How To Apply Decals

We recommend the following process for fitting our new reproduction decals to a bicycle frame:
  1. The best place to start, where possible, is BEFORE the frame is refinished if it has remnants of original transfers on it.  Draw a sketch of the frame and measure where the decals are fitted - using ends of tubes, lugs, fittings etc as reference points that you can use for decal positioning once the frame is refinished.  It is a good idea to take photographs too, if possible.  Measure not just the position along the tube but around its circumference too - e.g. often the Down Tube transfers are not exactly on the side of the tube but positioned slightly towards the top.

  2. The best time to fit new decals is before final clear-coating of the frame so that they are protected from weather and abrasion, so maintaining their appearance.  If they are applied to an already finished frame, we recommend protecting them as outlined below, otherwise they may be affected by chemicals or solvents contained in cleaners and polishes.

  3. Ensure that the frame is completely free of dirt, dust, grease etc before fitting the decals

  4. You can apply a strip or two of masking tape to the frame as a guide to decal placement, but make sure not to overlap the decal and the masking tape.  Use the measurements obtained in Step 1 above to locate the tape, otherwise use photographs of similar frames to judge where they should be fitted.

  5. Note that the new decals are self-adhesive and are supplied on a backing paper from which they peel easily and on their surface is "Application Tape" which you do not remove until after they are applied.  The Application Tape keeps the new transfer in shape before and during application.  In this step, peel the decal, with its Application Tape, from the backing paper, taking care not to let the sticky side of the decal touch anything to which it might adhere.

  6. Now is the moment to apply the decal to the frame: Depending on the size and shape of the decal, the best first line of contact will be the middle or edge of the decal.  Carefully place the decal in position and run your finger or thumb along the contact line so that it is stuck down.  Then progressively apply and rub down the transfer working from the initial contact line so that the decal is gradually stuck down without trapping any air between it and the frame.

  7. When the whole decal is adhered to the frame, give it a final rub all over to be certain that it is well stuck down.  Then carefully peel off the application tape.

  8. Check that the decal is securely stuck all over.
  9. The frame is now ready for final clear-coating.  If that is not to be done because the frame is already fully finished, then we strongly recommend that you apply clear lacquer locally over the decal to ensure that it is protected from solvents in cleaners or polishes that might affect the inks.  We recommend masking around the decal and using a spray-on clear lacquer or varnish to put a light coating over the transfer.  Check that the lacquer you use is compatible with your paint finish and the transfer beforehand.  Spray several light coats rather than one or two heavy coats.  If necessary, any local lacquer can be blended into the original finish with paint rubbing compound.