We test a lot of rather posh bikes and I feel really, really bad when we send them back scratched. Upgrade Bikes included a couple of pre-cut kits and a big workshop roll of this Shelter Tape with its last delivery of Pivot-flavoured goodness, along with strict instructions to apply with care to all vulnerable […]
We test a lot of rather posh bikes and I feel really, really bad when we send them back scratched. Upgrade Bikes included a couple of pre-cut kits and a big workshop roll of this Shelter Tape with its last delivery of Pivot-flavoured goodness, along with strict instructions to apply with care to all vulnerable parts. On a carbon frame with a large expanse of exposed downtube, that’ll be pretty much all of it, then…
Shelter Tape is a high-tech alternative to gaffer tape. It’s a “multi-layer acrylic protection tape which dissipates any impact energy on two axis [sic].” Which means that you can drop your frame on a rock – or hit a fluorescent tube with a hammer, as demonstrated on video on Upgrade’s website – really quite hard, without damaging it if it’s got a healthy covering of this thick, clear tape. The pre-cut kits don’t fit every frame, so we ended up using a mixture of the pre-cut pieces and full-width strips.
Thanks to the tape’s thickness it’s fiddly to fit on tight curves and around smaller-diameter tubes like chainstays and linkages, even if you warm it up. We resorted to snipping little darts along the length of each strip (the pre-cut packets include several examples of this), though the smaller sections still weren’t bendy enough to properly adhere to the frame and so looked a little dog-eared after the first wet ride. Persevere though, because the extra protection seems to be more than worth the effort. The bike this was fitted to enjoyed three months’ worth of rides, races and easyJet flights without incurring anything more major than a few scuffs from over-enthusiastic cleaning.
Overall: The apparent expense pales into insignificance when compared with the cost of replacing a frame that’s had a hole punched through its downtube by a flying rock. Buy some.
Posted on: July 23, 2012