Frame protection tape – yes or no?
I’m expecting to receive a shiny new bike with a shiny new paint job, and I’m thinking about using some sort of clear tape to protect it. But it’s a bit of a catch 22 – what’s the point of paying for a nice looking frame if you cover it up with tape (even clear tape doesn’t look as nice). So I’m thinking I’ll just apply it to high impact areas such as chain stays and leave the rest in all its naked beauty (ooh err missus). Thoughts (apart from the obvious “get a life”). And tape recommendations?Posted 4 days ago
3 of our bikes are invisiframed. It works well and you’ve got to look really closely to notice it’s there.
Take your time fitting it and you can get a really great finish.
It’s got to the point where, if I’m considering two different frames and all else is equal, I’d pick the one that has an invisiframe kit for it.Posted 4 days ago
I’ll second invisiframe.
I broke the rear triangle of my foxy, I never bothered to invisiframe the new rear triangle. I very quickly regretted it as it ended up with paint chips while the front triangle remained looking good.Posted 4 days ago
I went for Invisiframe, justifying it as cheap compared to the overall cost if the bike. Sadly it was a waste of money as the frame was swapped on warranty. My short experience was that it was ok. It starts off quite invisible, but then it damages more easily and more noticably then paint. It would be possible to renew it to get the new bike look back.
My girlfriend has RideWrap, which I think is better. The film is water repellent which makes the bike easier to clean. She applied a full kit herself on a touched up three year old bike which had some targeted film applied before. It looked like new afterwards. The film also seems harder and less prone to tearing. I would recommend that.
On the ‘just ride it’ side… We had an incident on a gondola a few weeks ago. It was one big cabin with 20+ bikes leant up against one another. There was a guy with an all black and immaculate Yeti who complained to my girlfriend that her brake lever has scratched his bike. She just shrugged it off, but he must have had OCD or something, beacuse he spent to whole journey going on about it. Later in the day we saw him bloodied and bandaged after what I assume was a crash. I was very restrained and avoided eye contact. I certainly didn’t ask how the bike was.Posted 4 days ago
I’ve got one bike that was shackwrapped by the previous owner, I’ve done two bikes with blank Invisframe sheets and templating the bike with newspaper, and one bike that I stumped up for a pre-cut Invisi kit. It was quicker to apply but I don’t really thing all the small pieces that go on the inside of the stays and braces add that much benefit, its the big tubes where you notice annoying damage. And of course they still don’t protect vulnerable areas such as heel rub on dropouts.
I’m glad they are done, three of the four bikes regularly get bikepacking gear strapped to them and its definitely saved the general finish from scuffs and scratches. The wrap can get marred a little (and clamping in workstands and bike racks is definitely one area to take care as it can scrunch up the wrap slightly).
There are a few blemishes in the tape (one from what could have been a pretty annoying top tube rub to the paint on my best bike whilst in a van) but as its tape you know its temporary and it doesn’t seem to matter as much.
I never used to take care of my paintwork and I’ve got a couple of retro/classic bikes that would be lovely if it wasn’t for all the chips and scratches and missing lacquer!
PS You can see the edges of the tape obviously, but I actually think the bikes are slightly glossier with the film applied (except for the matt frame that has matt tape applied, but that looks great too)Posted 4 days ago
I have thick 3m tape on mine.
I loaned the rest of a roll to a mate and he got me something thinner in return. I thought it woul be fine and one, very gritty 100mile ride later, the bags had worn through in places.
On a raw geometron 4 years on its unnoticeable if you are a meter away.
On a 3 year old super sparkly chameleon purple blue flip paint that scratched when I washed it with a brush it’s pretty much unnoticeable until you are right up close.Posted 4 days ago
If money a factor, but time isn’t. DIY invisiframe. I’ve bought the stuff below and while it takes a long time to do, strangely satisfying.
Easier if you’ve fitted an invisiframe kit before, my 2nd DIY effort way better than the 1st.
1 roll does about 1.5 frames IMO.
It’s a yes from me.
