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Old 09-21-05, 09:15 PM   #1
poopncow
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tubular glue removal - HELP!

Suddenly I find myself with 2 bikes with tubular tires. Tires so old that the glue is a crusty mess. I've never worked with tubulars but I figure the fire thing to do would be to remove all the crud glue. So far I've tried Goo Off - citrus oil, slow very slow, Acetone - a little faster, evaporates quick and make my head spin, Lacquer Thinner - fastest - make me feel feverish. I've been dabbing w cotton balls and scraping with pop-sicle sticks and a machinist scribe. (yes wearing gloves)

Is there a better way to remove this crud, I've invested about 4 hrs and I'm only 1/2 done w 1 wheel. Any advice from the sew-up crowd?
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Old 09-21-05, 10:18 PM   #2
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lacquer-thinner works well, but it evaporates fast, so you have to pour a lot of it on a rag and re-dip often. Try xylene...
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Old 09-21-05, 10:51 PM   #3
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I use, and have reasonable success with, Acetone but ensure I do the cleaning outside (fresh air) and more importantly use a small wire brush as the primary tool to remove / scrub the hardened glue. I think such brushes may be called a 'detail' brush in various parts of the world. The shorter the wire i.e. the stiffer the actual brush is the better( you might even try grinding down the wire first if its too long and tends to bend too much). Scrubbing hard and keeping the surface you're working on wet with Acetone is important. Frist time I used the brush I was expecting to get scratching on the rim but not so, it comes up quite nicely without scratching. Takes about half an hour to do a wheel. Given the vapours I usually only do one at a time.

Good luck
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Old 09-22-05, 09:24 AM   #4
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With age the rubber cement used as tubular glue crosslinks and is never completely soluble. Most people expect there is a magic solvent that completely dissolves it for easy removal with a rag or paper towel. Not so and the best you can do is soften the glue into tacky blobs that take time and effort to completely swab off as mentioned above. Some people don't bother and just roughen up the old glue with a wire wheel on a power drill than add a fresh coat or two. Acetone is one of the better solvents but it flashes off too quickly to penetrate all the old glue without multiple and messy applications. Goo-Gone is less volatile and can be left longer to soak in for better effect. The aromatic solvents xylenes and toluene also have higher boiling points and work well but are not healthy to inhale. Either way not fun and one reason tubulars, despite their better ride characteristics for some, are not so popular these days.
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Old 09-22-05, 05:45 PM   #5
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Got some paint striper "Crown Tuft Strip" today at one of those house improvement places. It was in semi paste form and stuck well to the rim & did not smell bad (but toxic non the less). Brush on and left for 10 mins and wiped with shop rags. the old glue came off like loose snot. It took 2 applications get everything off, and there are still a few "spots". Lets of Q-tips to get the goo out from the eyelites. Figure that this is the heavy duty clean, and I will use a acetone wet rag or lacquer thinner rag to polish the rest. That can wait for a breezy day in the yard. btw : there is also a glue remover for a few $ more but I decided to go cheap and have something I can us for other jobs around the house. Thanks to all that replied!

btw: think that tubulars are making a come back...esp w cycle x
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