How to Glue Tubular Tyres

Tubular Tyres offer an amazing ride, they are classed as the gold standard by many and are used be pro cyclist.

With many options available for mounting your tubular tyre including tape and cement. Glue is the preferred way by pro mechanics but does require a little bit more of your time.

These instructions are for new tubular tyres and have been structured into five simple steps. First things first, what are we going to need for this task. When working with solvents or acetone firstly ensure the work area is well ventilated secondly protective gloves and old clothing are recommended. Fine sandpaper for preparing the surface of the rim and the tyre, a narrow wire brush is also a handy tool to have for cleaning any old glue from the rim. Tubular glue, a brush for applying the glue, tubular tyre some alcohol wipes a bicycle pump and your wheel.

Step 1 (Surface Preparation)

If you are using a brand new rim then this will need a slight rubbing down with light fine sandpaper ensuring not to damage the braking surface. If you are using an older rim then ensure the old glue has been removed. Any stubborn parts of old glue use a flat head screw driver but be careful.

Your brand new tyre has a coating of latex on the base tape surface which requires removing, this can also be done with a light rub with the fine sand paper. If you are using a used tyre then old glue will also need removing.

Both surfaces now require wiping down with either alcohol  wipers or some acetone to remove any dust and grease.

Step 2 (New Tyre Preparation)

If you are using a used tyre then skip to Step 2.

New Tyres require stretching, this is also a good opportunity if you have never mounted a tubular tyre to practice before the glue is applied. Mount the tubular tyre onto the rim now using your pump inflate the tyre to the recommended psi stated. Now you need to leave the tyre and the rim for 24 hours for the tyre to stretch.

Step 3 (Glueing Wheels and Tyres)

We are now ready to start glueing, we first need to protect ourselves using rubber or latex gloves and old clothes are also a good idea.

The trick to this is thin layers of glue, a good starting point on the rim is the valve hole. Apply a thin layer of glue working your way around the rim, ensuring its even and to the edge ensuring no glue goes onto the braking surface.

Now with your tyre inflate until its starts to turn inside out. Now use the exact same process that was used on the rim, working around from the valve. Thin and even layer of glue applied to the base tape only.

The rim and the tyre are now set aside for 24 hours to dry.

Step 4 (More Glue)

After 24 hours we can now apply a further thin layer of glue to the rim and also the tyre. These now are left for a further 24 hours to dry off.  Repeat this process until we have at least three layers on.

Step 5 (Fitting the Tyre)

Apply one final layer of glue to the rim and the tyres allowing 1 minutes to go off and become tacky. Release the pressure from the tyre making it easier to mount. Place the rim with the valve hole facing you, insert the valve pressing in. Stretch the tyre with both hands around the rim working around to the bottom of the rim. Ensure any glue is removed from the braking surface of the rim. Inflate the tyre to the required PSI recommended ensuring the tyres is on correct and straight. If the tyre requires adjusting then deflate and adjust the tyre on the rim then inflate.

The new applied glue requires a further 24 hours drying time before being able to ride on them.