A fun little project presented itself this week, a Tacx Vortex smart trainer in need of some TLC. Pulled from the dusty corner of a garage in preparation for the winter indoor season, the trainer had suffered some scratching and the original decals were looking very tired. You can even see the adhesive lines from where the stickers have shrunk over the years.
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The first job was to remove the original stickers, which proved a slight challenge. The vinyl used by Tacx is slightly metallic and these have a habit of going brittle over time This causes the vinyl to fracture instead of peeling away in large pieces, using a heat gun can help to soften to adhesive, but unfortunately there's no substitute for patient scraping.
Once the stickers were removed it was time to for polishing. The paintwork is single stage which is less durable compared to a two stage (paint and clear coat), and tends to oxidise over time reducing the shine. With some of the scratches being rather deep I went for Chemical Guys No. 721 which is their medium abrasive compound.
The polishing really helped to lift the dullness from the legs but the paintwork is still on the satin side. I thought matching a set of Matt Grey decals would make for a more cohesive look compared to a gloss, metallic replacement of the original design.
The outside decals kept their traditional placement, but I decided to lower the inside stickers for a more contemporary look. It’s a small detail but it feels more balanced to me now.
Unfortunately the plastics are showing their age with the white sections at the top of each leg starting to yellow, and the area around the tyre roller having soaked up oil fling that is well established into the surface. Overall though it’s looking much happier. A pain cave is intended for function, but form is important too.