Rim Strips for Tubeless? or stick with tape?

Question is: Rim Strips vs Tape

I have Bontrager Wheels and Vittoria Corsa Pro Control 28 tires.

I just set up my first tubeless tire on my own with Stan’s rim tape and Stan’s sealant and Peaty’s Valves

I had tried 3 other tapes (I won’t list because I’m sure a lot was user error) and valves. I finally got the Stan’s stuff to stick and the wheel on…and have been riding this week.

In the meantime I had ordered premade Rim Strips from Bontrager that just arrived. they also have their valves that look like they fit the strip perfectly.

The question I have is my air pressure goes from 80 to 60 overnight. is that standard? would the rim strip potentially seal something better or is air just going out through the rubber?

Was thinking of maybe testing one of the wheels.

Otherwise things seem fine. No idea how either will look in 1, 3, 5 years.

only downside to the strips I see is they are 65 grams vs I dunno what the tape is but can’t be more than 10. not a huge deal but I’d only do it if there was some sort of benefit.

thank you for anyone with experience and input!

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I have Bontrager Aeolus 51 Pro wheels and initially installed those strips. They were ok, but I lost a decent amount of air overnight (maybe 20-25 psi from 28mm and 32mm tires).

Since switching to DT Swiss tape, I pump my tires once or twice per week (with GP 5000 TL currently, and previously with Specialized Roubaix 2Bliss and Vittoria N.EXT tires).

I’m sure other people have had better luck but I haven’t looked back since switching.

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The bontrager strips are for adding a lip to help keep the bead seated at lower pressure. I’ve run my bontrager wheels with and without then and find that they seat and stay seated better, but they seem to take forever to hold pressure anytime you take a tire on and off. After they have been on, ridden, and reinflated a few times they hold pressure fine.

I’m currently building another set of wheels, not bontrager, had left the rims with my LBS to measure/order the spokes for me. When picking up the spokes today I asked if he thought the bontrager strips would help on these since they are not technically a TLR ready rim. He was pretty adamant about just using tape. That was also his suggestion when I got the bontrager strips off him.

That seems high. I’ve always used tape, easier to put tires on. Sealant is also a factor - I’ve standardized on Orange Seal Regular (not Endurance) and also used Silca carbon fiber sealant.

Anybody want Bontrager strips for the cost of shipping?

I have a set of Bontrager wheels, about 5 years old. They are designed to be used with the Bontrager rim strips to set up tubeless.

I had been setting them up tubeless using multiple layers of rim tape. The Bontrager rim strips work way better. Never had trouble with them leaking excessive amounts of air -Just be sure to splash the sealant around sufficiently.

That said, the best wheels I have set up tubeless with just one layer of rim tape. But if the wheels are designed to be used with a plastic rim strip, it’ll be harder to set them up tubeless with rim tape.

My local Trek shops disagree, they put tape on and discourage the use of strips. I bought a set of Bontrager wide 25mm internal wheels and they were shop taped. True enough it was easier to install tires and no issues with air loss :man_shrugging:

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is going from 80 psi to 60psi overnight too much? not sure what’s standard / acceptable.

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It happens, especially on newer setups but after a few rides I’ve generally find it levels out and I usually just check them with my fingers to be safe. I think I’m adding every 10 days or before my longer efforts.

I don’t do my own setups with tape but I have swapped tires on rims that were taped by the LBS and haven’t had any issues.

I think it’s more of a minor annoyance than anything serious. Lots of folks run latex tubes and may have to pump tires before every ride.

I’d be curious what other folks think is acceptable for pressure loss :thinking:

From my experience - gravel tires only - 4 factors (or a combination) could account for the rapid pressure drop over night:

  • Rim tape pealing so that air is leaking where the tape is pealing - this is easy to check by taking off your tire, wiping all sealant out of the rim, and looking for “wet” / sealant spots under the tape. When this happens to me, it is most apparent by one tire losing more pressure overnight than the other tire
  • Tire. I just put Continental Terra Speed tires on my gravel bike, and even without sealant they held pressure better than my previous Victoria Terreno Dry did with sealant
  • Not having enough sealant / dried up sealant - this is more important for some tires than others
  • The tubeless valve not seating correctly / not being type enough so its o-ring / rubber gasket seals well

Bontrager rim strip was the cause of all my tubeless issues. The second I put tape it was fixed.

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I found that with just one layer of rim tape, the tires were too loose on the wheels and I wasn’t able to inflate them with my floor pump. With a compressor, they probably would’ve been OK. With the plastic rim strips, the tires inflated easily with my floor pump.

^^^ Hmmm

That would make me feel safer riding them for some reason.

I’m gonna give the front wheel a shot with the rim strip this weekend and run it a week.