7 Protective Frame Tapes Ridden & Rated

Jul 30, 2019
by Colin Meagher  




Soooooo… you just bought a new bike. It wasn’t cheap. And it looks sweet as! But a month of shuttles and aggressive trail riding will make any bike look as if it’d been flogged with a chain. Applying some protection to that new ride will help keep it looking shiny and new a lot longer than just plain old paint. Maybe it’s a vanity thing, but when some people are forking out anywhere from $7k to $10k for a complete bike these days, investing in some kind of protective tape or film to keep it looking fresh just seems like common sense.

Just this past year, RC wondered, "Why don't bike companies do this for you? In some places on the frame they already do: most frames, particularly carbon ones, have a TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) guard to protect the bottom bracket area from trail debris and on the drivetrain stays to protect from chain slap. Some frames even have an additional TPU guard on the down tube for shuttle protection. But why don't they do something better than paint to protect a frame head to toe? The simple answer is mo' money: the materials cost of a good protective film isn’t huge, but it has to be applied by hand, and that’s both time consuming and labor intensive to do right. And while bike companies could easily do this, that cost would ultimately have to be passed onto the consumer, making an already pricey investment even more expensive.

That brings us full circle to the DIY approach to protecting your investment. There are a number of readily available films and tapes that can be purchased to protect your bike. All are made of either Polyurethane or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride - often simply referred to as "vinyl"). Polyurethane tends to be more elastic and abrasion resistant than straight up vinyl, but vinyl can have plasticizers added to it to increase elasticity and abrasion resistance. These films come in various thicknesses, defined as "mils" which are thousands of an inch, or microns, which are micrometers. A thickness of 1 mil equals 1/1000 of an inch or 25.4 microns. One thing to note: none of these tapes were specifically tested in this review for abrasion resistance, but rather for ease of application and my own two cents on personal experience from using them over the years. Here, we’ll outline seven protective film options—at least one option should be readily available to you via the interwebs or your local bike shop. Keep in mind, though, that tapes and films aren’t armor plate: they won’t prevent dents in an alloy frame, etc. They are just an abrasion guard for your frame. Additionally, I limited this review to tapes I could readily get my mitts on; there are other options available, like Frameskin and Shack Wrap, that I was unable to easily get my hands on.

riding the mountain bike trails in the 410 corridor one valley over from Mt Rainier in the heart of the central washington cascades.

bigquotesFrom my experience, nothing will beat on a frame more than shuttling. Smart money to protect your frame is applying tape to the underside of the down tube where a frame will rest on a tailgate pad (a dirty pad will chew through your paint in next to no time on a bumpy shuttle, even if your bike is cinched down against the pad), and along the top tube (there's nothing worse than getting to the top of a rough shuttle road only to find that your neighbor's brake levers have gouged the crap out of your new bike).


Racer Tape

Racer Tape

• Clear
• MSRP: $35 USD for a 30' x 2" roll
findtape.com



Racer tape is the original DIY protective tape. Originally designed as a protective film for helicopter blades, it’s a polyurethane film available by the roll in various widths. I get the outdoor grade version, so it won’t go yellow over time. It’s extremely tough—you WILL need scissors or a knife to cut it. The standard thickness is 8 mil—8 thousandths of an inch (203 Microns). It’s also nice and pliable, making the application fairly easy. Removal is also easy—no messy chemicals or having to scrape it off; it pulls off easily and in a single piece once you get a fingernail under it.

Racer tape
The DIY OG protective tape.

My personal experience with racer tape is that it’s reasonably easy to apply to everything except inwardly curving tubing, like the head tube/down tube juncture and the curved portion of the seat mast/gusset, or those curved areas between the chain and seat stays. To get it to adhere in places like that without trapping air bubbles or having the tape bunch up and not stick cleanly means busting out a heat gun (a blow dryer will work adequately in a pinch) or making articulation slits in the tape to allow it to mold better to those curves. Sometimes I needed to do both. If you do get a bubble, it's not the end of the world; a careful pin prick will allow you to press it flat.

Racer tape
It's nearly invisible, but does some heavy lifting for warding off scuffs, nicks, and other types of abrasion.

Racer tape comes in a 14 mil (355 Microns) thickness, too, but it’s more difficult to apply to tight spots without a heat gun and would really only be useful on parts of the frame that are typically already protected at the factory level: the bottom bracket and drive train side of the rear swing arm. And make sure you get the OG version—Outdoor Grade; it will resist yellowing from UV light much longer than non-OG surface films.





AMS large frame guard kit

All Mountain Style Honeycomb Frame Guards

• Clear, Colored, and Printed
• MSRP: $26 - $68 USD depending on size and graphics
www.allmountainstyle.com



All Mountain Style is the brain child of two enthusiasts from Barcelona, Spain: Xavi Navarro and Carles Carrera. They started All Mountain Style Frame Guards out of simple need: there was nothing with any “style” available for bicycle frame protection—just boring, clear, helicopter-type tapes. Carles’ background in MX turned up a few colored options and from there All Mountain Style was born.

AMS
While AMS makes clear frame guards, a simple graphic can add a lot of personality to a bike.

The AMS honeycomb frame guards come as a kit, with ten strips of thick, semi rigid PVC for your frame. And by thick, I mean 380 microns—nearly 15 mils. Each kit has a long strip for the down tube area, 4 pieces for the stays, a rectangular piece for cable rub, and chevrons that will extend the long strip’s coverage into more difficult to cover articulated areas. It’s rated as outdoor grade so it won’t fade or yellow in the sun. And perhaps best of all, AMS has a variety of cool graphic options in addition to your basic clear (skulls, bears, maori, etc), as well as a few solid colors, too (yellow, black, red, etc.); sixteen flavors in all.

AMS
One word: thick

Due to the thicker, more rigid nature of the Honeycomb Guards vs racer tape, they go on easily—no heat gun needed at all—and resist bubbling during application far better than any of the other tapes reviewed here. But that more rigid nature also makes it harder to apply to inwardly curved areas of the frame, which is where the chevrons come in handy: they can easily placed on those tricky portions of the frame. AMS tape removal is also relatively easy; just like racer tape, it peels off in a single piece without putting up an epic battle.

Ooops
AMS Chainstay

D'oh! The only downside to AMS tape is that the chevrons don’t provide seamless protection for the frame; a rock managed to thread this gap between the chevrons and the main piece of tape. AMS also makes a few other protective tapes for other parts of the bike: specifically forks, cranks, and chain stays.


bigquotesFrom a durability perspective, the AMS tape has been pretty bomber. In the eight months since application, it’s been holding up just fine. But if you want to protect the top tube, you’ll need to purchase a second kit.





One MFG

One Manufacturing, formerly One-Ball: Bicycle Moto Deflection Die-Cut Protective 20 Piece Kit
• Clear
• MSRP: $32 USD
one-ball.com



One Manufacturing enters the fray with their twenty piece Bicycle Moto Deflection Die-Cut Protective Kit, an 18” x 27” sheet of 6mil PVC film pre cut into handy shapes that will fit the important parts of most frames. One Manufacturing already had a couple of different frame tapes available under the One Ball name, but the die cut pack is hands down the best value I found online. One note: unlike some of the other tape packages reviewed here, the swatches of protective film don't have pre cut slits for articulation. One Manufacturing left it that way deliberately, reasoning that not all frames have the same curves, and that allowing the user to make articulation slits as needed lets them optimize tape placement for their individual needs. With so many shapes to use, this DIY approach allows one to tailor protection for tight parts of their specific frame. Bonus: there are even a couple pre-cut pieces of tape for cranks and forks. Other companies have fork and crank tapes or films available but they need to be purchased separately.

