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Protect bike finish from bags, cables rubbing

Old 05-10-21, 01:57 PM
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pbass
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Protect bike finish from bags, cables rubbing

I guess this would be the correct forum for this. I've been getting some paint wear on the head tube on one of my bikes with the way one of my handlebar bags pushes the cables in against it. I was thinking of using some kind of tape there, but figured I'd check in with the experts, as I imagine there's some nifty solution I don't know about, something that won't be hard to remove or leave a sticky mess. Any tips (other than re-doing the cables!)?
EDIT: just discovered Racers Tape. Looks like it's made for this very thing but man it is expensive!

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Old 05-10-21, 02:25 PM
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Yes, the racer's tape, or "helicopter tape" is what you are looking for. I purchased some on Amazon and it works fantastic, is durable, and is invisible.

pbass, How much do you need? If what you need fits in a #10 envelope, I will mail you some. I have a 2"x30' roll with quite a bit left over, and that is after doing three bikes. You have always been generous with your time and you are always willing to help without judgement.

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Old 05-10-21, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Yes, the racer's tape, or "helicopter tape" is what you are looking for. I purchased some on Amazon and it works fantastic, is durable, and is invisible.

pbass, How much do you need? If what you need fits in a #10 envelope, I will mail you some. I have a 2"x30' roll with quite a bit left over, and that is after doing three bikes. You have always been generous with your time and you are always willing to help without judgement.
Wow that is incredibly generous and thoughtful. I do only need a teeny little bit for an area on the headtube. A #10 envelope's worth would be more than enough. I'll shoot you a PM! Thanks!
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Old 05-10-21, 08:46 PM
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The tape is the most elegant solution but you can also use rubber grommets on the cables where they contact the frame.
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Old 05-10-21, 10:31 PM
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I am feeling some what cynical late at night so...

This focus of preventing paint marring/rub marks is a fools chase IMO. A bicycle is more a tool then an art piece in my world. Sure smooth paint application and gloss evenness is a worthy goal for a paint job, but once in the real world of using the bike stuff happens. So many bikes have poor cable routing/housing movement control, even only with riding range of motions. Add onto that bike carriers with poor support points, bike storage at work or the leaning of a bike during stops while on a ride. How to carry it through doors while also not dropping your pizza slice in it's box(), worrying about some casing paint rub just seems so slight an issue. I see so many much more functional issues (like cables kinked by their rear mounted car/bike racks) with bikes for service yet the riders are focused on stuff like bar tape matching bottle cage colors... I have thoughts of the riders primping their looks before going out to ride, the loss of the content they bring to a ride with others.

OK, I'm done with my rant. Andy
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Old 05-11-21, 01:42 AM
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Electricians tape on the same color like the frame is your friend. I have a white pearl, red, black CAAD12 and I use black and red tape on potential areas. Chainstays on both sides are covered with black tape on the side and below to protect rubbing since the protrude.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Yes, the racer's tape, or "helicopter tape" is what you are looking for. I purchased some on Amazon and it works fantastic, is durable, and is invisible.

pbass, How much do you need? If what you need fits in a #10 envelope, I will mail you some. I have a 2"x30' roll with quite a bit left over, and that is after doing three bikes. You have always been generous with your time and you are always willing to help without judgement.
+1. Make sure you get the outdoor/UV resistant version tape that will last much longer. And yes, a very generous offer from aggiegrads.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:37 AM
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Everything you need and more.

But I gotta agree with Andrew (even if his last name is spelled wrong). A bike that sports scratches, wear spots, dirt, maybe the occasional cow pie splash, etc. is a bike that gets used and enjoyed.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Everything you need and more.

