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  1. #1
    vol
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    Reflective tape to cover original bike color?

    If I like the red color I would just use red reflective tape for the red bike... But if I don't like the bike being red? Would it be ugly to use, say, lime green to cover the frames of a red bike--given that, obviously, some parts of the bike will not be covered and so will show the original red color.

    Has anyone used reflective tape to "replace" the original bike color?

  2. #2
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I used colored duct tape instead of reflective tape to cover the original color of my xtracycle. I would have used reflective tape, except that I couldn't find purple reflective tape, or reflective black tape.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
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  3. #3
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    I have! I bought a black frame and covered it completely with reflective tape. I made each part of it a different color, and made decorative "lugs" in contrasting colors. I've been stopped and complimented on the beautiful lugwork (it's a TIG-welded Surly, actually, but thanks).
    The tape I used was the "engineering grade" reflective tape they have at Identi-Tape.com. It still looks great after five or six years' use as a beater bike, too. It has a couple of dings and scratches, but hasn't peeled off or anything. It just looks like an exceptionally colorful paint job.
    I should take better photos, but this one shows some of it. The back of the rear fender has orange tiger stripes over the blue, too.

  4. #4
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
    I have!
    Very nice colors! The other day I saw someone riding a bike like that, and I thought she made the bike by herself with different colored pieces for the frame. Must have taken you a lot of time?

    I am still undecided whether to cover my bike color or not, as it's a brand new bike, but I really want to put on some reflective tape.

  5. #5
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
    I should take better photos, but this one shows some of it.
    Yes, please! I'd seen a shot of this bike before but had no idea it was anything but a colorful paint job. A night shot would be cool, too, while I'm thinking of it.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    If I like the red color I would just use red reflective tape for the red bike... But if I don't like the bike being red? Would it be ugly to use, say, lime green to cover the frames of a red bike--given that, obviously, some parts of the bike will not be covered and so will show the original red color.

    Has anyone used reflective tape to "replace" the original bike color?
    You may find this interesting- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-down-the-road
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  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Put a yellow patch on the headtube of my bike , and a red stripe down the mudguards .

    white reflective stuff on the rear mudflap.. active , battery, taillight on the mudguard.

    whole bike? there may be a 100' commercial sized roll in your future..

    Halo is the trade name of a reflective Powdercoat, the daylight color is grey,
    and the texture may be rough, so prompting a clear coat over it.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-14-13 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    If it helps, it's going to be much easier to do a good job that will last a long time on a brand new bike because the tape will stick best to a smooth, clean surface. Once you've ridden in the weather for a few months it becomes a lot of work just to get it that clean again, let alone apply the tape.
    I did mine when the frame was new, before I built it up. Not having components on it made it a little easier to get into hard-to-reach spots, but yeah, it was a lot of work. Definitely worth it, though.
    You can also do cool things if you cut the tape into shaped decals. I decorated my helmet with blue reflective flames.

  9. #9
    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    I repainted a frame for a beater bike which fell over before the paint was cured resulting in some really nasty scratches on the top and down tubes and the LH seat and chain stays. Since it was to be ridden in bad weather and at night I decided to cover the damage with reflective tape. I had painted it metallic blue so I found some 3M engineering grade reflective tape in blue and ordered it. In normal light it is a near perfect match for the blue on my bike, you have to look really hard to tell what's tape and what's paint. I also picked up some white, black and red and have added some to my helmets, it blends in with the colors on my primary helmet very well. My cold weather helmet not so much but I don't care on it. I also used the white to cover scratched up chainstays on a white hybrid frame I bought and like the blue it is really hard to see in normal daylight conditions.
    Analog man in a digital world.

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    I got the idea to decorate my frame after seeing a guy's bike that he had covered entirely in black reflective tape. The black reflects white, and obviously isn't quite as bright as white would be, but when you cover a surface with it it still lights up. And in regular lighting it looked really cool - somewhere between a pearl and a metal flake and a carbon finish.

    We have a friend whose winter bike has a crate on the back that is covered entirely with bright white high-gain reflective tape. In sunlight, it is fairly blinding to ride behind him, actually.

  11. #11
    vol
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    Could covering with tape negatively affect the sale if some day I want to sell the bike (not near future)?

  12. #12
    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Could covering with tape negatively affect the sale if some day I want to sell the bike (not near future)?
    If you're putting it over a factory paint job the tape could be removed by heating it to soften the adhesive and any residue cleaned up with Goof Off or something similar. If it's a rattlecan repaint like mine reflective tape probably won't hurt the resale anymore than the rattlecan repaint already would.
    Analog man in a digital world.

  13. #13
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    I think it depends on how much you're going to beat up the bike in the interim. If you're concerned about the effects on the resale value in six months, don't tape it. If you're thinking about the resale value after five+ years of commuting, it probably won't hurt and might even help since it's another layer of protection from the elements.
    FWIW though, I would NOT want to have to take the tape off of mine... that would certainly be no picnic. Like I said, it has admirably withstood several years of duty as a beater bike year round in Boston and isn't so much as peeling.

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