Remove Decals From a Bicycle




So, you've just purchased a wonderful new bicycle and love everything about it - except for the gaudy decals that serve no purpose other than to make your ride a prime target for theft. Not to worry, removing them is a simple process that will take less than an hour of your time.

Step 1: Apply Heat to Loosen Adhesive

Using a heat gun or hairdryer, apply heat to the decal to loosen the adhesive.

Step 2: Scrape Away Majority With a Metal Edge

Continue to apply heat as you scrape away the majority of the decal with a dull (not sharp!) metal edge. Use a very light touch, and scrape in one direction (not back and forth) so you're not continually pressing melted pieces back against your paint.

Step 3: Scrape Away Leftovers With a Credit Card

There will likely be small pieces of melted decal left that you won't be able to easily remove with your metal edge. To clean the rest of it off, wait for the bike to cool off a bit, then use a credit card to scrape the rest away.

Step 4: Finish With Adhesive Remover (if Necessary)

Depending on the type of decal you encounter, it may be necessary to finish with a bit of adhesive remover. It wasn't needed for this job, but I recommend GooGone if you find the area is sticky afterward.

Enjoy the clean look of your bike without decals!



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    10 Discussions


    10 months ago

    You're asking for trouble using a metal scraper - use plastic always and you will never scrape your paint


    3 years ago

    Sweet post. Needed to get an idea how to remove old devals as just ordered some reflective decals on ebay. my bike's going to look siiickk...

    Echo Violetalfianz

    Reply 3 years ago

    repainting not reprinting... I give up! Lol

    Echo Violetalfianz

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey, if you do not have a heat gun or hairdryer you can zap a wet rag in the microwave to warm it up. Or make it hot & use grooves to wrap it around the decal & soften it. 3M makes a good adhesive & wax remover/spray but that can sometimes remove paint so I would only use it if you plan on reprinting it.

    Hope that was helpful.


    A further thing to note, the decals on Surly bicycles are made to be easily removed. When I purchsed a Surly frame I was able to remove all decals with just an old bank card.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Post regarding removing decals and stickers from a bicycle.

    It appears the bicycle did not have a clear coat of lacquer on it, which made removing the decal quite easy. I would also suggest a plastic razor blade to do the job (there are video demo’s at The plastic razor blade won’t damage the surface – unlike a metal razor blade

    If the bicycle does have a clear coat lacquer on it, there this would need to be peeled back before removing the decal (sticker) from the bicycle. The downside of this is the lacquer is a sealant that protects the bicycle frame from rust. If you bike is a nice new shiny model, I would recommend re-applying a lacquer, otherwise the frame might start to corrode in wet or damp weather

    Keep up the good posts


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. Always wanted to do this but assumed I'd leave a bunch of scratch marks on the frame.