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Old 04-14-14, 03:35 PM   #1
Drew Eckhardt
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How thick are rim tapes?

Velox is .020-.021" (0.5mm)

Does anyone how thick alternatives are?

Surprisingly a web search doesn't turn up any actual numbers, just weights and suggestions that Rox, Zipp, plus packing tape are "thin."

I ordered examples and will update with measurements from Zipp, Ritchey, and Rox as they arrive.

I just built wheels using the tightest rims I've encountered (a Continental GP4000 with one bead in the center won't rotate with no rim tape installed) and need thinner tapes.

Velo Plugs did not ease the situation to allow tool-less mounting like when I built some wheels using Kinlin XR300s, and yes I'm starting at the rim joint and ending at the valve which provides a little more breathing room.

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Old 04-14-14, 04:03 PM   #2
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Is your tire any easier to mount with no rim tape installed? That's the ultimate "thin tape". It's probably still a tight fit.

My Kinlin XR-300 wheels came with this thin reinforced tape, in a loop. I think it's about as thick as duct tape? I don't have a name for it.




I have the same problem on the Kinlin rims: a GP4000S won't slide around to line up the label with just one bead mounted and no tube installed.

I wrote up a how-to for tight tires. The key is to just lift an inch or less of the bead, then slide over and repeat. It's fast and easy.

Like this:


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Old 04-14-14, 04:07 PM   #3
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IMO --- too thick.

Velox tape is almost 2mm thick, which is too thick for rims with shallow center wells. It makes tight tire mounts that much tighter. The urathane (or whatever they're made of) bands sold by Michelin and Continental are less than half that, and make for easier tire mounts.

I still use 2 turns of filament tape, which IME is the thinnest at probably around 0.5mm or so. (plus it's the cheapest).
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Old 04-14-14, 04:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Is your tire any easier to mount with no rim tape installed?
That's tight but works without tools.

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My Kinlin XR-300 wheels came with this thin reinforced tape, in a loop. I think it's about as thick as duct tape? I don't have a name for it.
I used a Kinlin XR-300 on the last wheel I built which was the tightest I'd encountered. Switching from Velox to Velo Plugs yielded enough breathing room to mount by hand.

That did not work for my US made Velocity Fusions (measured 593mm ERD not the quoted 591 the extrusion was presumably designed around) which are the new champions.

I'm sure I could force a tire on with levers, but I'd rather not risk pinched tubes or be out of luck if I break my levers changing a flat on a ride
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Old 04-14-14, 04:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO --- too thick.

Velox tape is almost 2mm thick, which is too thick for rims with shallow center wells. It makes tight tire mounts that much tighter. The urathane (or whatever they're made of) bands sold by Michelin and Continental are less than half that, and make for easier tire mounts.

I still use 2 turns of filament tape, which IME is the thinnest at probably around 0.5mm or so. (plus it's the cheapest).
I just miked mine and it is less than 1/2mm thick. He needs one of these. Bike Tools Etc. - 1000's of bicycle tools and parts for the home mechanic! It was the only way I could mount my Schwalabes.
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Old 04-14-14, 04:45 PM   #6
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It's been a while since I worked with high pressure road tires (I ride tubulars), but IME part of the problem is folding tires and others that use bead materials other than mono-filament steel hoops.

The reason is that these other bead materials have more give, so tire companies have to start smaller, so they won't stretch too much at full pressure. Given the premium on low weight, I wouldn't be surprised if steel beads now also use lighter gauge wire, and likewise need to factor more stretch.

It's one of those pick 2 of 3 features. Low weight bead, high pressure, easy mounting.

Also, some tires have more rubber flash along the bead line. This doesn't add to the structure, but shrinks the mounting ID

We used to have a similar issue with tubulars years ago. Light tires made of unyielding fabric like silk or polyester were very true to size and very easy to mount. Tires made of nylon had more give and were fully 10% or more smaller unstretched. The nylon material also had the annoying problem of getting larger (fatter) with increased pressure, whereas silk and polyester barely changed.
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Old 04-14-14, 06:15 PM   #7
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The reason is that these other bead materials have more give, so tire companies have to start smaller, so they won't stretch too much at full pressure.
It could also be that rims are getting bigger.