One manufacturing
One manufacturing

Articulation slits not included? Not a problem, really. I added these in about 30 seconds after checking where the frame curved.


The Moto Deflection tape goes on relatively easy—very similar to straight up racer tape. That’s not to say having a blow dryer or heat gun on hand isn’t a good idea. But patient application will see coverage without any annoying bubbles (which can be eliminated with a careful pin prick, same as racer tape). Removal is relatively painless, too (unlike One Manufacturing’s Black Rubber 1/16” thick shuttle guard—that shit is NOT coming off), making re-application a snap should a piece ever need to be replaced.

bigquotesDurability wise, the Bicycle Moto Deflection Die Cut Protective Kit is par for the course. Like standard 8 mil racer tape, it resists cutting, rock strikes, and cable rub to keep that frame looking shiny and new vs. chipped or rubbed off paint. It’s outdoor rated, too, and should remain clear for up to five years.





Lizard Skins

Lizard Skins: Large Carbon Leather frame protector and Frame Kit

• Clear and Carbon Leather
• MSRP: $22 USD and $40 USD, respectively
lizardskins.com


Along with their grips and assorted other accessories, Lizard Skins has been in the frame protection game for a while. They have a pretty good selection of tapes available, but there are two standouts: their “Carbon Leather” frame protector and their clear “Frame Kit” (each sold separately). Carbon Leather comes in two sizes: a size S (32mm x 222mm) and size L (64mm x 305mm). Both have pre-cut slits for articulation and some curved chevrons for spot protection. Their matte clear Frame Kit is one stop shopping for basic frame coverage. It has two small and two large strips (32mm x 222 mm, and 64mm x 305mm respectively), and a variety of small patches for spot protection; all frame protectors have pre-cut articulation slits, too, making them easy to use on most curved frame parts.

Lizards skins
Carbon Leather can easily be cut to fit around external cable guides, goes on easy, and it lasts and lasts.

The Carbon Leather is nice and thick and offers some damping protection from rock strikes (although a hard hit will still likely dent an alloy frame). Most carbon bikes—but not all—have the bottom bracket area protected from rock strikes with a TPU plate already, but very few alloy bikes go that way, making the Carbon Leather an ideal DIY fix for bikes that have missed the TPU boat. I used it in 2013-14 on my alloy Lapierre Spicy 527 (I rode the piss out of that bike!) and never had to replace it during that 2 year period. It also came off easily when I cleaned the bike up for resale.

Lizard skins
Lizard skins

The pre-cut articulations are nice for fitting inward curving sections of a frame. Particularly the bridge between seat stays (seen here) and the BB yoke.


The Frame Kit is an 11mmil thick proprietary blend of outdoor grade polyurethane. It’s ideal for covering the underside of the down tube and the top of the top tube, as well as any cable rub spots. The left over frame protectors can be trimmed to cover chain or seat stays, etc. It’s very similar to Racer Tape or One Mfg’s die cut film in look and feel, although it is a bit thicker, and goes on about the same (as in have a blow dryer or heat gun on hand to aid in application and take it slow to avoid bubbles). Once in place it stays put nicely and does what it’s supposed to do: keep that frame looking fresh despite endless big days and poorly loaded shuttling runs. Removal is fairly painless, just get a fingernail under the edge and start peeling.

bigquotesThe Carbon Leather is pretty much the best show in town to help protect that vulnerable BB area from rock strikes—it's just thick enough to slow down impacts that would likely dent a bare alloy frame, although a factory level TPU is still superior. And the frame kit offers fairly easy to apply abrasion protection. As a package deal, it's hard to beat as an easy DIY fix.





Gear essentials shot in studio and on location.

DYEDBro

• 56 different graphics and clear gloss
• MSRP: $45 USD
dyedbro.com


Iago Garay is the working man’s bike handling hero who rose to fame with the re-launch of the Santa Cruz Nomad in 2015. He’s been a Santa Cruz Enduro team mainstay ever since. But what’s a bike racer to do in the off-season? In Iago’s case it was to start DYEDBro (Do You Even Drift Bro?) and start selling jerseys, stickers, a few t-shirts… and a wide variety of printed 12mil thick vinyl protective films that are pre-cut to fit all bikes. Iago uses a latex digital printer, too, with eco-friendly inks to help keep things green.

Each tape package includes 4 chain/seat stay protectors, a top tube protector, and a down tube protector. There are 56 different flavors to choose from, everything from an Anka Martin designed Maori inspired graphic to a Hawaiian theme to Day of the Dead sugar skulls to a camo graphic. There are also two clear versions, one with a black logo, and one with a white logo.

DYED tape
To show the variety available, I taped the top tube with the Hawaiian themed graphic and the down tube with a clear tape.

Again, application is straightforward: get the hairdryer/heat gun ready and get after it. Even then, despite the thickness of DYED's film, the application process is a bit touchier than any of the other tapes reviewed here (excepting the wet process films below). That’s not to say it’s more difficult than the tapes reviewed above; rather, it just needs a bit more attention to prevent bubbles or wrinkles. Once in place it stays put without worries, and offers the same type of protection as the others, although with way more options to personalize your ride. Removal is similar to the others; just get a fingernail under the tape and it should peel off in a single piece.

DYED tape
Part of the trick with DYEDBro's graphics is selecting one that complements the frame--the Hawaiian theme went really well with the Pivot Mach 6.


bigquotesPersonally, I like DYED’s graphic approach to frame protection. Some of the graphics available are decidedly “euro” in their look, but overall they’re pretty cool, and they’ll make your bike stand out a bit as well as protect it. If that's not your thing, then their clear options are also available.





Photo courtesy of InvisiFRAME
Photo courtesy of InvisiFRAME

InvisiFRAME

• Clear Gloss and Clear Matte
• MSRP: $93-100 USD, depending on the frame
invisiframe.co.uk


If you’re going to go all in to protect your bike frame, the UK based InvisiFRAME is a top shelf choice—provided they a) make a film mapped out to fit your particular bike, and b) you have the patience to apply it yourself. Otherwise, be prepared to fork over anywhere from $125-$200 to have a professional do the installation. I know… you just said WTF?!?! Just keep reading.

invisiFRAME
Nearly seamless protection.

InvisiFRAME has been around since 2011. Their 12 mils thick polyurethane film comes in either clear matte or clear gloss. What sets them apart is that their film covers your bike head to toe in an automotive outdoor grade protective film that won't discolor and has a self-healing characteristic (cuts and nicks that haven’t gone completely through the film will fill in over time, quicker if a bit of heat is applied). Additionally, their film kits have been painstakingly mapped out to fit specific bikes, down to the exact model and size vs. simply DIY taping the top tube, down tube, and various other selected bits of the bike. For example, if you have an Evil Wreckoning, they have a different InvisiFRAME kit available for every frame size of that particular model of Evil. And it literally is head to toe coverage minus cut outs for internally routed cable ports, head badges, factory TPU pieces, etc. There are small gaps in that coverage, but otherwise it’s as close to a complete “wrap” job as one can get. And while they have a pretty impressive library of bikes—their library of brands listed is pretty much the largest out of the companies that offer full “wrap” jobs—if by chance your bike isn’t on that list, they do have a few generic options available, as well. Weight weenies can rejoice, too; a complete wrap will only add 40 grams or so to your overall frame weight.

invisiFRAME
InvisiFRAME leaves very little of the frame unprotected.

