The Best MTB Frame Protection

Protecting your expensive mountain bike from damage is affordable and easy

Armor Components News
Mountain bikes are expensive. A bit of MTB frame protection will keep your bike looking new and prevent damage.

Mountain bikes are expensive. A bit of MTB frame protection will keep your bike looking new and prevent damage.

Mountain biking is a rough and tumble sport. Even the most skilled riders wreck every now and again. As riders, we’re accustomed to wearing helmets, eyewear, and often knee and elbow pads, but what about the bikes we ride? How do you protect your mountain bike from crash damage?

Mountain bikes aren’t getting any cheaper. If you want to keep your bike looking new and prevent needless damage, adding protection to your frame is the way to go. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We’re pretty sure old Ben wasn’t a mountain biker, but in the case of mountain bike frame protection, it’s completely true. Adding a few ounces of protective tape or downtube armor can prevent scratches, gouges, dents, and even cracks that can ruin both carbon and aluminum frames.

Here are the best ways to protect your mountain bike from trail damage.

The Best MTB Frame Protection

All Mountain Style Frame Protection XL

Best MTB frame protection: All Mountain Style Frame Protection XL

 

All Mountain Style’s frame protectors work on any mountain bike frame. These frame guards can be placed on the top tube, downtube seat- and chainstays. They’re constructed from a semi-rigid PVC material with an adhesive backing. All Mountain Style’s frame protectors stand out with an internal honeycomb structure that provides protection from impacts without adding excessive weight. These customizable protective pads are easy to customize to the contours of your frame and can be cut down if necessary. They also come in a rainbow of colors and cool patterns to make your bike stand out. if that’s not your thing, they also come in clear

Price: $36

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Lizard Skins Carbon Leather Frame Protector

Best MTB frame protection: Lizard Skins Carbon Leather Frame Protector

Lizard Skins has been in the frame protection game longer than anyone else. The company’s Carbon Leather Frame Protector won’t shield your entire frame from damage, but it will thwart rock strikes to the downtube—the most likely spot to receive damage. It’s available in small and large sizes and articulated to wrap around straight or curved downtubes.

Price: $21.99

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Dyedbro Frame Protection

Best MTB Frame Protection: Dyedbro Frame Protection

Professional enduro racer Iago Garay created Dyedbro (Do You Even Drift Bro) to protect bikes with a bit of his own artistic flair. The Dyedbro kits come in many different designs and one size with customizable segments to fit any mountain bike. There are eight pieces in total to protect the top tube, downtube, seatstays, and chainstays from any abuse you might dish out.

Price: $44.95

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Foundation Frame Protection

Best MTB Frame Protection: Foundation Frame Protection

Jenson USA offers its own frame protection kit under the Foundation brand. This kit is similar to the excellent All Mountain Style frame protection kit, but lacks the option to personalize it with different colors and patterns. The best part? The incredibly affordable price.

Price: $15

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invisiFRAME Custom Frame Kits

Best MTB Frame Protection: invisiFRAME Custom Frame Kits

The UK-based invisiFRAME is the gold standard in MTB frame protection. The brand offers protective kits that wrap the entire bike from head tube to derailleur hanger. Each kit matches up to the make, model, and frame size. The protective tape is wet-transfer, so prepare for a long evening of mounting this kit. The protection is impressive, but it will cost you. The kits range in price based on the size of the frame and how many pieces the kit includes.

Price: $95-$120 (Varies by make and model)

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DIY Mountain Bike Frame Protection Solutions

If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, there are a number of solutions to protect your mountain bike. Riders in our forums have shared a number of clever homemade frame protection options. Here are a few options if you want to take things into your own hands.

VViViD 3M Scotchgard Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film

Best MTB Frame Protection: VViViD 3M Scotchgard Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film

Designed for automotive use, this 3M Scotchgard paint protection film is virtually invisible once installed and will shield your bike from paint chips and scrapes. The clear polyurethane film is 8mil thick with adhesive backing. 

Price: $19.88 

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Kydex Carbon Fiber Pattern Thermoform Sheet

This is a great material to use if you’re looking to construct a heavy-duty downtube guard. Kydex is easy to work with and form into a wide range of shapes. Mtbr members cut the sheets into the desired form and heat the material with a heat gun or even in an oven to make the material pliable—as long as you don’t heat it above 350-degrees. Once it cools, it become rigid and maintains the shape you formed it into.

Price: $19.88 

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About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.



Comments:

  • AE LIII says:

    I have Invisiframe and it is awesome. Frame, fork and cranks. The little exposed areas have scratches but everything else is primo. The customer service is excellent!

    • Josh Patterson says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I have two bikes wrapped it invisiFRAME as well. It’s not cheap, and it takes time and careful attention to detail to install correctly, but if you really want to protect your bike (and increase its resale value) invisiFRAME is the way to go.

  • Kieran says:

    Got invisiframe on one of my bikes and it’s excellent but RideWrap also deserves a mention here as invisi frame didn’t have a kit for my Meta Power and they did ……….also an excellent kit and of the highest quality .

  • Mick says:

    The Kydex has caught my attention. Should I have any worries about heating it to 250 and then laying it on my carbon to mold it in place? I don’t know how it would react to the heat.

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