How can I protect my bike against abrasion and scratches from bikepacking saddlebag straps?

It is mostly for a full frame bag, like the Apidura one.

  • 3
    Protection against what? Do you expect the nylon straps to abrade or scratch your frame’s paint? I’ve had a small, permanently attached bag on my commuting/traveling bike for years and can’t see any damage under the straps. My frame has a high quality powder coat if it makes a difference.
    – Michael
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 11:23
  • 2
    @Michael They can and do abrade. Commented May 17, 2021 at 12:23
  • In fact it is not the wraps themselves the real enemybut the accumulated dust and dirt between the wraps and the frame. Actually I have no experience from this because I have used cyclo bags on racle. I speaker here about bikepacking bags. The frame one is heavy and may cause abrasions.
    – Tarass
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 12:59
  • I had a small frame bag (with just a pump, spare tube, multitools puncture repair kit), and I can confirm that paint has been abraded under the straps (especially at the angles of the top tube — hydroformed aluminum), but I don't what kind of paint has been used.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 14:38
  • Can you add the relevant part of the information in comments to the question (as comments may be removed at any time)? But without "Edit:", "Update:", or similar - the question should appear as if it was written right now. Commented May 18, 2021 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


There are several things that I can imagine to achieve what you want.

  1. Use frame bags that have "grippy" straps, such as those with silicone strips or similar. This should suffice unless you ride in very aggressive conditions. But in that case, your bike would become scratched all over the place enough to not worry about just the effects of the bag.
  2. For simpler velcro straps, you might put a protective layer between the frame and the bag. There are clear coat frame protection sets, both generic and bespoke for specific frames.
  3. You can be inventive and create your own sort of protection. Wrapping a short section of inner tube, or applying a run of duct tape would work. Or you can apply liquid silicone to add grip to the back sides of existing velcro straps.
  4. Certain frame bags are actually bolted to the frame at the connection points, instead of using a band to wrap the tubing. These are mostly custom bags for specific frames.
  • 2
    For suggestion 1, I have a small question, if you have personal experience: isn't it a risk that some dust grips under the "grippy silicon"? As stated in the comment of the question, the suspect for abrasion is not really the strap it self, but the dust that will accumulate between the frame and the strap?
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 14:41
  • 1
    @Renaud That's the point of grippy silicone strap compared to plain velcro. if it is tightened enough, there should be no gap whatsoever opening under normal range of vibrations, and no possibility for the dirt to come in. Again, at certain amplitudes of vibrations and intensity of mud, no seal would stand against it. But at that point everything else would be penetrated by dirt, including the bearings, which I'd be more concerned with. Stones flying and dinging the paint would also be a larger danger to "frame cosmetics" than the bag's straps. Commented May 17, 2021 at 16:08
  • Sand and fine dust between two surfaces, in this case a textile strap and a painted surface combined to even low amplitude motion over a long enough time, will assuredly have reason of the toughest paint. And no matter how tight you'll pull the strap, it will come loose over the course of the day. (Motor)biker' wisdom!
    – Carel
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 20:02
  • @GrigoryRechistov Does something like this could work ? cyclodonia.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/…
    – Tarass
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 15:45
  • @Tarass A bar tape? As long as it has an adhesive side, it should work. The general principle here is to move the point of relative surface movement from one place to another. Instead of frame paint/dirt/strap contact, you get the tape/dirt/strap contact. It's the same principle as having a sock in the shoe. Instead of foot's skin grinding against the shoe's leather, it is the sock surface grinding against the shoe. Commented May 19, 2021 at 6:50

You can get packs of frame protection tape such as this one:


Some bike shops also offer fitting this type of kit as a service, because its not an easy thing to make a good job of.

  • 2
    Although it's not precut to dimensions, you can get the same stuff more cheaply from your favorite online-retailer-named-after-a-river if you search for "helicopter tape." It's heavy-gauge clear vinyl tape, supposedly used to protect the blades of helicopter rotors. It is not easy to get it to lay flat around compound curves.
    – Adam Rice
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 14:12
  • Two layers of gaffer tape, Duct tape or painters' tape is a cheap and easy solution.
    – Carel
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 19:05

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