Arrrgh!! damned Fast Tack
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  1. #1
    chica cyclista
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    Arrrgh!! damned Fast Tack

    Any theories as to how to remove this shite from tubular rims?

    Apologies to those who insist this stuff is the last word in glue jobs but what a godforsaken crappy wasteful practise!!! It may work fine for automotive trim but on tubulars it dries up and corrupts the base tape adhesive. In fact, when I removed these tires the base tape wanted to stay stuck to the rims and came nearly completely off the tires. So basically after just a few months it can't be relied on to hold a safe bond.

    I bought the wheelset pre-glued from a Fast Tack zealot, before you ask.

    Since the tires are toast anyway, I will re-glue a new set with tried-and-true Vittoria rim cement. I want to thoroughly clean the rims as my past experience indicates to never mix adhesives; they tend to form solvents for each other.

    I've poured a half bottle of acetone on these bloody rims and rubbed my knuckles raw using the brush and the damned Fast Tack residue is still caked on there firm as ever.

    Grrrr. Did I mention it's snowing in Boulder...?
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  2. #2
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    Go for something aromatic

    In other words, an aromatic solvent. Many paint removers have things like toluene (aka toluol) or xylene (aka xylol). Read some labels down at the hardware store. Acetone is not a good solvent for most adhesives, just like methanol and isopropanol are not.

  3. #3
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    If the tires still have good rubber on them, you can reglue the base tape by using "Barge Cement". Use a clean rim to hold the base tape to the tire while the barge cement dries. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.
    I'm not sure why Conti uses such crappy glue to hold their base tape on.
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    you're not the only one..

    I bought a pair of used Shamals for racing last year and only recently needed new tires. I wanted to save the front as a spare but ripped the base tape in several spots and barely saved it. That's after I gave up trying to get under the tire with fingers and finally jammed a screw driver between tire and rim and started prying somewhat carefully. Thankfully, the Shamals are tough but I wouldn't do that with a carbon rim

    Now, for getting that fast tack crap off: Paint thinner, acetone, and alcohols didn't work. I finally used a xylene based compound (more about this later) to get the rim clean, but decided to physically try removing most of the glue first. I bought a 2" circular wire brush, stuck it on the drill and started working my way around the rim, stopping every couple inches to pick the junk out of the brush. Do this outside or in a room you don't care about, along with good eye protection. I had glue chunks flying everywhere. It was slow going but better than having a goopy solvent mess and still not getting through the entire layer. The brush didn't seem to hurt the rim at all and I was using quite a bit of pressure with the drill at full throttle. Then, I dripped "goof off" (marketed as a general spot remover - dried paint, lipstick, glue) on the rim and wiped/scrubbed the remaining glue off with a paper towel. This also took a while. Finally, I went back around with brake & electric motor cleaner to remove the "goop off" greasiness and any final traces of fast tack. Needless to say, I used Conti glue and hope it is much easier to remove. Have fun. You'll be in my prayers.

  5. #5
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    Mek

    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger
    Any theories as to how to remove this shite from tubular rims?

    Apologies to those who insist this stuff is the last word in glue jobs but what a godforsaken crappy wasteful practise!!! It may work fine for automotive trim but on tubulars it dries up and corrupts the base tape adhesive. In fact, when I removed these tires the base tape wanted to stay stuck to the rims and came nearly completely off the tires. So basically after just a few months it can't be relied on to hold a safe bond.

    I bought the wheelset pre-glued from a Fast Tack zealot, before you ask.

    Since the tires are toast anyway, I will re-glue a new set with tried-and-true Vittoria rim cement. I want to thoroughly clean the rims as my past experience indicates to never mix adhesives; they tend to form solvents for each other.

    I've poured a half bottle of acetone on these bloody rims and rubbed my knuckles raw using the brush and the damned Fast Tack residue is still caked on there firm as ever.

    Grrrr. Did I mention it's snowing in Boulder...?
    Methyl Ethyl Keytone (?)

    This is about as hot as it gets as far as solvents go.