Application is as ingenious as it is tedious. It’s a wet process that allows easy positioning of the various strips and patches, and that uses a squeegee as each piece is applied to virtually eliminate any bubbles. The upside: this wet application also means that re-positioning a misplaced strip is simple, as long as you do it before the InvisiFRAME film sets—about a 24 hour process. But for every Ying, there’s a Yang: in order to apply InvisiFRAME properly also means unimpeded access to all the nooks and crannies of your specific frame, so be prepared to do a bit of debuilding to get easy access to all parts of your frame; for some bikes that's just removing the wheels, but for others it might mean pulling cable housing, etc. Additionally, you’ll need to clean the beejesus out of the frame with isopropol alcohol or a similar cleaner prior to application, even if it’s fresh out of the box—that frame may look pristine but any contaminants will screw the pooch for a proper application. Last, for a DIY application, expect 2-3 hours if not longer to get 'er done. InvisiFRAME offers tips and videos on where to start with your bike and how best to proceed, but it will still be a time-consuming process, to say the least. A professional installer can typically do a frame in ninety minutes or so, but that will be an extra hit to the wallet.

Bonus: Should a swatch of tape ever need replacing, you can contact invisiFRAME for a specific piece. In that case, removal of the damaged piece is par for the course: pick an edge and peel back slowly at an angle. InvisiFRAME also offers custom decals for forks, frames, rear shocks, and wheels, also painstakingly mapped out to fit specific models.

invisiFRAME
Attention to detail: InvisiFRAME is mapped out down to the positioning of the cable ports.

bigquotesInvisiFRAME is an expensive investment but the return on that investment is pretty killer: it's damn near invisible—although should you leave your bike's decals on, no matter how good the squeegee job or how thin the decals on the frame, air will remain trapped around those decals as seen in the Dirty Fingers bike shop decals in the images above. That can easily be remedied by ordering custom decals, also available through InvisiFRAME, to be applied atop the film once it has set.





Ride Wrap packaging

RideWrap

• Clear Gloss and Clear Matte
• MSRP: $92 USD for full coverage film kit
ridewrap.ca



If InvisiFRAME is a ten for frame protection, then Whistler based RideWrap turns it up to eleven. RideWrap’s TPU film is 8.2 mils thick outdoor grade that’s guaranteed to resist discoloration or cracking for 10 years—a pretty bold claim! And they, too, utilize an extensive library of different makes and models of bikes (although not as extensive as InvisiFRAME’s), also mapped out to be size specific, and with either a matte or a glossy finish. Additionally, their film also has a self-healing finish as well—again, nicks, scrapes, and abrasions on the film’s surface tend to smooth out over time and “fill” back in, typically when a bit of heat is applied. Plus the film they use has a low surface energy meaning dirt and grime don’t really adhere well to it, which makes the bike even easier to clean after an epic muddy ride—all virtually identical to InvisiFRAME. But where they deliver the goods one notch louder is that RideWrap doesn’t just do the full monty, but allows bike owners to choose from among 4 different levels of protection: $92 USD for a full wrap job, $40 USD for fork only, $64 USD for the “covered” wrap (the stays, back of the seat tube, top tube, and down tube), and $32 USD for the “essential” coverage (inside of the drive side stays, top tube, and the BB and shuttle part of the downtube).

ride wrap
Look closely. Yes, that's how discrete RideWrap is.

I personally haven’t used RideWrap, but looking at a couple bikes that have been wrapped since last fall, ridden frequently and hard, and put away wet, it appears pretty bomber. Additionally, they also offer a DIY TPU shuttle armor pad that adheres well to the frame but can be removed without damaging the paint. And weight weenies can rest easy: similar to other available bike frame film wraps, a “full monty” Ride Wrap kit only adds about 50 grams to the overall weight of a bike frame. A bit more if you add on a fork wrap or their TPU shuttle guard.

ride wrap
ride wrap
This stuff is damn near invisible.


Now the downside: like InvisiFRAME, RideWrap is also a wet application that uses a squeegee, etc. And it’s equally as tedious and time-consuming to apply it if you opt to go DIY: expect 2-3 hours of exacting work to do a full bike wrap. But if you’re in Whistler, you can book an appointment and have Ride Wrap do the install for you to the tune of $90 CAD—typically in under 2 hours. Otherwise, ask around for a shop quote. The only other dis I have is identical to InvisiFRAME: if there are decals on your bike, no matter how thin, unless removed, you’ll have minute air bubbles surrounding the graphics under the film after it sets. That can’t be avoided unless you peel them off before applying the film. If you do opt to go bare frame but still want to have decals on your bike, RideWrap recommends custom decals from Slik Graphics that can be applied after the film sets.

ride wrap
ride wrap

Options, options: fork application is equally subtle, and the shuttle guard just makes good sense.


bigquotesInvisiFRAME and RideWrap with their self healing, low dispersion full Monty wraps are in a dead heat. But given RideWrap’s option to select how much protection to apply to your bike vs. having to go "full monty" at full price, I gotta give them the nod for best in show.


To sum it all up: AMS was hands down the easiest to apply. One Manufacturing was the best deal for a DIY kit. DYEDbro has the most options for customizing your bike as well as protecting it. Lizard Skin has the only thing close to a factory TPU plate to protect that BB area from hard impacts. And racer tape gets you enough tape for 4-5 bikes, but it's a pure DIY application vs getting a pre-cut kit. Winner, winner; chicken dinner is the full monty protective film applications from InvisiFRAME and RideWrap. These two are easily the best abrasion guards available for your bike that I was able to review, but that level of protection comes with a hefty mo' money price tag.


233 Comments

  • + 281
 "Ok Sarah you get the SB140 to test, Mike you got the Intend Dual-Crown USD fork , and Colin,....well Colin, wait until you see what we have planned for you..."
  • + 65
 That's enough. I quit!
  • + 3
 Racer's tape is so down country.
  • + 45
 Yes but it’s really great to see anything by Colin these days. Made my morning seeing his byline.
  • + 22
 @mwmiller: Thanks for the props.
  • + 9
 @mwmiller: ours too.
  • - 18
flag tomasinbc (Jul 30, 2019 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 If you have to protect your frame with tape , you bought the wrong bike . F that plastic stuff that doesn't last
  • + 3
 That first picture looks like the perfect location to test tyres
  • + 13
 Plastic tape to protect your plastic bike - makes sense.
  • + 8
 @tomasinbc: I'm siding with you on this one... plastic frames should already be sold with every bit of protection needed to withstand usual daily abuse of a mtb, I just don't get coating a new frame with a 100$ worth of tape ...
  • + 1
 @tomasinbc: my invisi has been on my bike 2 years and still looks good..
  • + 2
 I want something as cheap and strong as 3M or Gorilla in leopard print.
  • + 2
 @NYShred: , agree man! to me it is like clear plastic furniture cover, except that does not really protect like furniture cover does. Learning how to paint is much easier the the bike looks better, but not just that, you can even customize the painting.
  • + 0
 @HendersonMike: invisiframe works great had loads of crashes and bike hasn't even got a mark on it
  • + 3
 @andydhteam: , if it works for you or anyone, then I SUPPORT you guys 100%.
I though will never use any tape again, it is a lot of work to put on, makes the bike look like crap, on the smaller crashes, the tape gets scuffed and wadded and makes the bike look uglier, and it does NOT protect from the big crashes. That is just me though, but if you like it, have at it.
  • + 2
 @HendersonMike: what tape did you use? I've never had bad results with plain old racer tape in over a decade of use, and the self healing capabilities of the automotive tapes is pretty amazing--park it in the sun and rub it a bit and scuffs disappear.
  • + 4
 @meagerdude: , I used plain old Racers Tape like you did.

