Blog Post by Grant
Many of us are passionate about our bikes, and like to minimise the effect of either wear and tear or accidental damage. A further plus point to this, is the resale value may remain higher.
Products to protect the finish of a frame and fork are offered in a number of different forms. These range from small pre cut plastic patches, to a larger sheet of frame protection which can be cut to the required size. These options tend to be applied to areas where cable rub, chain slap or other areas of predictable contact or abrasion occur. Products of this type are widely available, and perfectly fine for this purpose.
The potential to protect our frame, forks, and crank arms, has now been taken to another level, as they can be professionally wrapped with clear protection. This can be achieved on either road or mountain bikes.
I was keen to learn more about the system of whole frame protection, and visited Shack Wrap to achieve this. Nick, the owner of Shack Wrap talked me through the frame protection options he offers, and I was able to watch a frame and fork wrap take place.
The clear polyurethane film is available in both Matt and Gloss finishes. It can be applied to road and mountain bikes, although any type of bicycle can be wrapped, with the only exception being, the protection can not be applied to an anodised finish. The thickness of the film is normally reduced for road bikes.
A feature of the protective film Nick uses, is that it has the potential to self repair. Should an instance arise where the film surface gets scuffed, and marking occurs, this will disappear. I have watched a short YouTube video on this. The video demonstrates an area of the protective film being intentionally scuffed. The scuffs are subsequently removed by washing the film with warm water.
The frame, fork and components must be spotlessly clean prior to the application, and this should be achieved prior to the bike being taken for the Wrap (an extra charge is applied if a clean is required).
The initial stage of the Wrap is for any surface residues such grease or polish to be removed. The film used within the Wrap is made up of a number of sheets. These are pre cut to suit the frame model, and size being wrapped (Nick has pre formed templates for many of the popular frame and forks. These are created very accurately, by utilising a digitally plotted, vinyl cutter).
The protective film is then applied to its provisional position, but at this point it’s exact location can be adjusted.
Once a particular piece of film is positioned perfectly, gentle pressure is applied across its surface to achieve adhesion to the frame, fork, or crank arm. Gentle heat is then applied to assist adhesive bond. These processes are repeated until the complete wrap is achieved.
Before the Wrap is deemed complete, each individual piece of protective film is checked to ensure adhesion is achieved. The bond between protection and frame or component, reaches full strength after 24hrs.
I can confirm the finish quality of completed Wrap is excellent, and the protective film is virtually undetectable once in place.
The Wrap applied to my own bike has now been in place for a number of months and continues to do its job perfectly. The paint finish being well protected and the appearance of the bike is not compromised. The Wrap has remained adhered, and completely unaffected by normal bike cleaning processes (the guidance relating to general upkeep is wash the bike as normal using standard cleaning products which are available in most bike shops).
Nick recommends a Wrap is replaced every three years to avoid the bond between the protection and the finish beneath becoming to strong, which would make replacing either whole or part of the Wrap more difficult. The Wrap has been known to fend off some serious damage, so the potential to replace individual pieces is really beneficial.
The frame protection offered by Shack Wrap is excellent. Nick can also create custom graphics to add a unique touch to your bike or to add that extra bit of bling to that super bike you have just treated yourself to. If you would like to apply the protective Wrap yourself, sheets of film, Generic film kits, fork, and crank arm wraps are also available from Shack Wrap.
At the time of writing, the cost of a Wrap is around £100.00. Items such as protection to crank arms and custom decals are additions to the standard Wrap and do attract an additional charge.
For more information visit www.shackwrap.co.uk