13 December, 2011

Applying Decals

The Polyvalent comes with minimalist decals. A lot of folks like this simple look, but others prefer more traditional contrasting-color decals. So when you order a Polyvalent frame or build kit we give you the option of getting a set of white decals. Here's a video that'll show you how to apply them. The same technique works for most other modern bike decals. You can even get get custom made decals (just Google bike decals) for restorations or to personalize your frame.

Applying decals from Velo Orange on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

Nice color on the new PolyValent!

Gunnar Berg said...

Minimalist? I own a McLean, there is nothing cluttering up MY head tube.

Mark said...

Are you getting a lot of orders for the higher-visibility decals? Personally, I love the low-key ones.

Ken said...

How about a metal badge on the head tube? I have a Fuji and a Gios with a metal badge on the head tube and it brands the bicycle. I see a beautiful Velo Orange metal head tube badge that would be striking on your frames!

Anonymous said...

I know that videos are sexy and cool, but how about a few old-fashioned pictures of the process as well?
A) It would make the blog more valuable down the road. I predict that in five years, we will more likely be able to view a jpg than the video-format-du-jour.
B) As hard as it is to believe, not everyone has access to those video servers.

Anonymous said...

Love the minimalist look. I got a pair of Ksyrium wheels and there were 14 "Ksyrium Elite" stickers on just the front wheel alone. Yes, I peeled them all off except for one.

Rodney Moseman said...

I log on to this site regularly and appreciate very much your dedication to providing sensible bicycles to the market place. I owned a bicycle shop for twenty three years in Lititz, PA. I also build custom frames and refinished bicycles over the slow winter months. I had built over one hundred fifty frames, and I refinished countless others. Had you been in business when I build my last personal touring frame before I retired I would have certainly adorned that frame with your mix of components.

Your posting on applying decals prompted me to write this e-mail. I have discovered a method for aligning the decals that improves on the guess work involved. I learned that too often the decals would not line up from side to side length wise. Aligning the decals along the centerline of the respective tubes so that they look right is also a challenge.

Another problem is the inevitable air bubbles that get trapped under a decal.

Here is a trick I used with success to eliminate air bubbles that can spoil a decal application.

Dilute a few drops of Dawn dish soap in a small spray bottle. Then lightly dampen the cleaned surface where the decal is to be applied. (The key words here are lightly dampen.) If I got the surface too wet, I would wipe away the excess with my finger. Placing the decals to the wetted surface allows for the decals to be slid into positioned more precisely on the surface. Once positioned a squeegee is used over the decal protective paper to force out the water and finalize the placement.

Here is how I used to apply decals:

1: After cleaning the frame I measure the length of the decals and use masking tape around the tube to define the start and stop location of the decals. I allow about 1/8” additional in my spacing of the tapes.

2: I would then layout the decal and establish a mid point of the height of the letters at both ends of the decal. I would then draw a line 1/32” below that center and with a pencil draw a line from end to end on the decal protective paper.

The reason I do not draw a line exactly on the center line of the decal Is that when placed exactly on the center line of a tube the final location on the frame will appear to be below center.

I worked for seventeen years at Hamilton Watch Company. I learned this trick from scribing watch dial templates. If the numbers are placed exactly thirty degrees the area between the 10, 11, & 12 appear crowded and the 1, 2, & 3 too far apart.

3: Next I would take a pencil and darken a portion the edge of a yard stick. I would place the yard stick between the top tube and down tube with the blackened end on the masking tape locations. Lightly rubbing the marked yard stick on the tape would transfer a center line location for the down tube at both ends. I would do this on both sides of the down tube. I would then darken the line on the masking tapes so I could better see the marks. I could then reveal the sticky side of the decals and carefully align the line I drew on the backing and place the decal between the marks on the masking tape location points of the down tube. A similar method would also apply for placing a decal on the top tube.

4: Locating the center line of the head and seat tube can be eye balled pretty close by locating the height location for the decal and penciling a center location for both the top and bottom of the decal. By standing back from the frame determine the center line location is acceptable. Locate the center and mark on the decal protective paper and place the decal.

Rodney Moseman
Lititz, PA.

Anonymous said...

Anyway what was the song playing and by who?

Anonymous said...

Are these decals or are they really vinyl graphics? Those are very different.

Alec said...

Anon 12:49:

Thanks for the input! We're not stopping our written instructions, and even include printed instructions with some products. The videos are more about entertainment at the moment, serious instructions are all still on our site and in our packages.

Anonymous 9:00 PM - I'm not an expert, don't know the difference. They were made by a sign shop down the street, the invoice said "Plotter cut vinyl, two-color." We just asked for a thing that would be good for sticking on outdoor equipment, and they said it would last years.

Anonymous 11:02AM: It's "Aqua Tuta" ("Take care of yourself") By the Canadian band Kashtin. The language is Innu, an Algonquian language from way up north in Labrador & Quebec.

Rodney Moseman: I really love the detailed instructions - following that method much yield wonderful results - ours looks sloppy in comparison.