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Rim Electrical Tape

Old 07-20-19, 09:56 PM
  #1  
Sjtaylor
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Rim Electrical Tape

A while back for a now unknown reason I used electrical tape for rim tape on a road bike wheel. Just after a recent ride that wheel got a flat. Those in the know can guess what happened. The tape over one of the spoke holes blew out and made a spoke hole sized flap in the punctured tube. Some YouTuber I watch uses gorilla tape slit to an appropriate width for this purpose.

I like the idea of using a thin rim tape. It makes mounting those tight tires easier. I suppose using something other than real rim tape is considered a hack. What do others do?

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-19, 10:02 PM
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terrymorse 
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Originally Posted by Sjtaylor View Post
What do others do?
I've been using Velox rim tape since the beginning of time. It just works. Be sure to pick the right width for the rim.

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Old 07-20-19, 11:40 PM
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Other alternates to Velox are Specialized, Schwalbe plastic rim tape (other brands are also available), Stans comes on a roll (this is Tesa 4289 tape), Kapton tape (super light, needs care to apply, but works fine for tubeless) and Gorilla tape also work, take your pick from what is locally available.

Have used most of these and they all work, some are for applications like tubeless, but if it works for tubless, it will works for tubes as well. Used to use Velox, but gave up with it a few years back, as it used to be super cheap, vs alternates, and lost that, also, I found it has a tendance to roll over itself if you hook it on a tire lever (more of a problem with narrow rims than wide which have become popular/common today) and is no good for tubeless.
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Old 07-20-19, 11:54 PM
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kapton+tape

...thin, lightweight, relatively cheap if you shop around for the best deals. I usually apply two layers, one over the other.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:17 AM
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The cloth tape that hockey players use to wrap their sticks works OK too (trimmed to correct width). It's esentially like cloth medical tape. There are rolls laying around the house left over from my son's h.s. ice hockey days. I haven't used it for an entire wheel...just when I've had to replace spokes and consequently had to cut a hole in the existing rim tape...so I'd recover the hole with the hockey stick tape. I suppose it'd work for the whole wheel.

Dan
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Old 07-21-19, 07:27 AM
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The kapton tape is probably the most economical, though fiddly to apply. Newer rims are picky about width and don't tend to work well with thicker cloth tape. I prefer a lighter or brighter color, makes it easier to see errant sections of tube.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:48 AM
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I like Continental Easy Tape. It comes in numerous widths to fit your rim width properly and they have a high-pressure version which is claimed to hold up to 220psi. https://blobs.continental-tires.com/...ip-en-data.pdf
It is thinner than Velox tape which, as the OP mentions, makes tire mounting easier. It does not have adhesive to get gooey, bleed out and make a mess.
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Old 07-21-19, 12:22 PM
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Velox is fantastic tape for wheels....its cheap, it works......that is all that matters.
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Old 07-21-19, 02:10 PM
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Velox is my choice for older rims like Open Pro. As mentioned earlier, it is too thick for many newer tubeless ready rims, set up tubeless or tubed.
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Old 07-21-19, 05:58 PM
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I used the electrical tape method when young and poor, and like you learned it was NFG. Also used the scotch strapping tape trimmed to width and found that did a much better job. But the modern plastic pre-formed stuff is really good. I have some continental, but TBH, just using what came on the wheelset never had a problem. Though I mostly roll tubs now so no longer a concern.

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Old 07-22-19, 12:38 PM
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Velox.
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Old 07-22-19, 12:59 PM
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Old 07-22-19, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjtaylor View Post
I like the idea of using a thin rim tape. It makes mounting those tight tires easier. I suppose using something other than real rim tape is considered a hack. What do others do?
I use two wraps of 1 mil Kapton totaling .005" thick with adhesive. It's the thinnest (1/4 the thickness of Velox, 1/2 two wraps of Stans), lightest, least expensive rim tape with light adhesive like Velox.

I switched after I got my first wheels that did not allow hand mounting tires with Velo Plugs, which I got when I encountered my first wheels where .020" Velox left too little slack. IMHO, sticking with a known tire and running thinner tape is a far better option than changing or relying on tools which can be left behind or break for tire changes.

Use 16mm (5/8") for classic rims, 19mm (3/4") or wider for contemporary fat ones.

Mount the wheel in your truing stand and turn it like a reel to reel audio tape, 9 track computer tape, or film projector take up reel while keeping the Kapton tape roll centered between the rim sides.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-22-19 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-22-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I've been using Velox rim tape since the beginning of time. It just works. Be sure to pick the right width for the rim.

velox for the win....or rim
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Old 07-22-19, 06:52 PM
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I've had poor experienced with cotton cloth tapes like Velox. Irregularities on the rim bed wear through them over time from pressure, and the adhesive is very poor for resisting the shear that rim tapes experience in use. They're also just plain prone to developing sharp edges on their own.

For old-school single-wall rims, cheap "rubber band"-style strips seem to work fairly well.
For modern rims, polyester or polyimide film tapes, like Kapton tape or green powder coat masking tape, are good options.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:24 PM
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Velox is great stuff, and was the go-to sure thing best product for many, many years.

Then modern rims came along, with higher rim sides and shallower channels. Just as we were all moving to larger width tires ( 23 to 25mm). As a result, it became harder to mount many tire/rim combinations. Thinner tape was required.

That's when I went to Kapton tape. Thin, inexpensive, doesn't wander, easy to remove when needed. Allows me to mount up difficult combinations with much less trouble. Two layers, easy peasy.
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Old 07-22-19, 10:32 PM
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Have used Velox, also, duct tape or strapping (fiberglass impregnated) tape effectively. The only difference that I've perceived is the Velox comes off cleaner than the other two which are much less expensive and always readily available in my "shop".
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Old 07-23-19, 12:43 AM
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I use veloplugs when I can (i.e., when they fit). They hold in place and in my experience, make mounting tires a little easier because they take up virtually no space on the rim. Yeah, they also save an ounce or so per pair of wheels, but that's not why I like them.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:32 AM
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+1 on Kapton tape, 2 layers worth. I bought rolls of the 16mm and 19mm width on amazon. Mounting Compass Bon Jon Pass tires on CR18 rims with Velox tape was almost impossible, and I didn't want to deal with the unmount/remount at the side of the road. With much difficulty I removed the tires and switched to Kapton tape.

The Compass tires mounted more easily, but was still more than my thumbs alone could handle. Surprisingly, the plastic Park tire levers didn't break, but I was sure they would. Easily the hardest tires to mount that I've ever used - but the ride made the trouble well worth it.
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Old 07-23-19, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
I used the electrical tape method when young and poor, and like you learned it was NFG.
It is good, or at least the good stuff is, when you use the right technique - two layers, staggered to give adequate width over the holes, stretched to the point the elasticity goes away.

Kapton tape is certainly the best though, lol Velox - a perfect example of the kind of tech inertia that gripped cycling before the MTB boom. Too thick, poxy adhesive.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:39 AM
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