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Old 05-14-07, 08:25 AM   #1
turtle77
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Keepin' it clean - a fairly easy way to remove Surly (or other non-clearcoat) decals

Surlys rock, but they're decals can get messed up. I decided to take mine off. Here's how to do it pretty easily:

Take an iron (yeah, like, for your clothes), turn it up to the highest heat and steam level and hold it very close to the sticker and frame without actually touching. Hold it there for, I dunno, like 30 seconds to a minute. The heat melts the adhesive and the steam softens the sticker. Once you begin to smell the adhesive "cooking", grab something to scrape the decal off. I recommend something plastic (I used a hotel room key card) so that you don't scratch your frame. You'll want to start scraping fairly quickly, as once the sticker begins to cool, the sticker re-bonds with the frame (these guys are sticky). Because of this, for the larger decals, you probably won't get it all in one go.

Once you've scraped it, you'll need some adhesive cleaning product like Goof Off or Goo Gone to clean the adhesive and little bits of decal that still remain on the frame.

Caveat 1: The adhesive, when heated, and adhesive removers can get pretty fumy. I got a little high (in a not-really-that-cool kinda way) when I was taking them off. If you can, do it outside.

Caveat 2: The sticker shavings will stick to everything. Another reason to do it outside.

Happy scraping.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:57 AM   #2
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I've use a hairdryer instead of an iron, takes a little longer, but safer.
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Old 05-15-07, 03:26 AM   #3
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cheers, mate. The bloody bike shop had the cheek to put one of their stickers on my bike, that pissed me off something chronic. Maybe I'll give this a go.
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Old 05-15-07, 05:03 AM   #4
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My bike is very decal heavy (trek 1000 w/discovery team scheme), but my LBS told me that Trek wouldn't honor the warranty if i removed any of them
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Old 05-15-07, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerner
I've use a hairdryer instead of an iron, takes a little longer, but safer.
Ditto. I seem to remember suggesting that to the OP in a different thread
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Old 05-15-07, 04:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerner
I've use a hairdryer instead of an iron, takes a little longer, but safer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Ditto. I seem to remember suggesting that to the OP in a different thread
What are you...afraid to iron your clothes?!!?!?

Ooooh, don't let the big bad iron get you!!!!

Yeah, I tried the hairdryer method first and it didn't work very well for me. In fact, Raiyn, due to your suggestion, I thought perhaps a heat gun would work better, and while I was on my way to buy one, this idea kinda popped up. This method worked MUCH BETTER for me, which is why I originally posted this.

Thought some people might like a different option.

That is, of course, the people who aren't scared to use an iron.
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Old 05-15-07, 05:59 PM   #7
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Surly stickers are very easy to remove since they're not clearcoated. My Steamroller and Long Haul Trucker frames are completely void of decals, including the headtube decals.
Same goes for my Litespeed frames. Their decals can be "wiped" off with acetone.
I don't like decals on my bikes, for the most part.
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Old 05-15-07, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle77
Yeah, I tried the hairdryer method first and it didn't work very well for me. In fact, Raiyn, due to your suggestion, I thought perhaps a heat gun would work better, .
I guess my thrift store Jheri Redding II Turbo ?600 is just a little more powerful than what's currently on the market.
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Old 05-16-07, 11:45 AM   #9
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is there anyway to safely remove decals underneath a clear coat? or is a new paint job in order?
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Old 05-16-07, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix
Surly stickers are very easy to remove since they're not clearcoated. My Steamroller and Long Haul Trucker frames are completely void of decals, including the headtube decals.
Same goes for my Litespeed frames. Their decals can be "wiped" off with acetone.
I don't like decals on my bikes, for the most part.
I removed one of the big 'Surly' stickers on my downtube but it left a shadow on the paint. Like I can see the paint is a little darker around the outline of the removed stickers. Tried Goof-Off and Goo-Gone with no success. Suggestions?
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Old 05-16-07, 05:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairlessbill
I removed one of the big 'Surly' stickers on my downtube but it left a shadow on the paint. Like I can see the paint is a little darker around the outline of the removed stickers. Tried Goof-Off and Goo-Gone with no success. Suggestions?
Sounds like the part of the frame that was under the decal just needs to get dirty enough to match the rest.
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Old 06-10-07, 12:46 AM   #12
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Any good method to removing the surly head badge?

Probably just needs a little extra elbow grease while using the same hairdryer-iron techniques.

roadfix-
How did you remove the head-badges on your surlys?
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Old 08-10-07, 12:00 PM   #13
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i've tried the iron method & the acetone method and neither removed (or even began to remove) any of the decals.

any other suggestions?
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Old 08-10-07, 01:18 PM   #14
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My wife has an "embossing tool" she uses for scrapbooking. It's like a high powered blow dryer and it works pretty good at getting decals off. It can get the frame too hot to touch really fast.
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Old 08-10-07, 02:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie View Post
roadfix-
How did you remove the head-badges on your surlys?
Heat it using a hair dryer and it'll pull right off.
Here's my Surly Steamroller sans decals.

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Old 08-10-07, 10:08 PM   #16
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gorgeous bike dude
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