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Do you replace your rim strip regularly?

Old 07-12-21, 07:51 AM
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atnyc
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Do you replace your rim strip regularly?

I've been cycling (both road and mountain) regularly for a long time. Every weekend in the summer, you'll find me on either my road bike, my mountain bike, or my gravel bike!

I pride myself in keeping my (relatively dated) bikes in good condition. As my bikes has been working quite well, I have little motivation to buy new bikes. The result is almost all of my day-to-day bikes are 10+ year old.

I'm a relative light weight (100lb dripping wet). So I don't have much flats. I average maybe 1 flat every 3-4 years on road, a bit more often off road due to thorns and rocks.

Recently, I had TWO flats back to back, on 2 different bikes. Both were from rim strips pulling away from the hole for the valve. In both cases, the exposed edge of the hole slowly ate into the inner tube at the base of the valve stem, eventually the valve stem broke off.

My question for those of you who keeps bikes for more than just 2-3 years, have you seen that being an issue? Do you replace your rim strips after x years/miles as a regular maintains item?
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Old 07-12-21, 08:10 AM
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...no. Once properly installed. I don't experience this issue, unless I screw up the rim strip removing/installing a tyre to replace it or repair a flat. One of the reasons I use a tyre bead jack, instead off tyre irons, to perform this tyre installation is exactly this. I'm fearful of pushing the rim strip over a little bit in a place or two leading to eventual tube failure because of the exposed portion of the hole in the rim.

But replacing the strip regularly won't do much to preclude this. AFAIK, with the tyre and tube fully inflated, that rim strip isn't going to move. It happens when you flddle with the tyre beads, poking around in the dark in there.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:13 AM
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Hell, no. In my experience, rim strip failure is always a fit and/or quality issue, not an aging issue. If you get the good tough stretchy-plastic stuff in the right width from Schwalbe or whatever, they'll basically last forever.

Besides, rim strips aren't designed to protect the valve stem from abrasion on the rim exge in the first place. Sounds like a misaligned valve due to incorrect installation, and/or or riding with an underinflated tire which allows it to displace slightly around the rim under hard braking and drag the tube with it. You could also try rounding off the sharp drilled valve hole edge in the rim with a Dremel tool or something to reduce the likelihood of future incidents.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:23 AM
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Some non-adhesive rim strips such as the plastic or rubber types can, but not always, drift off center over time especially if they're the wrong size and some rims are worse than others. I get enough flats to notice if the strip is in place or not but, just a random recommendation, I would check every 6 months or so for piece of mind. Personally I prefer the cloth adhesive types such as Velox or Newbaum's since they last forever, are less likely to drift, don't develop cracks over the spoke holes and are easier to remove and replace if you need to get at your spoke nipples. I believe I've had one set of Velox's on my #1 bike for about 8 years and 24K miles and removed and put back on again 1 or 2 times with no problems. If you have very tight fitting tires and rim strips that sit under the tire bead, thin plastic types can give a little more room to make tire mounting easier though.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:39 AM
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I use 2 wraps of 1-2 mill Kapton tape. Stays in place and doesn't cause problems. I haven't ever removed it. Other tape, when I change tires, it I've seen it's moved or wrinkled, I replace it with the Kapton tape. If it hasn't wrinkled/shifted I leave it alone. That Velox stuff seems to last forever and doesn't really shift. I'd use that on all my wheels, but generic Kapton tape on eBay, I got probably a lifetime supply in 2 different widths for the cost of a couple rolls (one wheel each) of the velox. Those rubber snap on strips, I'd remove right away and replace with something else if I saw them on any of my wheels. Unlike 3alarmer , I don't have massive handstrength from being a retired firefighter, so I'm using a mixture of levers and jacks every time. So far, I haven't shifted any of the tape I've put down but do wonder about the shifts/wrinkles in the old stuff I find on used wheels.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:43 AM
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I have had failures of the tight-fitting plastic rimstrips, but only on high pressure tire/wheel combos (road bikes) and only after years of use and being stored outside (freeze/thaw cycles). I switched to Fond de Jante model X073A (Velox), which is thicker fabric and can make tire installation a bit more difficult, but better protects the tube from the spokes long term.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:45 AM
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No
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Old 07-12-21, 08:54 AM
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I do replace rim strips when/if I service a wheel that I haven't owned before. Velox or strong cloth equivalent, like the Forte-branded counterfeit. Proper width matters.

