Effetto Mariposa Shelter Road 0.6 Frame Tape

Note: This review of Effetto Mariposa's Shelter Road 0.6 tape is being done independently of their knowledge and the product was paid for by Guitar Ted.
Years ago I used some Effetto Mariposa Shelter Tape on a custom made frame I had done back in 2007. That frame ended up in the hands of a co-worker of mine. He came to me one day and asked what this weird clear "sticker" was on the downtube of that frame. Then I remembered....

Oh! Shelter Tape! That stuff that prevents rocks and other debris from chipping your paint, or helps prevent cable rub. That stuff! It was a timely remembrance since I had just received another custom made frame and custom paint job on it and the fork which I was concerned about since it was on a bike to be ridden on gravel.

So, I decided to give the Shelter Tape another try. By this time Effetto Mariposa had added a few options within the range of protective tapes which allowed me to choose the slightly less thick "Road" version of Shelter Tape. I ordered some up, received it recently, and now I am ready to start this review.

What It Is: Shelter Road 0.6 Tape is a two-part tape. The outer layer is a scratch resistant material which is mated to a visco-elastic 0.4mm layer. This visco-elastic layer helps transmit shock through the tape and not into the frame material.

The Road version is available in rolls measuring 50mm X 1m, 80mm X 1 m, 58mm X 5m, 80mm X 5m, all at 0.6mm thick.

The adhesion process takes about 8 hours for Shelter Tape to reach "optimal bonding" after which time normal use of the bicycle or washing the bike will not affect it. I can attest to the holding power of Shelter Tape as my old custom frame showed no visual evidence of any of the tape edges lifting. As well, the tape was still clear and not yellowed after all these years.

The size I ordered was the 50mm X 1m and the price before shipping was $32.00. Shipping from Switzerland, the home of Effetto Mariposa, cost about another $10.00. You can also find Shelter Tape at bicycle dealers who carry their products and there you can probably save a bit on shipping from overseas.

The Shelter Tape has an adhesive which is a bit on the aggressive side.
Installation: Shelter Tape has an adhesive which is covered with a backing tape, kind of like a vinyl sticker might have. It is wise to cut the tape into the desired length, width, and shape before taking that backing tape off as the adhesive is pretty aggressive and finger prints will show if you touch the adhesive side.

Surface preparation included a wipe-down to knock off any dust or dirt, then a quick wipe-down with some isopropyl alcohol. A clean, dry surface is imperative to achieving the best results. Once you have all the preparations done, it is time to apply the tape.

The 50mm wide width was perfect for my steel frame and the 1 meter length was just barely long enough to get everything I wanted to cover covered. I ended up doing the entire length of the down tube, the bottom bracket shell, the potential rub areas in the fork crown and chain stays, and the top of the right chain stay.

After taping the Shelter Tape is pretty invisible to most folks.
Impressions: The Shelter Road 0.6 was about the same experience as I remembered from handling it before. One must exercise a lot of care and patience to get a great result. I might suggest conning a friend into doing the job for you if you have a short attention span and details are not your thing. While it is possible to pull the tape back off while installing, it is nearly impossible to do that and not ruin the tape. So, all the preparation is very important and care in installing is paramount.

I was pretty pleased with my outcome. It took about an hour total to install it including preparations. The tape is pretty invisible, but you can see it if you look closely at a bike which is using Shelter Tape. I don't mind that as having no paint damage is more important to me than being able to see where the tape edges are at on the frame.

While you can see the tape edges, you have to know where to look.
Expectations: The visco-elastic tape is claimed to be able to damp vibrations from gravel riding. Effetto Mariposa makes this bold claim and I will be interested in seeing if this is true.

Otherwise I expect the Shelter Tape to ward off any dings and scratches inherent in gravel riding. I probably could have done the chain stays on the underneath side to really get 100% protection from rocks, but I did not have enough Shelter Tape to do that. I don't expect to see a lot of damage down there though, but we will see and it will be a nice contrast to see how Shelter Tape does protect things if that area does see rock hits.

Stay tuned for updates, but I wouldn't expect anything until I get a lot more rides in on this bike.