    Good Luck,
    Bryan

  6. #6
    Ironbutt
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    I would suggest going to a good industrial supply house and getting a commercial glue/adhesive remover. It will not evaporate as quickly as acetone, and will penetrate the glue residue on the rims and soften it so that you can "roll" it off of the rim's surface. Be very wary of most of the aggressive solvents, they almost all have really toxic vapors and many are carcincogenic. Use solvent resistant gloves and be sure that the area is really well ventilated, like having a fan running outdoors blowing the vapors away from you. I suggest against MEK or MEKP, these chemicals are very volitale at room temperatures and can be unstable/explosive. I still have a stash of carbon tetrachloride, and it works wonders. But it has been unavaialbe for years.

  7. #7
    chica cyclista
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    Grainger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironbutt
    I would suggest going to a good industrial supply house ...
    Would Grainger carry solvents like this? It's been too long since I worked in a machine shop, can't recall. We have a Grainger close by where I work, and I'm a real fan of theirs. I used to get replacement bearings for my Nuke Proof hubs there for about six bucks apiece.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

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  8. #8
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    take the rim with you

    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger
    Would Grainger carry solvents like this? It's been too long since I worked in a machine shop, can't recall. We have a Grainger close by where I work, and I'm a real fan of theirs. I used to get replacement bearings for my Nuke Proof hubs there for about six bucks apiece.
    Take the rim with you and say you want something to take the goop off and leave the rim and your skin intact. If no help there wander over to an automotive paint or body shop and ask them what they'd recommend. I'd try the MEK outside in a well ventilated area while wearing heavy solvent proof gloves.

    And note: there are a couple different types of materials used in protective gloves as some solvents eat thru one kind and other solvents eat thru another kind. There is also a tile floor adhesive remover that will probably do the trick but is really caustic to skin and soft stuff, be certain to use the right gloves recommended for protection against this stuff.
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  9. #9

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    Any place that carries paint

    I typically use Goof Off which is pretty well just Xylene. Generic xylene is cheaper and any hardware or paint store will carry it. Use #3 steel wool to scub it off with the solvent loosens the glue then the steel wool scapes it off. Xylene will eat just about any "solvent resistant glove" of the disposable type pretty quickly and the others just a little slower. MEK is the primary ingredient in most paint strippers (Jasco) They are a bit messier to clean up and it is a lot more carcinogenic than xylene.

    A product I just started using is called Oops. It has xylene in it as well as a bunch of other solvents and doesn't eat through gloves as fast. I bought it at an Ace Hardware store.

  10. #10
    chica cyclista
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    gawd

    Quote Originally Posted by BenR
    Have fun. You'll be in my prayers.
    Thanks man, great post and sorry to hear you had to endure this as well. I'll probably pass on the rotary wire brush for now, tho it's a good idea that I will hold in reserve. My SO is not the sort of man who owns power tools. I do happen to be the sort of woman who does, however my ex (may all his roads be paved with broken glass and all his trails become infested by goatheads!) nabbed my Makita when he moved out. I suppose the Dremel might work...

    Anyway, these are red Heliums and I can just imagine what a rotary brush might do to the anodised finish.

    Looks like a trip to Home Despot then for xylene based solvent, appropriate gloves and steel wool. I've seen Goof-Off and similar things there. Gad. Acetone has always worked just fine for all rim cement removal duties prior to this.

    Just for the record, I'd dearly love to get my hands on the blithering prat who came up with the idea of using Fast Tack on tubular rims. I'd stake him out naked in the desert, slather his testicles in honey and leave him there for the ants to enjoy.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  11. #11
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    For years I've been saying don't use FasTack, but somebody always gets on my case for it. Well, here's why you don't want to use FasTack. Enough said.

    (Oh, BTW, the reason why your base tape came off was because FasTack reacts with the base tape adhesive and destroys it's ability to hold. Especially on Continental tubulars. You can only use conti cement on Conti tubulars.)
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    For years I've been saying don't use FasTack, but somebody always gets on my case for it. Well, here's why you don't want to use FasTack. Enough said.

