What type of frame protection material will you protect your bicycle frame with? Some people choose to D.I.Y and use heavy-duty tape like duct tape, helicopter tape, rubber mastic tape, and racer tape, while others go for bicycle frame protection kits. Both methods get the job done, but there are important factors that set the two apart and you should consider before making a decision.
To understand how paint protection films protect your bicycle frame, you need to know the characteristics of your bicycle frame. There are several different frame types – aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, and steel.
Light, stiff, and affordable. Aluminum is a popular material to use for bicycle frames. However, the downside is that its tricky to repair and wears out more quickly.
Carbon fiber Frame
Carbon fiber is also light and stiff, but it?s more expensive. The downside of carbon fiber is the frames are more prone to fracture than metal, and once that happens carbon becomes fragile, and thus unfit to ride.
This is the best option due to its silky-smooth ride quality and resistance to the elements. The downside is that titanium is an expensive material that?s labor-intensive to work with, meaning these bikes are typically quite pricey.
This is less expensive and delivers a smooth ride, but it?s generally heavier than the other three materials. Steel is also very durable, highly resistant to fatigue, and unlike carbon fiber and aluminum, can easily be repaired. The downside is that it can rust. So you have to take a little extra care so it doesn?t corrode.
Bicycle Frame Protection Materials
Instead of your bike paint enduring impact from debris, the film or tape that protects your Bicycle frame takes the blows. With no damage to your bike paint there is no metal exposure, and therefore, no rust. In particular, adding protective film or tape can prevent gouges, dents, and even cracks that can ruin both carbon and aluminum frames.
Paint Protection film kits vs Protection Tapes
While both protection film kits and protection tapes do the job, let us look at some of the properties that set the two apart.
Self-healing film vs Disposable tape for bicycle frame
Premium PPFs like XPEL have self-healing properties and can regain their original finish from small scratches. For tape, people generally change the tape when it gets worn out or accumulated too many scratches. The good news it is easy to peel off and you can simply use your fingers. The bad news is it is easy to peel off. Yes, the adhesive is not very strong.
Full bicycle frame wrap vs limited areas
One roll will not cover your whole bike. Some come in rolls and you have to cut the tape to the desired fit, some come in pre-cut kits that cover the tubes and main areas. The higher range of the protection tapes comes in pre-cut kits that cover most of the frame comparable to the custom-made kits designed by Rikecool. The difference here is you may not find the right kit for your bike frame and even if you do, the result may not be up to your expectation. At Rikecool, we offer an installation warranty to give you peace of mind.
Quality finishing protection for your bicycle frame
Quality finishing is an important consideration when you are deciding which , professional workmanship won’t leave you with orange peel or annoying bubbles. It’s hard to get rid of little air bubbles when you are doing-it-yourself. This is especially tricky for the frames with angles and tapering diameters.
People that buy protective tape may find that the finish isn’t completely clear or match gloss finish, and likewise for matte. The tape is unable to enhance the finishing from the manufacturer of your bike.
The quality of the bicycle PPF kits that you order from overseas might come with issues such as pieces of the kit may have creases in them. These pieces delaminate from your bike in a year or two. Also, you may tear one while getting it out or stretch another making it impossible to lay down flat on the frame. Furthermore, you will dirty the adhesive if the tape gets stuck to your fingers.
Standard of Workmanship
Another problem you might face with protection tape is that it doesn?t stick to bends. It?s great on long flat tubes but not the bends in the frame. This can also be true for the paint protection kits that weren’t “precut” well.
Not only that, but you need the right tools to work the bends and curves, we cannot emphasize this enough. One smudge or air pocket and the whole thing is ruined. If you try and reapply, it goes all streaky with ugly marks.
Don’t just take our opinion on this, check out the online reviews. These are real reviews from people who have used bike protection tapes to protect their bicycle frames. While most reviews were fair, we handpicked the following reviews as they are unacceptable and could happen to you!
I bought this (protection tape) for my new canyon road bike and installed it very carefully following the instructions I even cleaned the brand new bike with rubbing alcohol.
Yet once it was applied there where thousands of big bubble and small bubbles which could not be scraped off.
Not enough material (number and size of pieces) to cover a MTB. I did not expect I needed XL has my bike is a women bike so size small? Anyway, I had to buy 3m product to patch the rest? It doesn’t look great at all? I will certainly not buy this product next time.
XPEL films from Rikecool
At Rikecool, our bicycle frame protection kits are made from XPEL films. These are designed and cut in our workshop. After cutting, the kits are installed in a cool, clean, and controlled environment. We have well trained and experienced PPF installers with the right tools from XPEL to give you the highest possible quality protective film for your bicycle frame.
Come visit our online shop and protect your bike with XPEL Paint Protection Films!
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