Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Removing Old Graphics 101

If you want to apply Bike Armor Frame Protection to your bike frame, oftentimes you first have to remove old graphics and thoroughly clean your frame!

Removing graphics is an art acquired by experience! I bought a small trailer once which had graphics which were practically baked onto the finish of the trailer. I googled for days to find the best adhesive removal products money could buy, but while they all seemed to have a toxicity that would strip the smell from your nostrils for a month and remove your fingerprints, they didn't do the job to remove decals and the leftover adhesive.  As a matter of fact they seemed to be pretty much only worth the cans they were printed on!

What I found did work was to apply some heat to the graphics with a hair dryer or heat gun which softens the material and the adhesive and makes removal much easier! After peeling the vinyl away from the paint I was usually left with messy, sticky adhesive. After trying multiple adhesive removal products, I found that WD-40 and 91% rubbing alcohol worked the best! Use a clean cotton terry towel and use the WD-40 liberally - it works best if you don't let it soak into the rag first, but rather spray it directly onto the adhesive or spray it liberally onto a rag and rub at the adhesive before it soaks in. After you get most of the adhesive removed, use the rubbing alcohol to clean off the remainder and clean the WD-40 off the surface. Just heating the adhesive a bit and then rubbing at it with your thumb also works, especially for small amounts.

In the end, if you take your time, and make sure not to scrub the decals or adhesive with anything abrasive, you can remove the decals and the adhesive without damaging the finish on your frame!

Keep Riding!
Team Bike Armor

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