How And Where To Apply Frame Protection | Mountain Bike Maintenance


– In the long-term, your
mountain bike is always going to suffer some battle scars
from when you’re out riding. Whether that’s just rocks flicking up and hitting your paint
work, the unlucky crashes, putting your bike in the back
of the car, up lift trucks, all that sort of stuff,
it’s gonna take it’s toll on your bike finish. So what you really want
to do is look after this with some protective film. Today, I’m gonna be putting some on Neil’s bike, which is brand new. So, get it start off on a good foot here, make sure it looks nice
and good from the start. But you don’t have to have
a new bike to do this. You can do this on your bike
you’ve already been riding and just ensure your
paint finish looks as good as it does now until the
day you want to sell it. (firey crackling and explosion) So, tools for the job: Firstly, you’re gonna need
a frame protection kit of some kind, some rubber
mastic tape, electrical tape, cable ties, bike cleaner,
isopropyl alcohol, scissors, and, if necessary, a
hair dryer or heat gun. First things first, you’re
gonna need some sort of frame protection kit. There are various different
ones available on the market. From the basic ones like
this that come precut for various sections of the bike. Or you can get yourself some
3M heli-tape, which comes in sheets like this or in rolls, or you can go for a full-blown
kit made by someone like Invisiframe that do them
custom made per bike. Of course, we’ve just gone
for the easy option here because it’s nice and cheap,
affordable, easy to apply. So, before you get carried
away sticking the stuff on, you want to make sure your
bike is completely clean in the areas that you’re
gonna put the tape in place. If your bike is made
of aluminium, you want to make sure the frame is warm. So keep it inside overnight beforehand, or, if necessary, heat up the sections of tube just with a hair dryer. No need to go over the top. This is purely just to
to help the adhesive on the stuff stick onto
the frame properly. It’s less of an issue
with the carbon frame just because the material’s
got a warmer feel to it. So because we’re not
using an entire frame kit, we’re using just selective little patches, we want to make sure we get them in the right places on the bike. So what we’re looking for here
are likely areas where rocks and stuff are gonna sort of
contact when they fly up. Areas where the cables are
gonna contact the frame when perhaps the suspension
moves or the handlebars turn and other areas as well. The toptube, which is a good classic where your knee pads rub on the tube and just sort of dull the finish down. So we’re just gonna look
at the dressing though. So we’re gonna start
with the toptube first. Look at the toptube here on Neil’s bike. I’ve got the longest section in the kit. The main area I’m focused
on is actually the sort of grey section here between
the curve on the seat mast here and the curve just on the
underside of the toptube. So what you need to factor in is the fact that there is a curve in the frame. So that’s gonna make it difficult when you’re making a good
contact for this to stick to. So I’m gonna trim this
accurately so it just falls short of here, because it’s never
gonna really see much sort of use and just to make sure
it wraps on the underside here. So to do that, a stencil is a good idea. So I actually made a bit of
a paper stencil a second ago. It just lines up along the top here and it roughly follows the
shape that I intend to cut to. And that covers that main
section the toptube area that Neil’s gonna rub his
knee on and that sort of stuff when he’s out on the trail. And also it doesn’t interfere too much with the lines of the bike. So I’ve used the stencil just to sort of cut the shape roughly how I want it. Something that’s just
important to remember is when you’re cutting this
yourself, don’t leave any square edges because if
it’s gonna lift up anywhere, that’s where you’re gonna snag it. So just cut small, round
ends in just to help it stay in place whatever the weather. This particular kit you just
fit on a clean, dry tube and you just sort of push
the air bubbles out by hand. But some kits like the 3M
stuff, a lot of people say it’s best to wet fit them by
using some sort of like shampoo or detergent of some kind. You mix the water, you spray
on, you float the kit around until it’s in the right place, and use a squeegee to gently
push the sort of moisture out and it helps it stick
in the perfect place. Again, don’t need to
with this particular one, but just make sure whichever kit you buy, you just follow the right
instructions for that. So it’s really important just
to make sure you just get this on as best as you can so it stays on your bike for as long as possible and, more importantly, it
looks really good as well. You don’t want to be drawn to any sort of bubbles in the sort of plastic. So, I’m just gonna start up
towards the headtube end, just by sort of the carbon side here. Just gonna peel back about an inch of this and then just get this centralised. Now I’m not gonna do
the side straight away. I’m just gonna do the top and I’m gonna curve it around afterwards. Just gonna make sure I get it
as lined up as I possibly can. Of course, doing it with
these kits is a lot cheaper and a lot easier to
replace when they go wrong. If you invest in one of
the full-sized frame kits that cover everything, you
really need to take your time installing these and they
can take a couple of hours with some of the more
fiddly frame designs. What we’re doing here on
Neil’s bike is just covering up just one of the two areas
that he tends to sort of get a bit knackered on his bikes. I’ve noticed from previous bikes. Now, you just want to to take your time and make sure it’s going
on as smoothly as possible. No air bubbles. It will continue to look
good for quite a long time. It’s a good idea to do this before your bike does get too
nasty and dented and dinged. And you’ll barely even know
that the protection is on there. And it is a good idea to do
this indoors just to make sure that the adhesive stays nice and warm. It’s gonna give it the best chance of bonding properly with your frame. So, up on the front of the headtube here, this is obviously the
