When changing flat tires, bikers realize the need to replace the rim tapes, especially those snapped. Though they do not affect the performance of the wheel, it determines the ease of changing bike tires.
More often, riders take the bicycle to the mechanic, and they may not understand the headache of changing the tires or why it can be expensive. Finding the best alternative to rim tape can make the work easier besides saving you some money.
Here is everything you need to know on bike rim tape and rim strip.
Rim Tape vs Rim Strip
Many wonder if the rim tapes and rim strips are the same things. There is a difference between the performances of the two. Though both are used for the same purpose to cover the poke holes. As a result, many have a preference based on the benefits of each.
The rim tapes are hard to remove and fix when dealing with tubeless bike tires. Any slight mistake can result in leaking thus best done by a qualified mechanic. But, the advantage of tapes is that they last longer when appropriately fixed and the riders might not experience any problem relating to it when riding.
On the other hand, the rim strips are pretty easy to remove and fix, but bikers have to buy one with proper width. The wrong size can sit badly on the rim that can cause sharp edges resulting in cut tubes. Too wide might cause tire not to sit well on the rim that causes issues when riding the bike.
Why rim tape or rim strips are necessary?
The tapes and strips offer protection to the tube in tubes tires. It prevents any possibility of sharp rim holes cutting the tube and ensures it does not pop out when riding on tires with high-pressure. If bikes are ridden without the tape or rims, it can still work, but the tubes would break down quickly.
For tubeless tires, the tape and strips play a significant role in preventing any air leaks that affect the performance of the wheels. The design, quality and how well installation is done could affect the performance of the bike too.
Rim Tapes alternatives
When a bicycle has a flat tire, replacing would call for replacement of the rim tapes. In the absence of the bicycle-specific table, the following can be used:
Mountain bikers prefer Gorilla tapes due to its high-quality that withstands high-pressure tires. Besides, they are affordable and having one in the backpack when riding come in handy in case of a flat tire change. The tapes stick pretty easy and prevent any air leaks.
The only issue is the friction that can occur on the tire. However, with higher pressure on tires, the Gorilla tape works perfectly. One needs to choose the perfect size depending on the wheel type and have it in the house in case the situation demands.
The electric tapes are the cheapest alternatives that are readily available. It works fine with tubes tires though if not enough is taped, it might not last long. There is no friction whatsoever, and thus one can tape wall to wall for better performance. Taping should be done without wrinkles to avoid issues when seating the tires.
For tubeless tires, all types of electric tapes might not work well. Some do not stick well, causing air bubbles which eventually cause air leak while some do not hold air at all. Thus, quality electric tapes should be used on tubeless bikes.
Reinforced industrial tapes
The reinforced industrial tapes are thicker and can sort you out in case of emergencies. They may not last or long, but those with fiberglass reinforcement should be avoided. They can cut the tubes when riding on high-pressure road wheels. They work on mountain bikes since they rarely exceed 30 psi.
Best Tapes to Use On Bikes Wheels
There are a variety of rim tapes and its alternatives that can be purchased on Amazon. Here are the best products to consider:
Velox Rim Tape
With over 100 years in the market, Velox rim tape guarantees quality in protecting the tires against any punctures. It is packaged in two rolls with each measuring two meters, thus, can accommodate most rim sizes. The adhesive cloth fabric ensures the tape can withstand high-pressure road wheel for most road bikes.
- Long to fit most sizes of bicycle rims
- Prevents tube punctures
- Value pack
- May lose its adhesive properties when exposed to air for long
Gorilla Mini Duct Tape
The tape is convenient for to-go repairs and comes in handy when one experiences a flat tire while riding. It can grip well on uneven and rough surfaces, thus no challenge when taping the bike’s wheels. The tape sticks tightly but not too hard to make it difficult to rip by hand. The good thing it works well even in tubeless bikes as it is waterproof and airtight.
- Portable with powerful grip
- Tough and reinforced backing
- Used even in tubeless bike
- Can be small for some rims
Scotch Super 33+ Vinyl Electric Tape
This electric tape is the best rim tape alternative as it offers excellent protection due to its durable PVC backing. Using it on the wheels is ideal as the tape can withstand elements such as moisture and UV rays.
The tape also operated within a wide range of temperature, ensuring it takes care of your wheel for a long time.
- Resistant to moisture and UV rays thus prevents air leaks
- Compatible with bike’s rims
- Withstand high temperature
- Work on tubeless bikes
- May need more layers to be applied to work well
Having a flat tire is a nightmare to most bikers, especially when it calls for changing the tubes rather than inflation. When installing, one thing that should be checked is the rim tapes which should be replaced if snapped.
The rim tapes can be expensive and hard to replace; thus, finding alternative can save money and allow one to install with ease. The reviewed products would sort you out conveniently at affordable prices.