It is inevitable that your bike will be at risk of getting scratched at some point in its lifetime because there are so many potentially damaging factors out on the road that we cannot plan around.
These include loose debris, overgrown plants, and other people and vehicles. You cannot remove the risks, but you can plan ahead to protect your bike and try to prevent it from being scratched.
After all no one wants their new bike to get scratches. Its only natural to us bikers to want our bikes to keep shining like new; even one, two or three year down the road.
Here are the 7 best tips to help you protect your bike from scratches. Ones that I have learned from my personal experience and friends from my bike tour.
1 ) Use Protection Tape On Certain Spots
The idea of covering your entire bike frame in tape may be untenable for a few, but you can absolutely use it on budget for better protection.
Especially when you are involved in certain spots ( like mountain biking ) that you know are more at risk of getting scratched.
For example, you should put tape around your bike’s head tube because putting weight on the bike can cause the brake or shifter housings to change path and get closer to the frame.
The tape will stop the friction, which will stop scratches from appearing.
You can use several different types of tapes for this purpose, including gorilla tape, gun grip tape and helicopter tape. Some bike retailers even offer specialty packages with protection tape.
Recommended Product: VViViD 3M Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film
How To Put Protective Tape On Your Bike Frame
The basic principle of using bike frame protective tape is to provide protection against marks and scratches by covering the frame. Application of the tape over the whole or part of the frame is fairly straightforward.
To start with, make sure that your protective tape is long enough for your intended application. Typically, it takes about 6 feet of tape to cover the frame of a single bike.
Prepare either a razor knife or blade and a pair of sharp scissors for cutting.
Clean your bike carefully and look out for debris that might be stuck in the frame. This is to ensure that no debris will be embedded between the paint and the tape.
Measure the areas you want to cover and cut the required length of tape. Use a pen or marker for accurate measurement. Peel off the backing and apply carefully to the desired area.
Do not press it down hard yet until you have it exactly where you want it. By doing so, it will be easier to pull the tape back up and move it around. If the tape has been pulled up too many times, use a new piece.
Once the tape is in the proper spot, press it down hard onto the surface. It conforms fairly well to the irregular surface but here’s a neat trick for rounded corners to avoid bunching: Slit the tape around the bend using the razor knife then overlay the two layers for complete coverage.
Just make sure not to accidentally nick the paint.
This way, the formation of air bubbles or lifted areas that will eventually collect dust will be prevented. When covering long or large pieces, start at one end and lay it down slowly.
Maneuver it carefully while pressing along its length. It is recommended to wrap every exposed inch of your bike for full preventative protection.
2 ) Apply A Bike Protection Spray
As with the protection tape, you can also purchase bike protection sprays that lightly lubricate the frame with a layer that protects it against corrosion, dirt adhesion and rust, keeping your bike in the best shape possible.
The best way to apply these sprays is to use them to finish off after washing your bike frame.
Make sure that you’re gentle when you wash your bike as well because it is easy to damage the paintwork and cause scratches if you scrub too hard or use an abrasive cleaner.
Organize a routine that allows you to clean and polish the frame and then apply a protection spray. You should regularly apply it to maintain the protection every time you go out for a ride.
3 ) Put On A Bike Shield Protection Set
Also known as high impact frame guard these serve the same purpose as a protection spray or tapes, except these shield pieces can be stuck onto your bike to cover pretty much every area on the frame.
The glossy finish gives your bike a polished look and the pieces appear invisible too so that you can still enjoy your paintwork. The best part of these shields is that they are long-lasting, so, unlike the tape and spray, you don’t need to keep applying them every time you take your bike out.
You’ll have protection from any debris, plants, or walls that can scratch your frame, and the pieces should even heal themselves if they become cut.
You can buy these sets online from the majority of retailers that sell bike maintenance materials.
Recommended Product: All Mountain AMS High Impact Frame Guard
4 ) Remove Scratch Marks With Repair Kits
As previously stated, sometimes scratches are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean they have to be permanent.
You can purchase scratch removal kits to treat the damage to your frame, though you’ll want to act as soon as you notice the marks.
It must be emphasized that these kits only work on minor scratches, so they won’t be effective on large, serious scratches. Most kits will have you apply the product to a sponge and gently treat the mark.
Afterwards, you’ll clean off the residue and then apply a polish to finish. The scratch will be removed and your frame will be left with a brilliant shine.
5 ) Take Care When Parking And Leaving Your Bike
One of the easiest ways to accidentally scratch your bike is when you prop it somewhere and secure it with the chain. You can take several steps to avoid this.
The first is to pay attention to where you’re parking and choose a quieter parking area if possible. Your bike can easily be scratched by other bikes or cars if you leave it in a busy area.
Then, take care to stand it up straight, rather than leaving it on its side. Inevitably, the bike will need to be leaned against the support you are attaching it to, so lean it gently and try to avoid contact as much as possible.
And after that, take care with the chain because if you attach it in a rush or without properly looking, you may scrape it against the frame.
There are many easy solution to similar problem like use of detachable bike bumpers, stabilizer straps and foam noodles. They give cushioning and protection against scratches due to other bicycles in stand.
6 ) Give It A New Paint Job
There will be some cases when the scratches are too many or too large that they can’t be removed.
So, this is more of a cheat than a tip because though a new paint job won’t remove the scratches or negate the fact that they occurred in the first place, it will do wonders to disguise them.
You don’t even need to pay out for a professional to do it either because you can pick up cans of spray paint from any store that sells bikes and do it yourself.
A new sheen of paint will refresh your bike frame and also make it hardier against future dents or scratches.
7 ) Always Ride Carefully
Of course, you can’t control all the factors associated with your ride, but you can do your best to avoid riding carelessly. If you know that the path ahead is uneven and bumpy, proceed with caution.
A lack of preparation can cause damage to your bike should you misjudge the terrain and go too fast or too recklessly. Try your best to spot hazards, such as holes or cracks, in advance so that you can steer around them.
And if you are riding in the city, always have your wits about you and make sure you’re a safe distance away from cars and other vehicles.
When you own a bike it is inevitable that slight damage can occur, but if you follow these 7 tips you should be able to minimize the risk of scratching as much as possible.
A sturdy bike frame is built to last, so taking extra precautions to prevent damage when you cycle should be enough to preserve the quality of the bike.