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How To Remove Tubeless Tape Easily With Steps

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Having a mountain bike is a dream for every biker out there – but owning a bike these days comes with its own headache if you don’t master some simple DIY techniques that will save you some bucks from the mechanic. Before installing a tubeless tire on your bike, you would have to remove the existing tape to get the job done properly.

Expert Steps To Remove Tubeless Tape

Before I proceed with the steps, here are some of the tools you will need to ensure a successful removal process;

Materials Needed

  • Safety goggles/glasses
  • Working gloves
  • Clean towels
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Wheel truing stand
  • Scissors
  • Flashlight
  • Rim tape (for installation of new tape)

Step 1: Remove Existing Rim Tape

Before proceeding to install a new rim tape you are likely to see an existing rim tape. Don’t be in a rush to install the new one on the old one, take your time to remove the old tape with your hands if there is a lost part – and if there isn’t, use the tip of your scissors and gently create one. Peel off the existing tape until there is nothing left.

Step 2: Remove The Valve Stem, Nut, And The O-Ring

After you remove the tape, remove the valve stem, nut, and O-ring from the rim. Having them on while installing new tapes will disrupt the workflow of the entire process. Put them in a place where they can be easily located when you need them.

Step 3: Put The Wheel On The Truing Stand

Placing the wheel on the truing stand makes it very easy to remove any existing tape and carry out some necessary requirements I will be explaining in the next step.

Step 4: Clean The Rim

Once your wheel has been placed on the truing stand, spray your isopropyl alcohol on the wheel. Ensure you spray it around the rim by turning the wheel on the truing stand whilst spraying the isopropyl alcohol. After this process, clean round the rim using your shop towel. Using the shop towel is one sure way of ensuring that the rim is completely dry before going ahead with installing a new one.

Rapidly spin the wheel on the truing stand to remove the alcohol that is likely to be found on the spoke holes, and your wheel should be free of any form of tape.

Once the tape has been removed, the next phase will be to install a new one – which shouldn’t be a problem as long as you follow the simple steps below.

How To Install Tubeless Rim Tape

Step 1: Select The Appropriate Tape

Ensure the tape you want to use for this process has a width of about 4-5 inches (10-13cm). Anything below or above this will cause the tape to overlap, which can cause the tire to leak in the long run.

Step 2: Apply The Tape On The Rim

Don’t just apply the tape on any section of the rim – start applying the tape between the two spokes that are directly opposite the valve stem hole.(Read Also: Can You Paint Bicycle Tires?Find Out)

Step 3: Rotate The Wheel While Applying The Tape

Rotate the wheel while applying the tape in the channel, and ensure that you avoid any form of bubbles in the process by using your hand to apply pressure as the tape sits in the channel of the rim. Shake the tape from side to side to ensure that it sits properly into the channel.

The tape must be seated properly at the rim-bed (channel) to make the seal airtight. If your tape isn’t seated properly into the channel, chances are that your tubeless tire will leak air.(Read Also: Can I Put A Tubeless Tire On A Tube Rim?Find Out)

Step 4: Repeat The Process

Once you have achieved the process of applying the tape on the rim bed, repeat the entire process again, but this should be based on the spec of your tire which I will be outlining below.

Tire spec                              Number of times to complete the wraps on the rim bed   

808 tubeless disc                              1

202 tubeless disc                              2

30 course                                             2

404 tubeless disc                              2

303 tubeless disc                              2

Ensure that you follow the above guidelines to get the right result. Do not exceed or go below the tape wrap on your rim bed for any reason whatsoever.

Step 5: Cute The Tape

To ensure that you cut the tape properly, use your fingers to press the edge of the tape once you have achieved the complete wrap, then use your scissors to ensure that you get a clean and proper cut – do not use any other item apart from the scissors. Getting a clean cut is essential in preventing the sealant of the tubeless tire from getting under the tape.

Step 6: Locate The Valve Stem Hole

This is where your flashlight comes into play. Use your flashlight to locate where the valve stem hole is located on the rim by rotating the wheel on the truing while you keep an eye out for the hole.

Once found, use a sharp object to pierce through the tape to the valve stem hole – do not cut around the hole, or anything of that nature, simply pierce through it.

The piercing has to be precise and neat to guarantee that there is no air or sealant leak in the future. Remember, only pierce. (Read Also: Can You Use Super Glue To Patch A Bike Tire?)

Step 7: Fix The Nut, Valve Stem, And O-Ring

I hope you remember where you placed the nut, valve stem, and O-ring? Well, it’s time to use them. Insert the valve stem through the punctured hole in the tape, and install the O-ring to the valve stem. Simply use your hand to ensure that the O-ring is firmly tight to the valve stem – this will allow the stem gasket to seat securely in the tire bed, and also prevent air leakage around the stem area.

I know there are some over-enthusiasts out there, but ensure that you only use your hand to tighten the nut to the valve stem – Do not be tempted to use a tool to get it properly tightened as this may result in a leak later on. (Read Also: How Long Can You Ride On A Patched Bike Tire?)

I hope the above steps help solve the dilemma involved in fixing a tape. Here are some FAQ’s concerning tapes and bike tubes you might have. Any of your questions not answered in this segment can be directed to the comment section for me to attended to.

How Do You Remove Old Rim Tape?

Removing an old rim tape is pretty easy just as I explained in the first segment of this article. Simply use your hand to scrape out the tape, then use isopropyl alcohol to spray around the rim bed of your wheel.