business end of the bike. You’ve got the cables and the controls. So, on Neil’s particular bike he’s got a dropper post cable and his
rear brake cable coming out of the right side
of the headtube here. Just his internal routeing here. And you can see under full
steer and lock they kind of rub on the headtube here. So we just want to make sure
it’s protected underneath so it doesn’t get scuffed
and lose its paint. And also the same for
the other way around. So it’s his rear shifter cable. So I’m just gonna make a marker here on where we want the protection to be. Again, you’re gonna
cut this to sort of fit so it looks as neat as it can possibly be. Get it in place. You just want to peel this
off to the halfway point. So I can make sure it lines up exactly where I want it to. Gonna work my way around just like I did with the one on the toptube. So you can obviously see it up close, that’s one of the negatives
with anything like this. But it’s a frame protection kit. You’re gonna be thankful
for it in the long run when you don’t start
losing your paint work. Now, on this particular frame, it’s got some downtube
protection on the bottom where rocks fly up, but nothing
on the top part of the tube. Arguably, you won’t
get any rocks flying up and damaging your tube in this
area, but if you do uplifts on your friend’s pickup
truck, when you lean the bike over the back, it can make
a nice, handy pad here just to stop your framework being
dulled down by the pickup pad that sits over the back. When you’re installing
this on the downtube here, it’s important to just take into account the curvature of the tube. Again, just like I did with the top tube. I’ve noticed when I turn
the front to the side this whole area needs protecting. It’s roughly from the edge
of the foreground downwards. So this is actually the
perfect sort of length and it folds just off of this up. I noticed that it’s actually
sitting almost perfectly on where the grey meets the orange. So make a nice line so
hopefully it will blend in well with the frame. Now I know from measuring
this up, I’ve got to go about two mill below this line and it’s gonna line up perfectly. All right, so you can
slightly see the edge, but once it’s been ridden a
bit, you never can notice there. And more importantly, if he
does put his bike on the back of his mate’s pickup
truck, I know he’s got one and he’s probably watching this video, it will sit on there nicely, it’s not gonna wear his nice
little paint finish away. Okay, so Neil’s bike’s
got internal routeing on the downtube here and
just where the cable exits, where it joins the seatstay here and goes direct to the rear neck it can sort of rattle
around, just sort of contact with the seat tube there. And the same on the other
side for the disc brake rotor. So, I’m just gonna put a
little piece on the underside of here just to make sure
that the paint finish stays as good as it can for as long as possible. There are some preshaped sections here that are ideal-sort-of-sized. So, just taking one of those,
again I’m just gonna use a piece of backing that I’ve already used on the back here, so when I get all those off my thumb on there. Obviously, the smaller pieces on this, you can see them a bit more. If you ride Clifton, you’ll probably find your feet don’t sort of
move around too much. But I do know that Neil likes
to ride flat pedals quite a lot, and one of the things
that flat-pedal riders tend to do is move their foot
position around low. So you quite often get bits
of seatstay and chainstay with paint sort of just
rubbed off on their ankles. And it’s not really a bad riding thing, it’s just the fact that you’re moving around in quite an aggressive way. So I’ve got enough here and
in a real good size just to protect the seatstay on Neil’s bike. So I’m just gonna cut a
strip here to do both sides. And same thing as with the other sections, you just want to make sure
they’ve got rounded edges so they got the best chance of staying on for as long as possible. Again, you can see that
there’s a piece in place, but at distance you’re never gonna know. And if your heels do rub
just on the seatstays here, you’re not gonna be losing any paint. Next up, I noticed on this Nukeproof bike it’s got really good
chainstay protector here that extends all the way
along on the back side here where the chain contacts
rub by the chainring. So that is fantastic. But I also noticed there’s
nothing on the underside here. I’m gonna clean the inside of that, and I’m using this magical tape from 3M. So this is a rubber mastic tape. So it’s an electrician’s tape by trade, but it’s actually one of the best things in the world a biker can own. So, it’s basically
self-amalgamating tape that sticks on anything and provides
really good protection for your frame. Although, the chain tension’s
really good these days with a clutch mech. I know how Neil rides,
so I’m just gonna put a little bit extra on the underside here. I know he likes a silent bike as well, so this will make it stealthy. Gonna do this all in one here. So I’ve already cleaned this. It’s just gonna sit on
the underside like so. You’ll especially notice
the effect of silence in your bike like this if you
ride a lot of rough, rocky, and fast trails and you’ve got
your chains slapping around. You actually need to check it first to see if your chain’s still
on ’cause you make your bike that much more silent, it’s kinda spooky. So there you go. Using the bare minimum, cheap
sort of frame protection kit managed to give Neil’s bike
a good bit of protection around the headtube from cable
rub, downtube if he chooses to put it on the back of
a pickup, toptube here from his knee pads, that’s
one of the more crucial ones, and, of course, for
other cables and stuff. And then using the rubber, managed to just sort his chainstays
and seatstays out. So, it’s a really good little
way of protecting your bike and making sure it stays
looking better for longer and, of course, quieting it down as well. Hopefully it’s been useful for you. For a couple more videos, check up here to winterize your bike,
that’s protecting your bike for winter and all the
nasty stuff that happens. And for ten cable tie hacks and bodges, particular favourite, click down there. Don’t forget to click on the globe in the middle here to subscribe. Brand new video every single
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