Mavic Open Pros dating to the late 1990s, the Reflex Clincher which preceded them, and MA40 from the mid 1990s are all reasonable with contemporary 700C tires.

Unfortunately I didn't try (no on-line shopping) other rims back then so I can't rule out brand as the cause.

Two out of three newer rims I've tried haven't been nice.
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Old 04-16-14, 11:52 AM   #8
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Some tape measurements, with a micrometer and digital calipers. Measuring tape is not like measuring metal; the measurements are approximate, but pretty close.

Velox: 0.58-0.60mm

Schwalbe plastic (urethane?) rim band: 0.49mm

Schwalbe High Pressure Fabric Rim Tape: 0.27mm

Generic plastic rim band: 0.52mm

Scotch 898 filament tape: 0.15mm

Nashua 357 duct tape: 0.35mm

Polyken duct tape: 0.24mm

Scotch 33 electrical tape: 0.17mm
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Old 04-16-14, 12:06 PM   #9
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1 Mil Kapton Tape (Polyimide), 3/4" x 36 yds: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific (19mm)

2.7 mil total thickness (.0027"), two wraps required for road pressures totaling .0054". (0.14mm)

also comes in 5/8"

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Kapton-Ta.../dp/B004TRPF28

"Leaves no residue"

Stan's yellow tape. .14mm thick (.0055"), two wraps required for road pressure totaling .011" (.28mm)

Ritchey Snap-On Rim Tape .019" thick (0.48mm)

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Old 04-16-14, 12:14 PM   #10
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consider fiberglass reinforced strapping tape. ... I think That was what FB was referring to ..

think I've got Michelin plastic tape rings in my E2 & mod 3 Mavic rims.

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Old 04-17-14, 06:39 PM   #11
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Ok, I tried the Kapton tape (two times around in the truing stand plus 2" of overlap).

It ROCKS.

I didn't need tools to mount a brand new 25mm Continental GP4000S on a Velocity Fusion which was tighter than the Kinlin XR300 I used in the last wheel I build. A used GP4000S was fine on the back wheel too.

Unlike strapping tape it peels off with no residue, and strength should be uniform length and width-wise.

I used the 3/4" tape. I tried trimming the first one to width but that was too much work and didn't seem to affect the tire seating correctly. Next time I'll see how the 5/8" goes.

Out of curiosity I looked at cost - 622mm is 24.5 inches, so with a couple inches of overlap each wheel takes 156 inches and there are 8 wheels in a 36 yard roll which is $1.50 a wheel or $3 a pair.

That's less expensive than anything else except packing tape - Velox is $3 a wheel, and the 36 yard roll goes 3.6X farther than a 10 yard roll of Stan's for about the same price.

The first 26 miles were trouble free and with nothing to abrade the tube or fibers to fray I expect it'll last.

FWIW, this is the same stuff American Classic, Fun Works, and other companies sell for tubeless installations after applying a comfortable (3-4X) markup. American Classic suggests a base layer + 2 wraps, Fun Works 2 wraps. YMMV.

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Old 04-18-14, 10:30 AM   #12
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Rox Ultralight is .009" (.23mm)
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Old 04-18-14, 10:42 AM   #13
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Velocity tape (Velotape?) is thin. In fact they specifically recommend it for their A23 rims which are supposed to be very shallow. I think Stan's tape (for tubeless) is also thin, and can be used in clincher tires IIRC.

As for the Kool Stop Tire Jack that someone posted a link to -- those things work great, but they won't help you if you get a flat on the road.
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Old 04-18-14, 07:21 PM   #14
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Velocity tape (Velotape?) is thin. In fact they specifically recommend it for their A23 rims which are supposed to be very shallow. I think Stan's tape (for tubeless) is also thin, and can be used in clincher tires IIRC.

As for the Kool Stop Tire Jack that someone posted a link to -- those things work great, but they won't help you if you get a flat on the road.
They do if you take them with you.
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