After that, you can forget about that problem.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:58 AM
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I use Velox rim tapes on all of my wheels and have never had to replace it for the life of the rim. I have two sets of wheels with 40,000+ miles each still using the rim tape applied when new.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:01 AM
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I've used the cloth, adhesive Velox tape for the past 50 (OMG!) years. I've probably had issues twice. I only replace it when I pull it off and it doesn't have enough stick to go back on. (It has outasted many spokes. I may have to pull it back to replace them. It also outlasts my winter rims and often goes onto the new one.

I am careful to match the rim tape width to the width of the rim trough but Velox offers so many widths that isn't hard.

There are lots of other rim tapes out there. I've heard some are excellent. My experience with Velox has been so good I have seen no reason to change. (Although a thinner tape would make mounting tires on very tight rims easier. I've so far managed to avoid those combinations.)
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Old 07-12-21, 09:16 AM
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IMO you spend more money doing preventive maintenance. But if being finicky and tinkering with your bike is more fun or adds to the fun of your cycling, then go for it. I'd rather be riding than fixing though.

There was a time that I use to completely disassemble, clean, lube, reassemble and adjust every part of my bikes monthly. Seems that at that time I was a little more than 100 pounds dripping wet. I also waxed my car weekly. The 70's are long gone for me.

I too have only had issues with rim tape a total of two times in over 50 years.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:16 AM
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No, but I certainly inspect it when changing a tire or tube.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:15 AM
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atnyc
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
IMO you spend more money doing preventive maintenance. But if being finicky and tinkering with your bike is more fun or adds to the fun of your cycling, then go for it. I'd rather be riding than fixing though.
If preventive maintenance prevents mid-ride sitting on the side of road emergency repair, it's worth a whole lot more than the money & time spent!

There was a time that I use to completely disassemble, clean, lube, reassemble and adjust every part of my bikes monthly.
Now I would call THAT excessive!

I only do that once a year, in the winter. But rim strip wasn't on the list.

I too have only had issues with rim tape a total of two times in over 50 years.
Maybe I'm experiencing the 2 times back to back? (yes, I'm talking about... ok, only 3 decades).

Last edited by atnyc; 07-12-21 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
No, but I certainly inspect it when changing a tire or tube.
I think I like that approach. I'll make sure I do that going forward
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Old 07-12-21, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
There was a time that I use to completely disassemble, clean, lube, reassemble and adjust every part of my bikes monthly. Seems that at that time I was a little more than 100 pounds dripping wet. I also waxed my car weekly. The 70's are long gone for me.
I completely disassemble, clean, lube and adjust every part of my bikes about every two years. I do chain lube and inspections a lot more frequently but these aren't big time sponges. I think I've waxed a car maybe three times in the past 5 decades!
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Old 07-12-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by atnyc View Post
Maybe I'm experiencing the 2 times back to back? (yes, I'm talking about... ok, only 3 decades).
Actually the two times I had problems with rim tape were back to back. Only about 10 years ago too. I went 40 years trouble free.

