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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got my eye on a used carbon bike, and want to know what peeps here in AZ do to protect their carbon frame from rock strikes, particularly on the down tube and under the bottom bracket. I've read other threads about helicopter tape, and wonder if it does a good job, or is something thicker better?
I primarily ride PMP and other North side Phx trail systems with lots of loose rock.

Thanks.
 

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Ahhh the pain....
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I found some fairly thick tape on ebay (3M Polyurethane Protective Tape Transparent 4"x 12" Helicopter Bike Frame per Ft | eBay) that I just put on my carbon frame. It's thicker than the usual helicopter tape. I think all these tape products will work for the small rock or pebble strike, but if you get a decent sized sharp rock hit it with enough velocity, the tape isn't going to do much. The skid plate type solutions I think are really the only answer to big strikes.
 

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What Raybum said.

My aluminum frame has a few big dents at the BB/down tube joint, only a thick skid plate would protect a carbon frame from the big hits that made those dents.
 

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Rtv a titanium plate on if you want super duper protection.

Real helicopter tape will outlast your frame though.
 

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my A9C actually has the 2nd set of water bottle mounts on the underside of the downtube. I put on a cateye plastic cage there and I'm thinking that's gotta help deflect stuff.
I think someone with some fab skills could take a piece of plastic, shape it to fit the down tube then use some double sticky tape (the kind with a little foam in between) and fasten it on. If the frame had bottle mounts, you could use those or just use zip ties.
The two Ti frames I've owned have suffered small dents in that area from the BB to about 10" up the downtube. That's probably the highest risk area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the good options. In my mind I'm picturing thick neoprene, or a mouse pad type material, maybe a skid plate is what I should get if I buy the bike.
 

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I think someone with some fab skills could take a piece of plastic, shape it to fit the down tube then use some double sticky tape (the kind with a little foam in between) and fasten it on. If the frame had bottle mounts, you could use those or just use zip ties.
Cytoe is a member here who makes something like what you described:

Rock protection for the Santa Cruz Tallboy Niner Ripley Ibis frames, and Ibis Ripley - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories
 

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Thanks for all the good options. In my mind I'm picturing thick neoprene, or a mouse pad type material.
That's what I wanted too.

WP_005212.jpg

Try this stuff. Flexible, conformable rubber tape about 1/16" thick, with super tacky adhesive on one side. I molded it to the contours all around my bottom bracket and up the downtube. Make a good chainstay protector too.

Found it in the electrical section at Home Depot, in the rack with the electrical tapes. NOT available in decorator colors though. ;)
 

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Largely overrated. I've been trying to break an HD for a while, the carbon is intact.
 

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That's really cool, but I've got dents on my steel frame down tube that are higher up than that protector covers, would be nice if you could get XL length.
How much higher up the downtube? If I go longer, it may require the use industrial mounting tape to keep the plate flush against the frame. Also, shipping becomes more expensive... I could offer an additional separate downtube only protector that is positioned above the regular plate.
 
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