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advice on a rim strip

Old 08-07-21, 05:28 PM
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advice on a rim strip

I have Google searched extensively and found dozens of questions on what I'm about to ask but they all pertain to using duct tape and I don't want to use duct tape for various reasons I have read so please do not flame me for asking this. I'm fixing up a Trek 820 for my future daughter-in-law with single wall rims. I just ordered new tires online. I am over an hour away from any bike shop and live in a rural area. Upon removing the old rotten tires the rim strips fell apart which didn't really surprise me. I know the right thing to do is to buy rim strips but I don't really want to go online and order such a cheap item all by itself. I have several rolls of Stan's tubeless tape. I know on my tubeless bikes, in the past, I have in a pinch thrown inner tubes in on double wall rims and the same Stan's tape has held up just fine for months before I went back to tubeless again. But I have never used it over spoke nipples on a single wall rim. Is this stuff durable enough or do I need to worry about the nipple heads tearing through it and ruining the inner tubes?
Please don't turn this into an argument. Cheers
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Old 08-07-21, 05:35 PM
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The most used and recommended rim tape is Velox. It's self-adhesive and very strong. You can get it is a variety of widths to suit your rims. Any bike shop, almost all on-line bike shops and Amazon carry it.
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Old 08-07-21, 05:47 PM
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I would think that it should work in general. Biggest issues is that the spokes, if they are sticking through the nipple could puncture the tape as it is thin. I've also never had a lot of luck in single wall rims with cloth tape either, just didn't want to conform enough to the spoke bed/nipples to stay stuck enough. The rubber strips have always proven themselves the best. If you have an old tube with a small hole in it you can make your own with some rubber cement. Just cut along the sides leaving a top and bottom strips, the sides aren't as good since they have a curve to them. Then cut the strip so you can overlay the ends allowing the ends to be glued together so the strip has to stretch some to fit. Use a knife to cut out the hole for the valve and you have a proper rubber rim strip. If you use the inside strip that contains the valve stem cut out that section since the rubber is often thick there. Like the factory version its best to cut the whole through the overlap area since its thicker and less prone to tear from the valve hole.
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Old 08-07-21, 05:48 PM
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Personally I would go with the Velox or Newbaum's cloth tape as it's much more durable on a single wall rim with the spoke nipples protruding out. Stan's would need at least 2 layers and even that may tend to crack at the nipples although someone here may have some experience with Stan's to prove that wrong. I don't like duct tape either due to the residue that gets left behind and a royal PITA to remove after long periods of time. Ordering a roll of cloth tape from Ebay or wherever only requires a small package and shipping doesn't cost much for you or the seller so not a big deal to just purchase two rolls.
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Old 08-07-21, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
I would think that it should work in general. Biggest issues is that the spokes, if they are sticking through the nipple could puncture the tape as it is thin. I've also never had a lot of luck in single wall rims with cloth tape either, just didn't want to conform enough to the spoke bed/nipples to stay stuck enough. The rubber strips have always proven themselves the best. If you have an old tube with a small hole in it you can make your own with some rubber cement. Just cut along the sides leaving a top and bottom strips, the sides aren't as good since they have a curve to them. Then cut the strip so you can overlay the ends allowing the ends to be glued together so the strip has to stretch some to fit. Use a knife to cut out the hole for the valve and you have a proper rubber rim strip. If you use the inside strip that contains the valve stem cut out that section since the rubber is often thick there. Like the factory version its best to cut the whole through the overlap area since its thicker and less prone to tear from the valve hole.
There's no spoke nipples with any spokes poking through the other side. I would figure once you put a tube and tire on, and then aired the thing up, the tube would help the tape conform to the rim. This is a trick that I've used to seat this same tape on a tubeless setup. I have put a tube in and aired the tire up and let it sit for a bit. Then when I remove the tube the tape is nice and stuck to the rim contour. That was a tip that was given to me several years ago by a professional bike shop. I thought about finding an old inner tube and doing just what you said. I also thought about gluing together the old rim strip but it looked like it had some pretty thin areas from years of being pressed against those spoke nipples so I opted against that idea. I just wasn't sure if the tape would eventually tear from being pressured against the head of the nipples. Cheers
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Old 08-07-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Personally I would go with the Velox or Newbaum's cloth tape as it's much more durable on a single wall rim with the spoke nipples protruding out. Stan's would need at least 2 layers and even that may tend to crack at the nipples although someone here may have some experience with Stan's to prove that wrong. I don't like duct tape either due to the residue that gets left behind and a royal PITA to remove after long periods of time. Ordering a roll of cloth tape from Ebay or wherever only requires a small package and shipping doesn't cost much for you or the seller so not a big deal to just purchase two rolls.
What about two good layers of cloth medical tape? I have used velox tape a few years ago on a vintage restoration so I am aware what that stuff is. Isn't that just extra thick cloth tape?
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Old 08-07-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
What about two good layers of cloth medical tape? I have used velox tape a few years ago on a vintage restoration so I am aware what that stuff is. Isn't that just extra thick cloth tape?
I guess it wouldn't hurt to try but I would worry that the adhesive won't stand up to water as long on rainy days/wet roads and it's roughly about the same price as rim tape from what I've seen if you're double wrapping. Not trying to talk you out of it, just sayin'. It is kind of like extra thick cloth tape but the rim tape has a slight bit of stretch to take the shape of the rim and can be re-applied a few times if needed.

