Blown tire and rim strip

Last week I left my unicycle in the car while at work. When I returned and pulled it out, the tire was flat and there was a hole in the rim strip through one of the holes in the rim.

I didn’t find anything sharp in the car that could have punctured the rim strip and tube, so I think that it may have just gotten too hot, the pressure built up, and it popped.

Can the rim strip be patched, or do I need to replace the whole thing? I’ve attached some pictures of the damage if that helps.


I wouldn’t try to patch the rim strip specifically, but you could put Velox cloth tape or nylon strapping tape over that rim hole.

Personally I think if we’re going to have large holes on the inside of rims, we should be using rim tape that’s less flexible. I just had to put strapping tape all along my KH 29er rim because the tape was starting to get torn at the interior holes. (That might have cost me an age group first in the marathon at UNICON, as I had a blowout while leading by several minutes).

there is high pressure plastic rim strip that would still look cool.

Thanks for the replies. I have some strapping tape on hand, so I’ll give that a try first and see if it holds up OK.

Wow, just ran a search because the exact same thing happened to me over the weekend. Didn’t expect to find a thread this current!

Mine is the stock blue rim strip in my 2009 KH29. Tire pressure was 35 psi in the morning, and I only left it in the truck (with shell) for a couple hours after my ride. Ambient temperature about 85F, but I was parked in the sun. The tube pressure put holes through the rim strip at two of the spoke nipples.

I have never had this happen on a bicycle, although I’ve had numerous bikes left in the back of my truck or prior suv’s without any issue. I attribute it to the large holes above the nipples on the inner shell of the rim. Not sure if I’d call this a design problem, because it does save a lot of weight, but it seems that more stout rim strips are called for.

Unfortunately, the two lbs’s I checked today only have cloth rim strips, that I believe would be less effective than the stock KH strip. So I’m just going to try duct tape patching for the short term, combined with letting the pressure out of my tire if I have to leave the uni in the truck.

I wanted to post on the thread selling this unicycle, but it’s now closed.

Is it me or does this one look ready to pop! :astonished:
Look at those bulges at about 10 o’clock.

Or maybe I’m just used to running really low pressure? :thinking:

This exact thing happened to me this summer several times, after leaving my KH20FL in the car. I took off the rim strip and found a stray peice of thin metal near the border of the drilled hole in the rim. I took a plyers and cut it off, then everything was fine.

The heat of the car must have been causing the tube to expand enough to get cut by that piece of metal. Take the rim strip off and line up the innertube with the rim. You may find a similar defect.

I put an extra rim strip over my red rim strip. I know it’s extra weight, but it keeps the strip from bulging out through the holes. It just feels safer. I was told I could also use duct tape.

I’m noticing that the KH blue rim strip appears to be thinner / more flexable than the old yellow strip. Way more bulge potential.

So far have not had one fail on me though.

That’s how mine looked when I first got it. I think it was the result of riding high pressure for a long time. It literally stretched the rim strip out to have semi permanent bulges. I usually ride between 20 - 30, so it went back to looking more “normal” over time.

Could Be Rough Spot on Rim

One time my tire blew while the unicycle was in the trunk as I was driving. I actually thought someone took a shot at me at first. It turned out there was a rough spot on my wheel rim that punctured the tube.

If and when I get a rim with big holes like that I think I’ll probably go with Scotch fibre reinforced tape as rim tape. I first bought that for making ghetto tubeless conversions but tend to use it as rim tape on all wheels now - including ones on the tandem where I’m using up to 125psi in the tyre - and it’s proved very solid. I’d expect it to do a much better job than any plastic rim strip.

The advantage of that over normal duct tape (cross weave tape) is that all the reinforcing is in the ring around the rim where long continuous fibres support each other - having reinforcing in the cross direction just tends to cause the edges of the tape to creep in on the adhesive.

I’ve been using Gorilla Tape since my post above in 2010, with no problems at all. It’s available in most hardware stores, and you can tear it easily to the exact width you want.

I’ve had several blow outs on my rim until I realized the rim strip wasn’t strong enough to hold 50 pounds of pressure. I ruined my 36er tube. I left the green rim strip where it was and put strapping tape on top of it. I now use a 29er tube. They hold up fine here in western Washington. There aren’t any thorns here. I usually carry a spare with me. I’ve never had any installation problems. I usually pump the tube up bigger than the 36er rim, then put talcum powder on the tube, and then deflate it.
I’ve had my current tube mounted since April. I’ve had the tire off several times for other reasons.

Coloured duct tape is the best thing that has happened to drilled rims since coloured rims strips.

So for those using gorilla tape or colored duct tape… how thick do you make it? I’m assuming double-thick at minimum putting the sticky sides together to make sure neither outward facing side is sticky.

Do you triple or quadruple up though?

I’ve also seen a few suggestions to use duct tape and the rim strip. Just curious as I’ve had a few strange flats here lately and my rim tape is bulged out and pretty nasty looking so I’ve got everything dissembled. Time for a replacement.

Duct tape is not a very good rim strip, it’s too flexible. Nylon strapping tape is best if you want to double up.

Single layer of gorilla tape has worked fine for me with no noticeable bulging. Gorilla tape is 2-3 times as thick as most duct tape.

I got impatient. I didn’t want my uni disassembled for an extended period of time, so on a lark I went with this:

I got tired of the blue, blue, blue but couldn’t decide on a color, so I picked them all.

I cut it to size, doubled over and I reinforced it with a slingle layer of regular duct tape. Not too worried about it, but time will tell.

I’m no photragrapher so you can’t see the colors that well, nevertheless:

If it doesn’t work, back to the drawing board.

It happened to my 29er the first summer I had it when I would take it to work to ride at lunch. It resulted from leaving it in my car in the heat. I have since switched/and switched back tires (not because of this but because of riding preferences) rearranged the rim strip and it is much better. Now if I don’t bring it in the office I reduce the air pressure in the tire and it seems to eliminate the issue and is fine.