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3/4" UHMW Wood River "Thick Strips" from Woodcraft as tubeless rim tape?

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3/4" UHMW Wood River "Thick Strips" from Woodcraft as tubeless rim tape?

Old 09-30-19, 09:33 AM
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3/4" UHMW Wood River "Thick Strips" from Woodcraft as tubeless rim tape?

Woodcraft supply sells a product called Thick Strips. These are rolls of adhesive backed UHMW material that is either 3/4" wide or 3" wide. It looks like helicopter tape that is used on chainstays to prevent chainslap from damaging your paint.

It got me thinking - has any one tried this product as a tubeless rim tape? 3/4" width is about 19 mm which would fit perfectly into many of todays medium wide tubeless road rims. My Velocity A23 rims were running great with Vittoria latex inner tubes with inexpensive "Kapton" tubeless rim tape. But the Kapton tape is quite thin and seemed to require 2 layers for full coverage. It got damaged a little due to changing out a tight fitting Challenge Criterium open tubular tire with a tight bead so I had to use the light blue 3M tape that is similar to Velocity's own "Velotape". That tape was a little thicker and appears it will hold up better with just one layer.

But then I was looking at Woodcraft Supply on-line site and saw the Woodriver Thick strips on sale. It looks like it could be a win-win. A nice, durable slick, self adhesive material that is clear and could stay in place for a very long time. Just thought I would share, and possibly elicit views from others on their tubeless rim tape preferences for tubed or tubeless clincher applications.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:17 PM
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Haven't tried the Thick Strips before, but I switched to the clear yellow Kapton tape (nobody's brand of "rim tape," just normal yellow Kapton) a while back and while I do put two layers on, the stuff is so thin that it probably only adds up to one layer of pretty much anything else. I've tried road tubeless a couple times but for now I'm back to tubes, primarily because where I live in Arizona it's so hot during the summer that I have to put way too much sealant in (original amount plus regularly new additions) as it evaporates fairly quickly. Then, when taking the tire off for whatever reason, it's just a nightmare mess of partially concealed and dried sealant everywhere inside both the tire and rim. With the Kapton tape I just put the two layers on, ran a tube for a week or so at normal pressure, then mounted the tubeless tire. The tube was to physically press the tape on the rim so it was all smoothed out and firmly attached everywhere. Given how the tube-pressed Kapton sticks, is very light and thin (so it doesn't take up room and make mounting tight tires that little bit more difficult) it's hard to imagine any kind of rim tape being an improvement. So I guess the question is: what benefit do you think going with these Thick Strips will give you over the proper width application of Kapton tape? Is it just the durability? In that case, the only problem I've ever had with the Kapton tape is mounting a tire the first time after applying it, before it's been pressed onto the rim at 80-90psi by the inner tube. If the tape is a good width and has been ridden with a tube, it's just about perfect.
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Old 09-30-19, 01:12 PM
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Try it and add it to the list
Genesis 49:16-17
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Old 10-01-19, 09:21 AM
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I have no experience with UHMW on bikes but have worked with it in industrial applications. Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene is commonly used in high wear applications where metal can't be used. It is very slick like teflon but with far superior wear characteristics. I've seen it used it for bushings on automation parts that are used where highly corrosive chemicals and fumes are present that would destroy any common metal. It is also used often in food processing equipment.

It is a very dense material and I would guess it would be very effective as rim tape. I would imagine much stronger than kapton for a given thickness. I would also imagine it's heavier as well.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:17 PM
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I have some of the 3/4" WoodRiver Slick Strip (not Thick Strip) that I use as cheap/temporary glides for various purposes. I wouldn't think it would work too well as a rim tape, it would be much too thick and too stiff to be a rim strip IMHO. Thick strip may be different but I couldn't find it on Woodcraft's website.

I use Kapton tape on my tubeless mtn bike rims. It's cheap, readily available, strong and stays in place. Not to mention that 2 wraps add virtually no thickness to the rim inner depth nor significant weight.
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