Continental tubular cement - A favourite with mechanics and racers alike
Review from BikeRadar : March 2011
The concept of the tubular system - gluing a tire to a rim - is more than 100 years old and dates back to a time when racing rims were made of wood. Things have progressed since then, with Mavic racing the first alloy tubular rim, called 'Dura', in 1934, and carbon fibre infiltrating in the 1990s.
For the past five years it's carbon that has proliferated but it was only in 2009 that Continental introduced the first glue specifically designed for carbon tubular rims. It was worth the wait, though, because we can highly recommend the new Carbon Rim Cement. It provides excellent adhesion with the benefit of fewer installation steps than standard glue.
How it works
Aside from the initial issues with gluing a tire to carbon - namely, getting a surface that's free of carbon mold release agents - the main problem with the material is its relatively low heat capacity. Carbon rims tend to heat up quickly and run hotter than alloy ones. On long mountain descents this can create a scenario in which the tubular glue heats up and loses its adhesive properties, greatly increasing the chances of rolling a tire.
In third party testing, by the time a rim is too hot to touch, Continental's standard glue has lost 50 percent of its adhesive strength (Chip Howat: Tubular Tires: Adhesives and Practice. (Part 6)). The new carbon-specific glue, however, is formulated with a higher resistance to heat. Continental claim a bond that's three times stronger than their standard glue at 70C (158F).
The one issue with the new glue, according to Continental, is that it can't be applied using a traditional layering technique. The adhesive goes on thicker, and Continental say it will not dry if too much is applied to either the rim or tire. This is bad news if a mechanic ignores Continental's application instructions, because this can lead to failure.
But it's good news if the instructions are followed, as the procedure only takes two steps (once the rim is clean) to form an exceptional bond between tire and rim. The proper procedure is as follows: clean the rim and tire; apply one thin layer of glue to the rim and tire (though it's not possible to apply a layer as thin as it is with standard glue); let dry for eight to 24 hours; apply one thin layer of glue to the tire, mount it; wait 24 hours to ride the wheel.
Chip Howat, a professor at the University of Kansas, is the foremost expert on tubular gluing and adhesion. He has literally written the book on proper installation techniques and ranked the performance of the bike industry's tubular adhesives. We were the first to talk to Howat about Continental's new glue, which after testing he recommends for use with carbon tubular rims.
Our tires are solid, and Howat's third-party research says that the new glue is 20 percent stronger than Conti's standard glue
"It did well," said Howat. "I did four separate tests: one with [Vittoria] Mastik One, one with conventional Continental glue, one with the carbon glue following the manufacturer's recommendations and then one using the carbon glue and my procedure [three light layers of glue on the rim, one on the tire]. Using my gluing procedure against the standard [Continental] glue, it looks like 20 to 25 percent better. [With their procedure] it's still good, better than conventional, but only marginally so." Howat hasn't yet tested the new glue's heat resistance.
Howat's method for gluing is a process that one of his students earned his master's degree testing. "We tested every procedure that we knew was out there and then developed our own," said Howat. "We found that multiple layers on the tire - now these were all conventional glues, before the carbon glue came out - didn't make a difference; one coat was sufficient. What really made a difference are multiple coats on the rim. We tested one coat, two coats, three coats, four and five coats, and we found that diminishing returns set in after three coats."
"It's probably not as easy to put on," Howat said when asked for summary of the Continental carbon glue. "It's a thicker carrier and solvent, so I found that it was more difficult to get a uniform coat. But obviously it's performing better… so I'd use it, if it were available to me."
(Note: Howat tested the new Continental glue at the request of the brand's American distributors, who provided the glue and test tires free of charge. However, Howat bought his own tires and standard glues to test against and was otherwise not paid or compensated for the test.)
Continental's Carbon Rim Cement is available in 25g tubes for US$5 and 200g brush-quipped cans for $44.95. Using Continental's application instructions, each 25g tube of glue is adequate for the installation of one tire.
All of our UK Customers can select our FREE standard delivery option on any order over £30 which also means free delivery is available on all bicycles. As part of our delivery options you can also upgrade to Primo Delivery DPD/APC tracked shipping, which means items in stock will be with you sooner. Learn more about JE James deliver services. Click here
We are proud to say that all of our bikes are pre-built and go through a rigorous inspection procedure before the bike arrives at your doorstep. Due to shipping restrictions bikes will arrive with some minor assembly being required. To help with this small amount of assembly we have created our helpful assembly guide. Click here to view assembly guide.
JE James Cycles Click and Collect feature is a great way of securing your product before coming into store selecting your nearest JE James Cycle branch. Once your product is ready for collection your chosen JE James Branch will contact you via text or telephone. Meaning you do not make a wasted trip. Please do not come into store until you receive this message. Learn more about JE James Click and Collect. Click here
We have many happy customers based outside of the UK because we try and keep our delivery charges to minimum. The best way to calculate how much delivery of any item via our website is to add products to your cart and proceed through the checkout process, please then enter your delivery details. Our website at this time will calculate the cost of delivery to your country. Orders delivered outside of the EU are exempt from VAT. Learn more about JE James Cycles international delivery. Please click here.
Our main aim is to make sure you are happy with your purchase You can contact our returns department direcly via email: email@example.com
Learn more about our returns policy here: Click here to view returns policy