The VHS 2.0 Slapper Tape is miles better than those neoprene guides you can buy online, but it’s also more than twice as pricey as most of them
There was a time when chainstay protectors were about as essential as handlebars. The clutch mech had yet to be invented, single-ring drivetrains were for downhillers or couriers, and chains were free to flap around like a spaniel’s ears. And while those tech advances have certainly helped, most bikes still come with chainstay protectors as a belt and braces approach to a quiet bike. Slapper Tape from Velocity Hucking Systems (VHS) is for those that don’t, usually at the cheaper end of the scale.
Designed in New Zealand, Slapper Tape comes in a quirky package that looks just like a VHS tape. If you’re under 30, VHS was like a TV version of TikTok, just with fewer dancing teenagers. If you’re under 20, you’ll need to look up what a TV show is.
Inside the VHS 2.0 Slapper Tape box is a spool of silicone-backed rubber tape, finished with a row of air bubbles designed to further cushion the chain if it impacts your frame. This 2.0 version is wide enough to fit on top of any chainstay I can think of, and at 350mm, long enough to cover the entire stay. VHS says it’s made the bubbles softer too.
Fitting is about as easy as using parcel tape. The trick is to really clean the adhesion area before you apply – I used white spirit before trimming the tape to size, peeling away the backing and pressing it into place. VHS recommends you leave the Slapper Tape at least 30 minutes and ideally six hours to fully bond before riding. I applied it to a Privateer 141 prototype that had no chainstay protection whatsoever – fitting proved as easy as VHS promised, and after three months’ use it’s still nicely in place without any signs it’ll start peeling off soon.
Aesthetically the VHS 2.0 Slapper Tape is reasonable but nowhere near as polished as a bespoke moulded chain guide. It does its job though, silencing pretty much all the noise from the back of the bike, although if I was fitting it again I’d apply a stretch of tape inside the seatstay to fend off any impacts there.