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Old 07-23-13, 04:45 PM   #1
Shamrock
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rim help!

I just found the reason for my 5 recent flats. My bike shop was no help.said it was bad luck and I was hitting potholes ,curbs etc.The rim tape moved and the tube was getting pinched around the spoke.So my question is can I just work the rim tape back which I did already.Or should I install new rim tape.I don't want to worry about the tape moving again causing more flats.Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-23-13, 04:51 PM   #2
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Rim strips (rubber) can move. Rim tape has an adhesive and should not move. If the rim tape is moving its time to replace it.
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Old 07-23-13, 05:26 PM   #3
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I use strips of duct tape and coat everything with baby powder.
I just had an insanely ridiculous round of flats on a brand new bike with alex rims. Now, I love alex's and have only had great luck with them so this was hard.
What it turned out to be is a flexible plastic rim strip that I suppose is 'sposed to be more bulletproof than rubber, but after about a flat every 2 days I was trying anything. I pulled the hard synthetic rim strip out and replaced it with very carefully stuck 1/2" duct tape strips, baby powdered, all is good for months
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Old 07-23-13, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
I use strips of duct tape and coat everything with baby powder.
I just had an insanely ridiculous round of flats on a brand new bike with alex rims. Now, I love alex's and have only had great luck with them so this was hard.
What it turned out to be is a flexible plastic rim strip that I suppose is 'sposed to be more bulletproof than rubber, but after about a flat every 2 days I was trying anything. I pulled the hard synthetic rim strip out and replaced it with very carefully stuck 1/2" duct tape strips, baby powdered, all is good for months
I've put electrical tape over the plastic strips to smooth out the edges and prevent movement while retaining the pucker-proof properties.
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Old 07-23-13, 05:54 PM   #5
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Double or single wall rim? Single wall rims have the spoke nipples right out there to come in contact with the tube if the rim strip moves. If the spokes are long enough to protrude through the nipple, it's worse.
In a double wall rim, the strip has to be strong enough to not be pushed into the spoke hole by a pressurized tube.
Typically, rubber strips are best for single wall rims, fabric or plastic for double wall.
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Old 07-23-13, 06:48 PM   #6
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Double wall,just installed the new tape and it seems to fit better than the old one.(If it ain't broke don't fix it) but should I do the front tire rim tape also?
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Old 07-23-13, 07:00 PM   #7
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Double wall,just installed the new tape and it seems to fit better than the old one.(If it ain't broke don't fix it) but should I do the front tire rim tape also?
Couldn't hurt.
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Old 07-23-13, 07:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
I've put electrical tape over the plastic strips to smooth out the edges
and prevent movement while retaining the pucker-proof properties.
Hi, I was going to suggest that, but you beat me to it, rgds, sreten.

Its clearly the simple fix for still very usable tape moving around.

Last edited by sreten; 07-23-13 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-23-13, 09:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
Double wall,just installed the new tape and it seems to fit better than the old one.(If it ain't broke don't fix it) but should I do the front tire rim tape also?
I'd get the tape to do the front wheel, but leave it until I have a flat to fix or need to replace the tire, then swap out the tape. I've got plastic rim strips on my bikes, but my wife's bike hasn't had a flat in years (she hasn't ridden it, in years), so I haven't gotten around to replacing the rim strips yet.
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Old 07-23-13, 09:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
I just found the reason for my 5 recent flats. My bike shop was no help.said it was bad luck and I was hitting potholes ,curbs etc.The rim tape moved and the tube was getting pinched around the spoke.So my question is can I just work the rim tape back which I did already.Or should I install new rim tape.I don't want to worry about the tape moving again causing more flats.Thanks for your input.
What exactly leads you to think the rim tape is to blame? I am not saying it isn't possible, but the hole in the tube would have to be in the same place for every puncture, and be on the inner circumference of the tube.

I am also a little confused by your terminology in saying here that the tube was getting pinched around the spoke, but that is almost impossible on the double-walled rims I have come across. The spokes would have to be excessively long, and the thread likewise for them to protrude far enough to be a problem.

Usually, rim tape comes in various sizes to suit the width of the outer wall of the rim. It's very difficult to get a properly sized rim tape, width-wise, to move sufficiently to expose a spoke hole. Rubber ones are quite easy to displace when fixing a puncture.

I've got plastic and fabric rim tapes on various bikes. I've had no issues with either.
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Old 07-23-13, 10:29 PM   #11
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What exactly leads you to think the rim tape is to blame? I am not saying it isn't possible, but the hole in the tube would have to be in the same place for every puncture, and be on the inner circumference of the tube.
Sorry, Rowan, but my years of fixing flats on crap bikes will argue with you; I've seen spoke-nipple-induced holes in tubes in as many as five different places on one tube. It CAN happen, and does.

