Gunship Tape: Protect Your Bike
With everyone pedaling around in enough color to make a peacock jealous and manufacturers’ logos growing so large and out of control that they should pay you to ride their gear, it’s nice to find something who’s purpose is to do it’s job with as little visibility as possible.
For quite a while, Huge industries has made (and still makes) a living manufacturing custom and OEM parts for high performance race and street motos. While their stock in trade leans more to hardware, they do have a little (semi) soft-wear to make life easier for us non-motorized folks as well.
Let’s say you just dropped the better part of your kids college fund into a new Carbon Dream bike. There it sits in all its perfection, tiny little squares or black fabric under a perfect clear coat. One of the first things you should do is get something in place to stop the cables rubbing, and take care to get a chain guard in place. So you look all around and find some industry stickers, or some (pathetic excuse for) carbon effect stickers and paste away. Maybe even a carbon effect chain guard. And there your new bike sits looking less attractive, but protected for a little while (until your stickers start moving around…).
I was standing in the garage at Huge Industries, lamenting out loud that I had to find something to protect a new test bike from all the rubbing so that when I returned it, it was “as new”. But I had no clue what to use. In typical fashion, Marc (the owner) beats around the bush a little and says “use the gunship tape… stupid”.
After I made up my mind up to vote for the next president that would be willing to deport UK transplants (but not before they’re done with my moto), I headed home to get the job done.
The gunship tape is the same stuff the military uses on rotor blades of helicopters stationed in desert and sandy areas to protect the blades from sandblasting themselves and its also used in motorcycle applications to protect body panels situated near fast moving wheels from damage when blasted with dirt and sand coming off the tires. It is damn tough and stays put better than anything else I have used. Unlike tape and stickers, It doesn’t move around once in place, and unless you pedal faster than say 185 mph, it should be durable enough…
All that is required to install the gunship tape is a pair of scissors, a little rubbing alcohol to prep the surface (and get the oil off your skin) and a little patience. I at least had the scissors and alcohol (two kinds made the job easier) and in 10 minutes My new tester was taken care of.
Simply trimming a piece to fit, rubbing the surface and your finger tips with a little of the Alcohol (wait for it to dry) and stick it on, rubbing in one direction to help prevent bubbles.
You can use this any place you need. Foot rub spots on cranks or chain stays, cable rub spots, chain rub spots, the places where your water bottles hit the top tube as you pull them out, or on mountain bikes, on the down tube for rock dings.
Once Its in place, It is simply tough to see on most finishes. Here on these cranks, you can see one piece at the right angle, but you can hardly see the second application.
You can reach Marc at Huge Industries (602-795-5995) or check their site at www.hugeindustries.com. Tell them Charles at PezCycling News sent you and you want a discount! I have no idea if you’ll get it (it’s less than 20 bucks anyway, and you get enough to handle several frames), but it will piss Marc off, so please have at him.