The main reason I do NOT use it anymore is because I just think it looks ugly.

I still do use Racers Tape in limited amounts, just inside the chain stay and the underside of the downtube, and places where there is cable rub. I just don't use it all over the bike anymore because I feel it is a waste of time and makes the bike look ugly.

Currently I have 4 Mtn Bikes and none of them have Racers/Helicopter Tape all over them. All 4 of my Bikes get ridden and crashed, and all 4 still LOOK GREAT! despite NOT using the Racers Tape they still look great.

I just find the little scratches are not a big deal anymore, and I am pretty good with paint, sand paper, a polishing stone, so now I see no need to put it all over the bike.
  • + 1
 @HendersonMike: Are you riding alloy frames or carbon? And I agree that racer taping the beejeesus out of a frame will ugly it up--I'll take just the essentials, thank you! But the full wrap jobs look pretty damn good, and appear to hold up well.
  • + 0
 @meagerdude: , at the moment I have 3 Carbon Fiber Mountain Bikes and 1 Aluminum (me DH bike). I guess some of the custom wraps with graphics does make the bike look better. It is just the clear taping that I am not a big fan of anymore. However, in the future, I can see myself using those special graphics since I have no problems paying for Fox Fork Decals and Ibis Wheel Decals to personally Bling my bikes.
  • + 1
 @meagerdude: hi, how do I buy the Dyedbros version in the US? Looks like there are no distributors here?
  • + 1
 @clubmanager: Check with their site. Santa Cruz may be able to lend a hand, I'm thinking, as Iago is one of their riders.
  • + 3
 I wrapped my spokes, hubs and wheels. It is very important to wrap the pedals to prevent them from scratching. I am working on fully wrapping my chain at the moment. It is gona look mint bro.
  • + 103
 3M transparent tape, a few beers, good music on the speakers and 2h in the garage. Always a relaxing thing for me...
  • + 20
 Its cheaper and you can cut it for every part of your bike.
My frame is wrapped 70% in 3M- so far only 1 paint chip but otherwise like new.

The tape is thick and strong (ehhhmm)
  • + 8
 This! You can buy many lengths and widths to your hearts desire for a lot cheaper than any of these kits.
  • + 2
 I'm torn between the 3M and Racer's... Racer's says on the ad that it does NOT turn yellow (big plus for me) but the 3M comes in really short lengths and thus cheaper. I'd be getting a 6" wide roll so it won't really be practical for bike use.

Does anyone know if the 3M turns yellow over time? I have a White VW Golf and the 'yellowing' would really piss me off. I want to coat the top of my bumper on my hatchback so my dogs stop stractching it up upon entry.
  • + 12
 Yep. +1 for 3m Scotchgard.

The cycling industry must think we're all fools?
  • + 10
 Yup can't go wrong with 3m or Racer's. I personally use the wet applied method for these tapes too. Being able to readjust is really nice. Especially for the last couple pieces when the cans are piling up.
  • + 8
 @ridintrials: 3m does not yellow over time. It is designed to be used on things like the exterior of vehicles.
  • + 13
 Gorilla makes good tape, too
  • + 6
 @curtisbikes1: +1 for clear gorilla tape, both tough and cheap!
  • + 4
 Got a friend who works at a bodyshop? Maybe make one...they make this stuff for cars and the scraps they throw away are more than enough to do a bike...
  • + 3
 I was expecting to see 3M tape on here. Its cheap and easy to install. Wet apply method.
  • + 2
 I've used both invisiframe and 3M tape, both applied via the wet method. Invisiframe takes a lot of the guesswork and frustration out of the process, for sure. Worth the $100ish price. But the 3M is pretty damn good for the price. The only thing that I noticed is the 3M has more of a gloss shine to it. If your bike is a matte finish it might look like a different stock paint job. Or if you mix and match. My current bike has invisiframe everywhere but 3M on the inside of the chainstays. They look quite different.
  • + 2
 @ridintrials: I can vouch for the Racers Tape. No yellowing and has survived over 3 years in Southern CA riding in rocks. It stretches well to contour to your frame without needing to cut slits in it. No peeling either.
  • + 3
 Yep 3M of Amazon, had my last bike wrapped completely pulled the tape off after a year looked brand new underneath.
  • + 2
 @gbeaks33: You can get 3m in matte too
  • + 2
 I'l add another +1 for the 3m. My road bike has most of the frame covered in the 3m scotch guard for a year now, with no wear, scratches, or yellowing. It' basically invisible, and applies easily. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the products above are just the 3m rebranded and repackaged
  • + 1
 Yepp, bought a big roll of 3M clear vinyl for like $20 to protect my fatty and gravel bike from their frame bags. New carbon mtb will get the same treatment. All from the same roll of material.
  • + 4
 Yep, what he said. I use to install this stuff for years on NASCAR cup cars and trucks, Daytona prototypes and high-end exotics. The 3M paint protection film has a clear coat on the outside of it to keep it looking good for the long haul. You can wax it just like the rest of the paint on the car or whatever you have it on. In my years of working with it I have never had any comeback or warranty work for it turning yellowish. I have it on my own personal cars. I just removed it from my in-laws car (huge pain in the butt, 14year old PPF) before they traded it in and the original paint looked brand new with zero chips, scratches or fade. The 3M stuff is good.@carraig042:
  • + 3
 Can't believe that Pinkbike did a review on these materials and opted not to mention 3M film. Its widely available, inexpensive, durable, UV tolerant, etc, etc.
I buy 12"x60" on eBay for $28 shipped. Enough to thoroughly cover two frames.
But as many have noted, it does take some patience, prep/planning and attention to detail.
  • + 2
 @Inertiaman: it wasn't turning up in my research, nor had I personally ever used it; but enough people have commented that likely that cat is out of the bag.
  • + 1
 @curtisbikes1: yea man, works a treat for me too.
  • + 1
 @ridintrials: no it doesnt. Had it on many bikes and my current one has been on for 2 years and still clear and looks great. 4” is the one u want to get.
  • + 1
 @gotohe11carolina: Third on the clear gorilla tape. I use it and the AMS stuff to add some flavor to my bikes.
  • + 2
 @meagerdude: For frame, forks and cranks: 3M 8672 POLYURETHANE PROTECTIVE TAPE (UV stable and they use it on commercial/ military helicopters and aircraft so good enough for mountain biking), One roll @ of 1"; 2" and 4" and you can wrap about 5-6 bikes. For chain stay/ chain slap: 3M 2888 tape. Ridewrap looks good but is no where near as durable (and they never mention the three week fitting lead time), DYED is a great augmentation kit for super durable protection and great looks. Currently running 3M 8672 to protect everything that the DYED kit did not cover and I would say it is the best combo I have run in about ten years.
  • + 1
 Which 3M tape specifically?
  • + 2
 @mkul7r4: 3M Scotchgard Pro film is what I used. Combine that with a hobby grade vinyl cutter and you'll get perfect fitting results that are better than RideCrap.
  • + 1
 @andrewbikeguide: the 3M 8672 pretty much IS racer tape; however the prices for it online I was finding was a bit more $$ as it was coming in 36 yard long rolls vs 30 foot rolls; I couldn't find the 2888 tape online, but if it's the same as the 8672 but thicker, I suspect it's the 14mil thick racer tape I said was best for BB and or chain stays if they weren't already protected at the factory level.
  • + 1
 @Tominator17: would agree with you. 3M has made some nice improvements over the years to its PPF product.
  • + 1
 @ridintrials: to help prevent the dog scratching issue I'd go with a rear bumper guard - we carry a precut kit and a universal sized one and are produced with Suntek paint protection film which is one of the better ones out there in the auto industry.

