Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline
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An excellent product for this sort of thing is adhesive backed glossy mylar film. One name I'm familiar with for this product is "Fascal". It likely is also sold under other names. I got my Fascal from a local grapic art supply store about 15 or 18 years back to use on some of my model airplanes. I'm still working my way through the last bits of it on my bicycles.
It comes in sheets with a kraft paper backing. When applied it is so clear and sticks so well to a smooth cleaned surface that in most lighting conditions you need to run a finger over the area to find the edge of the clear protective patch. After some number of years of washing and rain exposure it'll lift around the edges a little and trap some dust. When that happens some warmth from a hair dryer and a bit of patience will let you lift the patch and after a good cleanng you can replace it. I've used the film I've got for both chain stays on road bikes and for rub patches around the steering head tube. The only trouble with the mylar is that it has NO give at all. So it won't transition over a joint or weld worth a darn. But on single plain curves or flat areas it works superbly. Care to apply it from one end or edge and rub carefuly to avoid air bubbles is needed but it's not at all hard to achieve a bubble free layer if the area is clean and has no bumps in the paint.
For exposed cable runs between frame braze on housing stops you can't do better than to use slip on heat shrink. Just don't actually shrink it so that you can use it over and over when changing cables.