I am a tubular neophyte. Last fall, I took the plunge into/back to old world technology when I built up a simple KinLin tubular rear wheel and enlisted Phat (Moose) Kent to glue the sucker on. He was keen. With a bit of 'tuning' the tire was on the rim solidly, and it hasn't moved since. Lots of glue was involved. I was sold on tubulars, as I felt the boost in comfort and traction immediately.
|Stretching the tubs on old rims|
Last winter I read everything I could about mounting tubulars for cross, including Cyclocross Magazine, and Lennard Zinn. Local honch, Greg Reain's how-to from his old blog resonated with me more than any other articles. Greg explains why he doesn't like the Belgian tape method. His rationale made sense to me, and still does, so I decided to forego that method. Main issue: and gap between tape and rim is a potential void in the basetape-rim interface. The tape seems useful for deep rims, but not so much for shallow ones like the KinLin. Check out Ali Goulet's video for some additional tips. In addition to saving the day by finding a 20 hole front hub for my 20h KinLin rim, Shawn Marshall provided lots of great advice on the process, including a recommendation for the urethane sealant below. Thanks Shawn!
I found that there was a tonne of good advice out there, but I didn't see any easy to follow breakdowns of the process. So I decided to write it out as clearly as possible and share it. The steps below mainly echo Greg's process, though I've added a few tips from other sources as well. While I am the furthest thing from a tubular gluing PRO, the people I've drawn from are, and everything I present here is consistent. I accept no liability for gluing related disasters.
Some seem pretty preoccupied with the finished product looking immaculate. While this is worth striving for, applying enough glue to the interface should be the priority; nobody will care how good their wheel looked after they've rolled the tire off the rim. Make sure you put enough glue on to secure your tire, don't skimp for the sake of it looking PRO.
Patience will serve you well in this process. "Days" are not necessarily 24hrs, you might be able to do two "days" steps in one actual day by working on the wheel in the morning and at the end of the day.
|Wet stuff you'll need. MEC sells the sealant on the right.|
- Vittoria Mastik 1 glue, pot not tubes if possible (pretty
- much everybody on the interwebs uses Mastik)
- rubbing alcohol
- light sandpaper/emery cloth
- broomstick/dowel/cricket mallet
- latex/rubber gloves
- shop apron
- plastic baggies
- 1" wide brush ('acid brushes' are popular, Lee Valley tools sells them for cheap)
- electrical tape
- sharp blade
- warm dry place for drying
- citrus degreaser
|I got these brushes from Wallack's. Lee Valley sells acid brushes that look even better, and are cheaper|
|Remember to stir the glue before each application|
|Apply electrical tape to sidewalls of rim and remove excess with a sharp blade. No cleaning required after gluing|
|Sand the rim to remove contaminants and follow up with alcohol|
|Apply first thin coat of glue|
1) apply thin coat ro rim
|The rim just before applying the tire. Lots of glue, wet.|
|The finished product, after adding glue to the seam and applying the urethane sealant. Looks good enough.|
|Lots of glue at the seam|