My frame has taken some fair size hits from kicked up rocks in the peaks. The 3m tape I had fitted from new has kept it looking good. I’d probably go ridewrap next time for the water repellent nature of the stuff.Posted 4 days ago
I have one bike with invisiframe, after 2 years it only shows on a few edges near the bottom bracket where a tiny piece has got some dirt behind it
I have another bike with some HKT pieces and some 3m tape. These are much thicker and show more than the invisiframe, but we’re cheaper.
I prefer the invisiframePosted 4 days ago
Invisiframe is almost…invisible. All our bikes are wrapped. Having had an unwrapped carbon Nomad V4, I will never make that mistake again.Posted 4 days ago
Don’t bother IMHO. It’s a brilliantly targetted/ marketed product – what better way to tap into buyer’s remorse than to convince them that spending another hundred quid or so is actually reducing the frankly obscene expenditure on a bike.
I spent about £200 or so on a few lengths, which I used on the last 4 house bikes. They may well have prevented a few scratches and paint scuffs, but no way £200+ worth. No way in hell.
But it still feels like the ” right” thing to do. I mean spending 4 grand on something and then refusing to protect it is just wrong…
Then the other two problems:
1)It looks shit
I know I’ll get shot down on this by people who are less cackhanded than me, and more into bike maintenance @weeksy ;-). I guess you can get it looking OK on the bits that don’t actually stick out, but I defy anyone to tape all the actual exposed rub points on a bike without it looking shit.
2)It weighs too much.
Controversial I know, but why spend stacks of money on a light bike and then add 70g to it? ( Yes, I know, weight is so last century. STWers don’t spend stacks to get a light bike, they spend stacks to get a Gnarr Enduro Sled with cachet and the stipulated pro-travel-inches-de-jour. In which case go ahead)
PS, I realise my argument above is paper thin. I don’t really expect to convince anyone, even me 😛. It’s inevitable that people will try to protect what they’ve just spent thousands on.Posted 4 days ago
And given that many people seem to enjoy maintaining bikes as much as riding them then they will see the faff and aesthetics as a plus point/ challenge rather than a PITA
I pretty much agree with @generalist. I’ve never had a problem with honourably acquired battle scars, and I’m a weight weenie. Then recently I bought quite an expensive bike with quite an exotic paint job, and as part of the deal the shop invisiframed it. They used a generic kit because no specific one was available, but it is well done. It kind of looks OK, although you can see the edges, and mud does seem to wash off it pretty easily. If I had to pay for it I don’t think I’d bother ( a discount instead of the invisiframe wasn’t an option).Posted 4 days ago
I was going to say no, don’t bother, couple of scratches never hurt, and then generalist told me it was £200! Seriously?! Even more of a no from me!Posted 4 days ago
My posh bike is raw ti so probably doesn’t scratch that badly, but my painted steel ones are fine without, as is the laquered raw carbon road bike
I’ve never had a problem with honourably acquired battle scars, and I’m a weight weenie
Can’t help thinking the two go hand in hand. Far from putting extra weight on the bike, you actually lose a bit with every paint chip!Posted 4 days ago
If you’re spending a load on a bike it’s a no brainer for me. Last 3 bikes have been invisiframed, if done well it’s pretty much invisible. If it gets tatty you can replace sections, and if you are a serial bike swapper then it helps retain value.
Having said that, my posh road bike does not have any frame protection, but it doesn’t get crashed (touch wood), chucked in the car boot every weekend, taken on holiday in a bike bag and ride on uplift trailers.Posted 4 days ago
I invisiframed my rear triangle and underside of the downtube and left it at that.
I think it’s a good compromise of protecting the bits that’ll definitely get beaten up (especially heel rub on the chain stays) and leaving the nice paint to look nice.
In my experience if you email invisiframe and ask nicely they’ll sell you a rear triangle only kit.Posted 4 days ago
I only ever do my cranks with CycleStik products as I do rub them, a trait I’ve passed onto my eldest too.
