tubeless tire tape/glue options

Jun 9, 2011
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#1
tubular tire tape/glue options

I just picked up my first set of tubular wheel from Tim a few days ago and am trying to figure out how best to attach whatever tires i get to the rims. Glue seems to be a tried and true method of securing the tire but seems to have some temperature limits in the high and low ends and also makes repais on the road difficult. Tape seems better for ease of installation and roadside repair.

I was planning to get some miyata tape but after reading some of James's and Tim's comments in Owen's vittoria corsa evo cx review I've been looking at some alternative tapes. Rather than continue to derail the review any further I decided to open a new thread to try and get some more background about other tape option.

James said he's using what appears to be 3M PBT-20 tape, which looks like it might hold the tire a little better than miyata tape and also has a better temperature range rating (-30°C to 80°C). Tim suggested a 3M VHB (very high bond) might hold better. after reading the specs and checking availability VHB 4630F looks suitible for bonding tire to rim and is rated for higher temperatures from -30°C to 200°C than the PBT-20 but is maybe a little too thick (.8mm) for a 23mm tire.

Has anyone had any experience with using tapes other than the regular miyata stuff on tires or know enough about how the 3M tapes are rated to be able to say whether a particular tape is worth trying? From browsing other cycling forums it doesn't seem like there are many cyclists trying different bonding agents for tubular tires but plenty talking about temperture limitations of whatever tape of glue they're using.
 
Likes: Debby

FarEast

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#2
Patrick, I raced a criterium on 3M PBT-20 tape, average speed for the race was about 45km/h and we were constantly hitting very sharp left hand turns at speed - constantly braking, then hitting the power.

I also used the same tape on my wheels in the Pro Elite race at Tokyo CX with 35 psi in the tires - lots of technical sections and lots of power needed in the sand.

I can't think of any other riding that would test the bond between the tire and the rim than a criterium or CX racing.

Also to be honest I don't think that you need to worry about such a high temperature rating - Zipp did some braking tests on very long descents and found that the rims can reach temperatures of 130c (300F) So getting tape that is rated over this is pointless - also you may find that it's not pliable, something you need it to be as you need the tape to be able to stretch and pull with the tire as you accelerate and brake, you need a balance between bond and give, if the tape is too ridged then you will roll the tire, if its too pliable then you'll roll the tire.

The final test is getting the tire off the rim, both in one piece - something I’m not sure you could do with 3M VHB tapes, remember you need to actually get the tire off at some point and if the tape is damaging the rim or the tire then it’s a no go.
 

GSAstuto

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#3
Actually it would be interesting to mount up a few tires with different tapes then run some more or less subjective tests. At the same time, we could use a set of rollers and simple power meter to test the Crr (which may be useful for those intending TT type events). The biggest issue I see with rolling tires is that once the edge bond is broken, there is a cascading failure. Using the foam tapes guard against this a bit because they'll give or stretch a bit (like FE points out) - actually they'll stretch alot, before the bond is completely broken. Miyata 'tape' is not really a tape - but more an emulsion that never fully hardens. So, it holds up a bit better under the edge bond test than regular glues. But for regular gluing, if both surfaces are well prepped, the adhesive is more or less permanent and takes alot of effort to break the bond. But once the bond is broken, it will fail rapidly.

Harder glues offer lower compliance and thus, less energy losses in rotation. This is why 'track glues' tend to be shellac based. The downside is that once the bond is broken, the tire rips off quite easily.

Softer glues are more resiliant, but increase compliance (and energy loss). Also - glue tends to become hard over time - so it's characteristics aren't entirely stable. Especially the 'gutta' type glues, which could seem quite hard and decent , but then when heated up become soft and lose bond quickly. As for glues, I prefer the Vittoria Mastik 1 or SOYO Road Glue. Both of which provide excellent bonding and builds on either carbon or alloy rims. But you still have the 24hr wait period involved.

Tapes are super convenient and rely much less wait period (sometimes nil). I'm definitely going to try the PBT-20 per Jame's recommendation and see if I replicate the results. I think it's important to gather as much <real> circumstantial data as possible, as there is no way to singularly test for a wide variety of riding situations.

I've had good experience with various 3M adhesives and tapes overall. Even using simple spray-on 'Fast Tac'. I have to say the Tufo Tape worked really well, but mounting was a pain because the paper backing strip would tear off between the tire and rim - so you couldn't just 'zip rip' it easily like the Miyata (one feature I really like). With TUFO I always had to use a pencil or something round to lift the tire from the rim, then carefully rip the paper backing while gently rolling forward on the rim.

