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  1. #1
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    Succesful Wheel Taping

    Can anybody share their best lessons learned with respect to good taping techniques? Methods, best tapes, how much of the channel/groove needs to be covered, etc?

    Thanks!
    G

  2. #2
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    My best advice is after applying tape pump up a tube/tire and it will set the tape in the place.

  3. #3
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    The first tire I setup tubeless, I watched several youtube vids to familiarize myself with the process first. I've done 4 wheelsets with no problems. Some prefer a lighter tape, but I've used the 1" Gorilla Tape and it's always been firmly in place at tire changes. The main tip I'll add is to make SURE your rims and squeeky clean and wipe the interior with rubbing alcohol before taping to remove any oil residue.

    There's also something different I did that last set I taped that made it easier. The first few wheels I taped by myself and it was easy enough: hold the rim between my knees and tape a little, rotate a little, repeat until done a couple inches at a time. The last one I had a buddy visiting when I started it and we set up two chairs face-to-face with him holding the wheel and me holding and applying the tape. With the wheel secured, I could use both hands to let out more tape at a time (like 8" - 10" or so) and have a longer "sight line" so it went into the channel ruler straight and looks like it was painted on. It probably doesn't make a functional difference and that wheelset doesn't perform any differently than the others I've done, but the edges are perfectly straight vs a little wavy like my solo jobs.

  4. #4
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    Ill never mess around with gorilla tape again. Actually, after using tyvek tape, everything else seems pretty bad, stans tape included. One wrap, done! I tape bead to bead, so if its an I30 rim you'll end up using about 35mm of tape.

    Tyvek is thinner, more pliable, sticks better, has no residue, and its cheap. So far, It seems like the perfect tape!

    I use a tube to set the tape also, that works well.

  5. #5
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    As the others said, always, once finished taping, install a tyre with tube and at least sit overnight at 30-40 PSI, but if possible, go for a ride or two before removing and setting up tubeless. I've always done it this way and I have tape that's a few years old, have removed and installed too many tyre to count and it's still good. I use Stans/WTB tape and as OnePivot said, if it's am i30 rim, I use 35mm wide tape to account for the channel dip and let it go all the way to the wall of the rim. To make the hole in the tape for the valve, get a nail of the right size, heat it up and then use that to make a perfect and self sealed hole.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Tyvek is thinner, more pliable, sticks better, has no residue, and its cheap. So far, It seems like the perfect tape!...
    What kind of Tyvek tape? Is it the stuff used to join weather barrier Tyvek in construction? What widths are available?
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Yup, the house wrap construction tape. I was pretty reluctant to try it and give up my stans tape for quite some time... because its house wrap, which seems kind of ghetto.

    But holy crap, its amazing. Its *the* perfect tubeless tape. It comes in 2 inch wide rolls, but it cuts fairly well with a razor. The edges didnt fray like some tapes do when you try to cut them to size.

    Even if it was more expensive, I think I would continue using it anyway.

    This stuff: https://www.homedepot.com/p/TYVEK-Ho...1470/100422453

  8. #8
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    Tyvek tape is great as long as you can get a good even cut on it. I have taped just the channel or have done edge to edge and both work good. Stuff is strong, thin and light so two or three wraps makes for a great tape job. Doing the over night tube thing on it will make sure it seals very well, but probably not needed if you go over each wrap with your thumb/finger and seal it well.

  9. #9
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    I dunno man, I had some guys come down with fatbikes that were setup tubeless with this stuff (or at least something similar if not) and it didn't seem that great to me. Now maybe it was a bad tape job, but it wasn't adhering to itself really well and wasn't all nicely seated on the rim bed like Stans/WTB tape does.

    As to skipping installing a tube first, you can risk it, but from my experience, it's the difference between having a tape job that lasts many tyre changes or peels up on the first attempt to change/fit a tyre. I've never had a problem, always install a tube and ride first, have done wheels for people, always tell them to do this, they don't, in a rush, want it setup tubeless right off and their never seems to last - another part of the issue could be I almost never have to use tyre levers and they all mostly do, so probably prey the tape up with them.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  10. #10
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    The tyvek tape says "tyvek" very large along the tape in blue lettering. I think ones of its main benefits is that it conforms to the rim contour so much better than stans. Its considerably more stretchy.

    Maybe it was a different product. Its pretty sticky stuff, it'll hold onto a house for 50 years! Im only using one layer with a few inches of overlap, and its not going anywhere.

  11. #11
    Ahhh the pain....
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    I just retaped a wheel due to some leakage around the valve core as well as I had to replace a spoke a few years back and had patched it with Gorilla Tape. In the process, I took some advice from above and heated up a center punch (conical shape) to melt a hole for the valve core. It put the perfect hole in the tape. Before I was cutting it in a X pattern but I believe that's why it was leaking around the core.
    Great advice!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Ill never mess around with gorilla tape again. Actually, after using tyvek tape, everything else seems pretty bad, stans tape included. One wrap, done! I tape bead to bead, so if its an I30 rim you'll end up using about 35mm of tape.

    Tyvek is thinner, more pliable, sticks better, has no residue, and its cheap. So far, It seems like the perfect tape!

    I use a tube to set the tape also, that works well.
    How long have you used this tape on a single wheel without retaping?

  13. #13
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    i use kapton tape. sticks to carbon quite well, sticks to itself better. been on the rim a year and the has been off multiple times. no peeling and seals perfectly.

    plus, if i ever hurl my bike in to space or throw it in a bonfire, the tape will still work: -273C (-459F), high as 400C (752F)

    im using 1.5"x36yds, costs $20 and prolly does 12 sets easily, more if you do one pass per wheel.

