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Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratches(18 posts)

Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesjagiger
Jul 26, 2001 8:40 PM
I'm interested to know what things you might suggest to protect the chainstays & frame from scratches. I've seen tapes, & stick on things and I guess there's always the possibility of adding more "clear coat". What works best overall?
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesDINOSAUR
Jul 26, 2001 9:02 PM
You can buy clear plastic tape for this purpose. However, the reality is you will accumulate small nicks and scratches, it comes with riding on the roads. Try to find a touch up paint that matches the color of your bike. This is one downside of owning a bike that looks like a piece of art, it's hard to touch it up....
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesMrCelloBoy
Jul 26, 2001 9:26 PM
I've gone as far as wrapping my mtb. chaistay with a cut-to-fit piece of innertube, secured with Zip-ties. That's pretty extreme, but it fit the industrial feel of that bike. I'm facing the same dillemna as you with my new Calfee Carbon tandem. I understand that carbon frames are about as fragile as they come in regard to chips from flying stones and dropped chains. We're getting a colorshift paint job too.
I plan to put clear protective film in some key spots, like where the cables rub the headtube, chainstay, etc.
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchessupercorsa
Jul 26, 2001 11:41 PM
ain't nuthin' you can do about the frame in general, the place i've seen people get the most obsessive is the chainstay. here's my 2c.

lemme see, you carefully wrap up your chainstay with any one of a number of compounds, all ranging from translucent to opaque, in order to protect the surface you can't see because it's carefully wrapped in a number of compounds, ranging from translucent to opaque, from nicks.

don't sweat it, it's all part of riding, and that means it's all good!

there's nothing worse than a pristine frame, one without a single tale to tell. fave story of mine involves the late, great dale earnhart. apparently he was buddies with one of the other drivers (rusty wallace comes to mind, although i'm not sure that's who it was) and whoever it was had just bought a really sweet new 4wd truck. dale and his bud were driving down a country road, each in their own vehicle, when dale pulls along side and runs him into the ditch. rusty (if that's who it was) gets out and asks dale "what was that all about?" and old dale (god rest his soul) replies "well, i didn't want you to have to worry about scratching the thing."

ride hard, eric
chainstay guardsbianchi boy
Jul 27, 2001 4:40 AM
Lizards Skins are foam rubber guards that fasten to your chainstays and keep them from getting nicked. I have never used them, but assume they do the trick. Only problem is that they don't look very aesthetic, although would probably look better on a mtn bike than a road bike.

I have been looking for some chrome chain stay guards that stick on, but haven't found a source. They used to be fairly common. I did find some nice carbon-fiber-looking chainstay guards in the latest Colorado Cyclist catalogue and may get those instead. Excelsports also sells some chrome guards for its Gios bikes that I assume would fit any frame as long as you don't mind Gios stamped on it.

My newest bike (also a Gios) has chrome-plated chainstays, which are the ideal solution in my book. They look sharp and won't get nicked. That won't help you, however, unless you're in the market for a new bike. Most classic Italian steel frames have chrome chainstays.

One other tip. The worst paint damage I've gotten on my bikes is from occasional chain suck when my Ultegra gears throw the chain off the small chainring. I've solved this problem entirely with a device called "Chain Watcher," which keeps your chain from coming off the inner chainring. It really works and only costs $8-10 and is available in most bike shops and catalogues.
one more thing ...bianchi boy
Jul 27, 2001 4:46 AM
I'm not intending to start another frame material debate here, but in my experience, the paint chips very easily on aluminum frames. I got a new aluminum Bianchi in the fall and it got more paint chips in 6 months than my old steel Bianchi got in 16 years of riding. The chain stay on my old Bianchi has maybe one small chip, while the new one has about a dozen. The aluminum bike also has other chips around the frame in places where there is no obvious reason for it. I have heard the same comment made about other aluminum bikes as well as some carbon frames. Another reason to ride steel ...
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesSteeve
Jul 27, 2001 4:54 AM
I wipe down my bike after just about every ride and apply wax every couple months or so. I hate scratches as much as you, but the only way to avoid them totally is not to ride.
"A ship is safest in port", but then what good is that?
Jul 27, 2001 7:25 AM
What kind of wax are you guys using to protect your frame?
Wax?Lone Gunman
Jul 27, 2001 7:00 PM
old tubular casingsRusty McNasty
Jul 27, 2001 5:40 AM
They fit perfectly around the chainstay, and even have thread holes, if you wish to sew them together, or just to stick a couple plastic ties through. who needs to spend $12 for a lizzard skin?
BTW, if your chain is really hitting the stay a lot, you may need to shorten it, or get a new derailleur spring.
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchescarbonman
Jul 27, 2001 6:16 AM
If you go to a home improvement center such as lowes, you can use bathtub anti-slip strips. They come in just the right size and are already cut to fit the chainstay believe it or not. The only color I could find is white though. Also, it is *waterproof* !! A few months ago, a guy on Ebay was selling carbon fiber laminate with an adhesive backing. I bought a bunch & it looks very cool & works very well as a protector. I think Colorodo cyclist is also selling it pre-cut.
why bother?Dog
Jul 27, 2001 6:49 AM
My 6 month old "artistic" painted Colnago has all sorts of paint chips along the right chainstay and top tube. It's not that I don't take care of it, but I just ride the darn thing a lot, packing it around to events, wrenching on it, etc.

