- easy to DIY
- long lasting
- doesn't look out of place
- trickier to fit on chain stays that aren't flat
VHS (Velocity Hucking Systems) are a small outfit from New Zealand that claims to hate noisy bikes. Their solution to this seemingly simple issue is the VHS Slapper Tape 2.0, a stick-on chainstay protector which absorbs chain slap, helping to keep your bike quiet and protected.
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The new Slapper Tape 2.0 version has a wider 70mm base, more malleable rubber and a design update that makes the bubbles softer for more sound dampening. What you get is essentially a 350mm long piece of rubber with moulded air pockets and 3M adhesive.
I was interested to see a cross-section of the “bubble” so cut one open. The rubber is reassuringly thick giving me confidence this will resist a lot of chain slap before needing to be replaced.
VHS claim this tape will fit “any and all chainstays”. I’ve picked a particularly awkward chainstay to test on the Privateer 161, it doesn’t have a flat top for the bubbles to sit on. Instead, it curves in and out and has welds to navigate around. A fair amount of trimming and sculpting was required to get a good fit, so it’s definitely worth investing time to get this part right – grab a beer and don’t rush it. The rubber cuts easily with a pair of scissors satisfyingly well. The 3M adhesive is tenacious so be sure you’ve got it in the right spot before committing.
I pushed my luck in this area whilst forming around the cable exit – it's right on the limit of what the adhesive can hold and I wouldn’t recommend cutting this close to the bubbles.
The slapper tape has been on test for several months now, in dry dusty conditions (remember those…?) and sopping wet and I can report, it held up well. The tops of the bubbles, where the chain slaps, show no signs of wear, the rubber has dulled, more so from the chain lube rather than physical wear. I found the limit of the adhesive’s strength at this point around the cable exit, having said that it is still holding on well.
Retailing at £25, the VHS Slapper tape is perhaps a more expensive option for silencing bikes. There are other options available such as Ride Wrap’s chainstay amour, which is essentially the same as the slapper tape but without the air bubbles so likely won’t have quite the same quietening effect, it is £18, though.
I’m impressed with the durability, flexibility and sound dampening offered by the VHS Slapper Tape 2.0. This is a long term solution to quieten and protect your bike at a price point which I’d say is reasonable considering the quality on offer.