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Just started gluing my first tubular tires...they make it look so easy!

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Just started gluing my first tubular tires...they make it look so easy!

Old 03-04-12, 02:32 PM
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ilovecycling
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Just started gluing my first tubular tires...they make it look so easy!

I learned a few things about gluing tubular tires today:

1. It's not nearly as easy as they make it look in all those tutorial videos on YouTube.

2. The glue becomes tacky VERY quickly and starts pulling the bristles out of the brush, which is very frustrating when you have to use your fingers to get them out.

3. The yellow sidewall and base tape on Vittoria Corsa Evo SC tires makes it almost impossible to see where the glue has already been applied.

4. Acetone based nail polish remover makes an already clumpy and dry brush even worse.

5. A truing stand would be very helpful when applying glue to the bed of the rim.

How the hell do you guys put up with all this? At this point I'm just worried that I'll end up with two expensive tires that won't seat correctly. What a royal PITA...I just hope tomorrow's gluing session goes better than today's. Just need to run out and buy another brush now.

Questions:

So how perfect does the glue job really need to be to not experience vertical wheel wobble?

What kind of brush do you guys use and how do you clean it for the next day? I went with a basic 1" black bristled art brush from Ace hardware. It was actually smaller than 1" and turned out to be the perfect size, but I didn't like how the bristles kept coming out.
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Old 03-04-12, 02:45 PM
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I don't like the little acid brushes so I just spread the glue around with my finger. Inside a nitrile or latex glove of course. I have better control that way.
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Old 03-04-12, 03:01 PM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-batting-.500

I had not so great luck early on but with the advice from the thread above I got better. One thing that helped was using the Vittoria tubes instead of the tubs, it let me get the glue on quicker which prevented it getting dry and tacky. Goof-Off is the best I've used to clean brushes and rims. Yeah, get a truing stand. When I do the tires I use very light coat and if I have to, I'll do another one. The Vittoria will turn a dark gold color which makes it more obvious where it's covering the base tape which is a lighter yellow.

I'd say it has to be perfect remembering that the tire is held on at the edges of the rim. I use the acid brushes, they work great. Using the tubes of glue I put 1 dab between 3 sets of spokes then spread it and repeat. Making sure I get all the way up to the edges of the rim and keeping it as thin as possible. I know I'll do 3 coats, 2 to full dry then one thin one right before I install the dried tire. That's improved my results.

btw, the acid brushes are great for cleaning rims, after you screwed up or when it's gunked up, if you cut the bristles short so you can really work the glue. I'd rather not have to clean a rim but sometimes it has to be done. Cheers
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Old 03-04-12, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys.

kleinboogie- I didn't know what an acid brush was, but I just googled it and it looks like I can get a box of them for around $10. Much better than the $4 Ace charged me for one paint brush. What size/width at the bristles do your recommend? Do these look okay?

Thanks!
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Old 03-04-12, 03:28 PM
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Don't use nail polish remover. It often has oil, scent and other crap in it not appropriate for gluing tubies. Go to the hardware store and get acetone there.
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Old 03-04-12, 04:09 PM
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Those brushes should be fine. Better too wide than not wide enough, you can always trim some bristles from the edges. Here's the ones I got and I think they're a little thin. GL
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Old 03-04-12, 06:19 PM
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I use the flux brushes in any hardware store's plumbing section (used to apply flux prior to sweating copper pipes). 6 for $1 or thereabouts.

Truing stand? Yes, very helpful.

I use Vittoria Corsa CX's as well with Vittoria's Mastik. No problem telling where it went. I've also started using Continental tubular glue. Also no problems there.

Paint the glue fast & move on. I do about 6-8 inches of rim/tire at a time, then move on.
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Old 03-04-12, 07:15 PM
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Has it occurred to you that maybe you are making this unnecessarily painful? I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but when I first started I was being so careful and anal it was ridiculous. I semi inflate the tire to give it some shape and start painting the glue on it. In less than 30 sec I have done the time completely. I let it sit for a 1-2 min while I do the rim. Then, I go back and do the tire one more time. If I have put glue on the rim more than once before, I don't bother putting glue on it but every 3rd time or so. However, tire gets 2 coats min/max. Let it dry for 5-10 min both with a ceiling fan on, and it is ready to go on. If you have pre-inflated the tire on a rim before for about a week at 140+ PSI daily, it should not be a wrestling match to go on.

