Mountain bikes are subjected to all manner of hazards. Rock strikes, crashes, and incidental damage that occurs transporting bikes to and from the trailhead are all par for the course. Every rider has their own level of comfort with the wear and tear associated with our sport. I, for one, don’t want my bike to incur any more damage than it must, so I’m partial to frame wrapping kits.

RideWrap Tailored Kit Review
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I’ve installed full protective kits from RideWrap and invisiFRAME on three of my personal bikes and four of my riding buddies’ frames during the past four years. My latest RideWrap project was my Ibis Ripley v4. When it comes to RideWrap versus invisiFRAME, I find both to be great options that provide similar levels of protection. I give an edge to RideWrap based on its packaging, clear instructions, and the fact that the Tailored Protection kit comes with a pack of concentrated installation solution, prep wipes, and a cleaning cloth. The only things you’ll need are a spray bottle, water, and a bit of patience.
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Let's not understate the importance of patience when installing a full frame wrap. Admittedly, not everyone has the patience to install a tailored kit that protects from the head tube to the dropouts. I find it relaxing in a wax-on/wax-off sort of way. I’m not Mr. Miyagi and I don’t think there’s any higher lesson to be gained from installing frame protection, but I do appreciate the extra insurance they provide.

With any frame protection kit, I’ve found the following tips to be helpful.
  • Start by watching instructional videos. RideWrap has an extensive library of how-to videos. Take the time to watch them before starting your install—especially the videos on how to remove air bubbles and squeegee techniques.
  • Go with the small and discrete pieces first. RideWrap’s kits lead you though the process, but when in doubt, begin the installation with panels that are small, less critical and less visible. This will help you get the process down and learn as you go.
  • Know when to walk away. If you’re installing a kit for the first time, plan to budget 4-6 hours over a weekend to complete the process. I average 3-4 hours for most installations and I take my time: install a few sections, walk away, come back refreshed, and repeat as needed.
  • Pro tip: a full frame wrap is best done while binge-watching your favorite show on a rainy weekend.
Is Ride Wrap Worth It?
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Whether or not the time, effort, and money to wrap your bike are worth it will depend on a few factors. In my experience, the ideal candidates for RideWrap are two completely different types of riders.

If you buy and sell your bikes every 24-36 months, RideWrap can help them retain value by preventing chips and scrapes that can slash your resale price. Mountain bikes depreciate rapidly, so keeping them looking fresh can help you justify your sale price. Speaking from personal experience, protective kits have demonstrated to prospective buyers that I take care of my bikes.

At the other end of the spectrum are the folks who buy one bike and ride it for many years, swapping drivetrains and components as they wear them out. This group of riders may be the least inclined to pony up for an expensive protective kit, even though they have the most to gain when it comes to protecting their investment.

Verdict
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Four months after the installation, my Ripley is still looking good and RideWrap has thwarted a few rock strikes that would have chipped my paint and prevented a few gouges during crashes. The complete RideWrap kit I installed on my Ripley cost $105. That’s not cheap, but neither was the frame.

If you’re looking to save some money and get the most bang for your buck, the $65 Covered Kit is a good middle ground with a more approachable price tag. This kit isn’t tailored to your specific make, model, and size like RideWrap’s Tailored Kits, but it provides coverage in all the critical areas.

Learn more at RideWrap’s website: https://www.ridewrap.ca/