Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

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Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:02 am

I had the front tyre blow out this morning, about 200 metres after completing a steep descent, ie 14% and the rim gets hot enough from braking for the T-intersection at the bottom that it is uncomfortable to touch.

The rim tape is a "plastic" version, the heat from braking on the hill softened the plastic allowing the tube to push it into the spoke holes. At one hole, the tape edge made it to the hole and rapid deflation followed - but the tube had a deformed 'blister' of rubber for almost every spoke hole. When I pulled the tape off to flip it over so I could get moving again, the tape was still soft enough that it ended up stretched by about 5cm causing me all kinds of grief to get it back on again.

Anyway - might be O.K. for commuting, but if you have speed & hills in your ride, this is NOT a product you should use.
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by BNA » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:13 am

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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby Nobody » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:13 am

Can't be great for the tyre or tube either.
A disc on the front is another option.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:22 am

You're using the brakes too much on the descents :P
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby Nobody » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:28 am

Yeah, they should stop placing those T intersections at bottoms of hills. :wink:
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby jules21 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:36 am

i've had nothing but trouble with plastic rim tape. it should be on customs' list of proscribed import items :evil:
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:24 am

I am with Twizzle in his opinion of plastic and have always used cloth.

First thing that I ripped off my C50 was the stuff that shimano puts on
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:19 pm

Nobody wrote:Yeah, they should stop placing those T intersections at bottoms of hills. :wink:


Black Mountain in Canberra. I actually surprised more cyclists haven't been killed on the descent or lost the brakes and gone through the intersection. I don't like this hill, but it's the only option time-wise for me in the mornings.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby winstonw » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:29 pm

It's probably a combo of tape stretch and tube air overheating and overinflating the tube.
With stiffer tape, you may still be prone to rim heat flats.
Review your braking technique - feather the front, and constant on the rear...helps to spread the deceleration friction more evenly between wheels/tubes.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:39 pm

winstonw wrote:It's probably a combo of tape stretch and tube air overheating and overinflating the tube.
With stiffer tape, you may still be prone to rim heat flats.
Review your braking technique - feather the front, and constant on the rear...helps to spread the deceleration friction more evenly between wheels/tubes.


92Kg of rider plus 13+Kg of bike and backpack and 14+% descent means craploads of heat. It's dangerous enough that I won't do it on the road bike because the brakes aren't up to it - I will only do it on the 'cross bike with V-Brakes on the front.

I already cadence brake that section otherwise the brake fade means you struggle to stop at the bottom, and I start braking about 300m before the intersection so I can spread the braking over as much time as possible and reduce the peak temp. The tyre was only inflated to 100psi, and is rated for 150psi, but the rim tape most definitely wasn't designed to handle the heat - it stretched by ~ 5cm when the rim had already cooled noticeably.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby m@ » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:09 pm

I've also had punctures from narrow plastic tape shifting and no longer covering the spoke holes, including one just as I was leaving the Mt Wellington summit :shock:

Replaced with Velox cloth tape and have covered ~10,000 Km without incident since.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:22 pm

I have used Velox cloth tape for many years. However for the past few sets of wheel-builds my LBS has fitted Velox plastic tape. I have asked him about its durability and he reckons it is top quality. I trust his opinion on wheels and have had no problems at all with it over the past 4 years. I will admit most of those wheels only run 70-80psi, but I do also have these tapes on the roadie (105psi)

It covers the rim from wall to wall so I don't see how it could do much shifting.

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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:25 pm

il padrone wrote:It covers the rim from wall to wall so I don't see how it could do much shifting.


Mine was the same, it was wide enought that it was up tight under the edge of the rim. But where it punctured, it had slipped down into the hole and the plastic has been stretched into every hole.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby birdbrain » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:43 pm

Makes a mental note NO Plastic Rim Tape. I have this on one bike and it seems to be the one that gets the most black cats. Could be purely coincidental of course.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby jules21 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:03 pm

birdbrain wrote:Makes a mental note NO Plastic Rim Tape. I have this on one bike and it seems to be the one that gets the most black cats. Could be purely coincidental of course.

