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Rim Tape Question...

Old 05-25-18, 06:42 AM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Rim Tape Question...

Broke a rear non-drive spoke on my main commuter on the way to work yesterday. I didn't have the star-shaped driver to remove the brake disk, so I ran the wheel over to my favorite local bike shop. The tech noticed the rim tape was loose and worn, and I had covered over a tear with some duct tape. So he offered to throw in new rim tape for free (it's a great shop).

On my other two bikes the rims are chrome and the rim tape is black. On this bike the rims are black and the original tape is red, which looks great and was a very cool surprise the first time I changed a flat.

Here's my question...

What kind of speed loss can I expect using gray rim tape vs. red, and what are the general speed characteristics of rim tape colors?

I mean, with frame paint, handlebar wrap, bike clothes, shoes, rim brake pads, cable guides and other components you can see the speed advantage of certain colors as you ride. But rim tape is normally out of view while riding. On yesterday's ride home I think I felt a definite sluggishness, but I was riding into a 15mph headwind, so it was hard to tell what was regular wind resistance and what was the rim tape color working against me.

Please advise...
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Old 05-25-18, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
you can see the speed advantage of certain colors as you ride
No you canít.
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Old 05-25-18, 07:23 AM
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depends on day of the week, I believe
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Old 05-25-18, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Buddha2499 View Post


No you canít.

According to this chart, blues and violets have a higher frequency and more photo energy than reds, but how does that relate to the speed of one's bike? Do the relative photon energies, wave lengths and frequencies come into play when they are hidden, such as with rim tape?

And what of gray, white and black tape? Are they an absence of color, or a blend?
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Old 05-25-18, 07:49 AM
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Was it a full moon? We really need more information to answer your question.

See my user name for the fastest color.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:07 AM
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Red is always faster, no matter what the component. That's why I have red lights and red reflective tape on the rear of my bike, so I get that extra push.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:32 AM
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Red, always red is faster. But not just any red. Candy Apple Red is much faster than Blood Red. Marlboro Red is fast, but gives you cancer of the scranus. Magenta aligns too closely with the magnetic field of the earth, so it depends on the direction your going. Burgundy, not so quick. Crimson is king. Maroon is five. Brick Red is a bike from Wal-mart. Above all glossy is also always faster than the flat finish.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:46 AM
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Red Velo plugs is what you really need.

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Old 05-25-18, 10:06 AM
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Grey tape will typically lose about .5 watts over a 100k ride. Not a huge loss but when talking marginal gains you are better off with red tape.
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Old 05-25-18, 10:50 AM
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I'm more of an endurance rider, so I use blue tape. I'm content with my compromise.
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Old 05-25-18, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post

According to this chart, blues and violets have a higher frequency and more photo energy than reds, but how does that relate to the speed of one's bike? Do the relative photon energies, wave lengths and frequencies come into play when they are hidden, such as with rim tape?

And what of gray, white and black tape? Are they an absence of color, or a blend?
what about invisible antigravity rim tape?
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Old 05-25-18, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Red, always red is faster. But not just any red. Candy Apple Red is much faster than Blood Red. Marlboro Red is fast, but gives you cancer of the scranus. Magenta aligns too closely with the magnetic field of the earth, so it depends on the direction your going. Burgundy, not so quick. Crimson is king. Maroon is five. Brick Red is a bike from Wal-mart. Above all glossy is also always faster than the flat finish.
I was told by some one to avoid Star Trek "red-shirt" red...but some one else said it was a "killer" color.

Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
what about invisible antigravity rim tape?
I went to Wal-Mart, but all I could find was plain "invisible" tape.

Perhaps my LBS has invisible plus anti-gravity tape...
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Old 05-25-18, 03:02 PM
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Old 05-25-18, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I was told by some one to avoid Star Trek "red-shirt" red...but some one else said it was a "killer" color.


I went to Wal-Mart, but all I could find was plain "invisible" tape.

Perhaps my LBS has invisible plus anti-gravity tape...
They keep it on the ceiling.
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Old 05-25-18, 04:33 PM
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I often ponder this question in my shop, most recently on a Vintage Motobecane Grand Record. It's French, so I went with Mavic Yellow tape. A special case, but logically, the fastest color. Don
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Old 05-25-18, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post

According to this chart, blues and violets have a higher frequency and more photo energy than reds, but how does that relate to the speed of one's bike? Do the relative photon energies, wave lengths and frequencies come into play when they are hidden, such as with rim tape?

And what of gray, white and black tape? Are they an absence of color, or a blend?
The photons are being emitted by the colours. Photons like to be in front, so the more you get being emitted to slower you go, because of Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So red is faster because there are less photons pushing you backwards. Personally I'd run with a blue rim tape. All the extra photons pushing on the inside of the tire compared to red mean you need less air for the same pressure, saving valuable grams...
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Old 05-25-18, 05:52 PM
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People! People! There is a failure of logic here! Red rim tape can't be faster, because tires are black and no light passes through them.

Red rim tape is only faster with transparent tires. Or with no tires at all.


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Old 05-26-18, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Red Velo plugs is what you really need.
^^^^^^^^ This
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Old 05-26-18, 07:09 AM
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Anyone make chequered tape?
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Old 05-26-18, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheever View Post
People! People! There is a failure of logic here! Red rim tape can't be faster, because tires are black and no light passes through them.

Red rim tape is only faster with transparent tires. Or with no tires at all.


You aren't taking into account the quasi-transmutative effect.
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Old 05-26-18, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheever View Post
People! People! There is a failure of logic here! Red rim tape can't be faster, because tires are black and no light passes through them.

Red rim tape is only faster with transparent tires. Or with no tires at all.


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Old 05-26-18, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!
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Old 05-26-18, 08:47 AM
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well you really should have 24 bladed spokes before you address the rim tape color.
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