February 22, 2006

    I bought a new pair of 700 C Mavic Open Pro rims. They came without rim liners. What size and kind of rim liner is best? Someone said I should go for cloth tape, but I'm not sure. Also, if tape is the best, how would I install it? I'm really new at this. Thanks.

Richard W.

    Rim strips come in several different materials, usually rubber and synthetics such as nylon or polyester. Rim tape generally comes in cloth and nylon.
    With high-pressure tires, folks often have problems with the tape moving around, exposing the spoke heads and causing punctures. If you worry about that, instead of a one-piece rim strip get tape that has adhesive on one side. Many enthusiasts prefer a tape made of a cloth of French origin called Velox—and some self-styled pros will go with nothing else. I don’t feel prone to argue, except to point out that if your bike’s tires don’t go on easily, you might want a thinner, synthetic tape.
    You should get the size of strip or tape that matches the width of your wheel’s rim cavity, usually 16 to 18 millimeters. If you don’t know the width and don’t have calipers handy, use a metric ruler to eyeball it. The strip should fit into the rim cavity snugly; if you’ve got the wrong width, the strip will either move around or spill outside of the rim cavity, a no-no. (Some find that, with an especially snug fit, wetting the tape with soapy water helps it slide in nicely.)
    To install: If you use an adhesive tape, some recommend you first clean and dry the rim cavity for better stick. Start by placing the hole in the tape over the rim's valve hole. Then you work your way around the wheel, pulling on the tape to get it tight and into the cavity snugly.
    Where the ends meet, don’t overlap ‘em. With a scissors cut the ends so they line up exactly. Then go back over the tape and press lightly with your fingers so no edges stick up, under which dirt can get.

Mr Bike

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