Re: [CR] tubular tire glue

(Example: Framebuilders:Bernard Carré)

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 11:41:00 -0400
From: "John Betmanis" <>
To: <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] tubular tire glue

Jack Countryman wrote:
> Back when I used tubular tires, in the early to mid 1970s, the independent
> bike shop in the town where I lived, used to sell us a 3M brand glue...# 151
> or 191? The stuff was yellow in color, in white tubes with black
> printing/labels. The tubes were somewhat larger diameter than the largest
> toothpaste tubes, but shorter in length. I have no idea what it was made
> for, or how they got onto selling it for that purpose, but it seemed to work
> quite well. One tube would last most of us for a few years worth of tire
> mounting/remounting. Once you had glued a few tires on a rim, you would have
> a built up base of tacky glue, that allowed tire changes on the road without
> worries of them coming off on their own, yet they could be rolled off
> sideways fairly easily when no air was in the tires.
> Unfortunately, that bike shop is long gone, the former owner is dead, and
> the mechanics who worked there when they were college students have long
> since moved on to other things. I've lost touch with all of them.
> Is anyone familiar with the stuff 3M made then to be able to find out what
> sort of glue this was, what it was made for, current availability, price,
> etc.?

3M Fast Tack was a well known domestic alternative to the French and Italian tubular glues in the period you speak of. It was just so much easier to walk into any local auto parts store and pick up a fresh tube of "3M" than to explain what you were looking for at the LBS, hoping they can order it. Many tests were done by cycling publications at the time and 3M Fast Tack was judged as good or better than the proprietary tubular glues. In the early 1970s I was still into motorcycle racing before going back to cycling and I recall "3M" and duct tape being indispensable for everything from fixing cracked gas tanks and torn leathers to securing nuts and bolts. I also remember various other yellow glues from 3M used in industrial applications which worked and smelled the same and may well have been the same stuff with a different part number to serve a different market. In fact, the same kind of 3M adhesive is still around today, but it's probably not the same formulation as the original.

And that's the rub. Over the years, environmental and health concerns have dictated changes in the formulation of these adhesives over the years. While they still work great in the applications the manufacturer intended, they may not be so good anymore for spin-off applications, such as tubular tire glue. Somewhere I read that the solvents now used in 3M Fast Tack will migrate through the base tape and soften the adhesive between the base tape and the tire casing, letting the tire roll off while the base tape is still securely attached attached to the rim. That's the reason it's no longer recommended. -- John Betmanis Woodstock, Ontario Canada