check where the holes are appearing - if it's on the 'road' side, it's unlikely to be the tape at fault. i've had repeated flats on the tape side on one rim, until i replaced the plastic tape with cloth. i didn't think the tape was shifting and exposing the spoke hole - i concluded that i had very slightly damaged the plastic tape edge with a screwdriver when i had levered it on. even though this was almost unnoticeable to the eye, it was in the precise location of the puncture hole and running a finger over it confirmed that the edge had been sharpened.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby cp123 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:05 pm

joisus! that'd be a change your shorts experience i'd bet.... :shock:
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby Cruiserman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:12 pm

The descent of Ainslie is much better very long run out till Fairbairn Drive. Black Mountain is scary enough in a car as the steep only stops at the cross road, not great road design in hindsight.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:42 pm

No, the almost-change-the-shorts moment was trying to turn a corner at a T at 35kph when the front suddenly deflated (pinch flat) and I went straight across the slip lane in front of a car that was about to pass me and then the two lanes of the road I was entering, stopping with the front wheel against the traffic island in the middle of the road. I didn't move from the traffic island for about five minutes - that's how long it took for the shakes to stop.

As for Mt Ainslie - too many rabbits and Roos. I really prefer laps at the top section of Stromlo, but it's too far for me in the morning. Two laps of Black Mountain makes it a 90 minute commute already.


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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby biker jk » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:58 pm

jules21 wrote:
birdbrain wrote:Makes a mental note NO Plastic Rim Tape. I have this on one bike and it seems to be the one that gets the most black cats. Could be purely coincidental of course.

check where the holes are appearing - if it's on the 'road' side, it's unlikely to be the tape at fault. i've had repeated flats on the tape side on one rim, until i replaced the plastic tape with cloth. i didn't think the tape was shifting and exposing the spoke hole - i concluded that i had very slightly damaged the plastic tape edge with a screwdriver when i had levered it on. even though this was almost unnoticeable to the eye, it was in the precise location of the puncture hole and running a finger over it confirmed that the edge had been sharpened.


I don't use a screwdriver to get the plastic rim tape on. Instead, I use a cable tie looped around the rim tape which is used as a handle to pull the tape onto the rim. Then just cut the cable tie. Works a treat.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby drubie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:06 pm

I concur the plastic tape is worse than useless. I always bin it in favour of cloth. Having said that, the fulcrum wheels I have (7, 5 and zero) all have a kind of plasticized cloth and that seems to work pretty well.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:38 pm

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O.K. Both tapes are BBB high pressure 28" x 18mm rim tape from one one packet. The upper one - it's pretty obvious where it came from. The bottom one is from my race wheel, it's had a few races and some hill work. The top one is also missing the original matt finish and also doesn't have a consistent width any more - it is up to 2mm wider at some points. My assumption is that heat plus pressure has spread the plastic thinner.


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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby human909 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:04 pm

I replaced my rim tape with this stuff. While it is fabric reinforced plastic tape. I find the stuff to be quite good.

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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:34 pm

jules21 wrote:i've had nothing but trouble with plastic rim tape. it should be on customs' list of proscribed import items :evil:

QFT.

Twiz', that pic is more than a little scary. Velox cloth on every rim FTW.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby biker jk » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:21 pm

Six bikes in the household all with plastic rim tape and never a problem. My preferred plastic rim tape is Schwalbe. Cloth tape will move if wet or sometimes just on its own.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby Ross » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:17 pm

twizzle wrote:No, the almost-change-the-shorts moment was trying to turn a corner at a T at 35kph when the front suddenly deflated (pinch flat) and I went straight across the slip lane in front of a car that was about to pass me and then the two lanes of the road I was entering, stopping with the front wheel against the traffic island in the middle of the road. I didn't move from the traffic island for about five minutes - that's how long it took for the shakes to stop.

As for Mt Ainslie - too many rabbits and Roos. I really prefer laps at the top section of Stromlo, but it's too far for me in the morning. Two laps of Black Mountain makes it a 90 minute commute already.


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You've got the perfect training hill virtually outside your front door; Kingsford Smith Dr. Start at Southern Cross Dr intersection and go all the way up to Spence, rinse and repeat. Watch out for all the tree debris in the bike lane at the moment though.
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Re: Plastic rim tape - avoid if you ride hills.

Postby twizzle » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:41 pm

I see people doing KS, I think they are nuts. But I could do from Ginninderra to Spalding, that's reasonably safe and covers most of the climb. But a bit short.


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