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old tubular glue removal

1028 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  one_speed
I purchased some used reynolds carbon wheels off ebay, and one of them still has leftover glue on one rim, the other wheel is brand new. The residue of glue is extremely thick and very frustrating to get off. I took a flat head screwdriver to try and peel it off, it kind of worked, but is the slowest process possible.

Ive read acetone is popular? Any recommendations on chemicals or tools that might solve this problem for me?

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Acetone will not work well at all. You need an aromatic solvent like toluene (aka toluol) or xylene (aka xylol). Go to your local paint store and read the labels on some paint thinners. When you find one that says contains aromatic solvents, that's what you want. Just soak a spot on a rag and rub.
A couple things I've used in the past are 'brake clean' and 'goof off.' The goof off works really well and is simple to use. I put the wheel in a trueing stand and spin it, apply while spinning, but not too fast. Be sure NOT to do this on a painted surface. I do it outside on concrete. Anyway, keep spinning for a few minutes so the solvent doesn't get onto the rest of the wheel or onto the hub. I'd be particularly careful with a carbon rim. Remove with a rag, or a tire lever wrapped in a rag, not a screwdriver. I find this works very well. Sometimes doing it twice is necessary.

Brake clean is wicked stuff and is used by mechanics to clean just about everything. It works well, but use outside only. To be honest, I'd use the goof off instead, as it's reliable and easy.

Best of luck.
I was told to leave the old glue on the rim...

I'm in the same boat as the original poster. I bought a set of used carbon tubulars, here in the classifiieds. One wheel is new, the other had a tire on it...which I removed. I was going to try and remove all the glue residue from that wheel but another cyclist recommended I leave the old glue on the wheel. He said it provides a better stick/bond. Any truth to this? What to do, What to do...?

Well, it depends on how much glue is on the rim. I would agree that if its just a small amount, to leave it. It will break down a bit with the new glue and help hold.

However, if it's think and chunky, I'd take it off. With carbon, you need to put plenty of glue on the rim. I'd put a couple coats, anyway, (and a couple on the tubie). Put the first on and let it sit for a couple days, then come back and put another thick coat on. Be sure to cover it well. I had a friend roll a tubie on the track, and it wasn't pretty. It may have been the impact, (crash) but I wouldn't take any chances, just use plenty of glue.

And remember, unless you're using Conti tubies, you should sand the cloth on the underside of the tubie before applying glue. I read somewhere that the majority of tubie makers put a coating on the strip and that they'll adhere better if you sand that a bit to rough it up.

Hope this helps.
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I'll double check my wheel tonight to determine just how much glue remains. I don't think it's too much, or particularly thick & chunky, but I'll take a closer look.

It didn't look too bad so I'll probably just let it be and install the new tubular over it. I'll try to take a pic tonight and post it just to get your and others opinions.

Sounds good. I'd guess you'd be alright with it if you're not alarmed. In any event, it shouldn't hurt anything.
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