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Rim Tape/Stripes Installation Tips?

3350 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Gotwake424
Hey guys,

I ordered some rim tape/stripes for my Grom. I have never installed these before. Any suggestions? I don't know if I should start in the middle of each piece and work out or start at one end and work to the other or if I should use soapy water on the rim etc....

Is it necessary to remove the wheels or is this something you tackle with them mounted?

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It would definitely be easier to do it with the wheels off, but I did not ( I am a masochist). I did have the bike on a the lift because stooping while doing delicate tape work is not advised.

I use Windex for the "wet" install method. You could do it dry but rim tape has a brutal adhesive and is made from thin film so removing and replacing a misplaced strip can end up in a wad stuck to the shop fridge door.

I prefer Windex to soap because it has alcohol that evaporates. I have used it for years on decals.

These kits usually come in segments of about 8 or 10 inches long. You must overlap them a bit. Doing it with wheels on the bike will take nerves of steel, good lighting, and red wine or beer.

Start in the middle. Good luck finding the middle. Overlap your strips about 3/8" so that when the wheels are in motion, the overlap does not catch wind, bugs, and road grime - this is important. Mist the whole area with Windex, peel off half a strip of backing, keep a finger down on the first spot and "float" a few inches of tape down on the rim, get a good idea weather it is straight and float it around until you are ready to peel off the rest of that segment and float it down, I say float it, not press it untill you are happy with the alignment. Then, carefully pin down one end with a finger and use a paper towel to gently squeegee/blot out the fluid from finger to the opposite end, watching the alignment as you squeegee/blot.

Congratulations- you just applied the first of 16 strips. Have a beer. Relax, and don't screw it up. My kit came with about 5 or 6 extra strip segments, so if you do fuggit up, you may have a couple back up segments.

Good luck and have fun.
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Thank you Sir. Very helpful. I'm thinking now I might wait until I pull the wheels and have tires mounted.
Yeah, I dont know what a tire machine will do to wheel tape. Maybe nothing...?
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