How to Protect a Carbon Fibre or Painted Bike Frame

Top Tube Protection All Mountain Style
Bike frames, whether made from carbon fibre or steel are surprisingly robust—they can withstand big drops, heavy loads, and the constant pounding of rough terrain. What they do not deal so well with are the stone chips, cable rub, and pinpoint impacts that can occur during everyday use. These are a few simple tricks to help protect your bike frame from damage—helping to prolong its strength and life.

Chips and cracks on bike frames and paintwork are most likely to occur in a few select areas. The chainstays and downtube are prime subjects; where chain slap and pebble dash bombard the frame. Luckily, there are a few inexpensive and neat tricks that you can do to protect your bike frame.

Chainstay Protection

Chainstay Protection
Most people know that the drive-side chainstay on a bike is vulnerable to chain slap—that annoying clacking as you ride over rough surfaces and the chain bounces on the stay. At best it will chip the paint—at worst it could cause more serious frame damage.

On any frame it is worth protecting the chainstay on the drivetrain side of the bike. My preferred method is a stick-on protector such as those from All Mountain Style. The advantage of a stick-on patch rather than a neoprene chainstay protecter is that over time it will not collect dirt and oil—giving a cleaner and neater look. 

Downtube Protection

All Mountain Style Downtube Protection
The second area of the bike that tends to really suffer from chips is the downtube—it is constantly bombarded by gravel and small stones that get thrown up from the trail.

Again the solution is pretty simple—use a stick on frame guard from the likes of All Mountain Style. These frame patches help to protect the frame from chips, and they look great—far better than the pebble dash look...

Cable Rub Protection

All Mountain Style Frame Protection
Chips are one thing that damages carbon bikes, but cable rub is a significant other. Moving to a 1X set-up cuts down one of the cables that touches the frame, but the rear brake cable and gear cable is still an inevitable threat. 

A simple frame protection patch avoids the cable gradually wearing a groove in the headtube.

Top Tube Impact Protection

AMS Top Tube Protection
The top tube is the final part worth protecting. It is an often overlooked area, but it can take a significant hit during a crash—when the gear shifters or brake levers can be flung around and give it a real pin-point impact.

A simple frame protection patch can be all the protection required and will hopefully help avoid that crash necessitating a very expensive frame repair.

Bikepacking Bag Protection

Restrap Frame bag
When considering the top tube of the bike, also consider how bikepacking bags can wear at the paintwork or finish of the frame. A simple top tube protector will avoid the paintwork becoming scuffed or damaged with repeated use of bikepacking luggage.

Hopefully these tips on how to protect the paintwork and frame of your bike help to keep it in great condition for longer.


  1. Excellent tips for protecting carbon bike frame. Really useful stuff .Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side.. Good job...Keep it up


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