Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-08-13, 11:47 AM   #1
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Electrical tape as rim tape?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for advice about whether electrical tape is a reliable substitute for cotton rim tape. I installed new tires for a friend yesteday, but the fit was so extremely tight that I was initially unable to mount the tires. So I removed the cotton rim tape and replaced it with electrical tape, dusted the rim with talcum powder, and was then able to mount the tire with only a minor struggle.

Is this a reliable solution? If not, what else should I try instead?

Here are all the details of the parts involved: The rims are 700C Campy Omegas, the new tires are 28mm Pasela Tourguards with wire beads. The tires I replaced were 23mm Continental Gatorskins with wire beads. The front rim had Velox rim tape, and the old gatorskin tire was so incredibly tight fitting that I had to cut the beads to remove it. The rear rim had a thin rubber rim strip, and I was able to remove the old rear tire with some difficulty. I don't have a bead jack, and would prefer not to have to use one to mount my friend's tires because we do long rides and get pretty far from home.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 11:57 AM   #2
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta
Posts: 4,387
Electrical tape may or may not be satisfactory. It tends to stretch and the adhesive tends to creep, especially under elevated temperatures, so it may fail over time. A better alternative may be filament-reinforced packing tape, the reinforcement helps prevent it from stretching and the adhesive does not creep as much as electrical tape. My rim strip of choice is Continental Easy Tape. It is thinner and slipperier than Velox cloth tape which makes tire mounting easier and does not stretch appreciably. No messy adhesive to get all over, either

+1 on not needing unavailable tools on the road for predictable needs like changing tires.
dsbrantjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:02 PM   #3
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
there's 'electrical tape', then there's 3M Super33+ Electrical Tape. the generic stuff is junk even for electrical applications, it turns to crusty goo.

still, neither are what I'd want to use for rim tape. IF your rims are double wall, so the spoke nipples are down inside the holes, an alternative to rim tape are these little rubber plugs you put in each hole, like Veloplugs...
pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:21 PM   #4
3alarmer
Can'tre Member
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Bikes: old ones
Posts: 13,642
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowebr View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for advice about whether electrical tape is a reliable substitute for cotton rim tape. I installed new tires for a friend yesteday, but the fit was so extremely tight that I was initially unable to mount the tires. So I removed the cotton rim tape and replaced it with electrical tape, dusted the rim with talcum powder, and was then able to mount the tire with only a minor struggle.

Is this a reliable solution? If not, what else should I try instead?

Here are all the details of the parts involved: The rims are 700C Campy Omegas, the new tires are 28mm Pasela Tourguards with wire beads. The tires I replaced were 23mm Continental Gatorskins with wire beads. The front rim had Velox rim tape, and the old gatorskin tire was so incredibly tight fitting that I had to cut the beads to remove it. The rear rim had a thin rubber rim strip, and I was able to remove the old rear tire with some difficulty. I don't have a bead jack, and would prefer not to have to use one to mount my friend's tires because we do long rides and get pretty far from home.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
If your tires in this case are inflated to higher pressures, and your rims
are box sections with a space between the spoke head and the inner wall
that carries the tape, electrical tape (and even a lot of the plastic rim
tapes that are made for this) will stretch into the empty space and eventually
cause a puncture or a blow out of the tube.

Other than cloth rim tape, a lot of people use fiberglass filament reinforced
strapping tape cut or ripped down to the appropriate width. One caution is
that sometimes it can be difficult to remove.but it seems to work quite well.
3alarmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:41 PM   #5
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Thanks everyone. It seems the electrical tape is only suitable as a temporary fix. I'll order some Continental Easy Tape as suggested by dsbrantjr and give that a try. One quick question for 3alarmer: does "fiberglass filament reinforced strapping tape" = duct tape?
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:47 PM   #6
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
and on single wall rims.. Velox cloth will resist the PSI from the tube , spanning the holes in a double wall rim.

Quote:
"fiberglass filament reinforced strapping tape" = duct tape?
NO.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:49 PM   #7
Ferrous Bueller
absent
 
Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DC
Bikes:
Posts: 621
It's this stuff.
Ferrous Bueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 12:50 PM   #8
anixi
Jack of all trades
 
anixi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Bikes: Pug Triathlon&PRN-10 Ventana El Saltamontes Spec Stumpjumper Conversion
Posts: 2,343
As said before, electrical tape is a poor substitute. I've seen some "ghetto" rims like this before. Cleaning off the adhesive is an onerous chore. A better quick fix would be the rubber rim tapes, work fine for me on flip bikes.
anixi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 01:59 PM   #9
OldRoadman
Senior Member
 
OldRoadman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Menomonee Falls, Wi.
Bikes: 82 Trek 613 Sport Touring, 84 Lotus Classique
Posts: 196
My substitute has been Johnson & Johnson 1/2" inch waterproof tape. Basically cloth tape impregnated with rubber. Cheap, sticks good and applies easily. Any drug store has it.
OldRoadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:24 PM   #10
Chombi 
Senior Member
 
Chombi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC
Posts: 10,778
In an emergency, electrical tape might work if you put down maybe three, four layers of it, as the material is too soft to resist splitting or cutting by possible sharp edges from the holes at the spoke nipples, especially if you have a tire/tube that requires high pressures.
Bottom line is, rim tape is not a good area to skimp. Just buy the right stuff and you will be more confident that you don't get a blow-out during a ride because you used the wrong tape on your wheels.....you might be saving yourself from major injury or worse....

