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Helicopter tape for tubeless rim tape?

Old 01-09-21, 10:20 AM
  #1  
masi61
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Helicopter tape for tubeless rim tape?

I was going to make a post asking other is they use a heat gun or blow dryer to get better tubeless rim tape adhesion then it just occurred to me - I have a roll of "helicopter tape" that I purchased a while back from Colorado Cyclist just sitting in my bike repair stash somewhere. They sell the stuff more as an abrasion proof tape to ,make custom chainstay protectors or crank arm or headtube friction protection. It have tried 3 different brands of tubeless road tape and man, I have been doing my "due diligence" in trying to establish the most airtight tape system on some road tubeless (DT Swiss R460) wheels that I am running.

I'll have to check the width (of the helicopter tape), I think it might be 24mm wide. But If the width is right, I'm thinking that this stuff might be just the ticket for tubeless rim tape that will provide a superior seal with just one layer....

What do you all think?
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Old 01-09-21, 11:23 AM
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Depends on the tape and how irregular the rim surface is, all the tapes I have seen designated as abrasion/impact resistant
are relatively stiff and thicker so not so good for air tight sealing of slightly irregular surfaces.
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Old 01-09-21, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
Depends on the tape and how irregular the rim surface is, all the tapes I have seen designated as abrasion/impact resistant
are relatively stiff and thicker so not so good for air tight sealing of slightly irregular surfaces.
Thanks for your reply. The stuff I bought from Colorado Cyclist is pretty thick but not overly stiff. I think it might work. I also think that the application of some of these tapes might be enhanced by using a heat gun or blow dryer. I have used "CrankSkins" crank protectors and they are made out of a similar material to the helicopter tape but thinner. This CrankSkin tape needs to be smoothed out using a blow dryer and a plastic squeegee for a perfect skin. I might contact CrankSkins and ask them specifically which 3M tape this is because it seems really low profile, form fitting and super strong.
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Old 01-09-21, 03:32 PM
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[QUOTE=masi61;21869756] It have tried 3 different brands of tubeless road tape /QUOTE]How have these three different tapes failed you?
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Old 01-09-21, 05:04 PM
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I can see using Helicopter Tape on the rims, but would it be difficult to remove during tire changes and maintenance?
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Old 01-09-21, 06:29 PM
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Why not use tape purpose designed for tubeless????


kinda ;Ike why use anything by velox with tubes?
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Old 01-10-21, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Why not use tape purpose designed for tubeless????


kinda ;Ike why use anything by velox with tubes?
Velox is good stuff for non-tubeless but even for tubes in tubeless ready rims they take up so much volume internally that tire mounting can become a bear.

I have tried Whisky 23mm, 3M 21m, and “Kapton” 20mm in double layers of differing combinations. I have set the tape in by running tubes for 2 or 3 rides then removing the tubes then installing the tubeless valve and sealant. I have made great strides at having a leak free installation with my DT Swiss R460 rims but it has required that I personally set them up and road test them to my satisfaction. Very few (well, none) of my riding buddies have the time or patience for this. I guess I soldiered on with this learning curve, sensing that once I get it (mostly) right, some of the performance advantages makes it worth it.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
I can see using Helicopter Tape on the rims, but would it be difficult to remove during tire changes and maintenance?
This is what I want to find out. I may have to be the one to try this and share my results with others. If it works like I think it might, the removing it for tire changes would be in-necessary for a very long time so long as it does not shift during tire changes & exposing spoke holes.
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Old 01-10-21, 05:02 AM
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[QUOTE=shelbyfv;21870226]
Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
It have tried 3 different brands of tubeless road tape /QUOTE]How have these three different tapes failed you?
Check response #7 listing the 3 tapes...
I have had poor air retention mostly. When I remove the tire and sealant, then remove the tape - the tape sometimes folds inward a bit, isn’t completely adhered in places and you can see a track of wet sealant that runs in a line between several spoke holes. Having to use tubes to get the tape to sit perfectly flush is one trick I tried - the tape can be stiff and inflexible, this is why I am now trying setting it in with a blow dryer and my fingertip or fingernail and skipping the time consuming extra step of running a tube for a while then removing the tube to complete the tubeless valve/sealant install...
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Old 01-10-21, 06:24 AM
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So you've tried one bike specific tape. I agree, it shouldn't be that difficult. If I were in your position I'd get another actual bike tape and install it by pressing it down with your finger tip. Room temp. This has worked for millions (?) of users. Counting on an inflated tube to press it down uniformly seems like a risk. Over heating the tape may cause it to lift as it cools and reverts to it's natural shape. Good luck.
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Old 01-10-21, 08:16 AM
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Helicopter tape might work ok but it is also made to be easily removable without gooing things up which is why it is so great as a frame protector. I would think that easy to remove quality would make it a poor choice for rim tape. Use Gorilla Tape brand duct tape if you want to use something funky rather than actual tubeless rim tape. I've used that before myself as have many others with good results, note I do prefer to just use actual tubeless rim tape.
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Old 01-10-21, 12:39 PM
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Stan's tape is excellent. Kapton tape is a less flexible alternative that works well if the rim channel is relatively flat.
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Old 01-10-21, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
Stan's tape is excellent. Kapton tape is a less flexible alternative that works well if the rim channel is relatively flat.
I have had excellent luck with Kapton tape, even on rims with dished centers. I make sure I have the right width, pull it pretty tight, install a tube overnight to press it into place, and remove the tube and install sealant the next day. I sometimes have to add a bit more air for the first day or two, but that happens on most installations.
Just my experience.
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Old 01-10-21, 01:06 PM
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I think the best way would be silicone sealer. You could apply a bit over each spoke hole and flatten it.

I have not done it myself, but If I go to tubeless, that is what I would use.

I have been thinking of going to tubeless, but I think with my current bike it would be too difficult to get the bead to seal. So I am thinking about plan b.
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Old 01-10-21, 02:53 PM
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Use the correct tape in the beginning. How much time do you have installing and then removing sealant and tire all the time?
Use DTSwiss tubeless tape.
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