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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-05-10, 01:56 PM   #1
WoundedKnee
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Just so you guys know..

I have been using ELECTRICAL TAPE instead of RIM TAPE for about a month now and it has worked without fail.

I use 2-3 layers and that holds up fine in excess of 100 psi.

NOTE: This is on Weinmann DP18s, a semi-deep section rim. So the ends of the spokes don't poke out at all.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:08 PM   #2
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but it doesn't look as cool!!
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Old 02-05-10, 02:10 PM   #3
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electrical tape _will_ work, but not recommended. it can stretch, slip, and leave adhesive behind.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:11 PM   #4
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been doing this for about......25 years? and I agree, never ever had a problem, well no stretching or slipping, although it will leave adhesive behind, but only after a loooooong while, my 1938 Cleveland Welding Co. bike had electric tape on the wheels, it left behind adhesive but it cleaned right off with Acetone.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:15 PM   #5
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About a month without failure doesn't exactly sound like thorough testing. I'll stay with rim tape.

edit: Didn't refresh before posting. ilikebikes'e experience is a better vote of confidence. But still, considering the way electrical tape gums up, I think I can afford the tiny expense associated with rim tape.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:17 PM   #6
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About a month without failure doesn't exactly sound like thorough testing. I'll stay with rim tape.

how's 'bout 25 years? and hows three years straight without failure sound?
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Old 02-05-10, 02:17 PM   #7
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I know it's been used a long time. But when I was researching it everyone said to not use it for high pressure tires, so I just wanted to say it works fine for me.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:20 PM   #8
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I'm with you. ^^^^
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Old 02-05-10, 02:44 PM   #9
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veloplugs for the win
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Old 02-05-10, 02:50 PM   #10
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I tried VeloPlugs. They don't fit DP18s.
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Old 02-05-10, 02:54 PM   #11
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I've used electrical tape on a number of wheels.

Never had a problem.

Glue behind? I have no idea ... haven't had to remove the tape (or any other rim tape, for that matter).
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Old 02-05-10, 03:34 PM   #12
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I've also been using it ever since I built my first wheels for the then new narrow (and high pressure) clincher rims (Rigida 13-19 red labels) back around 1975. The rear wheel from back then is still in good shape and still has the original electrical tape in it after 35 years. Maybe there would be some glue residue, but I don't see that as a big issue - why would I ever need to replace the tape; and if I did I'd just put another layer of tape over the old glue. Usually the rim tape doesn't get touched until the rim wears out due to brake wear. At that point I remove the tape so I can move the spokes over to a replacement rim. If there's some glue residue I don't care since I'm throwing the old rim out anyway.
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Old 02-05-10, 04:18 PM   #13
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Well, I've replaced the electrical tape someone used on the bike they sold my neighbor that led to multiple flats in the first ride. I accept that others experience is different, and maybe you use more or have some better technique than the guy that built her bike, but what's the theoretical advantage here? Save a whole dollar?
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Old 02-05-10, 08:40 PM   #14
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I've been using electrical tape on several rims. I just ran out of velox one day and used electrical tape. It's been in two of my rims now for years. I run between 115 and 125 psi in those tires with no problems. I still prefer velox, but won't hesitate to use electrical if that's all I have on hand.
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Old 02-05-10, 09:56 PM   #15
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I use Velox if im at the shop and its at my disposal but otherwise, I have a roll of strapping tape in my tool box at home. Iv used it in quite a few rims with out an issue. I ran it in some Deep V's with 145psi at one point and never flatted with it. I was running Schwalbe Ultremo's in case anyone is wondering.
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Old 02-06-10, 01:42 AM   #16
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Given that rim strips are about a buck per, I'm not sure saving a few cents is really worth it.
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Old 02-06-10, 01:44 AM   #17
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Its not about money. Jeez.
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Old 02-06-10, 02:25 AM   #18
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what's the theoretical advantage here? Save a whole dollar?
Two advantages:
1) I almost always have electrical tape available whereas I'd have to go out and get some rim tape;
2) it's a little thinner than Velox tape which leads to easier tire changing (the bead of the tire can go down in the channel of the rim a little deeper thus allowing a little more slack in the last section that you're trying to get over the rim's edge).
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Old 02-06-10, 09:56 AM   #19
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Two advantages:
1) I almost always have electrical tape available whereas I'd have to go out and get some rim tape;
2) it's a little thinner than Velox tape which leads to easier tire changing (the bead of the tire can go down in the channel of the rim a little deeper thus allowing a little more slack in the last section that you're trying to get over the rim's edge).
Its not worth it....just because someone reports that it hasn't failed, doesn't mean that its not more likely to fail than rim tape. Stick with rim tape (or veloplugs). Its cheap and designed specifically for the job. If its so inconvenient for you to buy rim tape, then buy a few spare rolls on your next visit/mailorder. Id rather do that than have to carry around spare electrical tape in case my electrical tape hack job fails.
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Old 02-06-10, 10:21 AM   #20
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Its not worth it....just because someone reports that it hasn't failed, doesn't mean that its not more likely to fail than rim tape. Stick with rim tape (or veloplugs). Its cheap and designed specifically for the job. If its so inconvenient for you to buy rim tape, then buy a few spare rolls on your next visit/mailorder. Id rather do that than have to carry around spare electrical tape in case my electrical tape hack job fails.
But the person reporting that it hasn't failed is me. The first time I did it was because I didn't have any rim tape available. But since it worked fine then I see no reason to quit using it. Electrical tape is now the only type of spoke hole covering I've used for the last 35 years and it has never given me a problem.
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Old 02-06-10, 01:16 PM   #21
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it's all about duct tape
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Old 02-06-10, 01:31 PM   #22
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Fiber reinforced strapping tape is a reasonable substitute if you don't want to use actual rim tape.
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Old 02-06-10, 03:01 PM   #23
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Two advantages:
1) I almost always have electrical tape available whereas I'd have to go out and get some rim tape;
2) it's a little thinner than Velox tape which leads to easier tire changing (the bead of the tire can go down in the channel of the rim a little deeper thus allowing a little more slack in the last section that you're trying to get over the rim's edge).
I just replaced actual rim tape with electrical tape for this very issue. Put a set of Panaracer Closer tires on an older set of Wolber rims. With the rim tape, the tires would not fit at all...With the electrical tape, they fit with only a little effort.
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Old 02-08-10, 10:12 AM   #24
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Two advantages:
1) I almost always have electrical tape available whereas I'd have to go out and get some rim tape;
2) it's a little thinner than Velox tape which leads to easier tire changing (the bead of the tire can go down in the channel of the rim a little deeper thus allowing a little more slack in the last section that you're trying to get over the rim's edge).
Number 1) doesn't apply to me, as I have a weird compulsion that doesn't let me check out at a bike shop without throwing a couple things under $5 in the cart. I've got a little pile of rim tape, and anytime someone says the word "flat" I give them a patch kit.
As for 2), a lot of purpose-designed rim tape is a lot thinner than Velox too. But you'd have to get it, which brings us back to 1).
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Old 02-08-10, 10:18 AM   #25
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Did rim tape suddenly become prohibitively expensive in your area or somethign?

I bought 2 rolls for a new wheelset the other day and it was $4 plus tax. I realize that if you need it in a pinch, electrical tape is fine but, at $4, you can probably afford to buy back-ups....
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