As another bit of circumstantial data - I did notice a fair amount of 'bleeding' with the Miyata mounts during last year's Alps adventures. And I saw this on some tires here in Japan, too. This is a bit disconcerting cause it's reminicence of impending bond failure (to me, anyway) when old glue would soften under high heat / braking then the tire gives away suddenly. I doubled by mounts by adding a tack layer of SOYO ROAD on the rim. I didn't have any issues - but then, I can't say 100% that I would have anyway. But I did feel more secure knowing that I had 'glued' the tape to the rim.

FWWI - the Miyata Tape DOES pull away from carbon rims quite easily - and THAT did cause me some concern - which is what led me to do the pre-glue in the first place. Now when I strip the tires, I see about 50% of the tape residue on rim and tire.

For CX use, the MIyata performed poorly. As soon as some grit and water broke the edge bond, it quickly deteriorated and the tires rolled. Again, how the bond performs once it's broken or penetrated by water / grit is important - and especially more in CX use where it's subjected to even more extreme conditions.

On the other side of the extreme coin, I have successfully ridden and raced tires glued on with bubble gum, rubber cement, RTV and contact cement. Sometimes more successfully than others. But if you need to mount a tire to get home, just about anything will work as long as it sticks to the tire and rim. Definitely one advantage of the tapes is that they are generally resilient and soft enough to allow a remount, especially if some of it is still on the rim. And you can always carry some with you and get back on the road quickly, whereas glue generally requires a curing period.

Anyway - looking forward to hearing more about this!
 

D.K.

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#4
Patrick
I know you are talking about tubulars and not tubeless tires. You may just want to edit the topic title to avoid confusion.

James, I think you had previously mentioned pro teams in Japan using Miyata tape instead of glue which surprised me since most teams outside of Japan still use glue. I wonder if its just that Miyata tape is not readily available in other countries. Do you know which major teams in Japan tape instead of glue?
 
Jun 9, 2011
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#5
D.K., thanks for pointing out the mistyped thread title. brain was thinking one thing and the fingers were thinking another i guess.

james, you're totally right about not needing an adhesive that's rated for temperatures outside the normal operational range, but the 130°C from the zipp test you mentioned is 50°C above what the PBT tape is rated. i'd be worried aobut that getting slippery on long descents in the summer.

i read through 3M's documentation on removing VHB tape and they subbest cutting the foam core for removal and then using a citris base solvent to get rid of the tape residue. sounds like it should be fine for carbon rims...
 

FarEast

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#6
Patrick
I know you are talking about tubulars and not tubeless tires. You may just want to edit the topic title to avoid confusion.

James, I think you had previously mentioned pro teams in Japan using Miyata tape instead of glue which surprised me since most teams outside of Japan still use glue. I wonder if its just that Miyata tape is not readily available in other countries. Do you know which major teams in Japan tape instead of glue?
Actually I know of several Pro Teams outside of Japan that also tape - but due to sponsorship agreements can't say who.
 

FarEast

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#7
D.K., thanks for pointing out the mistyped thread title. brain was thinking one thing and the fingers were thinking another i guess.

james, you're totally right about not needing an adhesive that's rated for temperatures outside the normal operational range, but the 130°C from the zipp test you mentioned is 50°C above what the PBT tape is rated. i'd be worried aobut that getting slippery on long descents in the summer.

i read through 3M's documentation on removing VHB tape and they subbest cutting the foam core for removal and then using a citris base solvent to get rid of the tape residue. sounds like it should be fine for carbon rims...
Well zip tested them in the alps - Even Norikura or Matsumime can't give you the Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong descent zipp tested them on :D
 

GSAstuto

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#8
FWWI the Soyo guys told me that Miyata Tape was actually a 3M adhesive in their (Miyata) proprietary tape. Miyata has a patent (in Japan) on the formulation and application via this particular tape and it's intention as a bicycle tire adhesive. I'm only speaking from the domestic (Soyo, mainly) mfg feedback, and they sell and recommend both tape and glue for their professional products. For track, they recommend hard glue and for training and multi-purpose they recommended tape.

BTW - you'll reach the Tg of most carbon rims (about 120c) well before you meet the melt point of most glues and adhesives since the thermo conductivity of CFRP is on an order of about 10x less than alloy - so fortunately (or not) , the heat does not transfer as readily to the glue layer.

I believe what I experienced in the tape bubbling was more localized melting at the out edges. But this still scares me a bit having some old memories (and scars) of losing tires during some long, hot descents.

