Anyone here use protective tape to protect a new frame? To which areas do you apply the tape? I have a new frame and I am worried that other bikes sharing bike racks will scratch my ride.

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    When you buy a new bike (or car) you should grab a convenient tool (hammer for a car, maybe a piece of rebar for a bike) AND JUST GET IT OVER WITH!!! Bikes (and cars) are tools, not museum pieces. Aug 26, 2011 at 20:58
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    I have to agree with @Daniel R Hicks completely. You should spend the time worrying about your bike worrying about people who love you instead. A bike can be replaced, people can't ;)
    – Frantisek
    Aug 27, 2011 at 10:10
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    Store it in a Museum in a glass case.
    – Moab
    Aug 28, 2011 at 0:27
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    When my top tube kept getting scuffed up in the bike rack, I just wrapped it in black electrical tape to keep the paint from chipping off. But later I discovered 3M black reflectorized tape and replaced the electrical tape with reflectorized tape.
    – Johnny
    May 13, 2013 at 23:02
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    No need to delete the post. It's a valid question. But the responses in the comments are valid too. :) May 13, 2013 at 23:30

4 Answers 4


I use helicopter tape. You can find it on Amazon or from most any race car supply shop. It's a little pricey but well worth it. It's very sticky and thick enough to absorb impacts from rocks. I use it on the bottom side of my downtube, on the drive side chain stay, and anywhere a cable is close to the frame.

  • Do they really use it on Helicopters? ;->
    – Moab
    Aug 28, 2011 at 0:28
  • They actually do, it's designed to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades. You'd think if it can do that it can protect your carbon fiber from rock chips as well.
    – Russ
    Aug 29, 2011 at 11:55
  • I assume there is fake knockoff helicopter tape being sold? How do you tell the difference?
    – Moab
    Aug 30, 2011 at 0:37
  • The stuff I use is made by "ISC", it's the real deal. You can find it here on Amazon: amazon.com/ISC-Helicopter-OG-Surface-Tape-Outdoor/dp/B000TPC7HU
    – Russ
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:54
  • Thanks, Found some by 3M....aircraftspruce.com/catalog/cspages/8672.php
    – Moab
    Aug 30, 2011 at 21:33

A protective covering is useful on the chainstay if it is prone to frequent chainslap. Other than that, I'd say that it is worse to try to protect your frame with tape than to just allow it to get an occasional nick and scuff.

On a practical note, if you do get some paint chip on a steel frame it is a good idea to dab a little clear nail polish on it to prevent rust from getting started.

Finally, if the frame is worth it, you can always have it professionally powder-coated when the time comes. It is like having a new bike.

  • Clear nail polish is something that needs to be frequently re-applied, particularly in areas that get a lot of abuse. On bikes (and on fingernails). Aug 26, 2011 at 21:38
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    It will cover a scratch and protect from rust just fine, until another scratch appears in exactly the same place. In any case, it is better than coating a bike with something akin to a grandmother's plastic sofa cover ! :-)
    – Angelo
    Aug 26, 2011 at 22:41
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    Now I'm imagining my 16" red folding bike covered with sofa covers. It would be adorable! Aug 26, 2011 at 23:56

Pieces of old inner tubes secured with painter's or electrician's tape. Roll a few lengths of inner tube around the toptube as needed. Also wrap innertube around your D lock to prevent scratches, or just keep some handy where you carry your good spare inner tube.

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    Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Did you ever have problems with the tape shrinking and the adhesive making a mess? I've tweaked your grammar without changing the meaning. Feel free to revert if I've misplaced or chaged your message.
    – Criggie
    Oct 12, 2015 at 20:53

You can buy clear tape meant to fit your bike, or you can save some cash and fit some clear packing tape on the areas that are scratched the most.

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    it wont help from huge rock scraping, but it does the trick on most scratches and larger cosmetic stuff
    – jacob
    Dec 23, 2016 at 18:57

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