My personal remedy for rim tape: 1 layer of nylon strapping tape, followed by two layers of electrical tape, then I cut out the valve hole with a razor knife. Has never failed me. Works on single- and double-wall rims.
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Old 07-23-13, 10:32 PM   #12
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Sorry, Rowan, but my years of fixing flats on crap bikes will argue with you; I've seen spoke-nipple-induced holes in tubes in as many as five different places on one tube. It CAN happen, and does.
On double-walled rims?

On single wall, yes, no argument. But on a double-walled rim, it would have to be a very poorly built wheel. For the symptoms posted, I stand by my question.

In a really cheap pinch on a single-wall rim, I have used electrical tape, but no other. I've gone around the rim once with the sticky side outward, and then again with sticky sides facing each other. It avoids the sticky mess of the tape adhering to the rim itself. The arrangement lasted me many days of commuting, but wasn't ideal

Last edited by Rowan; 07-24-13 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 07-24-13, 01:59 AM   #13
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I started having a somewhat similar problem with my new handbuilt Sun Rims M13 II's.
The only rim tape the LBS had was 10 & 20?mm. (13-14 would have been ideal)
I tried the 10mm. I was good until the first (natural) flat. I inadvertently scooted the tape over with the tire lever so that the nipple hole was slightly exposed. The Sun Rims seem to be "generously sized" in this respect.
After 3-4 unexpected flats, I went to 16mm tape. It kind of runs up the radius to the bead seat, but not onto it.
Knock on wood, it's been good since.
I'll do the front when I have reason to take the tire off.
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Old 07-24-13, 05:31 AM   #14
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What exactly leads you to think the rim tape is to blame? I am not saying it isn't possible, but the hole in the tube would have to be in the same place for every puncture, and be on the inner circumference of the tube.

I am also a little confused by your terminology in saying here that the tube was getting pinched around the spoke, but that is almost impossible on the double-walled rims I have come across. The spokes would have to be excessively long, and the thread likewise for them to protrude far enough to be a problem.

Usually, rim tape comes in various sizes to suit the width of the outer wall of the rim. It's very difficult to get a properly sized rim tape, width-wise, to move sufficiently to expose a spoke hole. Rubber ones are quite easy to displace when fixing a puncture.

I've got plastic and fabric rim tapes on various bikes. I've had no issues with either.
The rim tape looking down at the rim has moved slightly to the side.This left a little opening between the rim and tape.Right where the recessed hole for the two spokes in the flat area are located.I think over time the tube worked its way into the tiny slot and caused a flat.And yes all the flats are in the same are of the tube. Thanks for your help
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Old 07-24-13, 05:41 AM   #15
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The rim tape looking down at the rim has moved slightly to the side.This left a little opening between the rim and tape.Right where the recessed hole for the two spokes in the flat area are located.I think over time the tube worked its way into the tiny slot and caused a flat.And yes all the flats are in the same are of the tube. Thanks for your help
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Old 07-24-13, 05:42 AM   #16
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The industry standard:



Or, if you want to save weight and leave more vertical space inside your rim (helps in getting tires on/off

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Old 07-24-13, 06:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
I just found the reason for my 5 recent flats. My bike shop was no help.said it was bad luck and I was hitting potholes ,curbs etc.The rim tape moved and the tube was getting pinched around the spoke.So my question is can I just work the rim tape back which I did already.Or should I install new rim tape.I don't want to worry about the tape moving again causing more flats.Thanks for your input.
Years ago almost every time that I sold a certain brand of road bike in my shop, the buyer would come back after their first ride or two with a flat tire. The cause was those stretchy plastic rim strips that had migrated to one side and uncovered a spoke hole. My solution was to open up the tires on every single road bike of that brand and replace the plastic strips with Velox. Then the local sales rep covered the cost of the rim strips for me but not the labor. The customer satisfaction was definitely worth it to me.

On a double wall rim it's important that the rim strip covers every tiny little arc of spoke hole. If it doesn't, air pressure will force the inner tube against the sharp edge of the spoke hole. Ideally, the rim tape should completely cover the rim from flange to flange.
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Old 07-28-13, 08:21 AM   #18
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I have used those Velo Plugs on PSIMET carbon wheels for a number of years now and had no issues or problems with them. Mine is the larger plugs, the yellow ones.
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Old 07-28-13, 10:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
The rim tape looking down at the rim has moved slightly to the side.This left a little opening between the rim and tape.Right where the recessed hole for the two spokes in the flat area are located.I think over time the tube worked its way into the tiny slot and caused a flat.And yes all the flats are in the same are of the tube. Thanks for your help
Any tiny little crescent of exposed spoke hole is all it takes.
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