As FE points out, though, nothing in Japan compares to the long (15km+) technical and sometimes hair raising descents in the Alps. Madeliene comes immediately to mind with unevenly spaced switchbacks and steep intersections that easily allow speeds in excess of 80kph, but require braking down to 20kph repeatedly. Do that for 20+km and you'll know what hot rims really are!

In last year's HR I saw many riders experience heat induced tire / tube / rim failure. Surprsingly I've never experienced this in Japan other than on carbon clinchers which are very prone to Tg issues especially on steep - slow - hard braking. And even then, the issue was rim / Tg related and not heat induced failure of tire or tube.

I have rolled tires when glued with Gutta , Mastik, Fasttac and other wet methods. Generally the issue was I did not (or the person who glued it) follow 'the rules'. Or the glue was old and begun to go hard. I've never rolled a taped tire used for road. I have rolled taped tires used for CX. I've never rolled a Tufo taped tire in any situation.
 

FarEast

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#9
Tim - in regards to CX have you used Tufo tape? If so were you running standard Psi rating or super low for sand, mud, snow work under race conditions or just shitz and giggles stuff?

Interested to know as Im taking no risks ffor the 2013-14 UCI season. :D
 

GSAstuto

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#10
@James - I used to use the Tufo 'extreme' stuff. I think they've replaced it with 'MTB' version now. It was quite different than the regular 'road' tape in that it was thicker and more gooey. It also held up well against mud and water. The only issue I recall with the Tufo was that we'd occassionally get rips in it - kinda like the foam layer separating - like if you hooked a tire on a hard slope and it received the full force bearing down on it. There may not be a 100% foolproof solution but I think you're on an interesting track with the 3M tapes -- especially if you back it with some Mastik. Honestly, you'd be the one I'd be asking what's the best CX mount these days! I think your handling skills and power put alot more to task than most riders. I believe the latest method are similar, no? Most riders are using the BelgianTape (thin doubleback tape) with Mastik 1 gluing. I don't see how the BelgianTape is any different than the high shear strength 3M tape you have outlined - and may very well be better. Also - I'm looking at the rim profile as a potential issue - cause most carbon rims have quite deep inner profile compared to alloy - and using the intermediate tape layer actually decreases that profile slightly and seems to provide more shear strength. So, maybe we need to start looking more carefully at the bedding profile??
 

FarEast

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#11
Well the solution that served me great over last season was basically belgian taping but rather than using CX tape I just used Miyata, but actually any tape will do as its about filling the convexed bed of the rim - the bond between the tubular and the rim is still good old Mastik, for TCX2013 I went with the 3M tape but I had that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind that you really don't need when racing - this year I will belgian tape all my wheels - peace of mind when racing is golden.
 

GSAstuto

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#12
From my side feedback of riders in US and EU , combined with the rim fabs we are working with who supply many of the blanks what you and I are doing is the same. Almost everyone uses an intermediate tape, whether its Tufo or Jantex (Belgian) and gluing with either Mastik 1 or Fasttac. The purpose of the intermediate tape is to build up or flatten the profile a bit, increase the shear strength and finally allow a little easier tire removal.The Miyata just seems to strip easiest and I did see where it's not great with water intrusion. I will bring this up to them, since I know for a fact they are using 3M adhesive, and for sure 3M has water resist adhesives in their VHB lineup.
 
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#13
james, from the other thread it seemed that you tried a few different tape thicknesses. what performance characteristics were you trying to achieve with the different thicknesses and did you find any of the tapes too thin? i would have thought that you'd want to get the thinnest tape possible but you suggested that some tapes up to 1mm think were good in certain cases.
 

FarEast

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#14
From my side feedback of riders in US and EU , combined with the rim fabs we are working with who supply many of the blanks what you and I are doing is the same. Almost everyone uses an intermediate tape, whether its Tufo or Jantex (Belgian) and gluing with either Mastik 1 or Fasttac. The purpose of the intermediate tape is to build up or flatten the profile a bit, increase the shear strength and finally allow a little easier tire removal.The Miyata just seems to strip easiest and I did see where it's not great with water intrusion. I will bring this up to them, since I know for a fact they are using 3M adhesive, and for sure 3M has water resist adhesives in their VHB lineup.
Exactly - Im using 23mm width rims so I don't need to worry to much about raising the rim bed so much and thus why I used Miyata 16mm - actually after talking with some of the big guys at TCX2013 many are just using a strip of cotton soaked in Mastik or other glue and then running it down the middle of the rim bed.

james, from the other thread it seemed that you tried a few different tape thicknesses. what performance characteristics were you trying to achieve with the different thicknesses and did you find any of the tapes too thin? i would have thought that you'd want to get the thinnest tape possible but you suggested that some tapes up to 1mm think were good in certain cases.
As I mentioned Im using 23mm rims that have a much shallower rim bed than the older 20/19mm rims this means I don't need a thick tape to guarantee constantant contact around the rim, I was also going for something that matched the Miyata tape in consistancy and thickness but exceeded it in bond. One thing in my tests I did notice is that tapes with a much higher melting point had a poorer bond - they actually needed to be warm for them to become sticky. Also if you are running a thicker tape on standed rim depths all you are going to do is squish the tape out the sides and on to the sidewalls when you start raising the air pressure - this will cause lumps under the tire and thus effect performance.
 

