Congratulations on the purchase of your new Grizzla pads/bumpers! In this guide, I will be going over how to dye your pads for the purpose of changing their color. Let’s get started!
[Tools & Materials for dying euc power-pads or bumpers]
- a pot to boil water in that is large enough to accommodate the size of the pads
- a stovetop or other water heating apparatus
- a bottle of RIT dye designed for synthetic fibers
- something to stir the pot with that you don’t mind getting covered in dye
- a towel to dry the parts off
Dying your pads may not be the best for the life of your pads. You will be exposing them to much more heat and moisture than they would ordinarily experience. This can stress the materials used. The hook and loop backing and associated adhesive may need to be replaced depending on age and use after this process. I have had no problems with my pads, but be advised. Always ride in a safe and predictable manner that sets a good example for our hobby. During this process, you will be using materials and tools that can injure, burn, and permanently damage your body. Be mindful of this and always exercise personal safety and caution. Use PPE where necessary.
1. Disassemble your pads/bumpers
The first thing you want to do is disassemble your pads. This will give you more control over which parts you want to dye, and may allow you to use a smaller pot of water. If your pads are used or a little dirty, use this step to thoroughly clean them, any grime, dirt, or oil will leave a permanent blemish on your dye job. If you don’t want your reflectors to be dyed, remove them as they will become dyed if you leave them in. It is also a good idea to remove reflectors before dying process and assemble it again once you’re finished. As you can see below, I forgot to do that and part of the reflectors was colored along the way.
2. Prepare a pot of boiling water
This is the base to which you will add your dye. You want the water to be hot enough to allow the dye to penetrate the pads, but not so hot where it will damage the plastic. Somewhere between 180f and 200f (82c-93c) should be fine. This temperature must be sustained throughout the entire dying process.
3. Add your dye to the pot
Use one (1) FULL 7oz (207ml) bottle of dye for every 4 quarts (~3.8L) of water. This will ensure that you have a high content of dye which will result in rich colors and reduced time in hot water. Stir the dye into the water and allow the dye to disperse evenly throughout the pot.
4. Set out your towel for drying the pads, and remove anything from the area that you don’t want to get dyed.
OPTIONAL STEP: If you have access to a 3d printer, print out some small test tiles that you can dye first to get an idea of how it will look. I made mine out of PLA which does not absorb the dye as well as a flexible filament does. Submerge the test tiles one at a time and record the temperature and time the tiles are in the dye bath. I found that leaving one tile submerged for 5 minutes gave me the same color as about 1 minute of submersion for the actual pads. Feel free to test out different times and temps.
5. Submerging the pads/bumpers in dying mixture
You are now ready to dye your pads. Fully submerge the part of the pad you intend to dye under the dye water mix for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The pads will want to float so either hold them submerged with a spoon or similar utensil, or weigh them down with something. I found that holding them was perfectly adequate. Be sure to keep a careful eye on the pad to make sure the heat from the water or bottom of the pot does not damage the plastic.
Note: The pot combined with the movement and submersion of the pads may cause small wakes in the water. If you are dying with the goal of precise lines or patterns, dye slowly as any splashings or wake lines will be visible on the final product. If you are also dying the tightening knobs, be mindful that they are of a different type of plastic and will take roughly 3x the amount of time to dye to the same level of saturation.
6. Removing excess dying mixture from the pads/bumpers
After the desired dye time has passed, you need to wash the excess dye off the pads. Do this by running the part under water starting from a high temperature, grading down to lukewarm, then cold temperatures. You want to change the temperature of the water gradually and fairly slowly. I found about 10 seconds between temperature changes worked well for me. It is recommended to use a stainless steel sink for this as the dye will not adhere to the steel and ruin the sink.
Note: make sure you get all the nooks and crannies of the pad. There are some areas that are hard to reach and may collect and hold more dye than others. For me, these areas were the reflectors, creases, and bend points. Rinse these areas thoroughly. For the reflector pockets, I “filled” them with water and shook it around a few times to ensure any excess dye water was washed away.
7. Dry out the freshly dyed parts
Dry your parts off thoroughly with a towel and make sure there are no wet spots or water droplets remaining on the pad, or in the pockets and creases. I just used a towel and it worked well. When all the parts are dry, let them sit for 24-48 hours without use. Over this time period, the dye will absorb and set into the plastic more. On the outside, it may appear as the colors are fading. This transition will stop after the time period is up. Allowing this final saturation to take also will reduce the chances of the dye rubbing from the pads onto your clothing or gear. Be cautious and keep in mind that this is still a possibility, especially during hard or vigorous use.
You are done! After 24-48 hours, reassemble your pads and get to riding!
Send Safely – Montgomery McHargue