Unlike road bikes, mountain bikes are easier to get dirtier losing paint and getting scratched if you bought a new bike its best if you properly give it a good frame wrap or get it done by a professional either way it will keep maintain its value over the years and if you had to sell it someday it will fetch a good price, it also protects it from scratches and prevents it from rusting as well.
Frame protectors are a really great addition especially to new bikes if you bought a brand new mountain bike for a thousand dollars well a 100 dollars more hurt your pocket, it’s too much well you can even make do with 30 bucks as well, and here’s how it can happen.
There are several methods or several kinds of materials that you can use to protect your bike frame from scratches and paint loss.
The most way is to use tapes there are many types of tapes by name but all of them serve the same purpose of protecting your bike from scratches and paint loss, here are some of the names of the tapes.
- helicopter/heli tape
- frame armor
All of these tapes cost almost the same around 15-30$ and all of them are transparent so they will mix up with your bike color nicely almost unnoticeable on tracks and they all perform a good job of protecting your frame.
Before we get into how it would be done here’s a list of the thing you need to DIY your bike.
- Heli/invis tape
- detergent or soap solution/any product that contains isopropyl alcohol(like dw40)
- clean towel/clean piece of cloth
- ordinary roller
- electric tape/thick plastic tape
Right, so these should be enough to get you started you may notice that I listed some of the new things that I didn’t mention before like electric tape and isopropyl alcohol.
The electric or a thick tape is for the areas which are most vulnerable to pebbles/stones and chain slaps, ordinary tape like helicopter tape won’t last long on those parts so a thicker tape like the electric tape is a better choice for those parts.
As for isopropyl products like dw40 they are really good for cleaning so instead of using soap or detergent mixture, these products are really great for one they evaporate quickly and the surfaces dry really really fast and it reduces the risk of bubbles under the tape which is really useful.
Now that you have got everything you need it’s time to start unwrap everything and get started.
Which type of frames do frame wraps work on :
Frame wraps work on all kinds of material frames like
- aluminum frame
- carbon frames
- steel frames
Let’s move step by step the first step is
Cleaning the bike :
Cleaning is the very first step even if you bought a new bike giving it a good fresh wash is really important if you have just returned from a stroll outside all the more reason to give it a good wash to minimize the small dirt particles.
Bringing the bike inside the house/garage :
After the wash makes sure to bring your bike inside the house or garage or in a closed room don’t do it outside it will just beat the purpose of washing it all together.
Once inside if you have a bike stand all the best in case you don’t then just make sure it stands on support away from walls.\
Applying soap/isopropyl alcoholic product :
Once the bike is in a stable position choose a spot you had like to cover first get the tape and roller ready take measures of the part you had like to apply the tape first, spray the fluid on the patch, and cut the slice of tape with the help of roller and apply it on the part you just got ready.
Once done gently press it with the towel and spread the soap so you can remove the maximum amount of water and soap bubbles without disturbing the position of the tape too much, once that’s done it should get rid of a lot of soap and bubbles now its time to hand press the tape gently from one side to other do it until all of the fluid and bubbles are removed.
It takes about 1-2 hours to fully apply and cover the whole bike.
now on which parts you have to apply the helitape and which part to apply electric tape here’s a picture reference to apply the helitape.
- top tube
- bottom tube
- suspension forks
Now let’s move on to where you need to apply the electric tape
Electric tape :
Electric tapes are thick and they are mostly black. They are used to protect your mountain bike parts that get the most beating on the tracks.
Here’s a visual look at where to apply the electric tape and why to apply it in those areas.
Now, these are the areas that are most in contact with dirt, pebbles, and chain the heli tape is almost useless in these parts so we use electric tape that is much thicker and much more suited for these parts.
especially cover the chain stay area it will reduce noise a lot and also protect the frame from scratches and paint loss.
when you are putting the tape on both sides of your bottom bracket remember to poke a hole through your drainage (if you have one) if you don’t know if there is one just place your bike upside down and check the bottom bracket to if it has a hole.
if you don’t feel confident in doing all this by yourself you can always ask a professional to do it for you but it may cost you.
There are other premade patches or cuts of the tapes available in the market as well they are a little bit more expensive but I will drop them down here in case you had like to go with them.
- ride wrap
- all-mountain style
They both offer a full bike wrap they include an instruction pack and some isopropyl mixture with them as well so you can easily do it yourself at home as well.
Although I wouldn’t recommend it done by yourself these costs about 100$ without labor that would be hour labor if you are going with this option better let some professional do it for you.
This is a bit expensive but then again it will be a job well done and also you will be at ease as well if you have bought an expensive bike like a carbon frame then going for a wrap early on is a great option.
When to remove/re-do the protectors :
Now that you are done you might be wondering when it’s time to remove or re-do the protectors, the heli tape protector will last about 2-3 months solid and it would Chugg off the paint by then as well and you will be able to remove it easily as well.
The same goes for the ride wrap as well 2-3 months is a good period of time to redo the protection by then your chain stay and bottom bracket would be pretty much gone or nearing its end so it’s best to do it by then and just repeat the process.
Why wrapping is best for bikes :
bike wrapping is a good idea for many reasons
- wrapping a new bike saves it from scratches
- It will go for a good price in case you like to sell it in near future.
- The frame wraps decrease noise from chain slaps
- Its easier to wash the bike if its frame is wrapped
- it saves against cable rubbing on your bike frame and losing paint
- It helps protect it from rusting to some extent.
Cons of frame protectors :
Frame protectors are the best as they could be and the only con that I can think of is time-consuming, It is also a work of great concentration and rigorous but once done and tried you will thank yourself for taking the time to do it, it will save you from many major dents/chips in the frame and many scratches.
how much time it takes to wrap a bike:
It will take you about 2-3 hours to get the whole bike done and it would take about an hour and a half for a professional to do the rider wrap.
Frame wraps are great and they don’t stand out much on your bike either the difference is almost unnoticeable it has many benefits as well, I would recommend you to get a frame wrap since it will keep your bike clean and the effort you put in your bike to save it early on is worth all the time and the effort.