Rider-Bred Protection from invisiFRAME
We find more out about invisiFRAME, a company that makes customised bicycle frame protection. Each kit is individually tailored to specific makes, models and sizes of frames and even accessories such as cranks or forks. Words by Sandy Plenty and photos by Laurence Crossman–Emms.Dirt finds out more out about invisiFRAME, a company that makes customised bicycle frame protection. Each kit is individually tailored to specific makes, models and sizes of frames and even accessories including cranks or forks.
We find more out about invisiFRAME, a company that makes customised bicycle frame protection. Each kit is individually tailored to specific makes, models and sizes of frames and even accessories such as cranks or forks.
Taken from Dirt issue 144, February 2014
invisiFRAME - an insight
Once we’ve decided on our dream bike and committed ourselves to parting with our hard-earned money, we then have the pleasure of looking after our bicycles. For some people this is equally as important and rewarding as being out on a ride. Some friends of minespend more time cleaning their bikes than riding the damned things.
So how do we ensure our ride stays box–fresh? If you trawl through online auction sites you may find some poor–grade protective vinyl that goes by the name of helicopter tape, it’s thick, hard to apply and yellows in time. The reality is that after a few rides it makes your pride and joy look worse than if it had scuffs and scratches on it.
This is where invisiFRAME stands out from the crowd. invisiFRAME is a company that makes customised bicycle frame protection. Each kit is individually tailored to specific makes, models and sizes of frames and even accessories such as cranks or forks.
Lee and Vicky Regan are two hard–working individuals who have a passion to produce high–end frame protection with no compromise. Mountain biking has always been a massive part of Lee’s life, with over 20 years in the saddle under his precision belt. As a car sprayer by trade, Lee can’t help but notice every scratch, scuff and chip on a bike.
He used his motor vehicle re–finishing skills to protect his mountain bike. You could say this is how invisiFRAME was born. The company has steadily grown over the last three years and now involves the whole family. Lee’s wife Vicky, who works full time as a nurse, keeps the paperwork in check, leaving him free to design, develop and test new products.
invisiFRAME is actually an automotive grade urethane paint protection vinyl produced by 3M, called VentureShield. Its elastic properties (along with their carefully designed kits) allow for maximum coverage on a bicycle frame, but with minimum fuss when it comes to fitting.
With a thickness of about a quarter of a millimetre and a clarity good enough to be used on Aston Martins, it doesn't look ugly when fitted. In fact I’ve had it fitted on all my bikes for the last few years, with no discolouring or dirt build–up around the edges.
To quote 3M, “Used by top race teams within Formula 1, FIA GT, NASCAR and the Le Mans Series amongst others, VentureShield has been tested to the extreme both on and off the road". Other qualities include the ability to remove the general day to day scratches, heal scuffs and abrasions created by muddy shorts etc. from the gloss vinyl by using a regular T–Cut to bring the vinyl back to a shine.
I asked Lee just how hard it was getting invisiFRAME off the ground, bringing up a family and having a day job...
“It all started three years ago when I purchased an expensive carbon fibre mountain bike… the start of my mid–life crisis. When I got it home it was so shiny and new I didn’t know whether to ride it or frame it! As I wanted to ride it, I thought I need to protect it, so I spent the next three days cutting by hand a custom kit for my bike from the very expensive vinyl I had from work. From this, word spread and the next few months were spent cutting up vinyl. From here we thought of a name for our products, had some simple packaging made and started to sell products through a few local shops. As the products were selling, with a little help, we managed to put a website together and took on a few more shops. All of this taking place whilst holding down full time jobs.
As anyone that has embarked on the route of self employment knows, there is no clocking of at 5pm. Nothing can quite prepare you for how much quality time needs to be sacrificed to put in to something like creating a company. Our first year saw me working 40 hours in a crash repair centre, then another six or seven hours in the evening plus most of the weekend and I would pinch three hours on a Sunday morning to go for a pedal to keep my sanity! Couple that with a new–born and you have some testing times. I’m very lucky to have a supportive wife and family. The hours are still long but with invisiFRAME ticking along I can make time for my family, and all the positive feedback is great.
We’re a company that sells products that are constantly evolving. By that, I mean we may design a line of kits to suit a range of sizes on a particular model and then the manufacturer will change the frame design after year three, year two or even year one or it even stops producing the model. The potential workload has been amplified with the advent of the new wheel sizes. It has certainly been a journey so far but along the way I have had support and guidance from many friends new and old within the biking industry. I look forward to invisiFRAME’s future and being part of an exciting industry."
The frame kits range from £44.99 to £59.99 depending on the frame design and detail. For example, a full–blown downhill bike will cost more to protect than a race whippet cross country bike. The kits come with detailed instructions for fitting – a simple job I am assured. If you don’t feel like taking this task on yourself, then you can take advantage of their fitting service for an additional £30. In my eyes this a small price to pay for protecting your dream machine, and keeping it looking fresh. Also, regarding re–sale, you can easily remove the invisiFRAME to reveal a new unscathed frame.