Last edited by Crankycrank; 08-07-21 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-07-21, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
I guess it wouldn't hurt to try but I would worry that the adhesive won't stand up to water as long on rainy days/wet roads and it's roughly about the same price as rim tape from what I've seen if you're double wrapping. Not trying to talk you out of it, just sayin'. It is kind of like extra thick cloth tape but the rim tape has a slight bit of stretch to take the shape of the rim and can be re-applied a few times if needed.
It's just that I can get medical tape at any store around me. Rim strips not so. I have an old tube and I'm gonna try and make my own from it. Should solve this problem. If I lived in the city I'd be at my LBS regularly 😉
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Old 08-07-21, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
...I don't want to use duct tape...
Please never... Its just a real mess and not that durable.

About 1990 I got stuck without rim strips and simply used multiple layers of black electrical tape. I figured next time I had a flat or changed out the tires I would replace the tape. Ok... so finally about 2001 I took that wheel set apart. I was totally surprised to find the tape still intact. It was brittle and kept breaking apart when trying to remove it, but was still offering protection as originally intended. The other thing is it did not leave a heavy residue of adhesive all over the rim. I just used a little petrol to clean it up. So for me Black Electrical Tape is a suitable temporary substitute for rim strips.
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Old 08-07-21, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
What about two good layers of cloth medical tape? I have used velox tape a few years ago on a vintage restoration so I am aware what that stuff is. Isn't that just extra thick cloth tape?
The J&J Waterproof tape works fine. As long as it's wide enough to cover the spoke heads, one layer is enough, especially for lower pressure MTB tires. Have this on a couple of MTB rims and it has lasted for a few years running about 40 PSI.

Just clean the rims to get good adhesion. Tight installing tires may pose a problem if you're not careful when pulling the bead into the center well of the rim and could move the tape.

It does leave some residue when removing but a little solvent will clean it up.

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Old 08-07-21, 07:32 PM
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I like Velox, if not then Gorilla Tape, but-

https://www.notubes.com/stan-s-rim-tape-10yd-x-21mm

FITMENT:
Stan's 21mm Rim Tape is recommended for rims with an internal width of 19-21mm.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Stan's Yellow Tape is designed to work with tubeless-ready rims and wheels. If you'll be inflating your tires to 45psi or less, one layer of yellow tape in the bed of your rim is all you need for most rims. For road tubeless and similar tires that require more than 45psi of pressure, a double wrap of tape is required.

WHAT IF I HAVE AN OLDER RIM?

