- Just Riding Along Helicopter Tape
A shiny new bike is a lovely thing, but keeping it shiny can be a challenge. Mud, dust, rocks, chain slap and cable rub all conspire to scuff up, knock chunks out of and wear grooves in your shop-fresh paintwork.
You can get bikes resprayed, of course, but you don’t want to be doing that all that often. JustRidingAlong’s Helicopter Tape is the answer. It’s a thick, flexible, very sticky, transparent polyurethane, as used (it says here) to protect the rotor blades on helicopters and the leading edges of the wings on supersonic planes. If it can cope with 700mph aerial debris then you’d imagine that the odd bit of cable rub and trail pebble won’t trouble it too much and so far you’d appear to be right.
The tape comes as a single 25x10cm sheet that you can cut to whatever shapes and sizes you need. The sheet’s long enough to do the bit of a chainstay that counts if you don’t already have a chainstay protector, and even if you do then it’s a lot more subtle. Application is easy – JRA recommends a bit of hairdryer action to warm the tape and help it mould to any curves. Make sure that whatever you’re sticking it to is totally clean and grease-free and you won’t have any problems.
It’s claimed to be resistant to UV and not to go all yellow and crinkly under sunlight – we’ll have to wait and see on that one due to a marked absence of sunlight of late.
A fiver might seem like a fair bit for a sheet of plastic, but it’s a small price to pay for keeping your bike looking pristine. If you’re not using it on chainstays or down tubes there’s enough on a sheet to do a whole fleet of bikes. And it’s a lot cheaper than new paint…
Positives: Protects your bike from all manner of scuffage.
Verdict: We like simple products and they don’t come much simpler than this. Top stuff.