This week I had an interesting email about removing stickers from 10,000+ bicycles.
It’s not everyday you get an email enquiry like this where you need to assist in such a big task so I’ll share with you our insights if you are in this situation (well in the situation of needing to remove stickers from a single bicycle)
Before you remove a sticker from a bicycle, you need to know the following high level overview of options. This is an extract from an email with a client we are helping find the best solution to take off the decals….
***** email extract to customer *****
Heat gun works, though generally fairly slow, unless the stickers are really new and come off easy. Not the fastest method
Whizzy Wheel will work on the frame (and not damage it), though as it’s a bicycle, it’s hard to tell as manufacturer’s paint quality varies (FYI – Whizzy Wheel works fantastically on factory finish car paint work)
The lacquerer may prove time consuming to remove the decals, and best to trial a few ideas.
1. Trail a Whizzy Wheel. As a goodwill gesture, we will pay for the postage Note: we don’t recommend the Whizzy Wheel on plastic surfaces
2. Buy a plastic scarper blade from your local hardware store. These range from a few dollars upwards. Plastic scrapers won’t damage the paint surface
3. To clean the frames once the stickers has been removed, use some citrus degreaser to remove any left over adhesive
Now back to the question of removing bicycles stickers.
Protective Lacquer Coating
Most bicycles that are worth over say $1,000 generally have a lacquer coating. This is too protect the bicycle frame from the outdoor elements.
If your bicycle has a lacquer coating (you can tell by there is no lip/ or edge to the sticker), then no product will take the sticker off, until you remove the lacquer.
To remove the lacquer, you generally need a sharp blade such as a metal razor blade, to cut the lacquer to get access to the sticker.
Generally, the stickers are easy to remove once the sticker is exposed as the adhesive used is quite low strength. Usually a plastic scraper or even metal blade is enough to get the sticker off the bicycle frame.
If the sticker is larger and takes up the whole frame, you probably want something faster such as a whizzy wheel, though if you have some patience, a plastic blade will also do the job.
After you have taken off the sticker, it is recommended to reapply a clear lacquer coating to make sure the frame is protected from the weather. If you don’t, then the frame may be open to having rust build up
Bicycle Sticker on outside of Coating (or No Coating on frame)
This is a fairly straight forward job and no special tool is needed outside a basic razor blade or plastic scraper.
We don’t usually recommend a metal blade due to the ability to cut yourself and also damage the paint work, though we assume the paint work on your bicycle is not as “precious” as the paint work on your car.
Cleaning the Surface
If you use a blade (plastic or metal) to take off the sticker and not a Whizzy Wheel, there will usually be some adhesive or glue left on the surface.
This needs to be removed as otherwise it will acquire dirt and grime and look fairly unattractive. We recommend Citrus Degreaser or an environmentally friendly alternative is Eucalypts oil.
Note: if there is a sticker on a plastic part of the bicycle such as a mud guard, we do not recommend using a Whizzy Wheel as it can affect the plastic.
You also need to be careful using citrus degreaser on any plastic surface to clean an area where a sticker had been, due to it potentially affecting the plastic material. After about 5 minutes of Citrus Degreaser being left of some plastics, it can affect the surface.
Our speciality at www.decalstickerremover.com is removing stickers and decals from cars, trucks, glass surfaces and plastic signs.
We don’t often get enquiries to take off stickers from bicycles, though always open to helping our people who need assistance.
How we can Help
We have recently helped a few clients in scenario’s where 200+ vehicles and trucks needed stickers and decals removed and we supplied some trial wheels to prove it’s the best tool for bulk decal removal.
If you have a job coming up that needs a large number of stickers removed, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are just interested in learning about the best way to take off stickers or the best sticker removal tool, then also feel free to drop us a line.
Other Decal removal Blogs you maybe interested in
Generally we find the majority of jobs that require stickers to be removed is fairly straight forward when the stickers have been on the surface less than 12 months.
Removing stickers from bicycles is slightly different due to the nature of having a lacquer applied in some situations.
As a guide, we recommend using
– Non sharp items such as a plastic razor blade over a metal blade. Often a plastic scraper as shown below can be sourced from most hardware stores
– Use a product to clean the surface once the decal has been removed. Otherwise dirt is attracted and sticks on the surface and can be much harder to remove later
– If new stickers need to be applied, use soapy water to clean the surface, then wash with tap water to ensure the surface is clean and ready for the new sticker