Shelter Impact Absorption Tape

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I ride an Ibis Mojo carbon bike, and to protect the frame from dings and scratches, I have always used protective tape in any areas that are susceptible to abuse. The tape is usually some form of helicopter rotor tape (protects their leading edge) or automobile clear bra tape. It provides adequate protection, and keeps minor scratches and rock dings from getting to the clear coat of the frame or deeper. Whenever some major rock crashes happen it sometimes creeps its way past the tape, and chips the clearcoat, and on rare occasions it even gets to the top surface of the carbon fiber. Fortunately, it never does much beyond superficial damage to the frame.

I just became aware of this very interesting product, which is supposed to have some pretty amazing impact absorption characteristics. The accompanying video is sort of cool, but I would need to do some real world testing before I can make any sort of judgment call.

Company Fodder:

Shelter is an impact absorption medium, which contains 50 layers of a visco-elastomeric material-like a memory foam that absorbs energy before it gets through to the frame. It’s also clear so it doesn’t hide your bike.

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There are many abrasion resistant products, like “Helicopter tape” or “duct tape” but none of them provide shock absorption. Shelter is the first shock absorption and abrasion resistant bicycle frame protection product of its type. Shelter is also pretty much invisible so your bike graphics are not hidden from the world.

Great places for a Shelter Impact Absorption Strip:

  • underside of down tubes,
  • chain stays,
  • along head tubes to protect from cable housing abrasion and the sound of the housing slapping against the tubes.

This is a video showing how Shelter works, by using it to protect a fluorescent bulb from hammer impacts:

MSRP: $29.95

Shelter Package Includes => 2 Strips (strip size: 55mm X 500mm)

Visit the Shelter website at http://www.CantitoeRoad.com/Shelter

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.


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  • Dan says:

    How about buying a bike made from material that does not require that level of protection?

  • UniballerJimmy says:

    Finally! A product that will stop the fluorescent bulb strapped to the bottom of my down tube from breaking!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Funny you should talk about that. I have ridden my Mojo for over 4 years and it has been ridden hard, smashed into rocks, etc., and outside of a few minor gouges, it looks pretty nice for that much abuse. My Yeti ASR 7 just fell over the other day while leaned up against a rock, and it put a good dent into the frame (1/16″ deep?), and it looks pretty ugly, especially since it was such a minor fall over. My Mojo has taken the same sort of accident, and a simple touch up with finger nail polish fixes very minor clear coat chips. So which is the more fragile frame?

    This product was oriented towards carbon road bike, but I think it would help any frame type, and would be great on the bottom 3/4ers of the down tube, the sides of the top tube, and the chain and seat stays, and pretty much anywhere heavy impacts might occur.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Video: Wonder how normal protection tape would have worked? Actually, I bet packing tape would have made a big difference? Of course, I have not replicated the test. How would a pointy object make the test work?

  • Tom says:

    Isn’t this just urethane film? You can get a 12′ x 4″ roll of this for a lot cheaper. Just Google Shop “urethane film helicopter”. A product called ISC will come up, it’s what dirt bike racers and motobikers use to protect their paint jobs.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I have used the ISC Racers Tape for years, but even their stuff is thin in comparison. I’ll measure the Shelter, but it’s close to 1/16 thick, and is very pliable. Once the other protection tapes get thick they’re tough to wrap around frame parts. This stuff is a very different product than the normal protection tape, and I only use in specific spots on my carbon frame (like the chain and seat stays) that get a lot of impact abuse.

  • Willee says:

    I read somewhere that the Helicoper/Racers Tape will leave some nasty/sticky residue on the frame when you remove the tape.

    http://www.amazon.com/ISC-Helicopter-OG-Surface-Tape-Outdoor/product-reviews/B000O6BQMG/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_three?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0

    Have you seen the same with this Shelter tape?

  • Jack be nimble says:

    I have had this stuff on my Mojo HD for 2 years. Complete coverage on the rear triangle and partial coverage on vulnerable areas of the front triangle. I have put this bike through it’s paces… lots of park days, thousands of miles in the knarliest/rockiest New England trails one can imagine. I have smashed the underside of both the bottom bracket and the linked area of the rear triangle on rocks more times than I care to remember. I have let the bike fly when a landing didn’t go quite the way it should… about a week ago I got sick of looking at the ugliness this stuff becomes over time and decided it was time for removal. Besides leaving NOT A SHRED of residue it came off relatively easily… just need the patience to peel it away as the areas that continued to stick – they were stuck very well. To my surprise, there wasn’t a scratch on the front frame and only a couple of nicks on the underside of the rear tri. I can’t tell you how surprised I was.
    That’s the good part. The bad part is that the edges began to peel away and hold dirt within weeks of application. It ultimately didn’t affect the protection, just made a beautiful bike look perpetually dirty. Applying on contoured surfaces is impossible to achieve without wrinkling. This stuff will ruin the apperance of your bike. But I am convinced nothing even comes close to the level of protection it provides…. and I have used the 3m rotor tape. Good luck getting that stuff off!!!

    BTW, to all the nay sayers… carbon fiber is far superior in terms of performance to all metal alloys – including Ti. It’s only major drawback is cost and surface damage appearance. I have hit things with both my carbon frames that would have destroyed aluminum (maybe not Ti or CrMoly). Carbon does not fatigue like metal. Doesn’t have weak weldments, doesn’t dent, has 2-5 times the tensile strength of metal alloys (on a strenght to weight basis) and can easily be thickened in vulnerable zones on the frame – unlike metal alloys – even butted tubing and hydroforming have limitations here. Some frame builders lay carbon up better than others. I have a MOJO HD, V10C and a stumpy carbon. I have owned each of these bike types in Al and I can say for me – no comparison. Once you own carbon you’ll never go back. Just my $0.02

  • Gator says:

    I agree with Jack 100%, I have Shelter on the Downtube of my Rocky Mountain Element 999 RSL. I was washing my bike and looked at bottom of tube about 5-6 up from bb, I saw this huge indent from a big rock that hit that day. I decided to remove the Shelter and inspect the carbon frame. Not a mark what so ever no damage, if that has alloy would have been huge dent. All my bike will carbon and now getting carbon rims !!

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