This is our bike frame protection film:
www.lamin-x.com/accessories/bicycle-frame-tape-guard-matte.html
www.lamin-x.com/accessories/bicycle-frame-tape-guard-glossy.html
  • + 1
 @downhiller222: how is that water method?? it sticks with the water??
  • + 1
 @TIZZASPAIN: yeah the idea is you put it on and squeegee out all the soapy water so you get a perfect application with no air bubbles or folding of the tape. I tried to apply it without the soapy water once and it was a mess. Bubbles all over the place and tiny bits of air get trapped under there no matter how careful you are, and it looked like garbage. Wet method is the only way to go.
  • + 54
 Cute stickers. I buff scratches out of my raw aluminum Canfield Balance with steel wool.
  • + 1
 Same here with my Knolly Warden RAW.
  • + 19
 we get it, you vape Wink
  • + 44
 Fair enough but I'm comfortable with a mountain bike looking like it's been ridden. It would be nice if the paint everyone seems to use wasn't so bloody fragile though.
  • + 5
 Completely agree with this. I like the slightly weathered look personally. That said, the company that comes up with a spray on laquer that hardens to an 8mil thick clear coat that doesn't interact with the paint will make lots of money.
  • + 3
 @thomaspearson: plastidip clear is close
  • + 4
 @yzedf: plastidip comes off so easily though
  • + 4
 That's why I love my steel frames. When the paint gets a bit tattered you send it off for a re-spray / re-powder coat.

Plus they look cooler with a few scrapes.
  • + 7
 Strip the parts off and have your frame sprayed in truck bed liner = invincible frame
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: thats what i really loved about my old raw nicolai helius am
  • + 2
 seriously... my top tube is beat to hell from knee/shin guards....
  • + 29
 I’ve applied InvisiFRAME to three bikes now. Stuff is killer as is the company who sent me free pieces after I ordered the wrong one. Btw, they do matte and gloss.
Be aware - it takes PATIENCE. gotta get the soap to water solution right and use a spray bottle. And make sure your frame is super clean. Application is best done when you’ve got plenty of time, some MTB vids in the background, a bike stand, a sleeping family and a couple beers. Good luck!
  • + 3
 Was 5-6 hrs on my new enduro, though it's a nightmare of weird shapes and compound curves, so probably one of the worse frames you could do. Worth it though.
  • + 8
 Oh and public service announcement: Don't get isopropyl alcohol on your invisiframe tape, it turns pink, use wd40 to clean marks off it. My bike now looks like it's been wearing lipstick.
  • + 4
 I have had a good experience with invisiframe as well for my XL Evil Wreckoning. It only took me about an hour to clean, dry then do the wet application for the whole frame. I would definitely recommend the product. My only compliant thus far, and in no way directed at invisiframe because this will happen to any tape, is on the surface where my downtube contacts my Dakine truck pad, it has worn thru pretty good. I do not mind that though as the rest of the bike is flawless.
  • + 5
 @pbuser2299: yup all three frames were Enduros - 2016, 2017 and 2018. (Don’t ask)
  • + 4
 Same here. Love the InvisiFrame kits, super precise and so little left unprotected. Took me 5-6 hours as well on a Spartan 29, well worth it. Bonus, the matte paint with the matte wrap actually made the paint look better than original.
  • + 3
 @pbuser2299: I used vehicle bug and tar remover. Also great
  • + 1
 +1 for Invisiframe. Takes patience to apply to your new bike, and not cheap, but excellent fit and finish. Customer service excellent... I screwed up one strip, they sent me a replacement next day, free of charge.
  • + 1
 Took me around 3-4 hours and I still made some mistakes but it's on there now and it's doing it's job.
  • + 26
 Bonus tip: if you’re cutting the tape yourself, be sure to round off the corners, this is where the tape will usually lift up, with the rounding will hold longer
  • + 23
 i'm super cheap, so i just go to the parking lot behind the strip club and find used condoms that i take home and rinse out. then i use spray glue to affix them to my frame. they come in a lot of different sizes and colors, so i can mix and match...caveat emptor - they don't have any UV protection. whatever, they're free!
  • + 22
 Reading this makes me uncomfortable
  • + 4
 @colincolin: Agree, where's the dry heave gif when you need it. I got the mouth sweats now.
  • + 19
 If you don’t rinse them you can skip the spray glue. Just turn them inside out and apply.
  • + 4
 @jlang002: mouth sweats lol
  • + 7
 that's silly, bro.


if you wrap the bike in cling film from a supermaket's dumpster you could keep the condoms for yourself Smile
  • + 7
 @ismasan: And here I've been, all my life, wrapping my peepee in cling wrap from the dumpster! I knew I was doing something wrong LoL
  • + 2
 @colincolin: mission accomplished
  • + 1
 Get tested, bro
  • + 2
 @PinkyScar: Tested? My I.Q is 82. Is that good?
  • + 21
 "...It’s extremely tough—you WILL need scissors or a knife to cut it..."

Struggling to think of a single other thing that one would use to cut something?
  • + 25
 Personally I like to use flint and shards of glass. Really adds that random element.
  • + 24
 @bigtim: My cutting wit and sharp good looks do the trick for me...
  • + 10
 @Obidog: Ahh, that explains why you just have a scrunched up ball of tape stuck to your downtube.
  • + 2
 Anything less than dragonglass would be uncivilized.
  • + 2
 @Dylanpatterson: I usually use lasers to cut. Or sharks. Or sharks with lasers in the ballzacks.
  • + 2
 @bigtim: and a bike shaped dent in the garage door where I rage-threw the bike after the tape stuck to itself for the fifteenth time...
  • + 23
 Buying a bike isn't an investment, it's an expense.
  • + 2
 @clink83: Wait. So my 2017 Jeffsy isn't going to be worth 8 grand in 5 years?
  • + 10
 AMS frame guards will form easily on awkward parts if you gently use a heat gun or hair dryer. They don’t quite go well on orange bike welds though.
  • + 58
 Orange welds don't go well on Orange bikes, either.
  • + 1
 Maybe you should try our TAPE3000. It is pre-cut as well and has all the benefits of the other guards, but it's flexible yet resilient material makes it super easy to apply TAPE3000 even on the most difficult parts of the frame - without any tools like heat gun, etc!

