- Works on the down tube
- Hard to stick
- Few pre cut shapes fit
The ProtoTape Enduro Kit is a fairly thick frame-protecting tape pre-cut into an array of generic frame shapes. While an effective protector once in place on gentle curves, the textured finish holds mud, it's not easy to apply, and it tends to peel off sharp edges and angles. It's also expensive.
- Nukeproof Horizon Advance Rim Defence rim protection system 27.5 (ARD) review
- Michelin Wild Enduro Front Magi-X 27.5x2.4" tyre review
- The best trail and enduro mountain bike wheelsets, tried and tested
The tape is similar to most others used for rub spots, down tubes and heel rub areas on rear stays and so on. The difference is that ProtoTape has a textured finish, which holds mud and doesn't seem to add any benefits. Additionally, each piece has a logo on it, and it ends up freckled all over your frame – annoying if, like me, you like a stealthier approach to frame protection.
The honeycomb pattern should allow some degree of flexibility, but the thickness of the tape requires decent pre-warming, and immaculate frame cleanliness. Even then, the tape has a habit of peeling off fairly soon and needing a lot of repeated pressure and forcing to ensure adhesion. You can trim the pre-cut pieces down, but that sort of defeats the point. Trying to make one pack that fits all bikes feels a bit simplified.
Once applied, the tape has worked at shrugging off a heap of large stone and rock glances. Or at least, the downtube section has. It went on easily and has stayed stuck for nine months now, and cold air and water hasn't caused any issues.
Less effective are the other pre-cut pieces, which have peeled or fallen off tight curves or edge. The shapes are odd, and nothing really fits without being very odd-looking, or needing cutting to a better fit.
I'd much rather cut a shape specifically to fit my frame – preferably from a series of uncut templates on the back. There's a lot of wasted material as supplied, but nothing that's suitable to use in a more custom form.
Ideally, ProtoTape would be more malleable, have no pre-cut shapes and a stickier adhesive. I can't recommend it now due to its awkward installation, unsubtle finish and high price of £45 – clear tape can be found way cheaper. Oh, and as far as we can tell, there's just nothing about it that makes it enduro...