Fitting new stickers and decals to a mountain bike can be well worth the effort. Due to the nature of our sport, our bikes pick up a fair few scuffs and scratches over the course of their life. There’s nothing wrong with the odd battle scar, but there comes a time when you might wish to give your bike some love and a bit of a makeover — either because your mate has got a shiny new bike and you’ve come over all envious, or else because you want to sell the old nag to upgrade to the latest wheel size.
Replacing the stickers or decals on a frame instantly freshens the look of a bike and is also cheap. Decal kits cost around £20 for a set and are available from most manufacturers that don’t apply a clear coat over their decals (as Intense, Santa Cruz, Orange, Surly and Turner do). This approach has several benefits — it gives a bit of flexibility, as you can remove graphics you don’t like and give the paint a proper buff up using paint-restorers. It saves weight, creates a better-value frame, and is better for the environment. You can easily fit custom decals, too.
Custom decals are available from slikgraphics.com, and re-sprayers such as argoscycles.com can perform a full respray plus all-new graphics for as little as £135. Orange owners can get a full factory stripdown — new paint, decals and suspension hardware (pivot bolts etc) — for £150 for a hardtail and £200 for a full-suss frame. Your old girl will look like new again in no time.
The full step-by-step guide to fitting new decals and sprucing up your frame is in the February 2014 issue of MBR, on sale Wednesday January 8.