I'd rather have a few paint chips than have some ugly "protector" thing on the frame. Just get some touch up paint, which is really important if it's a steel frame.

No problem with the bike having character. If you want a pristine bike, either don't ride it or get an unpainted Ti frame.

why bother?EN
Jul 27, 2001 11:15 AM
I respect your opinion and choice to focus on riding and not worry about small cosmetic problems like paint chips. That said, I for one do use a clear plastic chainstay protector on my custom steel frame in order to protect it from avoidable chain slap damage. To me, and obviously to the original poster of the question, chiped paint is not a good thing. I put a lot of work into maintaining my bikes, in order to make them last, and needless damage is to be avoided. Clear protective tape is very unobtrusive and most, but not all, will not really notice it is even there. There's nothing wrong with trying to maintain that pristine "new bike smell" as long as possible and still ride it to boot. Just my $.02.
That's what I was looking forjagiger
Jul 27, 2001 7:36 PM
This is my first new bike in 25 years so I'm being a little wierd I guess. It's a Cannodale R2000si, I like the look and I'm hoping to ride a Century this year & well, I'd just like to keep it looking good. Thanks to all
to maintain value....C-40
Jul 29, 2001 4:54 AM
My C-40 is a year older than yours, but with far fewer miles I'm sure. I put clear bike saver tape on the right chainstay when it was first built and it doesn't have a scratch on it, anywhere.

When I sell this bike it will go for a large percentage of original price. A chipped-up C-40 won't be worth much. A lot of the value is in the paint. Even the best custom painters would have a tough time duplicating a Colnago art decor paint scheme. If they did, it would probably cost about $1500.
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesEN
Jul 27, 2001 6:54 AM
The best stuff I have found is the bike specific chainstay clear plastic tape. It comes in a strip that is cut to shape for the chainstay. I bought an extra piece and cut it to shape where the cables rub the paint. I also have used clear plastic tape which is available at home centers and hardware stores. This material comes in various grades so you might have to try a few brands before you find one you like. I use two layers on the chainstay and just replace it when it starts to get beat up. This tape doesn't work as well as the bike specific stuff mentioned above but it is easy to find. Good luck.
manufacturer's touchup paintET
Jul 27, 2001 9:53 AM
I agree with Doug that you shouldn't be preoccupied with covering up your frame. It's meant to ride, not to leave on your living room mantlepiece to look untouched and uncirculated. Not only that, but covering it all up takes away from the luster of your bike as well. Don't know what kind of bike you have, but unless you have one of those weird Colnagos with a map of the Mediterranean on it (:-)), there is something you can probably do: ask your LBS if he can order touchup paint. Someone I know did just that and got it for his new two-tone Lemond Zurich. If it's an old bike, perhaps you can't get it, but maybe everyone should get it if available when they buy their bike (I wonder if the paint will dry out in the container if left in for years). Wouldn't be a bad gesture for the companies to throw it in for free for every new bike purchase. Then just go out and ride hard, and touch it up when necessary.
re: Protecting the chainstays & frame from scratchesWoof the dog
Jul 27, 2001 2:29 PM
I read all the replies so far, and lots of good stuff. But you gotta understand one thing: functionality comes first, art comes second. Yes, I agree that a bike is a piece of art of sorts. However, it serves a specific purpose as well. What I am trying to say is that you should care about everything working fine before caring about small scratches. Wait...but then, there is a factor of having a new function due to the cool design. Anyway, you shouldn't worry about any small scratches on the frame anywhere other than on the chainstay. Scratches show that you ride a lot and take care of your bike's functionality. I mean I would respect someone who has a bike full of scratches but in perfect running conditions. To preserve chainstay's graphics don't put dumb things that will cover them up. You want your bike to look good, you know. Get a roll of thick clear tape (i think they call it motorcycling tape or something like that) I'm sure you can get a roll in home depo. Don't get thin regular one, 'cause chain will rip right through it. But pretty much anything will do as long as it is fairly thick and clear. Why waste 10 bucks plus delivery if you can get a roll of tape for hundreds of bikes that you are planning on buying in the future.
Woof the dog