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  1. #1
    Senior Member VT Biker's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Denver, CO
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    Cannondale R700 (2005)
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    What is Shellac for Track Tubular's

    Hey - I have seen many here mention using Shellac to glue on a tubular tire for the track....but is there a specific "type" of shellac that is specific to gluing on tires? Or would a standard can of Shellac from the hardware store work?

    From the sounds of it, there was/is a specific Shellac style glue which used to be used, but I cannot determine whether this was a brand of glue, a type of Shellac based glue (and if so, what the modern equivalent is etc...).

    FYI: I am a complete newbie on this front, so please excuse my ignorance. However, I am going to be riding on a fairly steep banked track, and want something better than Vittoria Mastik (which is what I have now).

  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    I always use de-waxed shellac flakes ordered from a catalog. I mixed these with denatured alcohol to make a thick mixture, then took some of that mixture and thinned it further with more alcohol. Then I would build up the rim bed with the thick mixture, allowing at least 2 days' drying time between each layer. I'd also coat the tire base tape with a coat of the thin. After the rim bed is suitably built up and dry, a final coat of thin shellac is added to the rim and the tire mounted. Another 48 hours (minimum) to dry and then the wheel is ready to race. When the tire needs to be replaced, it is removed with a thin blade screwdriver - done carefully, there will be no damage to the shellac bed, and the new tire can be installed after the two coats of thin shellac, as described above.

    Now, after having written all that, I'll say that I would probably not bother anymore. The Vittoria is a really good glue, and probably sticks better than the best shellac job. The only time I would consider shellac now would be for elite-level pursuiting, where the slightly lower rolling resistance offered by a shellacked (rather than cemented) tire might conceivably make a difference - and even that's grasping at straws.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    I'll second the recommendation for Mastik 1. I've used that (and occasionally continental in the orange tube) for years on tracks comparably steep to what you'll be riding. It sticks like glue. I know quite a few people who use 3M Fastack, which I generally haven't liked (tried it years ago), but Six Jours comment above is the first time I've seen or heard a direct report from a still-living person about actual use of shellac. I've googled around occasionally for shellac, and as far as I can tell, you have to get raw shellac and mix up your own potion as described.
    Track - the other off-road

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