Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tufo tape makes my brain hurt

That's right, when I see Tufo tape I want to place a knotted handkerchief on my head and smash it with bricks(see: Monty Python)
I started the bike biz in an age when it took talent to glue a tubular so it would not fall off in the first corner. Back then we used Fast Tack.

This stuff was a trim adhesive made by 3M. It was designed to hold trim parts on the exterior of a car,... FOREVER.
Around the year 2000, just before all the computers died in Y2K(Remember that?) Continental produced a test(A NOT independent test, from guys that also make tubular glue) showing that Fast Tack caused the cotton tape on the tubular to release from the tire. My personal testing showed that this might happen after you flatted and struggled to remove, said glued tire, from the rim. This was because the Fast tack held so tight all you could was rip the cotton off the tire. And give your self a conniption in the process. I never used anything but Fast Tack and I never had a tire come off. Or even loose, hell, you just about had to dynamite the damn things off(I pulled lots of my own flatted tubulars, but that is for another story about crappy, cheap tubulars)
So then I stated using Continental tubular tape. Not because I believe that hype, but my customers do, and they have all the money. By the way Conti glue looks, smells, acts, and tastes(Yes, I am that hardcore)just like Fast Tack.
All of this is beside the point. I just wanted some reference for this:

Tufo tape is pretty amazing. It takes only minutes to apply, and once the tire is installed is ready to ride. No mofe waiting overnight for it to dry. Or crossed fingers for no delams, if you had to go right then.
Back in the glue the tire on days, You wanted to let the tire stretch for a day, then the process of applying glue was good for a half hour or so. Then you need to let them bond up.(God forbid you used Tubasti, that shite will still be taking a tack the end of next week)
Tufo tape is also pretty easy to clean off, for those of us that spent one winter trying to cheap out on tubulars and got some practice time gluing them on a half dozen times in the space of two months(Not a big fan of Conti Giros anymore)
There are two kinds, the regular and the Extreme(Make hard rock hand motion here). It says right on the box that the regular, in the yellow box, is only good for up to 73 degrees(I may be confused on Celsius and Fahrenheit, but I remember it as Fahrenheit)This is pretty low for anyplace in the US. And I do have first person confirmation of the yellow box tufo coming loose after the wheels had een left in a car on a summer day.
Just in case you are wondering, your tubulars deglueing is very bad. When it happens mid ride, you can have what we here call, "A Trip to the Hospital".
So I just use the Extreme tape. I have yet to have the stuff come loose and the only down side is I feel like a traitor to the faith every time I use the stuff. This is made all the worse by how great it works. Gone is the badge of honor, those hands with the tacky fingers, the spider strings of glue covering the back half of the shop, the pride in mounting a tire perfect with out a single smudge of adhesive on the rim(I knew a guy so bad at this, the glue on the rim would lock up the wheel, bonding the brake, in a near permanent fashion to the rim surface)
This stuff really is hard to beat for the home user. As long as they are not to tight fisted(the Extreme is pricey)any one can now mount a tubular.

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