Frame protection kits are becoming increasingly popular out on the trails and, with the price of bikes continuing to rise, it’s understandable that we want to protect our pride and joy.
There is plenty of choice out there, but not all are worth the asking price. So, how does the Frame Defences’ Fits most frames option stack up?
First impressions of the Frame Defence Kit were really positive. The kit comes in a nice box, the same shape as the kit. This means there’s not loads of extra packaging and it fits neatly through the letter box without being crushed.
Taking the kit out, you can tell the difference in thickness between the frame and fork parts, and there is a very premium feel about the material. It all looks well cut, and the instructions are clear and simple.
It’s a really nice addition to include cleaning wipes, squeegee and application solution in the kit as well. There really is nothing else you need to purchase to get the kit fitted.
I’ve fitted a few different protection kits now, but would still consider myself a rookie!
After giving my bike a really good clean, and setting up my work space, I spent some time studying the various shapes of the kit and matching them up with where they go on the frame. I’d really advise doing this properly as there are plenty extra parts and extensions, so you should really be able to get full coverage if you plan properly.
Fitting the frame kit was reasonably easy. Spraying the solution on the pieces and frame, lining them up, then squeezing the liquid back out with the squeegee, is quite therapeutic. With a series of smaller pieces, it’s certainly less pressure than strips that stretch a whole top tube.
With the material being slightly thicker than some of the competition, I did find a hairdryer useful just to soften it up around some more fiddly parts of the frame. This was particularly useful with the extra thick material for the forks. Having said that, the extra thickness also means you can be a bit more physical when squeeging!
My only slight niggle was that I ran out of solution with 2 seat stays left to do. It was easy enough to mix up a baby shampoo and water solution to finish the job but this would be a pest if you didn’t have something suitable to hand.
On the bike
Once fitted, I think the kit looks pretty smart. The gaps between pieces and extensions won’t be for everyone, but with the kit being perfectly clear these aren’t too noticeable from a distance if you’ve taken time to line the pieces up.
The Defence Kit has been on for over 6 months now, and there are no signs of yellowing or pieces starting to peel away. And that’s on a bike that doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should and, on occasion, gets the power washer treatment.
I’ve had a few hefty offs and am pleased to say the film has held up very well both with contact with the trail and from scuffs from knees and shoes. It does seem to heal when it gets light scuffs as well.
Interestingly, this kit was fitted on an already used frame and, while clear, it does seem to cover the vast majority of existing scuffs and scrapes giving a near showroom shine.
I’ve been really impressed with the Frame Defence kit and, considering the full coverage (including forks), and the inclusion of everything that you need to install, I’d say it’s very good value for money.
It’s held up perfectly to trail, bike rack and uplift abuse, and the mud does cling less to the kit than it does to a painted frame. It can be a little tricky to properly get mud out from between the sections, but that’s just a few extra seconds with the sponge.
In an ever growing market, Frame Defence are onto a winner here!