Effetto Mariposa is best known in the mountain bike world as the makers of Caf Latex sealant used in tubeless tires; but just recently we came upon another one of their products that is befitting the road and cyclo-cross scene-a 1mm thick impact-absorbing adhesive strip called Shelter. Shelter comes as either two 55mm x 500mm uncut strips ($29.95), or as a kit ($32.95) that includes pre-cut pieces for the downtube, bottom bracket, chainstay, and cable friction point protectors.
Once installed to the underside of the downtube, it protects the carbon frame from potential micro-cracking caused when a rock is thrown up from the front wheel. Although mountain bikes and cyclo-cross bikes bear the brunt of impacts from rocks and other debris, road bikes are also vulnerable since the wall thickness of the tubes continues to diminish in the name of reducing weight. This makes the tubes less impact resistant and increases the risk of damage from impacts.
The Shelter Kit also includes a chainstay protector.
Installation begins with cleaning the contact area, then starting just above the bottom bracket and slowly working up the downtube. If you go too fast (which we initially did) air bubbles will get trapped. Once the adhesive is stuck it doesn’t like to let loose, so go slowly and smooth the strip as you go. Once applied, and assuming there aren’t any bubbles under it, the transparent strip can hardly be seen, allowing the frame’s color to shine through.
As we see it, there’s no downside to using Shelter on cyclo-cross and road bikes-it’s cheap insurance against the unforeseen, while not tarnishing the bikes aesthetics.
For more information and a video demonstrating Shelter’s impact absorbing properties go to: www.CantitoeRoad.com