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What size tubeless tape?

Old 11-14-19, 04:06 PM
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What size tubeless tape?

Converting my gravel bike to tubeless, I have the WTB TCS wheels, already have the tires, valves and sealant either ordered or already at home. My question is what size tubeless rim tape should I use on my wheel? Internal width 19, do I just get 19mm tape or do I get larger?
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Old 11-14-19, 04:16 PM
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I usually use a tubeless tape that's a couple of mm wider than the stated internal width of the rim. The contours of the rim bed add a little distance across the internal surface of the rim.
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Old 11-14-19, 04:42 PM
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24/25mm. All of my wheelsets that require tape are 19mm internal, and I use 24/25mm tape in all of them. Is just wide enough to cover the entire rim bed, and start to make the turn toward the bead hooks. Remember, the rim bed of a 19mm ID wide wheel is wider than 19mm, because of the dip in the middle. It's really 22-23mm wide.

WTB sells theirs as 24mm, Stan's as 25mm, though I suspect it's the same stuff. For my next wheel taping I'll be trying Tyvek seaming tape, cut down to 1" wide. Apparently it's the best-- the only drawback being that the narrowest roll is 1.88" (48mm) wide.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:02 PM
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All right cool. What rim strips would you guys recommend?
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Old 11-14-19, 07:18 PM
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I've used like 5 brands, and they're all the same so far as I can tell. I have a fresh roll of WTB sitting on the bench, bought only because the price was oddly low at the time. A lot of MTB guys swear by Gorilla Tape. I just read a lengthy write-up reviewing all of the off-the-shelf and DIY rim tape options, and Tyvek tape was at the top. If you have no desire to tinker and just want to tape a wheelset, I'd say WTB/Stan's. Proven to work.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by suncruiser View Post
All right cool. What rim strips would you guys recommend?
Stan's....pull it TIGHT, as you apply it.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by suncruiser View Post
All right cool. What rim strips would you guys recommend?
The two I have used for tubeless applications are Stans and Velocity Velotape. I like the way the Velotape lays down, but for applications over 45 psi, it needs to be doubled up.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 11-14-19 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:09 PM
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I get it as small as possible to just cover the spoke holes. Like 19mm is the smallest I found.

Reason is i don't want rim tape too close to the bead because a tight tire will be even tighter when it has tape under and won't slide easily to the bead.

the rim tape only needs to have enough surface to stick and cover the holes.

Oh, and thinner tape saves a lot of weight
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Old 11-14-19, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I get it as small as possible to just cover the spoke holes. Like 19mm is the smallest I found.

Reason is i don't want rim tape too close to the bead because a tight tire will be even tighter when it has tape under and won't slide easily to the bead.

the rim tape only needs to have enough surface to stick and cover the holes.

Oh, and thinner tape saves a lot of weight
Wouldn't thinner tape save all of a couple of grams? I'm not doubting you really. Just kinda curious.

My bike is currently about 33lbs in itself, tubeless tires should bring it to around 30-31. Not too worried about grams, more interested in less rolling resistance
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Old 11-14-19, 09:01 PM
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Just got my tires in... Would it make it easier to mount them if I preshaped them with tubes?
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Old 11-14-19, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I get it as small as possible to just cover the spoke holes. Like 19mm is the smallest I found.

Reason is i don't want rim tape too close to the bead because a tight tire will be even tighter when it has tape under and won't slide easily to the bead.

the rim tape only needs to have enough surface to stick and cover the holes.

Oh, and thinner tape saves a lot of weight
You're doing this on a tubeless setup, as the OP intends?
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Old 11-15-19, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by suncruiser View Post
Wouldn't thinner tape save all of a couple of grams? I'm not doubting you really. Just kinda curious.

My bike is currently about 33lbs in itself, tubeless tires should bring it to around 30-31. Not too worried about grams, more interested in less rolling resistance
i had added some sarcasm with the weight comment.... i have touring tires that weigh over 900g each

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You're doing this on a tubeless setup, as the OP intends?
yes
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Old 11-15-19, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
yes
Interesting, I thought the tape needed to go completely under the beads to seal reliably.
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Old 11-15-19, 09:16 PM
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My wheelbuilder builds hundreds of sets of wheels per year, and the tubeless tape is always edge-to-edge. I'm gonna keep taping wheels the same way he does.
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Old 11-16-19, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Interesting, I thought the tape needed to go completely under the beads to seal reliably.
teh tape only seals the spoke holes. the rest of the rim is solid aluminum that is already air-tight. if it wasn't for the spoke holes, no tape would be needed.
if you have the tape too close to the tire, it may not fit correctly anymore. At minimum it will be hard to move the tire.

this is different for typical fatbike rims, where there are cutouts. in that case you use a tape as wide as the rim. I believe my 80mm fatbike rims required 78mm tape.
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Old 11-19-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
teh tape only seals the spoke holes. the rest of the rim is solid aluminum that is already air-tight. if it wasn't for the spoke holes, no tape would be needed.
if you have the tape too close to the tire, it may not fit correctly anymore. At minimum it will be hard to move the tire.

this is different for typical fatbike rims, where there are cutouts. in that case you use a tape as wide as the rim. I believe my 80mm fatbike rims required 78mm tape.
Every rim/tire combination is different, but as long as it doesn't interfere with tire mounting, then using edge-to-edge tape allows the bead to press down on the edges of the tape, sealing them off and preventing sealant from working its way under the tape and migrating towards a spoke hole under pressure. Maybe if I were using Gorilla Tape I would be less worried about this since the adhesive is much stronger. Also, if you ever need to unseat the tire, I would be concerned that the bead would scrape across the edge of a narrow tape (especially if you have a double layer), pulling it up. If the tape is edge-to-edge, then the bead is already in contact with the tape, so when it pulls away from the hook it should just slide over the tape with minimal damage. On the other hand, wider tape is easier to mangle with a tire lever so it's tricky either way.
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Old 11-19-19, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
Every rim/tire combination is different, but as long as it doesn't interfere with tire mounting, then using edge-to-edge tape allows the bead to press down on the edges of the tape, sealing them off and preventing sealant from working its way under the tape and migrating towards a spoke hole under pressure. Maybe if I were using Gorilla Tape I would be less worried about this since the adhesive is much stronger. Also, if you ever need to unseat the tire, I would be concerned that the bead would scrape across the edge of a narrow tape (especially if you have a double layer), pulling it up. If the tape is edge-to-edge, then the bead is already in contact with the tape, so when it pulls away from the hook it should just slide over the tape with minimal damage. On the other hand, wider tape is easier to mangle with a tire lever so it's tricky either way.
Gorilla tape isn't really sealant rated and also is thicker. That MAY make tire installation worse and the sealant MAY dissolve the adhesive/tape over time. Better to spend a $ more and get tape that is tubeless rated.
you are right with the variety of tire/rim combinations. Unfortunately bicycle tubeless tires and rims aren't as standardized as car systems (but also is much lighter). But still best to use actually tubeless rated equipment (tire, rim, tape)
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