I use some small brushes they sell at the arts and craft stores. They are about 1/4-1/2" wide and toss them after I sue them. Too much work to clean to justify it.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:39 PM
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Brush ?
I also use my finger with a piece of scrap plastic bag wrapped around it.
I have a truing stand, but never felt the need to use it when gluing. I just hold the hub with one hand, blob glue all the way around. Then wrap my finger and spread the glue.
Make sure the tire is well stretched. ie, pumped up on a rim for a day or 2.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:36 AM
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Yeah, my experience gluing tubulars has been very positive - very easy to do. Don't see what the fuss is all about.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:25 AM
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Harborfreight has acid brushes real cheap. If you have a store close to you, their acid brushes are good and cheap.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:07 AM
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1. pre-stretch the tire onto a rim.
2. Glue rim with acid brush (.50+/- at a hw store) or nitrile glove.
3. Glue tire. let it try for 30 min - 1 hr. Reglue tire second coat.
4. Done.

I used to do all those multiple coats of glue but it doesn't really matter. Just make sure you have enough glue to coat all surfaces of the rim and base tape of the tire. Less is not more.

Also, I use VM&P Naptha for cleaning up residual glue. It's good for cleaning aluminum braking surfaces as well.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:10 AM
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Just to reiterate...

Pre-stretching the tire(s) is key.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:10 AM
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I gave up on tubulars 20 years ago due to the gluey messy hassle.

That said, it is a skill that you can learn and it gets easier every time you do it. Don't forget to pre-stretch.

Oh, and one other tip, I remember it was easiest to pull the last little bit of tire on the rim by holding the bottom (already seated area with valve) with my bare toes and pulling up/over with hands.

Again, that said, I maintain that tubulars are generally more hassle than they are worth. Unless you have a team mechanic. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:44 AM
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I glued a tire on Thursday afternoon, realizing that may be the only time I have to do it. I was frantically packing and such and decided to do it then. I had put the tire on the rim the day before (for the first time) and inflated it, to check for a bad tube. Therefore it was stretching for maybe 18 hours when I glued it.

I had very little time, and in fact was close to panic state when I glued.

Glue on rim. Use a chain hang tag label (plastic feel paper) off of a Campy chain to spread glue, dab it from rim edge to rim edge, between holes, etc.

Glue on tire. On floor, no time to clear anything, just put down glue and spread with same hang tag.

Glue on rim. Another layer, just globbing it on now, hang tag spread/dab.

Put on tire, inflate until it held its shape, check alignment, a few touches and it was okay.

It was about 10 minutes for the whole process. I should take pics of the area where I glued, the hang tag, and the wheel. I raced it yesterday, no problems.

I hope to have a less stressful time gluing the front tire.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:55 AM
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All the latest tech is going clincher these days soon I imagine there will be a setup that is as light and the days of glue will be gone..
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Old 03-05-12, 10:06 AM
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Just follow Zipps video on youtube. I've been using this method for awhile, works perfect. Also, I just put the wheel on my bike and sit with a stool while in my Park bike stand, no truing stand necessary. Then take the wheel off and hang it up to dry, do the next wheel.

Short instructions:
1) Thin layer of Mastik One on the tire, ensure it is covered thoroughly the tape. Hang tire up and put aside to dry for the next few days. I put just a little air in it so the tape is still facing outward, yet easy to apply glue.
2) Put one thin coat on rim, let dry overnight.
3) Put another thing coat on rim, let dry overnight.
4) Put a third thin coat on rim, wait 10-15 minutes. Yes, it is day 3!
5) Put enough air to get the tire to go back to being straight. The tape goes outward with no air. Just enough so the rim tape/tire are straight for mounting, yet pliable.
6) Mount the tire that is pre-stretched and glued onto the rim. Put a few lbs more air in, get it nice and straight on the rim. This is the PITA part I find. Because it is sticky and glue is drying.
7) Spin it and ensure the tire is real straight/even, no bumps/wobbles. Fix it if it is.
8) Pump it up to 115-120psi....let sit for 24hrs once you are happy.
9) Enjoy new tubular next day. Hope you don't get a flat anytime soon!

