Improving Tubeless Set Up

Fitting tubeless tyres is one of those bike jobs that can be anything from straightforward to major PITA and we know that our rim tape installation can have an impact on which way that goes.

All of our wheels arrive with tubeless tape and valves fitted but we know from customer feedback that the end of the tape doesn’t always stay put, especially if it’s been a while since we installed it. For example:

So we’ve made two recent improvements to help ensure no hassles:

1. We built a jig for applying the rim tape - it uses a pneumatic cylinder to apply a uniform and consistent pressure to the rim tape to get it really well seated into the gutter of the rim. This avoids air bubbles forming under the rim tape and generally makes for a tight and tidy fit.

2. We’ve added a small red sticker to the end of the tape as a backup. This can be removed or left on - your choice - but weighing in a less than one-tenth of a gram it’s not going to slow you down 🙂

The combination of these two improvements should mean no more lifting rim tape but as always if you have any issues please reach out so we can sort them.

Other things you might not know about rim tape:

  • A single lap of rim tape is 2 meters long on a 700c / 29” wheel.
  • Our on-road and lighter duty off-road wheels get a single lap of rim tape, but heavier duty wheels get two laps. If a spoke gets snagged on a rock or root and breaks then the tension which the spoke is under turns the nipple end into a mini missile with enough force to puncture rim tape and give you a flat tyre. A second layer of tape prevents this.
  • We use rim tapes varying from 18mm to 38mm depending on the internal width of the rim.
  • We fit tubeless tape even if you’re not planning on running tubeless. Our tape works really well with regular clincher tyres and tubes but gives you the option of an easy tubeless conversion down the road.
  • If tubeless tape is too thin it will be easily damaged by tyre levers. If it’s too thick it doesn’t conform to the inner cavity of the rim which will cause it to lift. After lots of experimentation the rim tape we use is 0.10mm thick which we’ve found to be a great balance. As I mentioned a second layer of tape gives the extra strength where it’s needed it while still allowing the tape to conform better to the rim than a single layer of 0.15mm tape.

We're constantly looking for ways to improve. Some changes are big and obvious, other changes like this one are small and incremental but it's always our goal to improve the wheels and service we deliver. If there are any other areas you think we can improve on then we'd always love to hear about them.