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Old 08-03-10, 06:25 PM   #1
benajah
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Surly decal removal

Anyone know a good way to remove Surly decals without jacking up the paint? Acetone maybe?
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Old 08-03-10, 06:37 PM   #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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Old 08-03-10, 06:47 PM   #3
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The adhesive isn't that strong. Try peeling it off with some adhesive tape.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:14 PM   #4
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Hair dryer, followed by goo-b-gone to remove left over adhesive.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:19 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-03-10, 10:09 PM   #6
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So I get it, no acetone. Glad I didn't try it without asking around.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:57 AM   #7
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just ride it for a month or so, most of the stickers will come off on their own accord.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:49 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:57 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:10 AM   #10
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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 gun and a soft plastic scraper work well.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:22 AM   #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.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:39 AM   #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.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:44 AM   #13
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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.
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.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:54 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-04-10, 01:15 PM   #15
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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 gun 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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Old 08-05-10, 05:20 AM   #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.
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Old 08-05-10, 09:33 AM   #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.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:38 PM   #18
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Hair dryer and a credit card.
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Old 08-05-10, 10:19 PM   #19
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There was a thread about this a while ago. The poster said he contacted Surly and they recommended a heat gun 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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