None of my frames are taped for normal wear, granted 2 out of 4 are satin lacquered bare carbon, so it’d look utter turd and they have internal routing so no cable rub to worry about.
My Gravel bike has tape where I put the top tube back on but my CX bike isn’t, it may well have the nicest paint job out of the lot, but it’s a race bike, so it’s gonna get abused / dragged round corners, up banks and crashed quite a lot.Posted 4 days ago
Invisiframe protected my frame very nicely, I thought, right up until I stacked it properly 😀
On the rare occasions I washed it, it came up lovely and showed no sign of chips.
I think I’d do it again on a new frame for sure. I’d look at RideWrap too, since their Chainstay Armour is awsome kit.Posted 4 days ago
I have a specialised, the paint (like all Spesh frames) is about a metre thick. I swear if I stripped all the paint off it It would be a noticeable amount of weight. I didn’t wrap it. It has some scars in the normal places, but if I wash it properly it comes up looking pretty good for a bike that’s now on it’s 4th anniversary.Posted 4 days ago
Or just buy a generic Zefal kit off Amazon. Pre cut pieces that are very easy to apply and protect the bits that need protectingPosted 4 days ago
My general rule of thumb is carbon yes, metal no…
But I like to attach bags to my bikes and bags are known to rub…Posted 4 days ago
Only done one. Previous frame was bare Ti, so obviously no point there. Frames previous to that were powder coated – not pretty, no point either. Latest frame has a rather gorgeous silver-grey, flippy, metallic paint job, is carbon, so bigger “tubes” – bigger flatter areas of paint to look good/ bad. Bags get strapped to it.
I wouldn’t have paid kit plus fitting on top of the cost of the bike, but wrap kit and a few beers with tunes on doing it myself was acceptable, and not an unpleasant couple of hours
Invisiframe didn’t have a kit mapped. They wanted me to strip the frame send it to them for a week, pay for the kit anyway and fit it myself.
Ridewrap did have a kit, worked well, fitted nicely. Claims to self repair smaller scuffs and scratches in sunlight. Looks good, apart from the joins, which are no prettier than a bunch of scratches would be at those points, if we’re honest. The mud does fall off a bit easier, I think.Posted 4 days ago
Personally, no. I usually put a bit of clear tape over bits which are especially prone to cable-rub (usually either side of the headtube). But otherwise, life’s too short. It’s a mountain bike, it’s going to get banged about.Posted 4 days ago
Personally I’ve never seen the point, especially paying someone else to do it. If the paint got really bad on one of my bikes I’d just get it re-painted as that doesn’t cost much more. I might think differently if it was a custom or fancy paint job though.Posted 4 days ago
Bought a roll of 3m heli-tape a few years back. I use it on impact areas, so down tube, cable rub, stays and to protect against heal rub and top tube rub from gritty shorts. I resprayed a classic road bike a couple of years ago, and the heli tape went on the chainstay and cable rub areas only. Looks great not having a ‘visible’ chain stay protector.
If you’ve got a really expensive carbon frame, then yes, I’d get it wrapped properly.Posted 4 days ago
I’ve always done my bikes with proper 3M tape, costs about £25 a frame as you can buy it in massive rolls if you look hard enough. The current roll gas done 3 bikes and should do another, only cost £60 3 years ago. I don’t go all-out on coverage, just the main tubes and vulnerable areas and whenever I’ve had to lift or replace a section you can see the difference as a distinct line so worth it for me. I don’t care about resale value, bikes are ridden until they die or are retired but I do like to take care of them. Strangely if I scratch a bike while riding it I don’t care, it’s part of the hobby, but scratch it while transporting or storing it and I am livid. Strange how that works.Posted 4 days ago
Depends really… but I’d say either do it right and invisiframe or don’t (or maybe just toptube)Posted 4 days ago
Raw carbon – used as a template by Invisiframe to make the official kit. Literally invisible.Posted 4 days ago
Raw titanium – never used.
Painted carbon – bought an official kit from Invisiframe. Applied myself not as tidy!
