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Blacking out tire lettering
#1
I put new Bontrager Hardcase tires on my road bike restoration. I like the tires ( 6 months old, 1000 miles, no flats) except for one thing: the sidewalls have "BONTRAGER" in white lettering on them. I would like to black that out using a black Sharpie permanent marker. Would the marker ink damage/degrade the sidewalls? I realize this may seem a silly question, but one can get a little compulsive...

(the bike is stored indoors at room temperature when not ridden)

Thanks!
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#2
(02-25-2011, 02:38 PM)Tim M Wrote:  I put new Bontrager Hardcase tires on my road bike restoration. I like the tires ( 6 months old, 1000 miles, no flats) except for one thing: the sidewalls have "BONTRAGER" in white lettering on them. I would like to black that out using a black Sharpie permanent marker. Would the marker ink damage/degrade the sidewalls? I realize this may seem a silly question, but one can get a little compulsive...

(the bike is stored indoors at room temperature when not ridden)

Thanks!

The word "compulsive" doesn't not exist here Big Grin. You should be fine doing that as the material is made of rubber compound and the permanent marker will be fine. There may be a paint you could use too?!? <--- Not sure. Someone here may even have an idea to possibly rub off the white paint.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
In some places having a known brand displayed on your bike makes you look cool. But I can see your point if you are restoring an old bike that had black wall tires and you don't want to change that. My only concern would be getting the sharpie to match the shade of the tire so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. They do make paints specially formulated for rubber, but they are a little expensive and again, you would have the shade difference.

I would try a non-permanent marker first to see if the shades match to your liking and see if you like the end results. If you don't, you can always wash it off and go with a plan B.
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#4
(02-25-2011, 06:05 PM)JohnV Wrote:  In some places having a known brand displayed on your bike makes you look cool. But I can see your point if you are restoring an old bike that had black wall tires and you don't want to change that. My only concern would be getting the sharpie to match the shade of the tire so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. They do make paints specially formulated for rubber, but they are a little expensive and again, you would have the shade difference.

I would try a non-permanent marker first to see if the shades match to your liking and see if you like the end results. If you don't, you can always wash it off and go with a plan B.

Thanks! A couple hours ago I did the drive side, gently using the black Sharpie permanent marker. Motive: reduce the visual "BONTRAGER" noise on the bike. Next, I rode the bike around here for 20 miles and there doesn't seem to be any chemical warfare. I'll do the other side later today. There is the test of time, of course. I do like the tires, 700x25.
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#5
I bet that black Sharpie ink over the white will look purple soon, if it doesn't already.
Remove the wheel, clean the tire sidewalls thoroughly with hot water and dish soap, and rinse. Once dry, apply black Leather Dye that you can buy at most any shoe store. If the tire is warm (as in sunlight), it is better. Careful with that dye. It works on almost everything, including aluminum rims and your fingers. It will absorb into the rubber and last a good while.
Acetone will probably take the white completely off but, it has a tendency to not play nicely with rubber.

You may think this strange coming from a Trek dealer but... as nice as some Bonty tires (and other components) are, they do tend to look like a dang Billboard at times!
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#6
(02-26-2011, 01:22 AM)RobAR Wrote:  I bet that black Sharpie ink over the white will look purple soon, if it doesn't already.
Remove the wheel, clean the tire sidewalls thoroughly with hot water and dish soap, and rinse. Once dry, apply black Leather Dye that you can buy at most any shoe store. If the tire is warm (as in sunlight), it is better. Careful with that dye. It works on almost everything, including aluminum rims and your fingers. It will absorb into the rubber and last a good while.
Acetone will probably take the white completely off but, it has a tendency to not play nicely with rubber.

You may think this strange coming from a Trek dealer but... as nice as some Bonty tires (and other components) are, they do tend to look like a dang Billboard at times!

Yeah, the turning purple issue was kinda in the back of my tiny mind. But so far black Sharpie is holding black. Interestingly, "Bontrager" appears once again this time in raised letters approx three spokes ahead of the painted "Bontrager" but they didn't paint them. Funny. Decent tires, though. Thanks.
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#7
Oh gosh, Tim. Did I miss something?
For that little, molded-in, lettering you'll want to use a toothpick and white fingernail polish but, it doesn't last long. It flakes off in less than 10 miles. Don't ask how I know this.
Wink
Compulsive. Hmmmm - contemplating.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#8
Yeah, the Trek tires are on a NOS (and visually noisy on the triangle) Raleigh USA Technium (circa Nov 1991, 3rd shift, I think) Easton tubing. It's been a real challenge to come up with period-correct NOS RX 100 bits, stem and bars, but I did it! It's the best one out there. But those tires I chose...fixed that, right?
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#9
Bonty Hardcase' are an awesome tire for the money.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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