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Bike Rim Tape


Rim tape is a strip of material that covers the spoke holes on your wheel rim, preventing your inner tube from getting punctured by the sharp edges of the metal. Without rim tape, you would likely experience frequent flats and tube damage.

Rim Tape Variants

Rim tape comes in different types, sizes and materials. The most common types are cloth, PVC and nylon. Cloth rim tape is usually made of cotton or polyester and has a rubber or adhesive backing. It is flexible and durable but can absorb water and become less effective over time. PVC rim tape is made of plastic and has a sticky side that adheres to the rim. It is waterproof and easy to install but can be too thick for some rims and may peel off after repeated use. Nylon rim tape is made of synthetic fabric and has a self-adhesive backing. It is thin and lightweight but can stretch and tear more easily than cloth or PVC.

Rim Tape Sizing

The size of your rim tape depends on the width of your rim and the diameter of your wheel. You want to choose a rim tape that covers the entire width of the rim bed (the inner part of the rim where the tube sits) without overlapping onto the sidewalls (the outer part of the rim where the tyre hooks). You also want to choose a rim tape that matches the diameter of your wheel (usually 26", 27.5", 29" or 700c for road bikes). If unsure what size to get, you can measure your rim with a ruler or check with your bike manufacturer.

Other Considerations

The material of your rim tape affects its performance and durability. Some materials are more suitable for certain types of riding than others. For example, if you ride in wet conditions or use tubeless tyres (which do not require inner tubes), you may opt for a waterproof material like PVC or nylon. If you ride on rough terrain or use high-pressure tyres (tyres that require more air), you may want to opt for a strong material like cloth or nylon.