Check it out at www.riesel-bike.com/en/protection/frame-tape-3000
  • + 2
 @rieseldesign: put a slash on the end of your URL.
  • + 2
 @R-M-R: you wouldn't want them on any other bikes though would you.
  • + 1
 @rieseldesign: I spotted you guys have a Maori design... it doesn't say on the page there, so I thought it was worth checking: did you guys actually work with a Maori artist to do this?
  • + 9
 I've used Effetto Mariposa Shelter Tape with really good results, it takes time and a heat gun to apply it well, but the end result is very good and it is the best in terms of impact protection from what I've seen
  • + 7
 100% agree. All the ones mentioned in the article are good for general scuff protection but none of them offer real impact protection like Shelter Tape. It's especially good under chainstays and the bottom of the down tube. The other tapes are good for everywhere else.
  • + 5
 This. Highly recommend Shelter Tape on carbon downtubes.
  • + 1
 Shelter tape is just so much more expensive than the rest, though. You could almost double up on 3M and still save tons of money. Shelter Tape is just big sections of clear poly domed stickers.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: Yeah it's definitely not the cheapest, but I'd argue it's not out of this world compared to All Mountain Style or DYEDBro, and certainly not RideWrap or Invisiframe. My biggest complaint with Shelter Tape is the lack of finish options, the logos on the tape and how much weight it adds. It would be really cool to see them do a kit where they have gloss or matte options, thick pieces for impact protection, and thin pieces for scratch protection
  • + 2
 +1 for this! yes it's pricey but one roll goes a really long way. i've never had to replace the tape once its been applied (properly). it really holds up to the abuse from flying rocks and shuttles.
  • + 6
 Look up your local Xpel or SunTek paint protection film fitter (it's the self healing stuff used on high end cars), they always have piles of off-cuts. You have to cut it to shape yourself but you can do most areas of a bike with these and it should only cost a pack of choccy biscuits or some beers.
  • + 1
 SunTek is what we typically use for our bike frame protection film. I know Xpel has a good reputation as well in the auto industry.
  • + 5
 Invisiframe is worth the investment. It shows up a little when the bike is covered in dust but disappears again when washed. When you come to sell the bike and you peel it off, the bike looks close to new. Thus you get the money back and them some in resale value. I just got the bikeshop to fit it as I would have made a right mess of it.
  • + 5
 I've used the custom made Invisframe kits on each of the last three bikes that I've bought, fitted them myself and can't fault the stuff. Simply a case of setting some time aside, cleaning the bike properly, getting a coffee, put some tunes on and take your time......job done.
I don't buy into the whole "it's a mountain bike, it's meant to get scratched". Yes, they take a beating, but if you're dropping good money on a new bike, it makes sense to try to give it some protection.
My Orange Alpine 6 is nearly two years old, gets ridden in all weathers and still looks pretty fresh thanks to the Invisframe.
  • + 9
 Good shit PinkBike!!! I like!
  • + 9
 Oh man, so pumped to see Colin's name back up on the newsfeed!!
  • + 4
 or you just go to a auto/car diy shop and buy a sheet of protective sticker for the trunk area. that stuff is thick, plyable, cheap, made for outdoors. it is that stuff that protects the car against suitcases and stuff being dragged over that area of paint... and you cut it to any shape you like
  • + 2
 that is what I do too.
  • + 1
 That's a good idea @mtbkluth. I would recommend to folks doing that to make sure it is paint protection film otherwise the person assisting may give you something that will take the paint off of a bike frame. I would think most would understand you if you phrased it like you did re: that example.
  • + 4
 2p 's worth, i've used invisiframe on my last5 3 or 4 frames. Yes a a bit or faff to put on but worth taking your time because the protection is awesome.Plus it comes off really easy when you want sell leaving you with frame in near perfect nick helping to get the best price selling second hand Smile Smile
  • + 1
 Oops
  • + 4
 If anyone is looking for a matte finish tape they might want to try Lamin-X (www.lamin-x.com/accessories.html). I put it on my bike this springs and seems to be holding up fine (I would say it's on par with the 3M tape). I would recommend ordering two rolls though.
  • + 2
 Just did my bike last week with this stuff. Matte finish on my 2018 Process 153 AL 27,5. Orderer a roll of 8mil and one of 12mil (Free ship promo with 2 items). Had enough for a lot of coverage (not complete frame, but not that far.) Wouhl have loved to have one more roll to do fork and get 4 patches for the roof rack.

I love the matte finish, really blends well with the matte paint, not to hard to apply, will have to wait and see how it holds too.
  • + 1
 Thanks so much @charmingbob for your business! Glad to know the product is holding up well for you - that's great to hear. Let us know if we can be of any further help! Take care - Ben
  • + 1
 @okidou: thank you for the feedback! The Matte finish is my personal favorite as well and agree it blends in nicely. Let us know if we can be of further help to you! Take care! - Ben
  • + 3
 Invisiframe all the way, The product and customer service is ridiculously good! Ships to the US in about 3 days and has protected my frames from some pretty rough hits. Only negative is your friends and local bike shops will ask if you even ride your bike because it always looks new.
  • + 3
 Kydex thermoplastic + heat gun and you have a bomber downtube/bottom bracket protection, if your bike doesn't already have downtube/bb armor. Put a bit of 3M mastic tape between the Kydex and frame to add a bit of "rubber dampening". It's deflected some good sized rocks that have gotten kicked up and probably would've damaged the dt/bb.
  • + 3
 Why buy any of this stuff?

Go to your local auto detailing shop and ask the counter goon for some of their scrap 3M protector. They have leftover strips that go in the trash all the time, and the sizes are just fine for bike use. Either happily take the stuff for free or toss the kid enough for a coffee.
  • + 3
 Over the years, I have used lots of stuff, packaging tape, Gorilla Grip clear, helicopter tape, and car vinyl wrap. Avoid packaging tape and Gorilla Grip tape. Taking them off is a pain the in the rear. Helicopter tape and car vinyl wrap are pretty good.
  • + 3
 For big impacts on the down tube i have found Shelter off-road tape (Effecto Mariposa) to be the best. I also installed it to run under the shuttle guard and bottom bracket protector; hard impacts will crack the plastic and your frame will received the remainder force. Shelter off-road tape (Effecto Mariposa) actually absorbs the impact, the only down side is that is on the thick side.

www.jensonusa.com/Shelter-Off-Road-Adhesive

I have invisiframe on my bike with and some DYEDBro on other parts since is thicker and more stylish.
  • + 3
 Totally sold on invisiframe. I bailed in a chute to avoid an OTB and I got to watch multiple frame-to-rock smacks as my bike tumbled down it. The protective tape was torn in places on the top tube, bottom tube, and non-drive seatstay but I found zero issues after removing it. They sent me those pieces in less than 3 days and it's all back up and ready to go. Installation sucked (5hrs for full frame) but product is killer.
  • + 2
 I have an issue with bikes and cell phones. All these companies market how sleek and sexy their design is, and then consumers have to add protection to make them last. I still cant believe how many companies dont put a simple guard on the bottom the the downtube. It should be a requirement. I've used many of the products above, and I'm a big fam of AMS. The ease of installation and the ability to deflect big rocks and hold up to shuttling is a big plus for me. Plus I like to option to add a little customization if desired.
  • + 2
 Mobile phones are that way so that you can choose the size and type of protection to put it in. It would suck if they came with a built in case and you couldn't choose your own case.

As for bikes, you just said AMS is easy to install and you like to customize.

