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Old 08-18-11, 01:46 PM   #1
zigmeister
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Sanding Carbon fiber wheels to remove Decals

Got a set of wheels, hate the decals and want stealth mode.

But...they put a thin clear coat over the decals/wheels.

Anybody remove clear coat and stickers on carbon wheels?

I'm guessing I could just sand it/wet sand, and hit it with some store bought clear coat to match what I took off?

Any tips appreciated.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:59 PM   #2
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Anybody remove clear coat and stickers on carbon wheels?
NB, the lacquer protects the Carbon fiber , can't you just live with the logos on there?,
and just ride the bike..?
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Old 08-18-11, 02:03 PM   #3
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Maybe a little spray paint that matches the color & finish of the wheels would do the trick. Just stay away from paint that is solvent based.
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Old 08-18-11, 02:13 PM   #4
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If you don't like them why did you buy them?
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Old 08-18-11, 02:21 PM   #5
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If you don't like them why did you buy them?
He likes the wheels and hates the decals?
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Old 08-18-11, 03:18 PM   #6
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He likes the wheels and hates the decals?
So he likes the sin, but hates the sinner?
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Old 08-18-11, 06:15 PM   #7
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He likes the wheels and hates the decals?

Wait, that makes too much sense.

Because I want stealth mode, and to lose 30 grams...what's wrong with that?!?!

I found some threads at weight weenies...several guys have done that and gave me some tips. Basically sanding, finer grain to hit the sticker, once you hit the sticker, you know how thick the clear coat is and can take it from there. Then use some clear coat after finishing it all off/wet sanding to match the stock.

Time consuming, but winter is coming up.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:29 PM   #8
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30 grams of decals?

That's a load of decals.

What manufacturer of weight-sensitive components would add 30 grams of decals?
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Old 08-18-11, 06:54 PM   #9
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i feel like any sanding, even with a wet stone, your prone to scratch the surface. matte black or grey paint might do you better.

I think 30 grams is a bit much for decals, but 30 grams is pretty obsolete anyways in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 08-18-11, 08:56 PM   #10
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I would use a cutting torch to reomve the decals...works like a charm...LOL
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Old 08-18-11, 09:53 PM   #11
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DO you realize that the clear coat they put in the carbon is not rattle can spray clear from rustoleum right?
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Old 08-19-11, 04:42 AM   #12
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Most CF bike parts explode spontaneously even without alterations by users, or so I've read on BF.

I'd learn to love the decals. Especially on parts that spin, support weight and provide control.
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Old 08-19-11, 05:15 AM   #13
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I'd just put some black reflective tape over them.
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Old 08-19-11, 05:18 AM   #14
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I'd just put some black reflective tape over them.
Geez, dude, you're talking about adding a bunch of grams. Totally wrongheaded approach for this mission.
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Old 08-19-11, 05:45 AM   #15
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With the money you've spent on the wheels, I would not be sanding & spraying rattle can paint / clear over them. I'd take them to a body shop and have them wet sanded & professionally painted and / or cleared to your liking.
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Old 08-19-11, 06:14 AM   #16
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Geez, dude, you're talking about adding a bunch of grams. Totally wrongheaded approach for this mission.
yeah, but they are LBDs.
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Old 08-19-11, 08:03 AM   #17
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What are LBDs?
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Old 08-19-11, 11:51 AM   #18
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DO you realize that the clear coat they put in the carbon is not rattle can spray clear from rustoleum right?

I was going to just use a paint brush and lacquer...
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Old 08-19-11, 02:03 PM   #19
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Are the decals under the suface "coating" you are talking about? if they aren't, the surface which you think might be just a clear coat paint might actually be the resin that holds the carbon fiber material together.......don't sand it....

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Old 08-19-11, 02:07 PM   #20
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I'd just put some black reflective tape over them.
Now there is a good use of the deep V section rim .

perhaps a source of black in daylight , reflective at night. tape can be offered
as an internet link.
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Old 08-19-11, 06:36 PM   #21
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I wouldn't use lacquer that paint it might be too hot for carbon. Use something called U-pol clear #1, u will spray it and will be dry like in 15 mins, the best thing is that will filter u/v rays, u can find the product in any shop that sells descent car paint. Second option, use tamiya clear coat, just use the paint brush, it will level nicely, u can thin it with water or alcohol, the part i dont know is if wont turn yellow due to U/V rays, lacquer as i'm thinking u are going to use almost all the time gets yellow.

Good luck.

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I was going to just use a paint brush and lacquer...
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Old 08-19-11, 07:02 PM   #22
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Not all clear coat products are compatible. You're going to want to play with a few different ones to find the one which "blends" with the exsiting clear coat and doesn't cause a difraction effect due to different refractive indices between the two clears. That fancy mumbo jumbo is a way of saying that if you don't match the properties of the clear coats that you'll end up with a funky cloudy line around at the overlap. This doesn't mean you have to use the exact clear as the original. Just that it has to be the same or nearly the same optical properties. You may also run into a issue of the actual mechanical bond between the product on the rims and what you're putting onto it. If it's not mechanically and chemically compatible it could either flake away or it may even soften and cause the existing clear to lift. Lacquer would be a prime candidate for a fill in finish which may well soften and bubble up the existing clear. So test with a small spot.

Along with the lacquer there's a number of clear oil and water based polyurethane varnishes which may work as well. The trick will be to put a small dot of each product onto the sanded area right by the edge of the label. If you get it right the dot will go clear and basically look like you didn't sand that spot. If there's a bonding or optical incompatibilty it'll scratch off with your fingernail easily and/or it'll look cloudy or somehow funky in some way.
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Old 08-20-11, 05:34 AM   #23
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What are LBDs?
you don't know of load bearing decals?
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Old 08-20-11, 07:41 AM   #24
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you don't know of load bearing decals?


How could I forget?

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Old 08-20-11, 02:40 PM   #25
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I have the decals off of one wheel.

Basically, I contacted a few carbon fiber bike repair places, one guy said, just sand it, get the decals off, then hit is with a clear coat...good to go.

So, I started with 400 grit, got basically nowhere after a long time. Then went to 150, was better, but still taking awhile...then just broke out my emory cloth.

Used the emory cloth gently, then I used goof-off and acetone alternatively once I was into the decals to soften them, then back with the emory.

Finally after alternating and then some steel wool with this method, all gone.

Looks like there is no clear under the sticker, if so, it was very little. So now it is dull and just a few places the carbon is coming through what was sanded off as expected.

I'm thinking just some stain clear coat since it isn't gloss or flat already, and it should match pretty well. Or I could just hit it with clear coat, and if it doesn't match, just go over the whole wheel with wet sand real quick, dull it all out for a flat black look and wax/buff it.

After going to the emory cloth method, and the goof-off and acetone technique, it went pretty quickly, maybe 90 minutes to remove 6 decals and 1 1/2 sheet of emory cloth cut into strips.

Another carbon place said they use a solvent that is safe for the carbon epoxy to remove cleat coat and decals off of bikes, then treat/repair and finish a repair.

I think if I stay away from any solvent based clear coat, no issues. I will get it to match one way or another.

Thanks for the info for those that offered it.

After before clear coat.





Last edited by zigmeister; 08-20-11 at 02:49 PM.
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