GSAstuto

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#15
FWWI, I've never had a road tire roll with Miyata Tape. So, I'm pretty confident it's a good choice for general road use. Now then, probably Machin and I are among the few here that HAVE had tires roll under many circumstances, so we can attest to the particulars and digressions regarding this discussion. CX is especially difficult to deal with due the wide range of conditions, tires pressure, etc. I've rolled tires at Crits and Road stages - almost everytime was my fault (or my mechanic) for not properly gluing. When I ditched the old fashioned (25yrs ago 'old') 'Gutta' and started using 3M I had ZERO problems. And the wet glues got even better - especially the Veloflex / Vittoria / Clement 'Mastik' - now it's a Vittoria prdt 'Mastik One' . For this year's HR which is even more challenging in terms of vertical than last year (much faster descents) I'll be riding Veloflex Carbon's glued up with Mastik One. And probably a set or 2 of spares mounted with Miyata / Mastik. My other favorite way is to Miyata / SOYO the rear and Mastik the front. The rear is generally where a flat happens - so having the Miyata tape in there lets me rip and strip quick. (As I demod in Taiwan a couple months ago when I changed a tub in the pouring rain in under 2min). When I get more time - I'll go through all the variants - it's something on my list anyway. As for the CX glueups - Machin is the man here, cause he's the only one I know seriously riding CX at levels which push the envelope based on power and weight. Yu san is riding Gokiso and he glues 'Belgian' with SOYO Road / Jantex on most of his tires.
 

FarEast

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#16
I rolled a Miyata running low Psi for CX durring my testing;

Miyata tape - No Mastik or other resin glue - 1.5 bar. Rolled it on the first grassy corner of the test track.

I also rolled a Miyata taped tubular at Makuhari last year, although I don't think this was a bonding failure but more to do with 5th place rider taking me out on the final corner.

For CX I will always use the Belgian method of bonding the tubular to the rim, there are just way to many factors in a CX race to deal with and the last thing you want when lining up on the start line of a UCI Pro Elite race is doubts or concerns that you tire will part company with the rim, so for now I will continue to do the following,

  • prepare rim for new tire - sanding, chiseling, nuclear detonations to remove old glue and tape.
  • 1st layer of Mastikone and leave to dry for 24 hours.
  • 2nd layer of Mastikone and while tacky apply strip of either Miyata or 3M scotch tape, leaving backing on and leave to dry for 24 hours.
  • Remove backing tape and apply 3rd coat of Mastikone over the tape.
At the same time as above I will prepare the tire as follows:
  • Apply 1st coat of Mastikone to tire bed leave to dry for 24 hours.
  • Apply 2nd coat of Mastikone straight after applying the 3rd coat to the rim - leave for 5 minutes and then mount on the rim.
  • Leave to dry for minimum of 24 hours at 40 - 60 psi.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people do when gluing tires is put max Psi in them thinking this will make a better bond, actually all you do is force a lot of the glue/tape out on to the braking surface of the rim and reduce the bonding agent - Basically the only time you should pump to riding Psi is after you have left for 24 hours, preferably 48 hours.

Tim, in regards to gluing the rear and taping the front - I would agree with that, I've TT'd on a front wheel using only Psi to keep the tire in place, dodggy as hell but got the job done.
 

Quicksilver

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#17
Thanks for the detailed description of the Miyata-Mastic. (So this is "Belgian" right?) It is really helpful!! Also, I can see from the above discussion how this would be a strong bond because the sandwiched Miyata adds some elasticity to the hard Mastic.

I hate to quibble, but wasn't Tim's idea to tape back and glue front for ease of switching tubs? Anyway, this sounded like well thought through advice for a long journey away from home like the HR.
 

GSAstuto

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#18
Thanks for the detailed description of the Miyata-Mastic. (So this is "Belgian" right?) It is really helpful!! Also, I can see from the above discussion how this would be a strong bond because the sandwiched Miyata adds some elasticity to the hard Mastic.