What was the problem again?
  • + 2
 I had good intentions when I got my bike(Ripmo) of putting protective crap on it. I even bought the kit, but then I rode it before I applied it and it got dirty and you can't stick shit on over dirt, so it got put off. And then it got put off again. And again.

Whatever. It's a bike, not jewelry.
  • + 2
 I always go to an automotive car wrapping place and get scrap 3M PPF for free. It's way thicker than the ride wrap, protects better and is self-healing with a little heat. It just takes a bit of practice to cut and apply it but It has protected my frames from major rock strikes and has kept the resale value high.
  • + 2
 I've got the All Mountain Style set on my frame. I like it on the forks a lot, very tough. But the logo is repeated on every single sticker, so now I've got their logo all over the frame and their website repeated about 5 times on the big panels. Annoying. Think I'll remove the chevrons from the top tube and replace with racer tape. thanks for the article.
  • + 1
 @danielfeary you're welcome.
  • + 2
 Guys at RideWrap were incredibly helpful and when I #$#^ed up a piece Callum Rostrum sent me free pieces and spent tons of time with me on the phone to get the soap/water right then fix the wrinkles. Product is incredible and I'd never buy another bike without it's first stop being RideWrap. Excellent product and even greater service.
  • + 1
 For what they charge it's the least they could do.
  • + 2
 I've been using Racing Tape for at least a decade. I will be using it for the next decade. Apply liberally before the first ride, take it off a year later at sale time. Worth every penny. Note you can spray slightly soapy water on the tape before applying to give you some play time. Squeegee out the bubbles. If you do a good job your bike looks like it has no tape on it. Perfecto.
  • + 3
 I went the NASCAR route. Go get 3M automotive protective film off amazon (ie helicopter tape), cut it to size. One spray bottle water+alcohol and one spray bottle water+soap. Get to work.
  • + 3
 I use Lamin-X. It's essentially the same as 3M but you can get it in matte. It comes in both 8 and 12 mil, which I use on the down tube. I use a Lizard Skin's neoprene wrap on my chainstays.
  • + 3
 @danoiz really appreciate your choosing to do business with us! Was just telling someone how quickly this product has picked up steam over the last couple of years. Glad to know it's worked well for you! Holler if we can be of further help. - Ben
  • + 1
 If you're into custom cutting....acquire ClearBra, Olfa utility knife, H20/Isopropyl alcohol mix and custom cut your own super easy while it is ON the bike. Just like they apply it to the front of vehicles.

STEP 1: Go to your local ClearBra auto shop and ask to buy their remnants. (cheap!)
originalclearbra.com

STEP 2: Acquire an Olfa super-sharp snap off utility knife. This perforates the ClearBra but does not cut the paint.
olfa.com/professional/product/stainless-steel-precision-knife-svr-2

STEP 3: Spray frame with a water/isopropyl alcohol mix and apply ClearBra.

STEP 4: Cut Clearbra to perfect size and add relief cuts as necessary while it is still wet. Push the wet bubbles out super easy.
  • + 3
 Why don’t companies do this, at least as an option, in Taiwan where the frame is made already and the hourly cost is really low? Would be a nice service?
  • + 1
 Looked into AWS and RideWrap but ended up going with UplndStoke frame protection here in Golden, CO. You guys might need to review their brand and re-publish this article because it is seriously the best. Check em out.

uplndstoke.com
  • + 1
 I find myself conflicted between what seems an objectively good product and my old-man disgust toward any un-ironic use of the term 'stoke'.

Still, thanks for the link. Nice to have options Smile .
  • + 1
 I'm not a big fan of how over priced the bike branded stuff can be --- I use Ski products or just 3M bits. and for the chain stay, there's an electrical product that's great. 2mm thick, rubbery, sticks like no other stick I have seen stuck
  • + 1
 I have RideWrap. I got the full kit and put it on myself. It went on easier than I expected actually, but took about 2 hours. So far it has held up great. I have gotten a few nicks that have buffed out easily and it definitely keeps dirt from sticking to the frame (as much). Total win and will definitely do it again on any new bike I get right away.
  • + 1
 when i picked up my new carbon bike I brought it to work with me (vinyl wrap/ paint perfection shop) to do a full coverage PPF (clearbra) on the frame. template'd and installed a full custom kit (took 2hrs for a professional in a professional atmosphere) and then immediately removed it (other than high impact areas such as downtime and where rear wheel flings dirt. why? because in 2 yrs when i go to sell the bike, the idea is that i remove the PPF and have a clean new bike underneath just like a car...but what about how all the portions that were not covered with PPF have scratch marks with clear distinct lines where the ppt ended. which imo looks worse than a few chips and scratches. have also heard of friends' paint peeling with the protective tape years later when they go to sell the bike...which would suck.
  • + 2
 This article is relevant to my interest as the steel hardtail should be done at the paint shop this week and there's an AMS pack in the shed...bought on spec. Nice to get some sort of feedback on it.
  • + 2
 don't bother, steel hardtails look better the more beat up they are.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: normally I would agree with you but this one didn't for some reason...and since I've probably spent more than it's worth getting it redone I figure I should at least try for a while.
  • + 2
 Invisframe is the dogs bollocks, all the kits we've had from them in the past have been brilliant and accurately cut. Well worth the money and better than anything I've managed to DIY in the past
  • + 2
 InvisiFRAME on the MTB with a carbon RockGuard and 3M (DIY) on the Gravel bike for the WIN. makes them easier to clean and look smarter for longer, definitely doesn't harm potential resale value too!
  • + 1
 I have my Speci Enduro Invisi-wrapped. I don't remember spending lots of time on it, 2 hours max. But the frame had been spray painted the day before and nothing was mounted yet. I did remember lots of swearing during installation though.
  • + 1
 Took my new bike to Jake at snakeskincustom.co.uk. He custom wraps your frame to your requirements and the coverage he achieves is amazing. Had mine done in a mix of gloss and matte films and 2 years on my bike still looks brand new. Look him up he does a superb job.
  • + 1
 @meagerdude you’ve got al your thicknesses wrong.

When you say 12 mil (12 mm) that is half of an inch.
I don’t think those protectors are that thick.
You probably should have put 1,2 mm. (About the thickness of a marsh guard). And yes it’s all of them.


Btw; 3M for the win!
  • + 1
 My bad, just found out it’s another ridiculous imperial size... not just short for milimeter.
  • + 5
 raw frame with guard at the bb done
  • + 1
 Right!
  • + 1
 Not my case but maybe put the kit's weight since most of them are going to protect carbon frames and they add quite a bit pf it. There is one kit with gel that is heavier than slayer
  • + 2
 Forgot about the 3M "Bra" tape on amazon. Large roll for a whopping $20. If its good enough for the front of a car then is sure as hell good enough for a bicycle.
  • - 2
 A car undergoes far less abuse than a bike...
  • + 3
 Thanks for the kind words Colin, our team is stoked to be turning protection up to 11!
  • + 5
 I just use glad wrap
  • + 1
 3M tape works great especially on a black bike. I read about it years ago in a magazine....