    (Oh, BTW, the reason why your base tape came off was because FasTack reacts with the base tape adhesive and destroys it's ability to hold. Especially on Continental tubulars. You can only use conti cement on Conti tubulars.)
    ahh they joys of tubular tires. i just can't see why anyone would mess with them unless they had a professional wrench maintaining them.
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  13. #13
    chica cyclista
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    preachin' to the choir, bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    (Oh, BTW, the reason why your base tape came off was because FasTack reacts with the base tape adhesive and destroys it's ability to hold. Especially on Continental tubulars. You can only use conti cement on Conti tubulars.)
    What can I say, it was a killer bargain on a package deal that included a barely used set of Heliums, 2 brand new tires, an unglued brand new spare and wheelbags. One of those pay now or pay later sorts of things. I was at the guy's house with cash in hand when I happened to ask what he'd used for glue (as noted before I've learned never to mix adhesives). When he replied "Fast Tack" I nearly turned around and left.

    I know only too well about FT base tape corruption. I was pit mechanic at a crit some years back where a tire roll caused a nasty crash. As is typical for these situations, the chief official and I both had to submit our observations for the incident report. We noted that the offending tire's base tape adhesive was so rotten that it required no effort at all to pull it the rest of the way off the rim, and subsequently confirmed that the rim had indeed been Fast Tacked. The nitwit belonging to said wheel got hauled off with a broken femur. One of the guys he took out broke a CB and destroyed a brand new Ritchey frame. The chief official debated recommending that the instigator be suspended, but it would have been an empty gesture as his racing season was shot anyway.

    The reason I removed the tires in the first place is because the adhesive was starting to crackle and I was getting nervous about the bond integrity. I used the wheelset strictly for training and one non-technical crit to get at least some use out of the tires. The fact that I now have to sh*tcan 2 essentially unused Sprinters is what irritates me most.

    Grumps, thank you for the base tape salvage recommendation but IME you can't reliably repair F'ed up base tape with any certainty that it's going to hold.

    My coach claims trackies are to blame for starting this ignorant practise because they replace tires so often that the convenience outweighs the risk factor.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

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  14. #14
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    I was a professional wrench

    Quote Originally Posted by Bocephus Jones
    ahh they joys of tubular tires. i just can't see why anyone would mess with them unless they had a professional wrench maintaining them.
    Not only was I a shop rat, but I also maintained both a coaching and a wrench's license with the USCF for a couple seasons. This Fast Tack debacle has got me pinned to the mat, however. To my very great relief, I've never had to actually deal with a set of FT'ed rims before this.

    but I hear you Bocephus, tubies can certainly be a PITA. I suspect I'm not the only one who has dreams (and nightmares) about bike racing and/or bike related things. One of my more amusing nightmares was about struggling to glue up a set of tubs and slowly becoming adhered to all the rags, boxes, bags, towels, sawdust, tissues and random bits of rubbish in the garage, then getting swept out and chucked in the bin in the morning by my SO.

    Sigh... If only clinchers could ever come close to replicating that awesome tubular feeling; it's like riding on clouds.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  15. #15
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    You sound like my kind of woman being a cyclist and mechanic but I don't think I'd want to get on your bad side. If you have any daughters in their early 20's feel free to send them my way. I'm one of those young brats who went with sew-ups just because that's what I could get a good deal on. Turns out I really like sewups and they aren't that much bother if you plan ahead and don't use fast tack. Of course I haven't had to fix a flat yet either.

    I wasn't that impressed with the Vittoria Corsas that came with my wheels but the Veloflexes I replaced them with expemplify everything good that I've heard about tubulars. They went on straight despite being put on by a novice who was stoned from the glue fumes and had consumed a couple three beers while cleaning his rims. They're lighter and ride smoother too. I was kind of suprised at the difference because both tires look almost identical. I've also borrowed wheels with Conti sprinters and comps and they are nice as well. Sprinters are probably the best value. I got the criteriums shipped for $55 each but that won't ever happen again so will probably have to settle for sprinters next year. I also have a pair of veloflex paves with latex tubes and they are pretty darn good, at least for me where lean angle in slower/sharper/diving type corners is limited more by center of mass than tire traction. I admit though, they aren't the same as the criteriums in the rain on a sweeping, high-speed corner where you can really lean, or an off-camber turn. And I'm comparing apples to oranges: the Shamals don't like sudden direction changes while my open pros are a better crit wheel.