But I gotta agree with Andrew (even if his last name is spelled wrong). A bike that sports scratches, wear spots, dirt, maybe the occasional cow pie splash, etc. is a bike that gets used and enjoyed.
Stuart- Our common relatives must have stood in two different lines at Ellis Island Andy (who has twice bike toured through my Great Grandfather's home town of Dufftown, Scotland)
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Old 05-11-21, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Stuart- Our common relatives must have stood in two different lines at Ellis Island Andy (who has twice bike toured through my Great Grandfather's home town of Dufftown, Scotland)
My name actually comes from a family friend of my parents (whom I never met). They only stuck me with his first name. My brother got stuck with the rest...Alec Creighton. Both of us have spent a life time spelling our names and having people misspell them On the plus side, my name was so rare that I never had to worry about having a classmate with the same name. Iíve only met a handful of people with my first name in my entire life.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by AngelPedaller View Post
Electricians tape on the same color like the frame is your friend. I have a white pearl, red, black CAAD12 and I use black and red tape on potential areas. Chainstays on both sides are covered with black tape on the side and below to protect rubbing since the protrude.
Sounds good but this particular finish is sort of a forest green w some sparkle in it, so clear tape is the best bet here! Plus, the area that's rubbing includes the logo on the headtube, and the wear just looks kinda bad, and way premature compared to the rest of the bike. I'm cool with wear and tear on my bikes and believe me w the way I ride they have it, but in this case it just doesn't look like desirable battle scars
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Old 05-11-21, 09:27 AM
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It's all relative to what you prefer I guess. Wear spots are usually hidden well enough by the things that wear on them.

I'm not likely to see that wear spot on your paint since the strap is in the way. However the edge of a clear strip of helicopter tape is very visible to me and ugly IMO. It's especially ugly when it starts to un-bond at the edges and leave whiteish bubbles or filth starts to get underneath it.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:45 AM
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Do good looks matter?

Surely a matter of personality types. Some are bothered by flaws in finish, some couldn't care less. Ive got 3M paint protection film on vulnerable areas of my three bikes, and yes the cables rubbing on head tube is an easy area to protect. Chain stays are difficult when cables interfere with application of protection film or tape. Back of seat tube and underside of downtube catch a lot of gravel and tar, and are easy to keep clean with film on.

To each their own. I like the way the PPF "lights up" the paint, making it shine. Does it make a difference when riding the bike? Not in the least.

I wish I'd had PPF on my steel frame Raleigh (bike #4) that I'm preparing to donate to some lucky person at the local transfer station exchange. Sweat from 40 years of riding rusted the top bar pretty badly, a real PITA to repair.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Sounds good but this particular finish is sort of a forest green w some sparkle in it, so clear tape is the best bet here! Plus, the area that's rubbing includes the logo on the headtube, and the wear just looks kinda bad, and way premature compared to the rest of the bike. I'm cool with wear and tear on my bikes and believe me w the way I ride they have it, but in this case it just doesn't look like desirable battle scars
In my case it worked well. Check the third picture with chainstays. This bike has done a lot of Kms and black tape on chainstay save me many time as it is easy to scratch somewhere.


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Old 05-11-21, 11:46 AM
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Tape is good but I use zip ties to strategically tie the cables so they don't touch the head tube. On my latest project bike:

You can see the RD cable is zip tied to the front caliper brake adjuster and the FD cable is zip tied tightly to the front brake cable high up. Neither cable comes close to touching the headtube, which is a significant problem for bikes with down tube shifters converted to cable stops.
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Old 05-21-21, 04:39 PM
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You can get self-adhesive vinyl, of the kind used on cars. Doesn't leave residue when you peel it off and is available in a wide range of colours / textures. Recently I was using leather texture, for example. There are some downsides though. Typically, it comes in sheets, so you have to measure pretty exact shape and size before you cut. If you put it underneath anything that clamps on the frame strongly, it will come out of shape. So in such cases you might want to cut it in longer strips and use like a tape. It will probably work pretty ok with things like bags and it's easy to replace when necessary. Other choice is electrician's tape, which is strong, durable and easy to wrap around the tubes as many times, as you wish. Not as sexy when it comes to the way it looks, but then again, at least you can find it in many colours. Another option would be gaffers tape. Not the cheap PVC kind they usually call gaffers tape, but the real, fabric gaffers tape. It will be available in black or white and possibly some other colours and again, it doesn't leave residue. It also looks better than electrician's tape.
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