Rim tape is a sticky material used to wrap in the centerline of the rim to avoid the leakage of the sealant and the internal air pressure of the tubeless tire thoroughly from the small holes of the rim.
before there were tube tires that had tubes installed in the tires but then the discovery of the tubeless tires took place which does not contain inner tubes. the liquid material is named a sealant which is helpful in cases your tires got punctured or became flat through the trails.
Rim tapes are wrapped in the wheels so that the liquid sealant will remain in the tubeless tires. there are many sizes and widths of rim tapes available in the marketplaces, they can also differ in their quality material some are thick and some are thin with different budget ranges. rim tapes are also known as rim strips and rubber strips.
the best rim tape is that which would stick in the center of the wheel and rims firmly and smoothly and does not take off. thick rim wrapping tapes usually absorb sealant which is present in the tubeless tire and it reduces the amount of sealant within the tire so always use plastic material for the rim tape and thin wrapping so that it would not rupture and expire too early.
As we know there are a million qualities of rim tapes that are available online and in nearby shops, the famous rim tapes are Stans and Mucc Off but you buy one after studying their reviews, their pros and cons in a complete manner, always buy the experienced rim tape after having a discussion about them among your friends, mates, and the neighborhood friend riders.
The proper way of applying the rim tape:
- The best way of applying the tape is that always note the right and left edges of the rim and the rim tape so that the tape would not be smaller in width because the smaller width tape cannot reach the edges and if it is not properly done then it will again bother you to wrap another tape after few days or months, so this is the way, the internal air pressure and the sealant would remain the same by doing it accurately.
- When you wrap the tape after wrapping the tape, it creates small bubbles of air spaces which will indicate that the wrap tape is not applied in a proper way so you have to make the outer surface of the tape smooth by applying a force from your palm hand to clear all the bubbles and gaps which are present inwardly below the wrapping.
- If the bubbles are not clearing and you want a permanent way to clear the bubbles then put a tube in the tubeless tire and apply air pressure of around 40 to 45 psi the tube will apply force and hit the wrapping material all around and the tape will sit in its place thoroughly.
- you don’t need to wrap any scotch or other tape on the wrapping if you will see that all the bubbles have been gone from under the tape.
- While wrapping tape on the rim applies stretching force with one hand and from the other hand makes the tape smooth so that the tape would not become loosely sit on the wheel.
- Make the edges of the wrapping tape smooth so that It could not leak all of the internal pressure while riding on the trails.
- When you wrapped the rim tape then remember never to sit the tire on the ground just hang it on the repair stand or bike rack stand because in this way the wrap tape would absolutely become firm in its place.
- If the bead area of the wheel would not have been wrapped in a proper manner then the tape would leak all the internal air pressure after a few hours, mostly it is a confusing point because people buy the exact width of tape same as that of the wheel centered area, if you want to make more secure your wrapping for long-lasting then buy 4 to 5mm greater width wrap tape so that it could reach enough to the edges of the rim more widely.
- If you want permanent rim wrapping then it would become better to wrap the second layer of gorilla or horse tape as you know the weight of the tape does not count too much for riding so two layers of wrapping do not affect the weight of the bike but it will prevent from trouble and unpleasant moments of the trails, bushes tiny rocks, nails, etc.
- If the rim is nasty with mud and the liquid sealant, then wash the base of the wheel with washing soda or soap water and clean the centered area by rubbing from a brush and left it to dry, when you will inspect the rim is perfectly dried then start to wrap a tape.
- When you are wrapping the rim tape never touch or stretch the sided edges of the tape because these are like tension and if you stretch the left and right side of the tape then this stretching point would not fit thoroughly and do not sit on the wheelbase, hold the opening edge or finishing cap of the tape to stick it on the wheel.
- When the wrapping is done don’t cut the finish end of the tape with a scissor or anything else stretch the finish end by applying force and then give it a little bit of heat so that it will cut off and then stick it on the wheel by applying a thumb force and left it for a few time when you note that the tape is wrapped and sitting on the wheel thoroughly then put the sealant in the tire and then install the tire.
- After installing the tire check the strips of the wheel holes whether the sealant is leaking from these holes or the wrapping material is enough to hold the sealant within the tire, also after 4 hours of installing the tire check the internal psi pressure.
Do layers of rim tape affect the weight of the wheel:
No, the layers do not affect the weight of the wheel, tire, and mountain bike. you can wrap three to four layers in the center of the wheel but the most appropriate method would be that rather than applying too many layers of rim tape simply buy good quality and expensive rim tape. a single layer of good quality rim tape would be enough for the rim and wheel.
Protect the valve of the rim when applying rim tape:
You can insert a hole within the rim strip at the valve place with the help of a screwdriver or any other key, making sure the valve would exactly be fitted in that hole within the rim. Valve is the main extender of the wheel that needs wrapping of the internal rim tape in a better condition. wrap two to three layers of the wrapping tape in the inner place of the valve of the rim and never shake the stem of the valve. the internal hole of the valve needs to be wrapped completely because mostly the air leakage occurs from the valve place because that place is not wrapped thoroughly.
after wrapping the tape left it for a few minutes to dry, and then again give a new layer of wrapping horizontally and its length would be a single or two inches from left to the right edge of the rim.
Never touch the valve of the rim after wrapping the tape because it will cause floating of the internal wrapping material and the tape would not sit in the valve places properly.
How does rim tape work?
Rim tape is the most important accessory on the wheels of mountain bikes that work to make your ride complete mostly used for tubeless tires. the internal sealant of the tubeless tire floats on the rim tape and both of them combine to prevent the tire from puncturing or being flat on the trails. in case the tire got punctured the sealant would fill the hole of the punctured area and prevents the internal air pressure from leaking.
if the rim tape starts losing from some points in its wrapping shape or if the rim tape got scratched from its edges then the sealant also reaches there to fill the holes and prevent leakage of the air pressure.
Use air compressor to remove the bubbles from the wrapping tape:
Although it is usual that we use hand pumps for both tires of our mountain bikes when you wrap a tape then use a high-pressure generator pump and air compressor but avoid simple hand pressure pumps because the pressure of the hands is not enough for the wrapping rim tape to sit completely and remove all the bubbles through it.
when a high-pressure pump inserts air into the tire the rim tape would stick thoroughly with the wheel and all the bubble gases become clear from the tape.
10 Best MTB rim tapes used for tubeless tire wheels:
- Gorilla tape
- Electrical tape
- Duct tape
- ENVE rim tape
- Hockey tape
- Stans tape
- Horse tape
- Velox rim tape
These are the best tubeless rim wrapping tapes and strips used by mountain bikers, road bikers, and other cyclists.