    The steel wool and good solvent definitely sounds like the best idea. The dremel won't work- I tried it briefly. If you do need to get serious, you will need a standard electric drill with the most torque you can find since glue is all about friction. Be sure to use eye protection-it's easy to forget but flying wire strands are bad. Again, I didn't have any problems on my black anodized rims except around a couple spoke holes when I was getting tired and pissed off. A wire brush turning at high speed is friendlier than you might think. I tried sandpaper and that was definitely scratching the rim.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenR
    I bought a pair of used Shamals for racing last year and only recently needed new tires. I wanted to save the front as a spare but ripped the base tape in several spots and barely saved it. That's after I gave up trying to get under the tire with fingers and finally jammed a screw driver between tire and rim and started prying somewhat carefully. Thankfully, the Shamals are tough but I wouldn't do that with a carbon rim

    Now, for getting that fast tack crap off: Paint thinner, acetone, and alcohols didn't work. I finally used a xylene based compound (more about this later) to get the rim clean, but decided to physically try removing most of the glue first. I bought a 2" circular wire brush, stuck it on the drill and started working my way around the rim, stopping every couple inches to pick the junk out of the brush. Do this outside or in a room you don't care about, along with good eye protection. I had glue chunks flying everywhere. It was slow going but better than having a goopy solvent mess and still not getting through the entire layer. The brush didn't seem to hurt the rim at all and I was using quite a bit of pressure with the drill at full throttle. Then, I dripped "goof off" (marketed as a general spot remover - dried paint, lipstick, glue) on the rim and wiped/scrubbed the remaining glue off with a paper towel. This also took a while. Finally, I went back around with brake & electric motor cleaner to remove the "goop off" greasiness and any final traces of fast tack. Needless to say, I used Conti glue and hope it is much easier to remove. Have fun. You'll be in my prayers.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger
    The reason I removed the tires in the first place is because the adhesive was starting to crackle and I was getting nervous about the bond integrity. I used the wheelset strictly for training and one non-technical crit to get at least some use out of the tires. The fact that I now have to sh*tcan 2 essentially unused Sprinters is what irritates me most.

    Grumps, thank you for the base tape salvage recommendation but IME you can't reliably repair F'ed up base tape with any certainty that it's going to hold.

    My coach claims trackies are to blame for starting this ignorant practise because they replace tires so often that the convenience outweighs the risk factor.
    LFR, what's the stance on gluing basetape-less tires? I've read that it can be done, though you give up any hope of repairability, since the glue makes unthreading the casing almost impossible.
    At least it would let you get some more use out of those Sprinters. I'm in the same boat - my Zipp's came with FT'ed Sprinters. The front was new, and hopefully removed before the solvents did too much damage.
    The rear had seen more use, but still has plenty of tread. When I removed it, though, the base tape started peeling from both edges.
    Jon.

  17. #17
    Ironbutt
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    Solvents for removing fast tack

    This may be a little late, but most likely Grainger's would have what you need. I live in the far end of the country from you, and some of Graniger's stock is regional, but here in South Florida they have stuff that will remove air conditioning duct sealant, and that stuff dries almost like epoxy. One big advantage of getting things like this at Graingers is that you can get the MSDS and it will tell you all of the precautions that you need to take in order to work with the stuff safely, like what kind of gloves to wear, etc.

  18. #18
    jhr
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    Funny you should mention your nightmare

    Of gluing yourself up. Many years ago in a hotel room in Winston Salem, I sat on an open tube of Fastack (that I had left open on the bed). I literally glued my under wear to my rear end, which was glued to my shorts which were glued to the bedspread. When I got up everything came with me. Clean up was not a breeze by any stretch of the imagination.

    Would tubular glue have held better I can't say!!

    jhr

  19. #19
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    You can get a can of liquid latex to bond the tape back on (or maybe a strip of muslin, cut to size). At least those sprinters could be used for training. Incidentally, at 280g each.

    I'm surprised anybody is still considering Sprinters as a serious "racing" tire. For $10-20 less each, a Tufo will weigh only 260g...
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  20. #20
    chica cyclista
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    I wouldn't do it

    Quote Originally Posted by jw25
    LFR, what's the stance on gluing basetape-less tires? Jon.
    That's my middle-aged, conservative ex-wrench female opinion. I just binned both tires, not without a serious wince, mind you. It helps that sponsorship pays for half of the replacement.

