How To


Thanks for purchasing Cyclomondo’s decals and hopefully together we can restore, refurbish and rescue many beautiful vintage frames.

The 1st rule in applying the decals is do not soak them in water.

The 2ndrule is do not soak them in water!

These decals have an adhesive which is water resistant and are basically peel and stick

Saying that, there are some important processes that you should adhere to so as to make this a smooth exercise.

Trim any excess from the decal, or separate individual decals that share the same sheet, with scissors making sure you don’t cut into the printed area.

Then, clean the area of the frame with a dilute solution of water and detergent (common dishwashing liquid is fine – just a couple of drops in a bowl or cup/glass) and wipe clean with cotton.

Now you have to make the choice of whether you do a dry application or wet application. A dry application is where the decal goes onto a dry frame. The benefits of this method are in that the frame can be clear-coated (if you wish but not necessary) without waiting a long period for any moisture to dry from under the decal. The disadvantage is that you only get one chance to get it right, as once stuck, the decal can’t be moved.

A wet application allows a more forgiving application technique, but if you are to apply a clear-coat, then you should wait a lengthy time after application so as the clear-coat isn’t spoiled by residual moisture.

If you encounter any problems peeling the decal off the backing paper try using a sewing needle or fine tweezers to pull up one edge of the decal.

For a wet application, wet the frame area again with the same dilute solution of water/detergent so as it’s pretty wet and then peel the backing paper off the decal (usually marked ‘Avery’) and then stick the decal onto the frame. Being wet and slippery allows the decal to be slid into position if it is not straight and also allows any trapped bubbles to be squeezed out. The water/detergent solution does not harm the adhesive on the decal – in fact it will probably be stuck firmer once everything is dry.

It is important to not have the decal ‘grab’ or stick in the wrong position. I use the finest vinyl available and any thinner and it potentially distorts like cling wrap. Thin vinyl is essential to imitate the quality of the tricky water slide transfers and also the pressure rub application type as well. The decals are sound and strong, wont break or crack, as long as they don’t have to be removed from the frame due to bad positioning on a dry paint surface.

For decals that have transparent application tape over them – such as you would find with a series of letters such as a down tube decal saying COLNAGO or MERCKX for example, then application is basically the same process plus one more step. Wet the frame area, peel off the ‘Avery’ backing paper, apply the decals which are attached to transparent application tape to the frame and position, smooth out and let sit for several hours. When confident that decals are stuck, then grab the corner of the application tape and peel at an acute angle away from the frame leaving the decals installed. If there are any air bubbles that may be trapped (unusual), if they cannot be massaged out of the decal then a simple pin prick to the centre of the bubble, followed by a squeezing out of the air and a smoothing will cure the problem.

The decals are heat foil printed in a dry print process which makes them color fast and UV safe which in comparison to normal commercial inkjet printing is near ideal. Clear coating is safe but not essential as long as the usual guidelines are followed and heavy solvents aren’t used in the preparation. Thin mist of clear, followed by a heavier coat.

If you have used a wet method of application, allow at least a week for any moisture to disappear before clear-coating.

Oh yes, many have mistaken the transparent application tape for the finished decal. Application tape is almost transparent so don’t be mistaken. Almost universally my decals are profile cut and not on large panels, so if you see any series of text joined, there is almost certainly application tape holding these letters together until they are applied to the frame and then removed by pulling away from the adhered decals/ letters.

Hope this helps!

I am always available at for any distress calls!

Greg Softley (Cyclomondo)