The bike frame is the backbone of a bike which is as important as the bike itself. Therefore, caring for them should be a priority as it determines how durable our bikes can be.
Considering these facts, bikers have employed many care methods for bike protection from debris, corrosion, cuts, cracks, etc.
Methods like frame protecting film, bike frame tape, car vinyl wrap, etc. One commonly used care method is 3M bike tapes.
3M bike frame protectors are the most readily available framing method. They are mostly used on MTBs (Mountain bikes) since they experience the greatest frame damage compared to regular bikes. There are many frame tapes out there; a few are the 3M helitape, Invisiframe, racer tape, carbon bike tape, Racer tape, AMS tapes, DIY tapes, etc.
Are Frame Protectors Worth It?
Yes, Bike frame protectors are worth it. A 3M Bike frame protection tape is a transparent tape made from an abrasion-resistant polyurethane elastomer that helps you keep your bike in good shape and retain its color.
They adhere to bike frame paints providing paint protection and protecting bike frames from cuts, cracks, abrasion, corrosion, etc.
In addition, it is UV (ultraviolet ray) resistant and pocket-friendly; therefore, any bike owner can buy it.
With a frame tape, your bike can last for years and still look as new as when you bought it. No color change whatsoever.
How to Apply 3M Tape to Bike?
You can easily apply a 3M frame protector tape on your bike at home with little or no supervision if you have the required materials.
These materials include; 3M frame tape, paper, isopropyl alcohol mixed with water (30%/70%), a needle, and scissors.
The procedure is as follows;
- Measure a paper on an MTB frame and cut using scissors.
- Using the measured paper, cut a 3M MTB protection frame tape, ensuring the tape edges are round to avoid dirt accumulation and repetition.
- Wet by spraying the paint adhesive/ frame and the bike frame with isopropyl alcohol mixed with water.
- Place the wet frame on the exact measured frame and squeeze from one end of the tape to another to remove water from it.
- When you observe air bubbles, use a needle to puncture them and squeeze the water off the tap with your fingers again.
- Repeat all processes using the tapes on the measured MTB bike frames or regular household bike frames.
What Tape Do You Use For Bike Protection?
There are a host of tapes or protection adhesive films to use for bike protection. Some common examples are;
This tape is a 12mils thick polyurethane mapped-out film of clear matte or gloss that can close almost all gaps on the bike frame of different sizes.
It is common in the UK, costing about $93 – $100 depending on the frame size. It becomes even more expensive to use when professionals install them.
#2. Ride Wrap:
This brand is an 8.2mil thick protection film consisting of variant colors with a glossy finish in four different levels of framing ( full wrap job for $92, Fork wrap for $40, Cover wrap for $64, and Essential coverage for $22 ).
These groups of tapes are rated slightly above the InvisiFrames due to their price tag.
The BYEDBro ( Do You Ever Drift Bro) frame protective film is a 12mil thick vinyl tape that is pre-cut to fit all bikes using different latex graphic digital prints, costing around $45.
It gives the toughest application to the MTB frame as it produces lots of bubbles and needs to be peeled off regularly when not properly applied.
#4. Lizard Skin Carbon Leather Frame Protector and Frame Kit:
These come at $22 and $40, respectively. The lizard skin frame comes in two sizes 32mm × 222mmk (for size S) and 64mm × 305mm ( for size L).
They are usually pre-cut slits used for bike frame articulation or curve chevrons for bike protection needed for basic frame coverage and easy usage.
#5. Race Tapes:
This brand costs about $35 for a 30′ × 2″ roll. It requires no special skills for either application or removal except for using fingers to roll various widths of the painted bike frame with protective films.
Still, its difficulty comes with getting it to adhere to curved areas between chains and seats and sit well in tight spots.
#6. 3M Paint Protection Film:
First designed to protect helicopter blades but is now being used for bikes and cars.
It is an 8mm thick frame protection film made of tough yet flexible Urethane in rolls of varied sizes and is very affordable.
It gives mountain bike frames a matte or glossy finish, but consumers take some time to cut each piece before framing the bikes.
Best Bike Frame Protection Tape
The 3M ETC Helicopter Clear Bike Frame Protector is considered the best option, with a 9.9 score out of ten when deciding which frame you prefer for Bike frame protection.
It is the highest quality transparent (clear) acrylic adhesive tape or film of various sizes attached to multiple sales or unit sales mostly used in the UK.
The 3M ™ brand produces this tape, and it is a leading company in the manufacturing of stickers.
Here are some factors that make ETC Helicopter Clear Bike Frame Tapes the best;
- Cost: it is cheap, costing around $19 on eBay and available on Amazon.
- Application/Durability/Removal: The ETC Helicopter Clear Bike Frame Tape is quite easy to apply, requiring less effort even when applying to curves and folded surfaces producing fewer bubbles. After application, it is durable for at least ten years as it is elastic, waterproof, and acid-resistant with an advanced adhesive system, innovation, and almost nearly invisible to the human eye ( a feature of the InvisiFrame).
- Protection capability: the film provides full protection of the bike frame from the forks, seat stays, head tube, and down tubes leaving no gap on the bike frame depending on the expertise of the person applying them.
- Application time: the ETC Helicopter Clear Bike Frame Protection Tape takes about 1-2 hours to install on the frame depending on the speed of the person applying them.
There are various bike frame protectors available, and many are durable. The 3m bike protector tape is one of the best, and I recommend it for your bike.
It is cheap, easy to apply, and durable. There are plenty of options, and you can use a 3M ETC Helicopter Clear Bike Frame Protector. It is affordable and easy to use.
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