This will help for the easy removal of any existing tape still on the rim bed. Use a towel to clean around the ream to ensure that you have done a proper job.

Is Rim Tape Necessary For Tubeless?

No, you don’t need any tape for tubeless rims. The only thing you have to worry about is the valve hole. The only type of tire that needs the application of tapes is the tubeless-ready rims. With the tubeless rims, you don’t have to worry about constantly re-taping from time to time.

Read Also: How To Change A Tire On A Single Axle Travel Trailer Like A Pro

Tubeless-Ready Rims Or Tubeless Rims, Which Is Best For Me?

The major difference between the tubeless-ready rims and tubeless rims is the holes. Almost 90% of bikes out there use tubeless-ready reams, and the way to convert tubeless-ready reams to tubeless rims is to apply the tape.

So Which Is More Expensive?

There is no cost distinction between tubeless-prepared and tubeless when purchasing the rims. Notwithstanding, employing a wheel developer or visiting your neighbourhood bicycle shop as opposed to buying an amassed wheelset straight from the manufacturer will probably cost more.

A few manufacturers might not have involvement in this sort of assembling practice. Swapping spokes and nipples can be expensive in case you’re having your nearby manufacturer/shop do the work, and if you’re doing it without anyone’s help, at that point all you require is time, persistence, and a decent art blend.

Which Is More Reliable?

Any experience biker will tell you that tubeless rims are more reliable than tubeless-ready rims because you don’t have to ever worry about changing tapes from time to time as is with the case of tubeless-ready rims. All that is required of you if you have a tubeless rim is to simply seat your tire on the rim, and you are good to go – no taping, and all that sorts associated with tubeless-ready rims.

Which Is Stronger?

In terms of strength, a tubeless rim is slightly stronger than a tubeless-ready rim that has spike holes in them – this is because the holes found in tubeless-ready rims interrupt the carbon composition of the frame in general, which is likely to affect the overall strength of the tubeless-ready rim.

Which Of Them Is Lighter?

A tubeless-ready ream will always be lighter for the same reason the tubeless rim is stronger – the holes in them. You might wonder if the tapes used in the tubeless-ready rims will make it heavier, the answer is no. the tubeless-ready tape is very lightweight to cause any sort of weight difference.

When Should You Replace Tubeless Tape?

You should replace your tubeless tape the moment you start noticing constant leakage after pumping your tires. the constant leakage could also be from the bead, but it is more likely for it to be from the weakened tape that is allowing air escape.

How Do You Stop A Tubeless Tire From Leaking?

One of the frustrating scenarios a biker will face is to have his/her tire set up, only for the tire to leak air after pumping. Or far more terrible is when you notice a leak when you’re already on the trail.

Read Also: How To Identify Tubeless Tire Puncture Plus Quick Fix

Lamentably, leaks are a typical issue when you run tubeless tires. Know how to maintain your tubeless tires, and also how to manage the leaks that are likely to come with it.

Since there are not that numerous spots for the sealant to get away, you will run into two sorts of leaks. I will show them here, with a concise synopsis of how to prevent a tubeless tire from leaking.

Leaking Through The Spokes/Valve

Although this can be an irritating issue, leaking through the spokes is only a sign that the edge tape should be fixed better. This is no reason to be afraid, as the sealant ordinarily fills the openings and plug up the leaks. The worst thing that can happen is to remove the tire and sealant, then re-apply the rim tape. (Read Also:How To Remove Tire Sealant From The Rims?)

Leaking Through The Bead

This is the most well-known leak cases experienced by those running tubeless tires, and it’s pretty straight forward to handle. To seal a tire leaking at the rim, first ensure there are no hindrances between the rim and bead, once you confirm, check the tire to ensure the bead is well seated.

If the leaks keep occurring, you may have to reduce the tension in the tire. High air pressure can keep sealant from drying enough to seal any holes.

Does Gorilla Tape Work On Tubeless Tires?   

Definitely! A gorilla tape will work nicely for your bike, as long as you follow the existing rules by ensuring that the tape sits properly within the rim bed/channel.

What Can I Use Instead Of Rim Tape?

There are some very common alternatives to use apart from the normal rim tapes and gorilla tapes that we know, and some of them include the following.

1. Electrical Tapes

Electrical tapes are the cheapest alternatives in terms of availability. They work perfectly well with tube tires, but you must ensure that they are taped at least twice to ensure a lasting result.

Note, however, that not all electrical tapes are ideal for tubeless tires. some usually cause bubbles which is something to avoid if you don’t want leaks – So for good electrical tapes for your bikes, you can simply click here.

2. Reinforced Industrial Tape

In terms of thickness, reinforced electrical tapes are thicker in all retrospect, but you should note that they don’t usually last long. Also, avoid industrial tape with fibreglass reinforcement as it could damage the tubes when riding under high pressure.

What Is The Best Rim Tape?

The best rim tapes are tapes that are primarily designed for rims and are also known to last longer than the general tapes that come to mind. Click here to see a perfect example.

How To Remove Tubeless Tape – Conclusion

The pride of a bike is not its beauty but in its wheels. Endeavour to take maximum care of your bike wheels, and do not hesitate to take any necessary action if you notice a leak of any kind before it aggravates into something more serious. Enjoy your biking experience. Cheers!!!

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