  14. #14
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    Is this rocket surgery? Always seemed pretty simple.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac1000 View Post
    How long have you used this tape on a single wheel without retaping?
    It's been about 6 months, but that's 2 tire changes on the same tape.

  16. #16
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    One Pivot, thanks for the info on Tyvek. I've been a Kapton fan for a while but Tyvek sounds interesting, though it does sound like there may be variations of it.
    Do the math.

  17. #17
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    This stuff seems like it would work really well. Has anyone tried it.

    https://www.flexsealproducts.com/product/flex-tape/

  18. #18
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    I would tend to think that that's going to be a VERY heavy solution if you did try it and not necessary when there are already much lighter alternatives that work very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idshooter View Post
    This stuff seems like it would work really well. Has anyone tried it.

    https://www.flexsealproducts.com/product/flex-tape/
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  19. #19
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    I'm gonna revisit this thread to tell on myself. My Gorilla Tape finally bit me in the butt. Had a flat yesterday with air coming out of spoke holes, rim joint, valve stem hole - when I pulled the tire off the GT was coming up by the edges all over the place.

    Going to get some Tyvek this morning and redo both wheels.

    Learned my lesson.

  20. #20
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    I mess with my wheels a lot (swapping hubs, swapping spokes, rims, etc), so I ended up untaping my tyvek wheels. There was no tape or tubeless failure, I just cant leave well enough alone.

    It was sort of a pain in the ass to remove. The tape tore in some spots and left a decent amount of residue. It wasnt a nightmare like gorilla tape, but stans peels more cleanly, ill definitely give them the nod for that. The plus side to that is that the edges didnt peel up at all.

    If you just tape rims and leave them like a normal person, I still think tyvek works great.

  21. #21
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    just adding that kapton tape leaves no residue. my wheels were taped over a year and when the tape was removed, there was no tape or sealant residue under the tape.

  22. #22
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    So far, I've worked with a bunch of different tapes; Stan's, Gorilla, yellow like Stan's, blue like Stan's, Orange Seal, Enve (Gorilla), black Teflon like, ...

    Kapton has been the best so far for me in terms of ease of installation, reliability, removal and reinstallation, etc..
    Do the math.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I mess with my wheels a lot (swapping hubs, swapping spokes, rims, etc), so I ended up untaping my tyvek wheels. There was no tape or tubeless failure, I just cant leave well enough alone.

    It was sort of a pain in the ass to remove. The tape tore in some spots and left a decent amount of residue. It wasnt a nightmare like gorilla tape, but stans peels more cleanly, ill definitely give them the nod for that. The plus side to that is that the edges didnt peel up at all.

    If you just tape rims and leave them like a normal person, I still think tyvek works great.
    Heating up the tape and residue with a hair dryer makes removing much easier.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by In2falling View Post
    Heating up the tape and residue with a hair dryer makes removing much easier.
    Roger that! I put my bare wheel in the sun for a few hours while I took my wife and daughter to breakfast and flower shopping (and Tyvek too!). By the time we got back and I tackled the job the remaining tape came up very easily and any residue that was left on the rim was able to rub it up with my thumb by minimal effort.

  25. #25
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    I've never used Tyvek for anything but boat and clothing repairs.
    The stuff is amazing. One jacket has been washed maybe 30x? None of the Tyvek has come off.
    For mountain use? Maybe it's a perfect answer but I wonder about it for higher pressure use.
    Does it stretch/pooch out into the spoke heads if used on a cross bike/touring/road tire?

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  26. #26
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    I've been using the blue 3m tape for a long time. Some of my tape jobs have lasted over 2 years. I tried gorilla for 1 wheel and it was lifting on the edges a week later. Never again.

    I've never installed a tube to help tape seat. Waste of time. Surgical cleanliness, a lightly scuffed surface, and proper stretching have been good enough. Clean with isopropyl alcohol. Then clean again.

    I wrap the ends of my fingers with a towel to press the tape into the channel very firmly as I'm pulling the tape roll with my other hand. I get on one knee and brace the wheel against a wall in front of me so I can really pull the tape.

    When I get done my wrap I don't touch the end I'm cutting with my fingers.

  27. #27
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    I wrapped my rims with Stans tape about 3 years ago, it took about 5 minutes to install and since that time I've probably changed tires half a dozen times. It's been pretty much perfect so I doubt I'll shop around much when I have to do it the next time.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  28. #28
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    Like JB, I have been a fan of Stan's for many years. I have multiple wheel sets and a few that have are more than 5 years on Stan's tape and who knows how many thousands of miles and tire swaps with complete success and no issues.

    Stan's is easy to install and easy to remove. Some enjoy whimpering about the price, but for about $11, I can get two wheel sets (4 rims) that last for years. You can do the math.

    If I could only get tires to last this long.
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  29. #29
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    First tubeless wheel, used Stan's yellow tape per the instructions and amazingly everything worked and is still running fine.

  30. #30
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    nevermind
    Last edited by TheBaldBlur; 05-15-2018 at 11:36 AM.

  31. #31
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    One tip I came up with that seems to help - I use a heat gun to warm the rim up slightly before taping, and then once everything is taped up I hit it all with a heat gun again (delicately) to activate the glue and work any air bubbles out. It ends up making the tape stick really well and I'm probably 20 for 20 getting things sealed up perfectly the first shot using this method.

    Don't overdo it, just heat the wheel a bit so that the glue grabs it better, then heat the tape a bit from a distance to let the adhesive do it's thing while you work it in. Bonus upside is that it ends up looking smooth as hell when you're done too (not it really matters once the tire is on, heh).
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