I didn’t invent this technique but it works pretty well. Put your sticky wheel in your truing stand. Get a long bottle and cut it out to channel the rim. Fill the bottle/trough with mineral spirits and place under the wheel. Put some cards (I used pieces of tube boxes) in the spokes. Turn on a fan aimed below (or above) the hub. Read some bike porn and wipe down after an article or two.

And if you think this looks like a superfund site, you might want to consider Stans No Tubes. Erik V. has another timely update on mounting cross tires done the No Tubes way.

Glue stipper one

Glue stripper two

5 Responses to “Glue remover contraption”

  1. bigtuna says:

    Interesting method. I found that using a glue remover such as Le Tour Glue Remover found at http://www.branfordbike.com works great. Plus I don’t have to worry about any potential damage to my gear or my body. The fumes are not something that should be inhaled.

  2. Brooke says:

    Well, I only remove glue outside — where there is plenty of ventilation. I’d wager that the Le Tour Glue Remover (LTGR) is just as nasty for you when inhaled as mineral spirits. I’d probably not use my method on carbon rims but this is plenty safe for alloy. That LTGR is pricey — I can get enough mineral spirits to do plenty of wheels for the price of the LTGR. It takes me about 15 minutes to strip a rim with glue (as opposed to glue + tape) and 10 of those minutes I can be doing something else.

    The LTGR looks like an appropriate product for taking glue off of a tire’s base tape and I would consider it if I had lots of glue build up on a tire. Otherwise, I’ll stick with my method.

  3. cdb says:

    I like the idea of this “automatic” contraption. Clever.

    In the first photo, it looks like there are little bits of old glue (red-orange ish) all over the rim braking surface and also on the top (hub side) of the rim. Does that just brush off, or does it stick all over? Does it get into the spoke nipple zone or inner wall?

    When do you determine when you have too much old glue on your rim and stripping is needed? The chunky-ness factor? Is there any reason to do this removal process vs. just smoothing out the old glue w/ a gloved finger and more spirits or lacquer thinner, then adding a fresh top coat layer to that after a day?

    I use Vittoria Mastik One.

  4. Brooke says:

    Chris, the rim in the photo actually had glue plus tufo tape. I used a citrus based furniture stripper to try to get the tape off with only moderate success. That’s the orange stuff you see — it washed off with soap and water. I had to scrape tape solids off the rim with a screw driver and go through several iterations of mineral spirits to get those rims clean.

    I also cleaned a couple of glue only wheels. They took about 15 minutes per rim. They had glue residue that wasn’t particularly smooth or even so I figured that talking all the glue off and starting fresh was the ticket. Anyway, the clean up is merely a wipe down with a towel though I do recommend a secondary cleaning with acetone since I think the mineral spirits leaves a residue that can compromise the glue bond.

  5. James says:


    I tried your method and it does work well. The trick is to find a trough that is long and shallow but narrow enough to fit between the truing arms. Otherwise an unnecessarily large amount of mineral spirits is required. I did not find such a vessel, so my initial attempt at this method would not be considered eco-friendly. Nevertheless the old, gritty, dried, uneven glue wiped away with very little effort. It took a little longer than 15 min but that may be due to the amount of glue on my rims. The rims look like new. Thanks for the idea.


Leave a Reply