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Base Tape Separating from Tubular Tires

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Base Tape Separating from Tubular Tires

Old 01-17-23, 07:30 PM
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Base Tape Separating from Tubular Tires

I've noticed recently that the base tape on my tubular tires (both front and rear, currently mounted, riding 3 to 5 times a week) is separating from the tire in several locations.

Is this normal, or is it a safety issue that I should be concerned about?
I found some references online that said excess tire cement might cause the adhesive holding the base tape on the tire to degrade, requiring either the base tape to be replaced or the tire to be thrown out. But, these were all in reference to tubulars that weren't currently mounted.

Is it a defective product, or maybe I used too much cement?
I've only been using them a couple of months, only about 1400 km so far, so I'd like to get a lot more use out of them ...
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Old 01-17-23, 08:21 PM
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I'll post photos as soon as I reach the post count required to attach photos.
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Old 01-17-23, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ramuji
I've noticed recently that the base tape on my tubular tires (both front and rear, currently mounted, riding 3 to 5 times a week) is separating from the tire in several locations.

Is this normal, or is it a safety issue that I should be concerned about?
Not ideal, but probably not fatal either. Somewhat common to see some puckering at the edge, but very unusual for the base tape to actually separate from an otherwise fine tire.
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Old 01-17-23, 09:03 PM
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Here are a few photos of some of the worst spots:





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Old 01-17-23, 09:34 PM
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Independent of the base tape is the cracking of the tire's tread cap, likely due to age (dry rot). The casing sides also look pretty old and dry.

Base tape separation is not uncommon for sew ups. Most often only the edges of the tape are affected. However the test is to try to pry the tire off the rim, just like in a pre race safety check.

I've been that safety checker that stopped an under glued tire from being in the race as well as have rolled two different tires off rims when riding (not in an event though). Either side of this fence sucks

IIRC liquid latex (Tire Life as example) was the "glue" we would reattach base tape to a casing with. I've tried rim cement and it wasn't the right tool for this job

Given the consequence of a tire departing the rim I would suggest replacing the tires at the soonest chance. I also would consider a wider tire than 21mm. Andy
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Old 01-17-23, 09:36 PM
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We used to use liquid latex to rebind the base tape to the tire, however results always seemed to be hit or miss.
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Old 01-17-23, 09:41 PM
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Unfortunately it's too normal if you're lucky enough to have lots of miles between flats. Wet weather is also a factor, so all my tires that have seen rain end up like this.

The bright side is that it tends to limit itself to thd unsupported area beyond the rim.

Over 50 years of riding tubular, I've come to see this as a sign of good luck.

Last edited by FBinNY; 01-17-23 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 01-18-23, 10:44 AM
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good place for tubular info and help Totally Tubular
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Old 01-18-23, 05:33 PM
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Dude.. Buy some new tires.. those things are dead in more ways than you're complaining about.
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Old 01-18-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ramuji
I've noticed recently that the base tape on my tubular tires (both front and rear, currently mounted, riding 3 to 5 times a week) is separating from the tire in several locations.

Is this normal, or is it a safety issue that I should be concerned about?
I found some references online that said excess tire cement might cause the adhesive holding the base tape on the tire to degrade, requiring either the base tape to be replaced or the tire to be thrown out. But, these were all in reference to tubulars that weren't currently mounted.

Is it a defective product, or maybe I used too much cement?
I've only been using them a couple of months, only about 1400 km so far, so I'd like to get a lot more use out of them ...
Absolutely normal
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Old 01-19-23, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ramuji
I've noticed recently that the base tape on my tubular tires (both front and rear, currently mounted, riding 3 to 5 times a week) is separating from the tire in several locations.

Is this normal, or is it a safety issue that I should be concerned about?
I found some references online that said excess tire cement might cause the adhesive holding the base tape on the tire to degrade, requiring either the base tape to be replaced or the tire to be thrown out. But, these were all in reference to tubulars that weren't currently mounted.

Is it a defective product, or maybe I used too much cement?
I've only been using them a couple of months, only about 1400 km so far, so I'd like to get a lot more use out of them ...
Your pictures suggest some pretty old tires, and base tape separation is not uncommon. If the tire can be rolled off the rim then dismount the tire and use rubber cement to glue the base tape back on. If the tire doesn't roll off, then you're OK. Ride those tires more to wear them out and get new ones.
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Old 01-20-23, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
good place for tubular info and help Totally Tubular
Thanks! I'll post on that thread if I have more questions about tubulars.
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Old 01-20-23, 08:05 AM
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I've seen this happen many times with tubulars, more common with older ones. I don't ride tubulars a lot these days, but I recall asking the bike shop guys way back when, none had seen a problem, and this shop had a racing team or two. But they did point me toward Tire Life. I think they went out of business, but they may have ressurrected and I think someone has as well tried to fill the gap. Old Jevelot Tire Life did not have a long shelf life.

You want the glue between the base tape and the tire to be stronger than that between the base tape and the rim, so that when you pull the tire off the rim, you separate it from the rim and NOT from the base tape. There are a lot of instructions for the base-rim attachment, but I haven't seen one for the joint between the base and the tire carcass, where the seam is. Fact is both joints are needed to retain the tire. It's common to assume the carcass-tape interface needs to be completely attached, but a lot of tires which look like yours have not caused me problems.
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