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  1. #1
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    Getting tar off of tires

    Which I guess if you live in the South translates as "Getting tar off of tars"

    At the end of my ride today, I accidentally rode through a big glob of tar which then attracted every bit of sand and gravel until the conglomerate blob would barely fit through my fork. What's the best solvent to remove the tar without damaging the rubber compound of tire (Conti GP4000S)? Right now, I'm thinking Odorless Mineral Spirits???
    A road bike needs disk brakes like a fish needs a bicycle (with apologies to Ms. Dunn)

  2. #2
    Darling of The Lounge
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    Yes, or WD-40 or Goo Gone.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    Which I guess if you live in the South translates as "Getting tar off of tars"

    At the end of my ride today, I accidentally rode through a big glob of tar which then attracted every bit of sand and gravel until the conglomerate blob would barely fit through my fork. What's the best solvent to remove the tar without damaging the rubber compound of tire (Conti GP4000S)? Right now, I'm thinking Odorless Mineral Spirits???
    Best solvent is probably elbow grease. To make it easier you could just take a table knife out on a short ride and drag it on your front tire as you tootle along at low speed. The stuff will wear off on its own but you can speed it up with some mechanical action. Solvents and rubber are not the greatest of friends.

  4. #4
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    Diesel fuel, it will quickly remove tar with hardly any effort
    Current Rides
    2006 Lemond Versailles, mix of Ultegra and 105
    2012 Litespeed L1 Dura Ace

  5. #5
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    I rode through some road construction on the way home a while back and got my tires coated with tar which accumulated dirt and sand into a hard coating about 1.5mm thick. I scraped it off with a dull edged tool and a lot of elbow grease as best I could let it go at that. If I needed to clean it further, OMS would be my choice. Wipe it all off and let the rest evaporate before riding. Diesel/kerosene will work well at taking off tar, but also needs to be wiped off and allowed to evaporate and/or washed off with soap and water. WD40 will leave some light lube behind which is best washed off the tire (and brake track) with soap and water before riding.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  6. #6
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    I probably didn't describe the stuff very well. More like asphalt than tar per se' - super sticky, granular stuff. I tried scraping it off with flat rocks a couple of times with little improvement, so I don't think the butter knife thing or just elbow grease will solve the problem. Letting it just wear off isn't a good solution either as I'll be stopping every few hundred yards to clean off rocks and gravel that are stuck to it and thump-thump-thumping while I ride. Guess I'll just try OMS and keep an eye on the tire for damage/impacts.
    A road bike needs disk brakes like a fish needs a bicycle (with apologies to Ms. Dunn)

  7. #7
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    it's the chip and seal tar right?

    we get it around here in the Midwest as well. works its way to the outside of the tires, and then picks up rocks etc. Best to not let it wear off on it's own. I know of a few people who found out the hard way that it can act like a grinding wheel against the chain or seat stays.

    best solution for around here. small putty knife in a plastic bag with you on the bike. I have tried solvents when I get home. personally I don't they help all that much.

  8. #8
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    Take the tire off the wheel and put it in the freezer. This may make the tar hard enough that it chips off. I have no experience, but this may work, and would not harm the tire.

    Ride Safe,

    Joe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
    Take the tire off the wheel and put it in the freezer. This may make the tar hard enough that it chips off. I have no experience, but this may work, and would not harm the tire.
    You must have a big freezer!

  10. #10
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    got to be a lot of single males on these forums. tires in freezer, washing bikes off in shower etc.

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