Have you ever had a bike which has unwanted decals or like me had an accident which has damaged a decal leaving your bike looking a little beat up? If so, you probably wanted to remove that decal without damaging your bike itself and here’s how you can.
Bike decals are pretty standard but they can become an eyesore after a while as they get damaged. Some stickers may be a bit more stubborn than others, but you can remove any bike decals off your bike using household items including a hairdryer, towel and a bit of elbow grease.
|Why Would You Want To Remove Decals|
|Items You Will Need To Remove Decals From Your Bike|
|How To Take A Decal Of Your Bike|
|How To Remove Decals Video|
|Things To Consider Before Removing Bike Decals|
I studied the internet and found various answers and in this post I’ll be discussing how to remove decals from your bike using everyday items you can find around your home without damaging the paint work underneath.
Why Would You Want To Remove Decals
Decals may be unwanted or can become damaged over time, In this case you’ll want to remove these without damaging your bike.
I personally damaged the decal on the top tube of my bike, I did this while I was driving my car and I had my bike on the roof rack. I reversed into a overhanging branch which scraped away some of the decal.
I also know people that simply don’t like the decal that comes on there bikes. One friend has just bought a new TREK MTB and he loves the colour of the bike but not so the bold logo on the downtube.
Another reason you might want to remove the decal is due to the fact you’ve decided to change the colour of your bike. You may be thinking about a re-spray and you’ll need to remove the decal first as part of your prep work.
You may of even recently bought a second hand bike and the previous owner had added a decal that doesn’t quite work for you.
Items You Will Need To Remove Decal From Your Bike
- Hot Water
- Paper Towel
- Credit Card (old)
- Adhesive Remover
Above are the tools I used which I found around the house to remove my bikes damaged decal.
Alternatively to adhesive removers which can be found at most stores which you find cleaning supplies, you could use WD40 or like myself, my daughters nail varnish remover. Always be sure to check the safety instructions when using either of these options.
Instead of a hairdryer you could use a heat gun. If your choosing this option and to avoid damage be sure not to have the heat on one spot for more than a few seconds.
I’m using a knife found in my kitchen and shall be using the back side of it but you could if you have use a plastic scraping tool.
The credit card I used was an old one which was no longer needed. I say use an old card just in case of any mis haps and you accidently do damage to the card making it unusable.
How To Take A Decal Of Your Bike
Step 1: Apply Heat
You want to start with your hairdryer set to a medium heat or heat gun. Use it on the decal area and wait for that adhesive to slowly peel away from the paint. Keep the heat source moving at all times.
Make sure you watch the temperature so that the paint doesn’t bubble or get too hot. If this does happen allow it to cool down completely and then start the process again on the decal.
Step 2: Scrape Away Decal
Once your decal has been heated and has begun to peel you then want to use a knife or some an object that can scrape away that decal.
When I used the knife I used the blunt side of the metal edge so I wasn’t scraping the paint too much. I scraped in one direction only, not back and forth and only did this lightly.
You may want to continue using heat during this process to help soften the decal further, making it easier to scrape away.
Step 3: Scrape Away Leftover Bits
If you have any little bits that you’re struggling to get off towards the end with the knife or scraper you can now use the old credit card or something like that just to get the little edges off.
I found this step to work best when the bike had cooled from the heat applied previously.
Step 4: Rub Excess Away
Next I used the towel dipped in the now warm water to clean off the remaining residue and decal.
I found that when the tree branch rubbed on the decal the force had made some of the decal get stuck to the frame. it wouldn’t come off with the knife or card but rubbing it away with the towel created friction which helped.
Step 5: Clean Adhesive away
Finally as well as continually cleaning with the warm water to remove this additional adhesive you can use adhesive removers, WD40 or nail varnish remover.
Put a bit of the solution, which for me was the nail varnish remover on a bit of paper towel bit of nail polish and wipe it away.
Make sure if using the removers you then clean this area off again with the warm water and dry with the paper towel as you don’t want that acetone to start peeling your paint
If you use any chemicals always make sure to read the labels and keep away from any little ones.
How To Remove Decals Video
In case you wanted to watch a demonstration of what I discussed above I’ve attached this helpful video.
Things To Consider Before Removing Bike Decals
If you do want to remove your bikes decal you do have to think about it your bike is a flurry color.
My bike was red and it was ok but if you’ve a flurry yellow or green or any bike that has a paint color that could fade, when you take the decal off you may find it will show a lighter colour underneath where it has been sitting.
If this is the case you may want to look at alternative decals you could put on your bike or even if your the adventurous type consider painting your bike.
We shall be writing all you need to know about painting bikes in the forthcoming weeks and shall link here once complete.
I hope this advise and tutorial helped a little and enjoy your new bike look whatever that may be.