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  1. #1
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Method/chemical for removing graphics from tires?

    What: those graphics/texts on the tire sidewalls.
    Why: because I have a beater with good quality tires - so I want to remove the make and model and anything else that would make it seem that the tires are valuable.
    How: I tried alcohol and mineral spirits (used to thin oil paint and lacquer). Didn't work at all. Sanding works, but that would weaken the sidewall.
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 05-25-07 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    How about a latex satin paint? Just cover it up. Might cheapen the look too.

  3. #3
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets
    How about a latex satin paint? Just cover it up. Might cheapen the look too.
    I need something more permanent, I'm afraid. That will go off in no time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Not sure how well it would work, but I use a product called Treekote to dress tree wounds from deer, and whenever I prune my trees. Lasts forever on the trees, and they are outside exposed to weather, so it might work on a bike tire.

  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeranger
    Not sure how well it would work, but I use a product called Treekote to dress tree wounds from deer, and whenever I prune my trees. Lasts forever on the trees, and they are outside exposed to weather, so it might work on a bike tire.
    Yeah, that might work well. Stays on like roofing tar, but isn't sticky once dry.

  6. #6
    A little North of Hell
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    XXXI

  7. #7
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    I am still hoping for a thinner/solvant that would do the trick. Maybe I should try nail polish remover.

  8. #8
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Step back from the nail polish remover--it relies on acetone, a very strong solvent, to cut thru nail polish. I would think it would have a real bad effect on rubber!

  9. #9
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Have you tried a blow drier with a scraper? Also, you might try dragging a razor blade across it, and a 90-degree angle to scrape. Scuffing the rubber a little won't hurt the tire at all.

  10. #10
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    I've worn them off my tires by cleaning them with a scrub brush. Or maybe it was when cleaning the braking surface with a Scotch Brite pad.

    In other words, elbow grease.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    What: those graphics/texts on the tire sidewalls.
    Why: because I have a beater with good quality tires - so I want to remove the make and model and anything else that would make it seem that the tires are valuable.
    How: I tried alcohol and mineral spirits (used to thin oil paint and lacquer). Didn't work at all. Sanding works, but that would weaken the sidewall.
    Do you really think someone, in Helsinki of all places, would really try and steal your tires? It sounds to me like you are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

  12. #12
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Do you really think someone, in Helsinki of all places, would really try and steal your tires? It sounds to me like you are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
    +1

    I think one of the lowest items on the list for theft targets are beater bikes with nice tires...

    However, if it is really an issue where you park the bike, I don't think that you need to obliterate the logo completely, just scuff them up to make them look old and abused... Perhaps the sandpaper idea done in moderation. Your tires shouldn't be significantly weaker than the first time you scrape them against a rock or other object while riding.
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  13. #13
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    For sidewalls, sandpaper.

    For the decals on wheels: Goo Gone or Goof Off. Both are designed to dissolve the adhesive used for labels. They will also eat your rubber so don't get them on the tire. I prefer the gel version since it's easier to control. For labels that are still on the bike, you will have to soak them for a while so the stuff can get in underneath. Again, the gel form doesn't dry so quickly.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  14. #14
    It's ALL base... DScott's Avatar
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    Buy cheap/ugly tires?

  15. #15
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I agree with people who recommend friction, not chemical, options. Sandpaper should work. A Dremel Rotary Tool should work.

    The problem with the chemicals is that you'll never know what's doing what to your tires. Hate to foil the thief, but then cause yourself a sidewall blow-out in the process.

    Give 'em Helsinki!

  16. #16
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    I need something more permanent, I'm afraid. That will go off in no time.
    It will last a while. I sprayed orange Krylon on a set of tires to improve visibility and some half of the paint was still on them when I threw the tires out several thousand miles later. Spray the whole tire, not just the lable area. Darker colors will be better at hiding lables.
    This space open

  17. #17
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Do you really think someone, in Helsinki of all places, would really try and steal your tires? It sounds to me like you are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    +1

    I think one of the lowest items on the list for theft targets are beater bikes with nice tires...
    Sorry, but you are both wrong. A friend of mine had a horrible piece of crap stolen - because he had brand new Nokian Hakkapelitta studded 700C tires on it.

  18. #18
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
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    Try rubberized grip paint.

    Like This
    Youth we got, what we need is a fountain of Smart!

    "Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?"

  19. #19
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    I agree with people who recommend friction, not chemical, options. Sandpaper should work. A Dremel Rotary Tool should work.
    OK. I didn't like where this thread was going when I read "elbow grease"

    Oh well.... At least I have to do it seldom, unlike with carrots, which I have to peel rather often (I hate peeling carrots).
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 05-23-07 at 11:44 AM.

  20. #20
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Now that I think a bit more about it ... are the graphics raised??

    If not, then I probably would NOT sand them. I was assuming raised, and that you could sand them toward flush. If they're already flush, then I agree: you'd weaken the sidewall, making some sort of paint a likely better option.

    My $0.02.

    PS: I normally have to peel a carrot only once. After that, it's peeled

  21. #21
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    It will last a while. I sprayed orange Krylon on a set of tires to improve visibility and some half of the paint was still on them when I threw the tires out several thousand miles later. Spray the whole tire, not just the lable area. Darker colors will be better at hiding lables.
    I think that's good info.

    If the Krylon didn't hurt the sidewalls ... that's good enough for me.

  22. #22
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    Now that I think a bit more about it ... are the graphics raised??

    If not, then I probably would NOT sand them. I was assuming raised, and that you could sand them toward flush. If they're already flush, then I agree: you'd weaken the sidewall, making some sort of paint a likely better option.

    My $0.02.

    PS: I normally have to peel a carrot only once. After that, it's peeled
    Yeah, well, somewhere between flush and raised. I think it's safe to sand them off.

    PS: I corrected my post, you wisea$$

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    Sorry, but you are both wrong. A friend of mine had a horrible piece of crap stolen - because he had brand new Nokian Hakkapelitta studded 700C tires on it.
    You mean they stole the whole bike, not just the tires. A decent lock, which you should use anyway, solves that problem.

  24. #24
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    You mean they stole the whole bike, not just the tires. A decent lock, which you should use anyway, solves that problem.
    Wrong again. I don't know of any lock that would survive a 5-second "intervention". All my locks are decent in the sense that none can be defeated with a pen.

    ALL of my locks can be defeated with these.

    Also, probably all of yours, too.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    Wrong again. I don't know of any lock that would survive a 5-second "intervention". All my locks are decent in the sense that none can be defeated with a pen.

    ALL of my locks can be defeated with these.

    Also, probably all of yours, too.
    People with those tools and the skills to use them don't go around stealing tires off of bikes. Or even whole bikes for that matter. They have a lot more expensive things to steal. But if you want to live in a paranoid fantasy world no one can stop you.

    BTW, Putting chemicals on or sanding down the sidewalls of your tires might weaken them, increasing the risk of a sidewall blowout and a nasty crash.

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