    My view is: with the base tape gone and the seam / threads exposed, how certain can you be that you're getting a nice, even and tight adhesive bond? One of the key roles of base tape is to soak up the adhesive and ensure a secure bond to the rim. Glue sticks to cotton a whole heck of a lot better than bare rubber and nylon tubular thread.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

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  21. #21
    chica cyclista
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    Thanks to everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger
    Any theories as to how to remove this shite from tubular rims?
    The winner is: Xylene, steel wool, patience and elbow grease.

    I picked up a can of Xylene (along with the MSDS) at Grainger. Xylene does an excellent job of softening and melting the Fast Tack residue. You simply have to keep re-moistening the steel wool and working it in so that it penetrates. It took me about 90 minutes to completely clean both rims.

    Tips: Have a very well ventilated area to work in, buy the right gloves and wear a shop apron if you have one. The guys at Grainger said the Xylene will eat right through normal paint stripping gloves. It certainly tried to eat my work clogs (spilled, put a rag down, then stepped on the rag by accident.) Fortunately the clogs are thick, but it removed a layer of rubber from the sole, and I had to go back and clean up the garage pad where the shoe left "melt" marks. So don't get it near your tires (car or bike tires), whatever you do!

    The vapours are brutal. The directions say don't use Xylene anywhere near a gas furnace or water heater (lit pilot light), and I believe them. Our garage is a garage-under with an overhanging car port. I opened the garage door and intitally started work inside, but the fumes were too strong and I'd rather kill brain cells racing. I put a jacket on and moved out under the car port. Fortunately the garage bay is deep and sheltered, as it's been 32 degrees and rain/sleet/snowing pretty hard for the past 48 hours.

    This stuff is extremely toxic, so don't leave used steel wool or rags lying around for kids or pets to investigate either, and I'd also recommend against leaving it in an enclosed area where the vapours can concentrate. I shoved the used bits into an old paint can, put the lid on tight, set it outside in our garbage can "kennel" (bear-proof bin) and told my SO not to mess with it. Boulder's pretty strict about this kind of disposal - don't know that one paint can full of solvent rags is that bad, but I'm going to take the lot to our local hazmat recycling center since it's convenient anyway.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  22. #22
    chica cyclista
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    Sprinters = durability

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    I'm surprised anybody is still considering Sprinters as a serious "racing" tire. For $10-20 less each, a Tufo will weigh only 260g...
    The roads out here are pretty tough on tires. I've experimented with a few different types of tubs. I actually prefer Vittorias now that you mention it, but they were a little fragile. The Sprinters represent the best balance of durability, quality and value for the road conditions we race on. Bad chipseal, sand, gravel, thorns and glass are the norm.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  23. #23
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    The newer Sprinters are closer to 290 grams. What really ticks me off is the fact that the old Comp 240's are now about 270 grams.
    I've still have a few Sprinter 250's in boxes. (I train on clinchers)
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  24. #24
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    ouch, dude

    Quote Originally Posted by BenR
    If you have any daughters in their early 20's feel free to send them my way.
    I'm not THAT old... I only turn 36 this year. No kids, I'm a non-breeder (which is why my last boyfriend left, but that's beside the point). No siblings either. 'Fraid they broke the mold, probably for the best. I'm just a garden variety bike racer: cranky, moody, neurotic, cynical, obsessive-compulsive and difficult to live with. Being that I'm female only serves to magnify these quialities ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by BenR
    ...the Shamals don't like sudden direction changes while my open pros are a better crit wheel.
    Yeppers, that's why I got the Heliums. Those Shamals have a lot of rim weight, and that's what you're feeling in the corners: gyroscopic inertia. They will serve well in the flatter TT's, non-technical crits and circuit / road races. The best flat TT wheelset I ever owned was an old set of tubs with a foam-core rear disc that I used with my old Basso "funny" bike; lopro frame circa 1985 or so. That damned disc must have weighed ten pounds but once you got it wound up to speed it was like having a flywheel on; the momentum it produced was incredible. My fastest 40K ever was used a 50/16 fixed cog on that rear disc. Like Mike Creed said at last year's Nats: you just wind the sucker up and hope the TT ends before the gear gets too big and you die.

    My 303's are great climbing and road racing wheels but they don't like crosswinds much, and the Heliums actually feel more secure in corners, if that makes sense. Bet they'll feel even better now with a set of properly glued tubs and the ability to really lay into them.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

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