The trend of bicycle tire manufacturers choosing to stamp their tires with enormous logos has reached pretty ridiculous (Hi-Viz Yellow) levels. But fear not fellow unsponsored riders…we’re here to show you how to cover up sidewall hot stamps permanently.
When it comes to this particular category of dirty tricks, we generally turn to Bike Black Ribbon Test Pilot Evan LarSSon. He keeps himself up to date in the art of chaos and he provided today’s ‘hands-on’ video footage for our little project. When I first decided to try to delete a logo from the sidewall of a tire, I started out with a big fresh fat sharpie. The sharpie ink wasn’t dense enough to completely cover the sidewall lettering and it faded in pretty short order. Around the same time period, I consulted Evan and he told me that he had just the thing for the job. His answer was 3M’s Single Step Primer. Evan told me that I needed to “wear rubber gloves and take every reasonable precaution to avoid getting the primer on my skin or clothing”. He went on to say “This is the stuff that turned Spiderman into Venom – There’s a healthy dollop of evil in every can. Do NOT get this stuff on your skin.” I would even add eye protection and a workspace with plenty of ventilation to the list of precautions after reading the Safety Data Sheet for this stuff. It’s NASTY!
Here’s a link to the 3M Page about the Single Step Primer and a link to the eighteen-page Safety Data Sheet (SDS). With all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise that you can purchase the primer at any auto body/paint supply or it’s even available on Amazon.
Some time ago, Evan gave me a small bottle of the single step primer and I applied it to a tire to see how it would work and if the coverage would last. That was about two years ago and the tire that I deleted the logos from still looks as good as the day that I utilized the primer to cover the logo. You have to look pretty closely to see where the primer was applied and there’s no show-thru or defects in the impeccable cover-up of the original hot stamp. The tire shows no adverse effects in the areas that I applied the primer. If you’re interested in deleting some lettering off of the outside of your knobbies, you’ve come to the right place. We should mention that this totally voids the warranty on 45N tires….but so does riding them in a competition (race) or for commercial uses, so the warranty on these particular tires was previously voided through racing and showboating for tips at county fairs & carnivals.
Things You’ll Need
- Rubber Gloves & Eye Protection
- Wax & Grease Remover (I used Isopropyl Alchohol)
- Clean Shop Rag
- 3m Single Step Primer 08681
- Paint Daubers
- Well Ventilated Workspace
(Watch the Video)
Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make us the happiest, like tires that match our matte black bike (and black heart). That’s all there is to it. Just don’t get that primer on anything but the logo that you’d like to cover. When you’re all done, you’ll be sponsored by darkness or maybe #bikeblackribbon.