross Check show no signs of leaving.
    I have 2106 miles over several months and the stickers are hanging tough.

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    IIRC, Surly frames are powdercoated, not painted. Acetone and other organic solvents are ineffective against powdercoating. You need something like methylene chloride or benzyl alcohol to remove powdercoat.

    For non-chemical removal, a heat *** and a soft plastic scraper work well.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
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    Don't have my bike available at the moment to check, but I'm just a bit surprised they don't clear coat OVER the decals.

  12. #12
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    I used a citrus based cleaner to get some road grunge off of my Big Dummy. Took those decals right off, didn't harm the powdercoat though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobozz View Post
    Don't have my bike available at the moment to check, but I'm just a bit surprised they don't clear coat OVER the decals.
    They don't. There is no clearcoat on these frames and the decals are applied directly over the color coat.

    Acetone may be ineffective at efficiently removing the powder coat but I expect it will damage the surface gloss enough to be noticable. As I suggested, the OP could try some in an inconspicuous part of the frame to see what it does.

  14. #14
    Senior Member m_yates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    They don't. There is no clearcoat on these frames and the decals are applied directly over the color coat.

    Acetone may be ineffective at efficiently removing the powder coat but I expect it will damage the surface gloss enough to be noticable. As I suggested, the OP could try some in an inconspicuous part of the frame to see what it does.
    If you are going to experiment with solvents, I'd suggest ethanol instead of acetone. You can find ethanol ("denatured alcohol") at most hardware and paint stores. Ethanol will be much less likely to damage paint or powder coat. Not sure how well ethanol will work in removing stickers, though. Ethanol will do a decent job of dissolving adhesive, so it might work.

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
    If you are going to experiment with solvents, I'd suggest ethanol instead of acetone. You can find ethanol ("denatured alcohol") at most hardware and paint stores. Ethanol will be much less likely to damage paint or powder coat. Not sure how well ethanol will work in removing stickers, though. Ethanol will do a decent job of dissolving adhesive, so it might work.
    Unless they've changed their adhesive since 2008, household alcohols won't do squat for removing Surly's decals. I also didn't have any luck with Goo-Gone. I went straight for the heat *** after both of those failed. I'm surprised I had to go that route, because I hear so many people complain (or rave, depending if they want 'em or not) about how easy it is to remove Surly's decals.
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  16. #16
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    I put some duck tape over my downtube temporarily a while back, and when I peeled it off, some of the surly decals came off with it. I would give that a try.

  17. #17
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    i used goo gone and a shparp razor blade at a very low angle. a scratch or two when i wasn't careful but after a thousand miles i couldn't tell.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chop61's Avatar
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    Hair dryer and a credit card.
    When I was young I prayed to God for a new bike. Then I figured out God didn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.

  19. #19
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    There was a thread about this a while ago. The poster said he contacted Surly and they recommended a heat *** or blowdryer and a plastic razor. That's how most used car dealerships get old service tags and registration stickers off paint and glass. If you can find some ammonia foam glass cleaner, you can try spraying that on as you scrape it with something.

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