Rim Tape v. Elec Tape

I used ELECTRICAL TAPE in place of real rim tape on my Coker. Also used a WTB 29-inch tube. Both worked well for over a year with no flats. But yesterday, flat as a pancake.

Pulling it apart I found curious parallel rust colored lines on the inside of the tube and could find no obvious puncture. Under water I located the hole, very tiny, right on one of the rust colored lines. I inspected further and found the rusty lines have a scratchy feeling residue, kindof abrasive and sharp. Hmm.

Bike shop friend concurred that rusty lines could be a combo of the ELEC TAPE ADHESIVE AND RUST, and that the tiny hole might be a result of the abrasive deposits.

Anyone have this experience?



What do you think?

I don’t know the chemical constituents of electrical tape adhesive, and whether it might have reacted somehow with the rim you were using, or if the adhesive edges of the tape just picked up particles that built up into abrasive, saw-like lines. I’ve used electrical tape as an addition to rim tape on my LM rim since I didn’t have super-wide tape like you can get now.

What rim were you using, the original or an airfoil? I’d assume not an airfoil, as that is aluminium, and will not rust into sharp particles like you describe.


Rust Source ?

My Coker is stock with steel rim. Haven’t determined yet if the rim is the source of the rust. The other possibility might be that the wire bead on the Coker tire could be exposed and rusting.

Loose, you hit it just right with your term, “saw-like lines.”

I’ll check it out further and report if I can determine what’s happened.

By the way, John Childs, you’ve recommended many times not to use electrical tape. Guess I shoulda listened.

How bout trying Duct Tape now?

Not many times. I did get curious enough to try it recently in my Airfoil rim and found that it didn’t stay put or in place well enough for my liking. I put it on and took it off the same day.

The rust could be from the rim. The bead hook on the rim kind of curls around and is an area that condensation could get to and cause rust in the rim. If the rust is from the rim then the type of rim tape isn’t going to make much of a difference.

I’m also a fan of using talc baby powder or climbing chalk to coat the inside of the tire and the tube. That keeps the tube from sticking to the inside of the tire and seems to help reduce some types of flats due to pinching.

Spend the $1-$3 on real rim tape or a rim strip at your LBS. It’s just better that way.

duct tape disingrates into a gooey mess akin to ectoplasm…stay away from that idea.

good strong packing tape has worked for me in the past.

Mmmm, thanks Egon.:wink:

I used a length of Coker rim tape to insulate a 240V wire exposed during electrical work at my house. However, the wire poked through that little hole for the valve and electrocuted the postman, tripping the switch and plunging the entire street into darkness in the middle of East Enders.

It seems that each tape may have a distinct purpose for which it is optimised. :roll_eyes:

Rim tape - improving the quality of broadcasting since 2005.

Oh my rusted rim.

Coker rim inside surface was rusting significantly, which is wierd because I don’t ever recall getting the wheel wet. My guess is condensation like JC mentioned. I believe the rust did cause my flat, based on the size and location of the puncture.

After inspection, I don’t think the electrical tape contributed to any problem, including rust and puncture. It wasn’t even a gooey mess.

Nevertheless, I removed the rubber rim strip and elec tape. Brushed out as much rust as I could. Got the rim trued by the LBS, had them use rim tape this time, and even had the LBS put it all back together including a new 29-inch tube. Cost me a few bucks but they did a great job.

I’m back happily rolling on my Coker. But I am still excited for my LiveWire 36, that is if it ever arrives.