I hate to quibble, but wasn't Tim's idea to tape back and glue front for ease of switching tubs? Anyway, this sounded like well thought through advice for a long journey away from home like the HR.
Methods for CX will be different than for road and various events. HR required riders to manage their own puncs, so neutral support was provided for mechanicals only. That plus the stages were fast, but lacked the hard cornering one might find in a Crit. So, my choice to glue and tape,differently was made primarily with this type of event in mind. CX, CRIT and TRACK will require their own methods for optimal performance. I think CX is the most challenging cause it's totally contradictory - you want to be able to rip and change a tire quickly , yet, you never want the tire to roll. And CX, with low pressures , are the worst case scenario for rolling tires. (Other than getting taken out on a flat corner in a Crit. What's up with that anyway? it's happened to me at least 3x I can remember.)

I have some mini-thermo strips coming. These change color according to temp so you verify actual rearing temps. I'm putting them inside the rims so we can inspect in case of thermal failure and see if the temps were exceeded or not.
 

FarEast

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#19
Thanks for the detailed description of the Miyata-Mastic. (So this is "Belgian" right?) It is really helpful!! Also, I can see from the above discussion how this would be a strong bond because the sandwiched Miyata adds some elasticity to the hard Mastic.
Yes this is the Belgian method, although there are numerous variants to it including using cotton rim tape as the sandwich. The tape isn't actually there to assist in the bond properties but to reduce the concav of the rim to allow more of the tire backing to make contact with the rim. Old 20mm rims have a pretty deep concav to them this was to help secure 19mm - 25mm tire profiles that match the convex and allow very good bonding between tire and rim - thus why tapes work very well.

However CX tires run up to 34mm (For those not racing UCI or sanctioned events they can go even higher) thus the inner convex of the tire wall is very shallow, using them on 20mm width rims creates a void down the spine of the rim where there is no or very little contact between the rim and the tyre and makes rolling the tire very easy, Belgian taping solves this issue.

However the new 23mm width rims do not have such an issue with this and one of the reasons why I started the whole testing procedure to begin with for CX races -

Basically will Miyata tape roll at low Psi on 23mm rims? = Yes they do.
Is there a tape that will allow me to race CX at low Psi? = Yes there is.

Finally the last questions I asked myself;

Am I happy racing on just rim tape? = For CX No, I will continue to use the Belgian method, however for road the 3M tape is outstanding, although summer will be the true test!

Am I happy racing on just Mastikone for CX? = For 23mm width rims, yes.


I hate to quibble, but wasn't Tim's idea to tape back and glue front for ease of switching tubs? Anyway, this sounded like well thought through advice for a long journey away from home like the HR.
LOL just read what Tim typed again :D But you need the best bond on the rear wheel as this is where the weight G's really play a part in the bond between tire and rim.

you want to be able to rip and change a tire quickly , yet, you never want the tire to roll. And CX, with low pressures , are the worst case scenario for rolling tires.
Actually I would disagree with this - there really isn't any need if you are racing with a spare bike, just straight in to the pit, jump to the new bike and go..... the mechanic will then just put one of the spare wheels on, clean her up and have it ready by the time you come around again!

For the record if you thought Road Racing was expensive try Cyclocross! Thank God Im sponsored otherwise I'd be screwed. :confused:

(Other than getting taken out on a flat corner in a Crit. What's up with that anyway? it's happened to me at least 3x I can remember.).
That's crit racing mate - it's like watching a stage race at x4 fast-forward.
 

Quicksilver

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#20
Methods for CX will be different than for road and various events. HR required riders to manage their own puncs, so neutral support was provided for mechanicals only. That plus the stages were fast, but lacked the hard cornering one might find in a Crit. So, my choice to glue and tape,differently was made primarily with this type of event in mind. CX, CRIT and TRACK will require their own methods for optimal performance. I think CX is the most challenging cause it's totally contradictory - you want to be able to rip and change a tire quickly , yet, you never want the tire to roll. And CX, with low pressures , are the worst case scenario for rolling tires. (Other than getting taken out on a flat corner in a Crit. What's up with that anyway? it's happened to me at least 3x I can remember.)

I have some mini-thermo strips coming. These change color according to temp so you verify actual rearing temps. I'm putting them inside the rims so we can inspect in case of thermal failure and see if the temps were exceeded or not.
This case by case makes it a bit of a judgement call but this thread offers useful guidance. Those Crit corners (taken out by other riders presumably) sound like a menace!

I'm really interested in the mini-thermo strips research. I hope we get a report here on the results! I wonder who the guinea pig riders will be??