Bicycle rim tape explained article critique

Hello, I found the BikeGremlin article about rim tape very useful. I learned several new things about facing, tubeless wheel rim tape etc. I have inputted all of the information into my spaced repetition database, so I won't be forgetting it anytime soon!

That being said, I think the article could address more content than it does, and would appreciate if anyone could clarify some things for me if I am wrong.

Is stronger rim tape really needed for double walled rims?
Most other sites on the internet state that internal flats are more common on single walled rims, as the nipples protrude into the tube area. Furthermore, a loose spoke end is much more likely to cause a puncture on a single walled rim.

The only argument you mention for double walled rims needing better rim tape is that the edges of the holes are sharper. While this is solid reasoning, I don't believe it outweighs the counter arguments for why stronger rim tape is needed on single walled rims, and definitely doesn't justify recommending stronger rim tape for double walled rims over single walled rims.

For a conclusive answer about this question, an experiment/study would need to be done. However for now, I don't see any conclusive reason for recommending stronger rim tape for double walled rims only.


What does bicycle rim tape do?
In the first paragraph, you do not mention that rim tape is also used to seal ready for tubeless. Since this paragraph is an overview of everything that rim tape can do, I think this should be added.

Zefal and Velox rim tape
Though anonymous comments on the internet are not the best source of information, the comments under the article and on other parts of the internet highly recommend Zefal and Velox tough cloth rim tape over plastic rim tapes of other brands. I think this should be mentioned and perhaps add an Amazon affiliate links.

Minor simple corrections
  • In chapter 4, "a duct tape" should just be "duct tape".
  • The title of the article has mis-spelt bicycle as "bicyle".
  • In chapter 2: Rim tape dimensions, I believe it should say "rim tape cut for rims of 622 mm diameter" rather than "rim tape cut for rims of 622 mm circumference"
Please bear in mind, I am not an expert on rim tape. I am just a person who has read the article, the comments and some other similar articles online, and applied rim tape a few times myself. Hence, it is very likely that I am wrong about some of the improvements.

I really hope this helps improve the article for other readers.
 
Hello, I found the BikeGremlin article about rim tape very useful. I learned several new things about facing, tubeless wheel rim tape etc. I have inputted all of the information into my spaced repetition database, so I won't be forgetting it anytime soon!

That being said, I think the article could address more content than it does, and would appreciate if anyone could clarify some things for me if I am wrong.

Is stronger rim tape really needed for double walled rims?
Most other sites on the internet state that internal flats are more common on single walled rims, as the nipples protrude into the tube area. Furthermore, a loose spoke end is much more likely to cause a puncture on a single walled rim.

The only argument you mention for double walled rims needing better rim tape is that the edges of the holes are sharper. While this is solid reasoning, I don't believe it outweighs the counter arguments for why stronger rim tape is needed on single walled rims, and definitely doesn't justify recommending stronger rim tape for double walled rims over single walled rims.

For a conclusive answer about this question, an experiment/study would need to be done. However for now, I don't see any conclusive reason for recommending stronger rim tape for double walled rims only.


What does bicycle rim tape do?
In the first paragraph, you do not mention that rim tape is also used to seal ready for tubeless. Since this paragraph is an overview of everything that rim tape can do, I think this should be added.

Zefal and Velox rim tape
Though anonymous comments on the internet are not the best source of information, the comments under the article and on other parts of the internet highly recommend Zefal and Velox tough cloth rim tape over plastic rim tapes of other brands. I think this should be mentioned and perhaps add an Amazon affiliate links.

Minor simple corrections
  • In chapter 4, "a duct tape" should just be "duct tape".
  • The title of the article has mis-spelt bicycle as "bicyle".
  • In chapter 2: Rim tape dimensions, I believe it should say "rim tape cut for rims of 622 mm diameter" rather than "rim tape cut for rims of 622 mm circumference"
Please bear in mind, I am not an expert on rim tape. I am just a person who has read the article, the comments and some other similar articles online, and applied rim tape a few times myself. Hence, it is very likely that I am wrong about some of the improvements.

I really hope this helps improve the article for other readers.

A very good post, with good reasonable questions and points. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and provide this feedback.

I will update the article, and also put a link to this discussion in the article itself.

For anyone coming here from "Google," the article discussed is:
Bicycle rim tape explained


Here, I'll try to answer all the questions and points right away, before updating the article itself (and its version in my native, Serbocroatian).

1. What does rim tape do?​

Great observation! :)
I should fix that.

To explain the problem cause:

The BikeGremlin Table of Contents page has a link to the article publish dates list:
https://bike.bikegremlin.com/complete-post-archive/

There, you can see that I originally wrote and published the article in 2015. At that time, tubeless bicycle tyres were not something I could see and work with.

The irony is that I did go over all of my articles this year, in order to double check and update them. However, there are several hundreds of articles on my websites, in total, and that's why I higly value posts like this, as they help me fix any mistakes and keep my articles up-to-date as a reliable source of information (I often use them for my own reminder & reference).

2. Is stronger rim tape really needed for double walled rims?​

In my experience, the answer is yes.

