Australian company Frameskin are best known for their clear adhesive protective film, however they also have a clever little product called Frameskin Wrap in their line-up. Available for $18, it’s a roll of ‘self-amalgamating’ silicone tape that’s designed to replace your common neoprene chainstay protector, or ghetto-style inner tube stay protector. After around four months of testing we’ve become rather fond of it, and reckon it’s a great addition to the back end of your bike if you’re currently running one of the frame protectors mentioned above.
Originating from the electrical industry, Frameskin Wrap is a special silicon tape around 1mm thick that has no actual adhesive, so it won’t leave a sticky mess on your frame when you have to remove it. However, under relatively modest pressure it will permanently bond to itself. To apply, you simply wrap it snugly around the chainstay with around 60% overlap, cut it to the appropriate length, press the end down, and you’re done. It’s basically the same process as using an old tube as a protector, but without the need for zip-ties to hold everything in place, so it’s both neater and more secure. It’s also non-porous, so unlike neoprene protectors it won’t absorb chain lube over time and go all manky, and it won’t let sand and grit get underneath it to slowly grind away at your frame. From these standpoints, it combines the best attributes of its competitors without any of the downsides. Unlike neoprene or thick inner tubes, it’s also thin enough to fit between shift or brake cables and the stays, so it looks quite unobtrusive once fitted.
Whilst it won’t quiet chain-slap to quite the same degree as the thick rubber protectors supplied on some bikes it’s about on par with the two options it’s designed to replace, so no loss there either. Despite plenty of rough trail time it’s showing no signs of wearing out; you’d reasonably expect around a year or more from each application.
In terms of security, ours is still gripping tenaciously, which is a good thing because it is a single-use item; once removed (probably with scissors) you can’t reapply the same piece of tape again, although there is enough tape in a roll to do your chainstay twice over. Frameskin Wrap is one of those rare products that’s simple to use and works exactly as described with no fuss or drama.