First time was the adhesive on the rim tape failed. Probably from cleaners and solvents used while cleaning the bike over it's many many years of age. The second times a week or so later was the poor installation of the person installing the rim tape. But at least I didn't have to go for that third times a charm thing. Got it correct the second try. <grin>
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Old 07-12-21, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I completely disassemble, clean, lube and adjust every part of my bikes about every two years. I do chain lube and inspections a lot more frequently but these aren't big time sponges. I think I've waxed a car maybe three times in the past 5 decades!
Yeah, I got over the waxing car thing too when I quit being a teenager. But back in the 60's and 70's we didn't have BF to put us in front of a keyboard and display all day. So we had to have something to occupy our time.
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Old 07-12-21, 02:25 PM
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Thanks goodness for most of the responses here. I saw the thread title and thought, "Crap, something else I'm supposed to pay attention to?!" I mean, I take a look at it when the tire is off, but that's about it.
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Old 07-12-21, 03:36 PM
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The only time I've heard of a plastic rim strip failing is from overheating during extreme braking (with rim brakes, of course).

Once on tour I was replacing a spoke in front of a bike shop. The manager came out to chat, and told me I needed a new rim strip and he just gave me one. I had ridden that bike down some long steep hills so maybe I'd partially melted it.
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Old 07-12-21, 04:04 PM
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I didn't use to until I had a rubber rim strip literally decompose inside the tire. The bike had gone unused for a while. of course got a flat 12 miles from home, the majority of the rim strip came out with the tube. Pieced together what I could of the strip, put in my spare tube and just made it home before it flatted again.

Picked up a gallon size zip lock bag of velox rim tape at a swap meet. No more rubber strips.
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Old 07-12-21, 04:35 PM
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I don't think I've ever replaced a rim strip unless I was rebuilding the whole wheel. Even then sometimes I reuse.
Although I have added a second strip on top of the first one to cure mystery flats - Velox or Zefal.
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Old 07-12-21, 04:38 PM
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I use Continental Easy Tape rim strips and have never had to replace one. They are thinner than Velox-type cloth tape so make tire mounting easier.
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Old 07-14-21, 07:46 PM
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atnyc
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Thank you all for the replies. Sounds like it's just random coincidence that I had back to back rim strip failure on 2 different bikes within a month.
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Old 07-14-21, 08:43 PM
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I only replace it if there's a problem. As others have noted above, non-adhesive rubber rim strips can slip out of place. I prefer the adhesive Velox rim tape. I have wheels over 40 years old with the original Velox rim tape I placed when I first built the wheels.
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Old 07-14-21, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by atnyc View Post
Recently, I had TWO flats back to back, on 2 different bikes. Both were from rim strips pulling away from the hole for the valve. In both cases, the exposed edge of the hole slowly ate into the inner tube at the base of the valve stem, eventually the valve stem broke off.

My question for those of you who keeps bikes for more than just 2-3 years, have you seen that being an issue? Do you replace your rim strips after x years/miles as a regular maintains item?
Originally Posted by hydrocarbon View Post
Hell, no. In my experience, rim strip failure is always a fit and/or quality issue, not an aging issue. If you get the good tough stretchy-plastic stuff in the right width from Schwalbe or whatever, they'll basically last forever.

Besides, rim strips aren't designed to protect the valve stem from abrasion on the rim exge in the first place. Sounds like a misaligned valve due to incorrect installation, and/or or riding with an underinflated tire which allows it to displace slightly around the rim under hard braking and drag the tube with it. You could also try rounding off the sharp drilled valve hole edge in the rim with a Dremel tool or something to reduce the likelihood of future incidents.
Rim tape can go bad. This was off of Mom's bike a couple of years ago. It probably was 40 years old.




I agree with @hydrocarbon, a failure at the valve is unlikely a rim tape problem. You may choose to deburr the valve hole. It should only take a few minutes with perhaps a chainsaw file and piece of sandpaper.

Make sure your valve is exactly perpendicular to the rim. If it is angled a bit, you can let the air out and carefully slide the tire until it is back straight.

Sometimes if a tire is underinflated, the tire will slide sightly and angle the valve again. So, a bad valve could be a secondary sign of a different flat.

Other than the rim tape above that absolutely disintegrated, my most common reason to replace rim tape is the rubber stiff that breaks at the valve.
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