I've worked on hundreds (if not thousands) of wheels with cheap, rubber rim tape. It works well-enough on single-walled rims. On double walled rims, it results with punctures once the tyre pressure exceeds 4 bars (learned this the hard way).

On single-walled rims, it works fine, with this **disclaimer:

** If wheels are built with spokes protruding out of the nipples, then yes, single-walled rims would require stronger rim tape too. I need to think how to phrase and add this "disclaimer" to the article.

Of course, ideally, everyone could try for themselves (it should not be very expensive to test this, just one extra tube and cheap, flexible rim tape), and not take my word for it. In my articles, I don't aim for the scientific/research paper methodology, as they are already quite long, and in-detail, and my goal is to share knowledge and experience (and get corrected when wrong), not to prove anything or convince anyone.

3. Zefal and Velox rim tapes​

I am pretty "conservative" when it comes to recommendations. Too many times I've seen people repeat what they've read/heard, "like parrots" so to speak. I prefer to go with stuff I've been happy with personally, or that come highly recommended by the few good mechanics (who are also avid cyclists) who I'm friends with.

The downside of that is that my sites often don't offer much shopping advice - concentrating on explaining how one could see for themself what is good and what works, and then check what's available for shopping at the time they go to buy.

It's not perfect, it never will be, and I'll never be able to please everyone (probably not even a huge number of people). And that's OK as far as I'm concerned.

Having said that, I'm seriously considering to make a page with product recommendations (have it all in one place, more easily updated as stuff goes in and out of production).

4. Minor fixes​

Very good "catches" - I've fixed those right away.

Relja
 
A very good post, with good reasonable questions and points. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and provide this feedback.

I will update the article, and also put a link to this discussion in the article itself.

For anyone coming here from "Google," the article discussed is:
Bicycle rim tape explained


Here, I'll try to answer all the questions and points right away, before updating the article itself (and its version in my native, Serbocroatian).
Thank you! Great stuff.

1. What does rim tape do?
Great observation! :)
I should fix that.

To explain the problem cause:

The BikeGremlin Table of Contents page has a link to the article publish dates list:
https://bike.bikegremlin.com/complete-post-archive/

There, you can see that I originally wrote and published the article in 2015. At that time, tubeless bicycle tyres were not something I could see and work with.

The irony is that I did go over all of my articles this year, in order to double check and update them. However, there are several hundreds of articles on my websites, in total, and that's why I higly value posts like this, as they help me fix any mistakes and keep my articles up-to-date as a reliable source of information (I often use them for my own reminder & reference).
Completely understandable, thank you for fixing!

2. Is stronger rim tape really needed for double walled rims?​

In my experience, the answer is yes.

I've worked on hundreds (if not thousands) of wheels with cheap, rubber rim tape. It works well-enough on single-walled rims. On double walled rims, it results with punctures once the tyre pressure exceeds 4 bars (learned this the hard way).

On single-walled rims, it works fine, with this **disclaimer:

** If wheels are built with spokes protruding out of the nipples, then yes, single-walled rims would require stronger rim tape too. I need to think how to phrase and add this "disclaimer" to the article.

Of course, ideally, everyone could try for themselves (it should not be very expensive to test this, just one extra tube and cheap, flexible rim tape), and not take my word for it. In my articles, I don't aim for the scientific/research paper methodology, as they are already quite long, and in-detail, and my goal is to share knowledge and experience (and get corrected when wrong), not to prove anything or convince anyone.
This makes a lot more sense, and makes me understand it a lot better. I think you should definitely add most of this to the article, as it is all valuable information to know, deepens the understanding of the reader, and shows that you are not just making things up or "parroting" them. Thank you very much for your explanation.

3. Zefal and Velox rim tapes
I am pretty "conservative" when it comes to recommendations. Too many times I've seen people repeat what they've read/heard, "like parrots" so to speak. I prefer to go with stuff I've been happy with personally, or that come highly recommended by the few good mechanics (who are also avid cyclists) who I'm friends with.

The downside of that is that my sites often don't offer much shopping advice - concentrating on explaining how one could see for themself what is good and what works, and then check what's available for shopping at the time they go to buy.

It's not perfect, it never will be, and I'll never be able to please everyone (probably not even a huge number of people). And that's OK as far as I'm concerned.

Having said that, I'm seriously considering to make a page with product recommendations (have it all in one place, more easily updated as stuff goes in and out of production).

I actually completely agree with this. Also, an oversight I made when making this point was that it is generally better to recommend materials and design methods rather than brands products. Recommending brands products means that they will have more of a monopoly over the market, less incentive to improve and lesser known brands with higher quality products will not be recognized. On second consideration, I would discard this point entirely.

4. Minor fixes​

Very good "catches" - I've fixed those right away.

Once again, thank you very much Relja for your fast, and effective implementation of my feedback.
  • I am happy because I learned a bunch of new things from the original article, and even more from this thread.
  • The future readers of the article will benefit even more from the improvements.
  • Hopefully you are happy because you are helping so many people!
Amazing!
 
By the way, I can confirm that Schwalbe High Pressure Rim Tape is really great! I've been using them for three years - it's great.
They have another non-obvious advantage - the edges of the tape are rounded... And despite its rigidity, the tape does not damage the tubes.
 
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