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Old 10-11-08, 08:28 PM   #1
roseskunk
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taking the decals off my surly

hi folks- can i take the decals off my surly without ruining the paint? i don't wear clothes with logos and i'd prefer that my surly be nameless as well. i was wondering if anyone else has done it and if the decals are under a clearcoat? thanks in advance!
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Old 10-11-08, 09:12 PM   #2
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I have the LHT in green, it's about 5 years old. Bits of my decals have rubbed off, they're definitely not under clearcoat and should be quite easy to remove.
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Old 10-11-08, 10:14 PM   #3
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Yes, they should be fairly easy to remove but you will have to be patient and not hurry the process.

A heat gun will help immensely. Heating the decal before trying to peel it away will make it much easier.
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Old 10-12-08, 10:23 AM   #4
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What I'm about to tell you will sound nuts but it does work and will not harm your paint!

Buy, or borrow, some Avon Skin So Soft bath oil and soak the decals in it. Wrap a paper towel around
your tubes and soak them, let sit for a day, then remove or repeat. The citric oils in the bath oil
will release the decal glue allowing you to just lift them off. Wash off the oil and ride away!

I've used this product for years to de-glue cars, bikes and whatever. Just be patient and keep the
glued whatever wet with SSS and it'll come off clean as a whistle!
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-12-08, 10:39 AM   #5
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hmmm... avon skin so soft? sounds weird enough to work... thanks everyone. i'll let you know how it goes. i think the bike will look better sans logos, especially "fatties fit fine™". i assume they mean tires but i can't help think that they're talkn' to me.
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Old 10-12-08, 03:20 PM   #6
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I have had success removing decals by using Lighter Fluid. Any smoke or tobacco shop will have it. The name brands are "Ronsonol" and Zippo". The liquid is pure Naptha, very similar to benzene.

Hardware stores sell "VMP Naptha", but I recommend the lighter fluid, because it comes in a smaller can and the canister has a very small spout, to control the amount you are putting on.

Again, I mean the kind of lighter fluid meant for an old wick cigarette lighter, NOT butane, and NOT charcoal lighter fluid.

I'm only putting these precautions in because I don't know if you smoke.

The trademark (tm) brands I see around here are Ronsonol and Zippo.

The solvent dissolves the glue.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseskunk View Post
hmmm... avon skin so soft? sounds weird enough to work... thanks everyone. i'll let you know how it goes. i think the bike will look better sans logos, especially "fatties fit fine™". i assume they mean tires but i can't help think that they're talkn' to me.
I like the "fatties fit fine™" decals because they could be talking about me
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Old 10-12-08, 06:58 PM   #8
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I have had success removing decals by using Lighter Fluid. Any smoke or tobacco shop will have it. The name brands are "Ronsonol" and Zippo". The liquid is pure Naptha, very similar to benzene.

Hardware stores sell "VMP Naptha", but I recommend the lighter fluid, because it comes in a smaller can and the canister has a very small spout, to control the amount you are putting on.
+1
That's been my "go to" adhesive remover for years. Doesn't harm paint or any plastic that I've tried. Also works great on a rag to clean brake pads and the braking surface of rims.
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Old 10-12-08, 08:02 PM   #9
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Lighter fluid and Avon's Skin So Soft? Man, I love this forum - I learn something new everyday! I can't wait to try both of them some time when I need to remove a decal.

Great suggestions.
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Old 10-12-08, 08:28 PM   #10
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Avon's SSS is non-flamable and will not start a fire. Naptha is VERY,VERY,VERY dangerous to
work with in open air or near any ignition source (which can be anything! )

Stick with the Avon's SSS 'cause the worst that can happen is you'll smell good not roasted!
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-12-08, 08:55 PM   #11
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Lighter fluid and Avon's Skin So Soft? Man, I love this forum - I learn something new everyday! I can't wait to try both of them some time when I need to remove a decal.

Great suggestions.
Skin So Soft is also the stuff lumberjacks wear in northern Maine to slow down the black flies. Keep it with your duct tape, I guess.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Naptha is VERY,VERY,VERY dangerous to
work with in open air or ...
Get a grip man, small amounts of naphtha are not dangerous to work with in open air. I'm guessing that you break into a cold sweat when fueling your vehicle and I guess nail polish remover (acetone) is not allowed in your house.

Some people don't want to wait two days to remove a sticker by using lotion.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:26 AM   #13
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I think bike manufacturer's deserve an award for jamming the most advertising on the least amount of space.
Do they actually think someone will by a particular brand of bike because they see me riding on that brand of bike? And whats with the giant label that tells the model of a bike, is that so I won't forget what model I bought?

I use a hair dryer and they come off, I use "Goo b gone" (not sure if thats the correct name) to get rid of excess glue.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:45 PM   #14
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I think bike manufacturer's deserve an award for jamming the most advertising on the least amount of space.
Do they actually think someone will by a particular brand of bike because they see me riding on that brand of bike? And whats with the giant label that tells the model of a bike, is that so I won't forget what model I bought?...
What tweaks my Milkduds is Fuji putting Fuji.com on the chain stays
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Old 10-14-08, 07:41 PM   #15
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well i tried 'bestine', a rubber cement thinner. it doesn't work. i need to try some of the other suggestions when i've got the time. but now that i've started, i see logos everywhere. next target, my 'kleen kanteen' logos.

i really can't stand logos on clothes though i do have a riv sweatshirt... and curiously i'd never think to get rid of the logos on my vintage bikes. go figure. thanks for all the suggestions, i'll let you know what works!
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Old 10-15-08, 05:41 AM   #16
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Nothing like paying a ton of money for a bike so that you can advertise for the manufacturer who probably overcharged you for the bike.

I can just imagine some housing contractor painting in giant lettering the name of the construction company on the side of your new house. How long would it be before you painted over that?
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Old 10-15-08, 05:45 AM   #17
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I liked the 'fatties fit fine' on the chainstays enough I left that logo on my otherwise anonymous surly Crosscheck.
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Old 10-15-08, 10:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Nothing like paying a ton of money for a bike so that you can advertise for the manufacturer who probably overcharged you for the bike.

I can just imagine some housing contractor painting in giant lettering the name of the construction company on the side of your new house. How long would it be before you painted over that?
Yep, Every car I've ever owned the first thing I do before I drive off the lot is remove the dealers
ad sticker on the rear. It really makes'um mad but they never want pay me for ad space!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-15-08, 10:53 AM   #19
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You remove it? I don't accept delivery until they do it you old softie.
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Old 10-15-08, 11:26 AM   #20
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You remove it? I don't accept delivery until they do it you old softie.
Yes, "I" do it! I just love the look on the salesmans face when I hand it back to them!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-15-08, 11:31 AM   #21
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I even removed the head badge on my brown Steamroller. It looks clean.
But I kept the headbadge on my sage green LHT.....for now.
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Old 10-16-08, 11:41 PM   #22
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another thing that works to remove stubborn stickers/decals is hot water! just get a big pot of hot water and start pouring it on the decal. scrape the decal with a plastic card or something else that won't scratch paint.

heat, in general, helps to soften adhesive and make it easier to remove. i've found that using hot water is easier to use than a heat gun and the water also helps to wash away the adhesive.

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