Why correct application of rim tape is crucial
The main purpose of tubeless rim tape is to plug the spoke access holes. By sealing the spoke holes it creates a sealed air chamber. The rim’s bead seat and tire sealant lock the tire onto the rim and ensuring that a tight seal. The Tape must be the right size, the right material, and correctly installed for the system to work.
Items Needed to change rim tape
- Rim tape
- Clean rag
- Isopropyl alcohol
Step 1: Cleaning the Rim
When applying new Rim tape make sure your rim surface is clean. If you have pulled old tape off or even working with a brand new rim, the rim surfaces still need to be cleaned which will ensure the tape sticks to the rim.
Take Isopropyl alcohol and spray it onto a clean rag. Then start wiping the Rim cleaning right down into the rim bed and up on all the sides and clean all the way around the entire rim.
Step 2: Let Dry
Once the Rim has been cleaned let it dry for a couple of minutes
Step 3: Start applying the rim tape.
There is not set standard for the starting point for applying the rim tape it's more of a personal choice. Some people choose to start at the valve hole at Gulo we start at the opposite side of the valve hole. Again personal preference.
Our method is to place the rim on the floor between our legs and using our feet to hold the rim steady. Lay the first 8inches of tape down with very little tension, then using your thumb to hold the tape in place and prevent it from slipping, pull your next 6 inches of tape and lay down with 90% tension. Then slide your thumb up the tape to push out any bubbles. Hold your thumb and tape in place and repeat the process all the way around until you end up at the starting point. Repeat the process for applying a second layer of tape. At Gulo we do two layers of tape because it helps with seating the tire and also adds an extra layer of protection in case you nick your tape which could cause a slow leak.
After applying the second tape layer you should end up where you started laying down the tape. Take your thumb and just push down that final piece of tape and make sure it's nice and seated then cut the tape.
Do a final check all the way around the rim by running your thumb over the rim checking for air bubbles, creases or areas in the tape where air can escape
Step 4: Install the Valve
This stage of setting up rim tape is to install the valve. There are a few different ways people do this step. At Gulo we have a method that works for us every time. We take the valve and put it in from the inside of the rim and we're going to make a little indention into rim tape then take the valve and using that little indent as a guide push through rim tape and out into the rim and add the rubber washer.
Step 5: The last stage is tightening the nuts.
With the nut in place hand tighten the nut. If you have to use any kind of tool to tighten the nut then you want to go back and recheck the hole tape to make sure there's no damage or issues.
What Size Rim Tape Do I need
Gulo Composites offers multiple widths of rim tape depending on your wheel size. See chart below to determine your tape width.
- It is important to ensure you get the right tape size to seal your rim bed fully. We recommend 1-2 layers of rim tape for a secure seal.
- It is vital that the rims are cleaned with isopropyl to ensure a clean, smooth application between the tape and the rim material.
- Gulo Composites offers a 10meter length and a 30meter length options for all widths.
|GRD 36 / GRD 46 / GGX SL||25mm||21-mm - 22mm|
|GMX 25 / GMD 27 / GGA SL / GGA 38||27mm||25mm - 27mm|
10 yard roll will do 2 wheels with 2 wraps around each wheel
30 yard roll will do 6 wheels with 2 wraps around each wheel