Also, using a tire like Vittoria Corsa CX is much easier to get straight due to the light colored rim tape. I get mine pretty much perfect now.

But yes, it is a PITA compared to clinchers for sure.

Zipp youtube video for gluing tubulars. Very straight forward and well done. And NO, it isn't overkill the process. Tires are a nightmare to get off with this method. I have to cut them off with a razor blade, well, at least cut the tire to grab it and pull it off the rim with this gluing method. I know the pro mechanics are a little sloppier and faster, their methods work fine also, they just wait a little less time and maybe cut out of thin layer like Zipp recommends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGw3DlZMRGI

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Old 03-05-12, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WarLordZ View Post
All the latest tech is going clincher these days soon I imagine there will be a setup that is as light and the days of glue will be gone..
I agree that current clincher technology is quite good. And that goes for tubeless as well as tubed.

That said, there will likely always be a role for sew-ups as the rims can be MUCH lighter (no hook bead needed), marginally better ride/handling, and presence of team mechanics who are willing to deal with the hassles....and tradition.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:06 PM
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I glue a lot. It gets pretty easy after a while. I take it very seriously though and I do take my time. If it was just for me then I would do it all at once, but it is not. 99% of what I glue is for others. When you're like that tell me it doesn't keep you up at night.

For race wheels - tubulars are the way to go. With cross it's a no-brainer. There's a hug difference and clinchers aren't anywhere close...

Tubulars are great for high pressure and very low pressure. The majority of racing can be done on clinchers with no issues or "loss', but my tubular wheels and setups are REALLY nice to race on.

Studies show the same thing over and over - Mastic 1 is the strongest tubular adhesive, and that allowing it to cure in between coats for 24hours allows it to reach a very high strength. You can go quickly and coat and recoat, but the strength reduces to around 70% IIRC. Still plenty if you do it right, but not good enough for me as I am having others ride them.

For road tubulars - when gluing tubulars that have latex coatings on the basetape (Vittoria), I would encourage you to at least clean it with acetone (use a mask). Personally I remove the latex completely with a 3M scotchbrite pad/wheel on a drill press. I also use this setup to rough up all cotton basetape on all tubulars that I glue. When I do that and compare the absorption of the glue into the basetape - it's quite remarkable how much it helps.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:30 PM
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I just use my bare finger, and acetone. Been gluing tubulars for decades- you don't need the ZIPP video song and dance, just modern paranoia IMO.
Glued yet another Saturday- light glue on the rim, then finger applied light coat to tire................drink a Coke, then put it together. No mess.
As posted above, the tubular ride is still far superior to even the nicest clinchers IMO. If you run your tubulars below max PSI (a little above minimum) they are super flat resistant. You can get 2 months out of a good tubular, it will wear out before flatting typically.
Anyway, enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-06-12, 04:55 PM
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How MUCH did you spend? Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX clinchers and Latex tubes, offers about 90% of that same, supple road feel...for a fraction of the price.
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Old 03-06-12, 05:13 PM
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I pay LBS to glue them for me.
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Old 03-06-12, 06:07 PM
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Oh my goodness. Spread glue on rim, put tire on rim, inflate, position tire, done.

I have never put glue on the tire. I put a small amount of glue on the rim. The stuff is very sticky. Using gobs of it doesnt improve the holding power.
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Old 03-06-12, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dilberto View Post
How MUCH did you spend? Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX clinchers and Latex tubes, offers about 90% of that same, supple road feel...for a fraction of the price.
Admittedly, I have not tried that setup- I am building another clincher set, and will try that.
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Old 03-06-12, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dilberto View Post
How MUCH did you spend? Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX clinchers and Latex tubes, offers about 90% of that same, supple road feel...for a fraction of the price.
Open Corsa EVO CX $37.00 + Latex tube $10.00 = $47.00 (not including shipping)
Corsa EVO CX Tubular $49.00 (not including shipping)
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