Helicopter tape on frames ???
Heli tape is rubbery plastic transparent tape (they put it on helicoptor rotors apparently – so the nats and bumble bees do not stick).
It protects covered areas well, but does wear though in high contact areas. Gunk ingress under edges and peelage over time as you would imagine.
It is quite hard to put on if you are unpatient – not so much if it is brand new stock / dead clean. They say use a hair drier to make adhesive set better – I can’t comment – I don’t own a hairdrier ;-(.
I got some 100mm by 2000mm strips off ebay, and 2m of thinner stips, carefully applied it to new whip, fork legs etc. just incase I ever have to part with it.
Is expensive to buy though cost in the region of £40 for 4m which was just about enough to cover the frame.
Alternatives products : “protection wax” – probaby cheaper.Posted 6 years agoandylMember
“protection wax”? Not really an alternative.
Helitape is called as such as polyurethane (or PU blend) tapes are used on helicopter rotor blades to protect them from erosion from sand etc.
The tapes are also used on fixed wing aircraft – eg moulded undercarriage boots and fuselage protection. It is sometimes clear, sometimes black and stuff on the leading edge can sometimes be a lot thicker than you can buy for your bike.
It is over-priced for bikes but that is because of the small quantities. If you buy a big roll it is cheaper. A lot of the stuff is not actually used on helicopters but is just polyurethane tape for general protection of stuff. PU is very resistant to abrasion and erosion and scratches.
The reason for using a hairdrier is you can soften the tape so you can stretch it to prevent saggy bits. It also helps soften the glue so you can move it around a bit.
I also use a water based PU lacquer applied thickly to areas where tape would get rubbed off or is too difficult/fiddly to apply. But only to areas where I don’t care if it doesnt come off.Posted 6 years agodoug_basqueMTB.comSubscriber
I covered my bike in it when I bought it last year. Planned to keep it pristine and sell it on but ended up loving it too much so stripped the helitape off this year. Here’s my thoughts:
1. Application is time consuming. I literally covered everything and it took about 3hrs. Everything needs to be perfectly clean (IPA wipes) and you need to heat a lot with hairdrier.
2. In use I didn’t find it wore through. What I did find was dirt git into the edges and more annoyingly around the decals on the frame. It basically didn’t look too nice. You can see the effect if you want to on the last video I did with the bike before removing the helitape. You can see it a bit at the start but more clearly in the end scenes. Sorry I don’t have pictures that show it as well. https://vimeo.com/31000176
3. To remove it is a horrible job! I heated it and peeled it off and then realised that there was a residue left behind. That then requried heating and wiping with IPA to clean it. It took as long as putting it on.
4. The tape protected the frame perfectly. Once I’d got it off the frame was as good as new. You honestly wouldn’t have known it had ever been ridden.
I bought mine from Duane at http://www.helitape.co.uk Good guys to deal with and it comes with a pile of IPA wipes and good instructions.Posted 6 years ago
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