Chombi
Chombi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:29 PM   #11
Al1943
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Bikes: Trek 5500, Colnago C-50
Posts: 9,432
I use Velox rim tape. I suspect that my Michelin Pro Race 3 tires fit tighter than Gatorskins.
Al1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:32 PM   #12
bobn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 726
In the heat and over time anything with glue will turn to goo. This = mess
bobn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:37 PM   #13
Ferrous Bueller
absent
 
Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DC
Bikes:
Posts: 621
Longest I've successfully used electrical tape on a particular (mtb) rim was a paltry 15 years. Use at your own peril.
Ferrous Bueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:46 PM   #14
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Bueller View Post
Longest I've successfully used electrical tape on a particular (mtb) rim was a paltry 15 years. Use at your own peril.
mountain bikes are maybe 50PSI.

road bikes can be 120psi or higher. rubber tape deforms under that sort of pressure.
pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:52 PM   #15
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I use Velox rim tape. I suspect that my Michelin Pro Race 3 tires fit tighter than Gatorskins.
Is that with Campy Omega rims?
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:58 PM   #16
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Bueller View Post
Longest I've successfully used electrical tape on a particular (mtb) rim was a paltry 15 years. Use at your own peril.
I do wonder how long it would last, the 28mm tires will only get inflated to 70 or so psi...but there's no reason not try something better.
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 02:58 PM   #17
Al1943
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Bikes: Trek 5500, Colnago C-50
Posts: 9,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowebr View Post
Is that with Campy Omega rims?
No, DT Swiss RR 265, RR 210, and Mavic Open Pro.
Al1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 03:11 PM   #18
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
No, DT Swiss RR 265, RR 210, and Mavic Open Pro.

Ok thanks, good to know. I found some references on the forum about the Campy Omega rims being difficult to mount tires on, and I can now confirm that for sure.
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 03:15 PM   #19
Ferrous Bueller
absent
 
Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DC
Bikes:
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce View Post
mountain bikes are maybe 50PSI.

road bikes can be 120psi or higher. rubber tape deforms under that sort of pressure.
Yes. Probably maxed at 40 because it's on a bike that actually goes mountain biking.
I didn't mean to suggest it was appropriate for all pressures, just that it works well for some.
Ferrous Bueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 03:41 PM   #20
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Bikes:
Posts: 5,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce View Post
mountain bikes are maybe 50PSI.

road bikes can be 120psi or higher. rubber tape deforms under that sort of pressure.
I used electrical tape without any problems with my first narrow clincher rims, Rigida 13-19s, for over 20 years until the brake surface wore out. Tire pressures ranged from 100 - 125 psi.
prathmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 05:03 PM   #21
Flying Merkel
Senior Member
 
Flying Merkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Costa Mesa CA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,639
Used to use friction tape. It seems to have disappeared from the market
Flying Merkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 05:11 PM   #22
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,687
Quote:
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I used electrical tape without any problems with my first narrow clincher rims, Rigida 13-19s, for over 20 years until the brake surface wore out. Tire pressures ranged from 100 - 125 psi.
Did you use the "friction tape" Flying Merkel referred to? It was cloth, not vinyl, and had much less stretch than the new vinyl tape.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 05:37 PM   #23
Jed19 
Senior Member
 
Jed19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4,228
Why not just buy regular rim tape and take care of the problem once and for all? One of the most miserable rides I've ever had involved having two flats on the same ride. I had bought a new wheelset that came with some flimsy rim tape that worked well for about four rides, then boom, the fifth ride resulted in two flats at different times, and since I only carry one spare tube (and was sure if I patched the new flat, it still wasn't gonna get me home), I had to make a telephone call for the "shame car ride" 40miles from home. My then wife was not amused.

Now, I don't mess with "make do" rim tapes. Velox is what I use now.
__________________
Regards,

Jed
Jed19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 05:53 PM   #24
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Merkel View Post
Used to use friction tape. It seems to have disappeared from the market
closest thing I can think of is gaffers tape, but it normally comes in 3" and wider rolls, and rather LONG rolls too, and is fairly expensive. its a cloth tape with a synthetic adhesive, normally matte black. its primary use is by theatrical stage electricians ('gaffers'), they use it to tape down wiring on the stage floor. its designed to peel completely clean after a month or two of use. its very sticky too. its probably too thick for use as rim tape, however.
pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-13, 05:55 PM   #25
rowebr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rowebr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion, mid 80's Focus MB-400, 1980-something Guerciotti
Posts: 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
Why not just buy regular rim tape and take care of the problem once and for all? One of the most miserable rides I've ever had involved having two flats on the same ride. I had bought a new wheelset that came with some flimsy rim tape that worked well for about four rides, then boom, the fifth ride resulted in two flats at different times, and since I only carry one spare tube (and was sure if I patched the new flat, it still wasn't gonna get me home), I had to make a telephone call for the "shame car ride" 40miles from home. My then wife was not amused.

Now, I don't mess with "make do" rim tapes. Velox is what I use now.
I agree that I need reliable rim tape. But the tire is impossible to mount by hand when using traditional cotton rim tape, and I have confirmed that the model of campy rims is known to have issues with mounting tires. I'm going to try one of the slick rim tapes recommended above.
rowebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:25 AM.