The BST (Bead Socket Technology) profile developed by Stan's NoTubes was a departure from traditional bicycle rim design, and its core concept is the basis for the vast majority of "tubeless-ready" rims and wheels on the market today. Stan's Yellow Rim Tape is not, by itself, a tubeless conversion for older, traditional, non-"tubeless-ready" rims. These older rims require the use of a Stan’s NoTubes Rim Strip (now discontinued) to re-shape the rim bed to achieve a safe, secure tubeless setup. While we would recommend considering a new tubeless-ready wheelset in place of a rim strip conversion, Stan's Rim Strips and kits may still be available at your local bike shop and can be used to convert vintage bikes with older, non-tubeless-ready rims. Using only Yellow Rim Tape and Stan’s NoTubes sealant on a non-tubeless-ready rim can result in not only difficult inflation during set-up, but catastrophic "burping" issues while riding. While Stan's Rim Strips have been discontinued, we continue to provide information and resources to assist in converting non-tubeless-ready wheels. Visit our Support Center videos for more details.

Last edited by grizzly59; 08-07-21 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 08-07-21, 07:40 PM
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I'm not a fan of Velox with modern tires. It is just too thick. Although, I rarely use single-walled rims.

As @zandoval mentioned, I did put a double layer of electrical tape on Mom's bike as an emergency after the previous rim tape failed. Double-Walled. I don't leave it with the tires fully inflated when not in use (a week or two a year of regular use), but so far it has endured for at least 5 years.

If you do something like electrical tape on a single-walled rim, make sure the spokes aren't sticking through the nipples. If they are, carefully file them flat.
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Old 08-07-21, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KCT1986 View Post
The J&J Waterproof tape works fine. As long as it's wide enough to cover the spoke heads, one layer is enough, especially for lower pressure MTB tires. Have this on a couple of MTB rims and it has lasted for a few years running about 40 PSI.

Just clean the rims to get good adhesion. Tight installing tires may pose a problem if you're not careful when pulling the bead into the center well of the rim and could move the tape.

It does leave some residue when removing but a little solvent will clean it up.

Thank you
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Old 08-07-21, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Please never... Its just a real mess and not that durable.

About 1990 I got stuck without rim strips and simply used multiple layers of black electrical tape. I figured next time I had a flat or changed out the tires I would replace the tape. Ok... so finally about 2001 I took that wheel set apart. I was totally surprised to find the tape still intact. It was brittle and kept breaking apart when trying to remove it, but was still offering protection as originally intended. The other thing is it did not leave a heavy residue of adhesive all over the rim. I just used a little petrol to clean it up. So for me Black Electrical Tape is a suitable temporary substitute for rim strips.
Per my job I have plenty of electrical tape. Thanks for that info
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Old 08-07-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
I like Velox, if not then Gorilla Tape, but-

https://www.notubes.com/stan-s-rim-tape-10yd-x-21mm

FITMENT:
Stan's 21mm Rim Tape is recommended for rims with an internal width of 19-21mm.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Stan's Yellow Tape is designed to work with tubeless-ready rims and wheels. If you'll be inflating your tires to 45psi or less, one layer of yellow tape in the bed of your rim is all you need for most rims. For road tubeless and similar tires that require more than 45psi of pressure, a double wrap of tape is required.

WHAT IF I HAVE AN OLDER RIM?

The BST (Bead Socket Technology) profile developed by Stan's NoTubes was a departure from traditional bicycle rim design, and its core concept is the basis for the vast majority of "tubeless-ready" rims and wheels on the market today. Stan's Yellow Rim Tape is not, by itself, a tubeless conversion for older, traditional, non-"tubeless-ready" rims. These older rims require the use of a Stanís NoTubes Rim Strip (now discontinued) to re-shape the rim bed to achieve a safe, secure tubeless setup. While we would recommend considering a new tubeless-ready wheelset in place of a rim strip conversion, Stan's Rim Strips and kits may still be available at your local bike shop and can be used to convert vintage bikes with older, non-tubeless-ready rims. Using only Yellow Rim Tape and Stanís NoTubes sealant on a non-tubeless-ready rim can result in not only difficult inflation during set-up, but catastrophic "burping" issues while riding. While Stan's Rim Strips have been discontinued, we continue to provide information and resources to assist in converting non-tubeless-ready wheels. Visit our Support Center videos for more details.
Doesn't matter, OP isn't asking about going tubeless. Tires with tubes in them don't burp. A couple layers will work fine as long as spokes aren't poking through the nipples by more than a MM. Though with the more plastic nature of the rim tapes I've dealt with I'd probably worry about any spoke that's proud of the nipple.