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AO9IRG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • + 1
 That's mastic tape--been a chain stay saver on my bikes for years until bikes started coming out with TPU factory guards.
  • + 0
 I wouldn't use any of these lol xD I soul just buy a 20$ can of transparent plastidip and put some layers on my beloved frame haha,also you can also buy more cheaper options of vinyl, some of these laser cut won't protect enough and cost more by the laser cut, with that price you can buy a quality transparent roll o at least 2mt of if and just a knife with a heat gun would do the trick,also the leftovers can work for your car too
  • + 2
 I wrapped my new frame in RideWrap. It was about 2-3 hours but went on great. Nice people to deal with and an exceptional product all around.
  • + 2
 Used InvisiFRAME on my transition, took about 4 hours to put on and went on pretty easy. You have to look close-up to the frame to see it. will uses it again.
  • + 2
 I did a full Ride Wrap kit on my new bike. It was a bit tedious but I think well worth it. It looks great and the bike cleans easier than without, stuff falls off it.
  • + 2
 Glamcore is rad. Pretty bike, never ridden, full tape. Half price after one season of 4 rides and 37 photo shoots. Thank god we had protective tape.
  • + 0
 Personally I've never seen the need for a full frame wrap. Cable contact points and downtube at most, and obviously protection for chain slap. If the frame finish is good enough it's just not needed, plus it looks awful when it's all over the frame. If you take a rock strike that bad that it chips the paint it would do that anyway with or without a thin sheet of plastic.And the dirt build up you get underneath as well just looks tacky.
  • + 1
 Oh man - can't believe Bike Armor got left out of this review! Bike Armor has been developing a wide range of modular frame protection products over the last 4 years. Check us out at www.bikearmor.com
  • + 2
 " nothing will beat on a frame more than shuttling"
Unless of course you've been smart and have bought a van rather than a pickup.
  • + 1
 Buying a vehicle to ride a bicycle is kinda ironic don't ya think?
  • + 2
 Invisiframe your only man here, lots of patience or a friend who is a dab hand is the way with that stuff. will 100% be on my bikes from now on.
  • + 1
 Step 1: Go to any sign shop and ask for that roll of clear vinyl that just ran out and they are about to throw away.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit.
  • + 1
 I used Halfords sill protection tape. It's thick and the width is a good size for mountain bikes. 1 year on now and still doing the job. And only cost about €7.
  • + 0
 Why the hell this is not done in the factory before packing the bike into box and sending to shops/customers? Would be so easy for the manufactors to install these while the bike is still just a pile of parts
  • + 2
 Grams
  • + 1
 @yzedf: I guess I should weight my bike then
  • + 3
 Because people will stay pay $7k for a bike without it and GX Eagle.
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: me too...
  • + 0
 Simple Economics: these kinds of full monty tape wraps need to be applied by hand. That cost of labor plus materials cost would easily be $100-$200 more for a new bike. They could apply more paint, but that'd still chip and would add about the same $$ to the finished product.
  • + 2
 @meagerdude: come on, in the areas where the frames are made let's talk about 20USD in total
  • + 0
 @bok-CZ: do you seriously think they'd only charge us $20USD for that?!?!?
  • + 2
 @meagerdude: I only think they should
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: I suspect that it'd be more than $20 ????! Realistically, spraying a frame with paint takes about 5-10 minutes per frame if the process isn't automated. But installing a full monty style of film would have to be done by hand, and it still takes a skilled technician 90 minutes to do a single frame. When you're talking about a mid size bike manufacturer that churns out 10-15k frames a year, that'd be an extra 15k-22k man hours that would need to be paid. By the buyer.
  • + 3
 Please review and compare the 3M Safety Walk 7641 tape!
  • + 1
 Maybe because I buy near new likes and keep them for years, but I don't use shuttle tailgate pads and kinda like scratches and wear from use on a bike...am I alone?
  • + 1
 Rhino Heli Tape here. Absolute pain in the bollocks to apply perfectly, but definitely worth it. If I was going to do it again, I would disassemble the bike for convenience.
  • + 3
 Shelter tape the down tube and ride.
  • + 1
 Where's the love for mastic tape? Nothing is better on the chainstays and I also put some where the brake rotor can contact the frame when sliding the wheel in.
  • + 1
 +1 for the Lizard Skin Carbon Leather! Use that in all the heavily hit, "usual suspect" areas! That stuff is literally like a factory wrap and will stop a bullet. Wink
  • + 1
 Man, this is a ton of comments about tape. 3M, or just f-n ride and worry about a paint chip later when you cover it up w AMS and try to sell your bike on PB.
  • + 1
 If you haven't heard of Bikeshield Protection, be sure to check them out! They decorated and protected my bike, they give great service and my bike looks awesome now!
  • + 1
 I clicked this and came straight to the comments looking for mockery, but was sorely disappointed. You guys actually use this stuff?
  • + 0
 Clear Gorilla tape for $20 a roll and no ridiculous $90 plus pricing or "wet" application process with a squeegee. Cut it up anyway you like, easy removal with no residue, and it does not yellow out.
  • + 1
 3m 8676 is the shit. All these other tapes arent shit compared to what I use. Made to withstand a rock strike at 750 mph plus.
  • + 1
 Just installed All Mnt Style XXL kit on my Devinci Spartan 29'r.. Super easy went on in less then 20 min, saved my paint in the 1st big mud ride of the year.
  • + 1
 A mate of mine just stripped the invisiframe of his 5 yr old V3 nomad... the thing looks brand new again and he rode the tits off it.
  • + 1
 I've been using clear Gorilla tape. Not their packing tape. The thick stuff. It's been on my bike for 4 years, and it's pretty dang cheap.
  • + 1
 People who protect their frame from scratches most likely get out of the shower to pee and are terrible lovers.
  • + 1
 To bad LORE components stopped their Jellybelly production for a while. Would have been a serious contender.
  • + 2
 Great article. Need more like this.
  • + 1
 I ride my bike up and down mountains and sometimes crash. It has scratches on it. I'm OK with that.
  • + 2
 Clear gorilla tape & patience works for me...
  • + 2
 Frost King clear insulation tape. $6
  • + 1
 I use All Mountain Style on all my bikes, it looks slick and keeps the frame safe! The peace of mind is easily worth it!
  • + 2
 You forgot Shelter tape @pinkbike
  • + 1
 Effetto Mariposa shelter tape actually absorbs the impact. Seems like most of these will just save from a few scratches
  • + 2
 adds becoming smarter. best protection for monye is 3M helicopter tape
  • + 1
 EverClear frame tape by Miles wide seems to be another tape I missed. C'est la vie.
  • + 1
 I've been using crankskins for about 8 years and haven't seen a reason to change.
  • + 1
 Scratches and dents just add character and another great place to put a sticker
  • + 1
 Any tape that sticks to anodised alu?
  • + 1
 What about Clear Protect and Bikeshield ?
  • + 0
 Yeah dis was good information, kinda annoying of dentist and ebike, thanks PB.
  • + 1
 clear gorilla tape is amazing stuff
  • + 1
 My Rocky Instinct came wrapped, nice surprise.
  • + 1
 Mastic tape on the chain stays and e voilà! Frame protection done.
  • + 1
 Adds weight and my bike gets lighter as the paint wears off.
  • + 1
 My bike is beat the f@$k up and I like it. Aluminum all the way.
  • + 2
 Duct Tape $5
  • + 1
 Bike Shield has been working well for me, and it's affordable.
  • + 1
 Raw aluminum on my Knolly is the best frame protection.
  • + 1
 I use 3M aircraft barrier tape from work... It’s free, and mega strong.
  • + 1
 I don't run stickers.... Too heavy
  • + 1
 No Sports Cover/Bike Shield? Pity
  • + 1
 But what about beausage?
  • + 1
 3M is the KING!

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