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The Shelter Frame Protection Tape Kit is light years ahead of those awful clear/carbon effect sticker sets that lifted on the first wash. Shelling out £27 for eight pre-cut sections seems exorbitant though.
Then again, set against the cost of refinishing a frameset, this bundle of assorted bike plasters seem very reasonable. Methodical, unhurried preparation and sterile surfaces are essential if they're to last in the long run.
Ideally applied to bare frames fresh from the shop window, prep the target areas using a lint-free cloth dipped in industrial alcohol and leave a few minutes to evaporate. Prise one of the supple cut outs from its backing and smooth to the tube using a consistent massaging motion. This proved pivotal when persuading the top tube strip to sit flush against the Univega's 'guitar string' cable guides. Start to finish, the process took the best part of an hour.
Several weeks in and I'm not convinced the default thickness is ideal. Perfect cushioning from chain-slap and stones and similarly sharp projectiles, it seems excessive for cable buffers-even against those abrasive outers beloved of sealed systems - ours has already started to lift, infected with dust and dirt. I'm willing to accept it might be a rogue sample that slipped through the net, given some of the glowing testimonials I've heard but in my opinion, a more tailored approach to density would improve its staying prowess without compromising protection.
Offers excellent protection from abraision and impact damage but rather pricey.
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Make and model: Shelter Frame protection tape kit
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"-Shelter tape is a multi-layer acrylic protection tape which dissipates any impact energy on two axis.
-Each layer spreads loads vertically and horizontally, the impact energy decreases at each layer, protecting the bike frame.
-Perfect for carbon frames where the surface epoxy resin can be brittle and sensitive to impacts.
-The tape is clear, does not hide graphics and can be applied easily". Broadly agree but on the strength of our test sample feel a more tailored approach to density would assist adhesion.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Multi layer clear acrylic designed to spread loads vertically and horizontally, the impact energy decreases at each layer, protecting the bike frame.
1x Down Tube (340mm long 50mm wide) 1x Chain Stay (275mm long 35mm wide) 1x Top Tube/ Head Tube (80mm Tall 45mm Deep) 4x Cable/ Hose (35mm ø)
Some of ours have begun to show evidence of lifting.
55g by my scales.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Shelter frame protection is extremely effective, defending frames from cable rub, stone chips and similar damage. However, meticulous surface preparation is key to its success.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Provides excellent defence against abrasion.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cost and adhesives weren't as powerful as I was expecting given the asking price.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)