OP, I've also used electrical multiple times and after 3 layers never had a failure. I just figured if you were anti-duct you'd be anti electrical. It's no good for double wall rims but great for singlewall. Never used, or seen anyone use medical tape in all the flats I changed working in shops, can't imagine a couple layers not working and its flexible enough to shape over the nipples and actually stick to the rim.
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Old 08-07-21, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Doesn't matter, OP isn't asking about going tubeless. Tires with tubes in them don't burp. A couple layers will work fine as long as spokes aren't poking through the nipples by more than a MM. Though with the more plastic nature of the rim tapes I've dealt with I'd probably worry about any spoke that's proud of the nipple.

OP, I've also used electrical multiple times and after 3 layers never had a failure. I just figured if you were anti-duct you'd be anti electrical. It's no good for double wall rims but great for singlewall. Never used, or seen anyone use medical tape in all the flats I changed working in shops, can't imagine a couple layers not working and its flexible enough to shape over the nipples and actually stick to the rim.
I'm anti-duct tape because of what I've read about the sticky residue. A few years ago on a brand new wheel build that I did I tried gorilla tape for a tubeless tape because I didn't have the proper width stans tape on hand. I heard about the problems of the residue so after filling the tires up and putting sealant in a week later I decided to break it down and remove the gorilla tape and put the proper tape in. There was so much sticky residue left on my rim that I had no choice but to clean it with rubbing alcohol. That turned the residue into a liquid goo that leaked into my double wall through the nipple holes and I played hell getting all that goo and residue out of my rim. Honestly I imagine there is still a little bit left in there. I swore up and down I would never use that stuff again.
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Old 08-07-21, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
I know the right thing to do is to buy rim strips but I don't really want to go online and order such a cheap item all by itself.
Why on Earth not? I order stupid little stuff by itself all the time. Internet sellers are happy to take any amount of my money.
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Old 08-07-21, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
Thank you
You're welcome. A 5 yard roll will easily do 2 wheels, single layer.

It will be fine. My MTB wheel with these ran thousands of miles with no issues. Only changed to fiberglass reinforced strapping tape to make really tight tires easier to install.

May still have double wall road wheels with the med tape. 80+ PSI on these.

If you're worried, install and slightly over-inflate and double check after a little while. Check again in a couple of months if still concerned.
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Old 08-08-21, 08:27 AM
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I am going to go against the flow here and recommend Continental Easy Tape: https://blobs.continental-tires.com/...ip-en-data.png
It is thinner than Velox or other cloth tape, thus easing tire mounting, and even comes in an ultra-high pressure version (up to 220psi!) for the "higher-pressure-is-faster" crowd.
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Old 08-08-21, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
...I just used a little petrol to clean it up. .
Please do not use petrol/gasoline for anything but a motor fuel. It is highly flammable, gives off explosive vapor which will travel a long way to an ignition source, irritates skin and is absorbed through it, is toxic and may be carcinogenic.
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Old 08-08-21, 03:33 PM
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I was going to suggest black electrical also, but, being new here, I didn't. But, I see now others have used it, and, so have I, with good results. I always look at the rim end of the spokes for burrs. You'll have to make a hole in the tape for the valve stem, which is easy enough.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:29 AM
  #22  
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IMHO a better choice if you don't have real rim strips or tape on hand would be "hockey" tape, a.k.a. grip tape. It's like that cloth medical tape, but less slippery and as far as I can tell, stronger. Definitely less mess than duct tape coming off stuff too.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:51 AM
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Just put new tires on my road bike, and looks like the rim strip (at least on the front rim) is a little wide. Works, but looked like a narrower strip would be better. Ordered new Velox rim strips off of Amazon, and the shipping was free. So didn't need to order other items to qualify for free shipping. So, if that's what was keeping you from ordering the item by itself, there is no need.
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