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Why is tubeless rim tape made of plastic?

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Why is tubeless rim tape made of plastic?

Old 05-30-17, 03:51 AM
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JonathanGennick 
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Why is tubeless rim tape made of plastic?

I setup my first tubeless wheel and tire this weekend, and found the plastic rim tape a bit finicky to deal with. Later I watched a Calvin Jones video, and he used Gorilla Tape. The Gorilla tape looks like it would go on easier, conform better, and stick more tightly. Why then does the industry seem to prefer the plastic tape? Is the plastic stuff ultimately better? Just am curious.
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Old 05-30-17, 04:24 AM
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both work
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Old 05-30-17, 05:11 AM
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A few different styles. Some rims/wheels are designed to be used without rim tape (no penetrating spoke holes).

I have a Shimano RS-10 wheel, with a wide plastic tape that fits tightly into the rim. In theory, the tubeless tire will seal to the tape with no need to seal individual spoke holes.
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Old 05-30-17, 05:21 AM
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The plastic stuff is easier to clean up and get off, should you need to for any reason.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:00 AM
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There is a need to resist the air pressure in double wall rims. Over the spoke hole..

Even if there were a tube in the tire..




....
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Old 05-30-17, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
The plastic stuff is easier to clean up and get off, should you need to for any reason.
This right here. Tubeless-specific tape pulls off like fresh electrical tape. But as many of us know, Gorilla Tape doesn't want to come off of anything, ever. I would love to use Gorilla Tape, as it's cheap (compared to tubeless tape,) and even comes in a neat rim-width roll. But with my history, I'd break a spoke a few days later.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:21 AM
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Tubeless rim tape like Stan's No Tubes comes in variety of widths to fit most any rim, and I imagine it's plastic because that's a good material, with the proper adhesive on the other side, to make the tape both air tight and impervious to the liquid sealant that will be contacting it for a very long time. I used gorilla tape once as a tubeless rim tape, on some unusually wide rims, and when I removed the tires a few months later the tape had developed bubbles, as if it were sort of delaminating. The tires were still holding air until I removed them, but still, the yellow (plastic) rim tape like Stan's won't break down over time like that.

Last edited by well biked; 05-30-17 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:31 AM
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It all makes sense. Especially the bits about removing and chemical reaction.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:42 AM
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What someone needs to find out is, what actually is tubeless tape? It seems to me unlikely that it's cycling specific-- somewhere out there, you can buy massive 500m spools of beige plastic tape @ 10¢ a meter, because it's for pipes or flanges or something industrial/scientific.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:58 AM
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When Stan's NoTubes first came to market with their tubeless conversion kits (about 15 or16 years ago), the tubeless rim tape that came with the kits was simply filament tape, to roughly match the width of the rim that the particular kit was designed for. Of course, a rubber strip was applied over the filament tape with those kits, to help make the rim more conducive to tubeless setup. But that filament tape, while good for sealing off the spoke holes, was awful if you ever had to remove it. The typical, yellow plastic tape now used by Stan's and WTB, for example, is really good for its purpose, and with all the different widths available, makes a nearly perfect bead-to-bead seal in the rim. And as already mentioned, is easy to remove later.
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Old 05-30-17, 09:04 AM
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One other note, from my experience: when applying a plastic tubeless tape like Stan's, it's very important to pull it very, very tight as you move around the rim and apply it. It stretches a little, and pulling it super tight and the laying it down in the rim removes any air bubbles and gives a nice, uniform application. Stan's Notubes has some videos available showing the installation.
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Old 05-30-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
What someone needs to find out is, what actually is tubeless tape? It seems to me unlikely that it's cycling specific-- somewhere out there, you can buy massive 500m spools of beige plastic tape @ 10¢ a meter, because it's for pipes or flanges or something industrial/scientific.
While looking for this info I stumbled on this very comprehensive article

Tubeless Tape Thread


Here is some info I looked up on the products:

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

Kapton tape - 2 layers .005 - 1mil is .025mm (polyamide)

Stan's yellow - 0.14mm use 2 layers
If you are not pulling on it so hard that it stretches AND it hurts to apply it, then it will come loose.

Tesa 4289 - 5.9 mils - 0.15mm
adhesive - natural rubber
420 N/cm - stretch 35 %
37 lb/in ?

3M (Scotch) 8898 - 4.6 mils - 0.11mm (Strapping - Tensilized Polypropylene)
82 N/100mm Synthetic Rubber, Synthetic Rubber Resin
160 lb/in - stretch 32%
blue/ivery

3M (Scotch) 8896 - 4.6 mils - 0.11mm
77 N/100mm Synthetic Rubber Adhesive
- 160 lb/in - stretch 32%
blue/ivery

Maxi 248 Polyester/Silicone Single Coated Splicing Tape 75yds
3.3mil - 0.08382mm

548 Maxi Blue -Splice Tape 0.1651 mm
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Old 05-30-17, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
What someone needs to find out is, what actually is tubeless tape? It seems to me unlikely that it's cycling specific-- somewhere out there, you can buy massive 500m spools of beige plastic tape @ 10¢ a meter, because it's for pipes or flanges or something industrial/scientific.
Two answers--

1) a suitable substitute can be found in Kapton tape, used for insulating purposes in electronics.

2) 3M 8898 strapping tape is the most likely culprit, though other companies surely make an equivalent product. It's still fairly expensive, even buying by the roll, and only available in a handful of (immediately) useful widths. The tape cuts easily, but it can be a pain to get "right", with the edges of the tape going straight up to the sidewalls of the rim.
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Old 05-30-17, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by peugeot mongrel View Post

Stan's yellow - 0.14mm use 2 layers
With Stan's yellow tape, use two layers for road tubeless, one layer is plenty for mtb tubeless setups.
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Old 05-30-17, 03:42 PM
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So does Kapton work for tubeless?

I've used Gorilla (black/duct) Tape before, and I thought it worked very well. A friend who is a much better rider than me, said he uses Gorilla Clear tape. I tried that, and I don't like it as much as Gorilla black. It seems less secure in/near corners.
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