Slight hijack, anyone know where i could could get some adhesive rubber pads that I could cut and fit to my BB shell?
I got my bike invisiframed on purchase, it’s worked really well, time to replace it now though (2 1/2 years)
Looking at a ridewrap kit from the US.Posted 4 days ago
Strangely if I scratch a bike while riding it I don’t care, it’s part of the hobby, but scratch it while transporting or storing it and I am livid. Strange how that works.
As I said above, honourably acquired battle scars are fine. But a dented top tube caused by falling against a workstand will bug you for ever, even when you no longer own the bike.Posted 4 days ago
As I said above, honourably acquired battle scars are fine. But a dented top tube caused by falling against a workstand will bug you for ever, even when you no longer own the bike.
Too true!Posted 4 days ago
i now but the bikeprotect? tape from amazon…Posted 4 days ago
significantly cheaper and significantly easier to apply than invisframe, able to do a bike in an hour comfortably, rather thanan evening.. and save £65 odd
the intricate shapes of invisiframe just add to the complexity, i jsut use mostly rectangular sections and don’t feeel that i will be leaving much unprotected of any significance
Another vote for Invisiframe. I’ve never seen (non-professional) helitape done anywhere near as good.
It’s dead simple to do and looks good when done (and several years later unlike most home done taping).
You have to be really cak-handed to cock it up.Posted 4 days ago
Invisiframe employee here.. Feel like I need to weigh in. In response to @nedrapier and anyone potentially put off by his comment..
We don’t require a frame to be stripped down, full bike is absolutely fine.
Our design team are exceptionally busy and work tirelessly. Some designs can take days (and nights) of work, so a week window in which they can make the magic happen isn’t unreasonable IMO.
The design process involves fitting the kit to the frame, so if we don’t have your model available, when your bike leaves us, it has a full kit installed.
More often than not, if your frame is a current model and not a bespoke design, the process is free of charge.
Any questions, now or in the future, feel free to DM me. Cheers.Posted 4 days ago
Invisiframed my bike myself, really enjoyed doing it and found it really easy. Think the kit was about £70 at the time (5 years ago) Went on at least two full day rides with mates and they didn’t even notice it was done till I pointed it out. Still like new, no peeling or discolouration at all.Posted 4 days ago
Would definitely use it again on a carbon bike, didn’t bother with the ti bike.
I don’t care about resale value, bikes are ridden until they die or are retired but I do like to take care of them. Strangely if I scratch a bike while riding it I don’t care, it’s part of the hobby, but scratch it while transporting or storing it and I am livid. Strange how that works.
The first scratch’s the hardest 🙂
I agree scratching it in storage or moving it is very annoying outside it’s wear and tear and an excuse to get a new frame in xx years time.
I’ve put thick gorilla tape on rub points of my bags.Posted 4 days ago
I’ve invisiframed one, my Bird AM160. On the BB shell which is unprotected the paint has loads of stone chips, so it has done its job. However I think it is worth it in this case for some particular reasons – this paint I suspect is pretty weak, a bike like this takes a lot of rock strikes, and the weight impact is immaterial on this bike. There are also a lot of paint chips on dropouts and from chain flap on unprotected bits of chainstay, mainly welds. I’ve never had paint chip so much/easily.
My previous bikes have been protected only in key rub points, generally. Mainly they remain in good nick. My hardtail has got helitape and a bit more of it, but even the unprotected bits remain good so far. Tougher paint I think is a big factor here (Pipedream Moxie).
So for me I think the decision depends on the bike.Posted 3 days ago
Dyedbro kit going on the new GT Fury today. Why, well, because it’s £40 and I think it’ll keep the condition nicer.
It’s an hours work and £40 to both keep it nice and arguably make it easier to sell afterwards.Posted 3 days ago
My shand i didnt do it thinking why cover the lovely paint and predictably i put several big chips in it. Im still not sure as tape makes high quality paint look like powdercoating. Its just not got the depth of shinePosted 3 days ago
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