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chas

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My favorite accessory: Latex rim tape (skinnystripper)

Originally developed to convert Fat bikes to tubless - This latex rim strip is light, inexpensive, and has some nice benefits for any tubeless tire. I've used it for all my gravel wheels. It makes a tubeless tire a pseudo tubular tire - the latex strip bonds to tire (with latex sealant) creating a sealed air chamber. Benefits include:
- super easy tubless initial inflation - I always use a standard floor pump.
- allows easy depressurization and re-inflation (i.e. to fill up sealant)
- prevents burping (reportably works at 15psi)
- keeps inner rim clean of sealant,
- adds insurance against rim tape leaking
- super easy to change tires on the rim: sealed air chamber (even without wheel) prevents sealant leakage or mess.
- prevents the tire bead from getting stuck to the rim.

Is it necessary? no. Is it cheap insurance for problems - yes.

Ghetto tubeless additional benefits: I've used this also for Ghetto tubeless on Continental tires (on both tubeless and traditional rims). works with no issues for me.

Maintenance:Adding sealant for hookless rims or Ghetto tubeless without this would be a mess. If you have tires that unhook from the rim on deflation, you'll want these when you deflate the rim to add sealant (or when flying with rims).

web site: http://skinnystripper.com/

My original inspiration was an article from Velonews:

tubless.http://www.velonews.com/2017/02/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-lennards-big-tubeless-road-experiment_431044

Spoiler alert: he did have one "open tubular" no tubeless tire blow off. That type of tire is super hard to set up Ghetto tubeless

 
Below is a Continental tire I swapped rims with after a year.  Nice sealed rim bed on the tire.
skinnystripper photo.jpeg 

 


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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the posting.Very interesting. I've just had some difficulty getting a 38mm Gravel King SK (Tubeless Compatible) to seat on a old HED Tomcat rim. How difficult is it to trim the skinny strips neatly to size for narrower rims?
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #3 
I use it a lot for my fat bike. I have two wheelset and one is really hard to mount tubeless: bud/lou on surly clownshoes. I've been successful (with a lot of work) with clear 3M duct tape but after a few months, sealant would find a way thru tape layers and show on my rim strip. It was still holding air but some yellow stan residue all over your wheelset is not the nicest effect!

I was going to go split-tube then I read about Fatty-Stripper. This is an amazing product. It is much lighter than the split-tube method. The only downside I see is if someone like to swap tires a lot, it can be expensive... My non-tubeless tires and non-tubeless rim that supposedly won't make a good combo are still holding air for a year and a half on the same strip... 

One advice: the strip is so thin that sometime, people will experience leaking at the valve because there"s not enough thread left to be tight enough. I put a 1" piece of an old tube (punctured with a nail) at the base of the valve. It brings the valve "inside" the rim just enough so you can tighten the nut adequately.
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh
Thanks for the posting.Very interesting. I've just had some difficulty getting a 38mm Gravel King SK (Tubeless Compatible) to seat on a old HED Tomcat rim. How difficult is it to trim the skinny strips neatly to size for narrower rims?


It's easy, I just pull so the remaining strip is stretch and cut it with an X-acto. I don't know how wide is the skinny strip, but the fatty one are less than one inch each side on a 100mm rime so I put some pieces of masking tape to hold it in place on the rim. It prevent the strip from moving while I'm attempting to install  the tire... Here's a picture with my DT Swiss wheelset and a jumbo Jim tire (really easy to set this combo tubeless...)


JiIMG_9273.jpg

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chas

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Reply with quote  #5 
You trim it after mounting the wheel (as in picture above).  I use a small scissors on my Swiss army knife.  I just keep a little tension on the strip it and run the scissors around the rim to cut. the material is basically the same as a latex balloon or glove.  Its very thin and light and cuts easily under tension.

I buy 8 rim strips for $20, so not too expensive.  And if you are swapping tires, just leave the rim strip on.  The only reason to take it off is if you want to clean out old latex.

Last night I tried to mount some "tubless easy" G-One tires on some tubeless Bontrager wheels.  They did not want to seat with a floor pump.  So I put a skinny stripper on and they pumped right up.  
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
You trim it after mounting the wheel (as in picture above).  I use a small scissors on my Swiss army knife.  I just keep a little tension on the strip it and run the scissors around the rim to cut. the material is basically the same as a latex balloon or glove.  Its very thin and light and cuts easily under tension.

I buy 8 rim strips for $20, so not too expensive.  And if you are swapping tires, just leave the rim strip on.  The only reason to take it off is if you want to clean out old latex.

Last night I tried to mount some "tubless easy" G-One tires on some tubeless Bontrager wheels.  They did not want to seat with a floor pump.  So I put a skinny stripper on and they pumped right up.  


So you say that I could remount my Jumbo Jim that have been in my garage with their strip still attach for the last 6 month? Well I'll have to try that...
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chas

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Reply with quote  #7 
yup.  When swapping tires on a rim, I just leave the strip attached.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
You trim it after mounting the wheel (as in picture above).  I use a small scissors on my Swiss army knife.  I just keep a little tension on the strip it and run the scissors around the rim to cut. the material is basically the same as a latex balloon or glove.  Its very thin and light and cuts easily under tension.

I buy 8 rim strips for $20, so not too expensive.  And if you are swapping tires, just leave the rim strip on.  The only reason to take it off is if you want to clean out old latex.

Last night I tried to mount some "tubless easy" G-One tires on some tubeless Bontrager wheels.  They did not want to seat with a floor pump.  So I put a skinny stripper on and they pumped right up.  

Thanks. That's very useful. As I understand it, you still need to use something like Stan's tape under the latex strip. Also, the way I read the description of the latex strips from the web site, they bond to the tire bead and make the tire into a quasi - tubular. In that case, wouldn't the latex strip adhere to the tire rather than to the rim, requiring a new latex strip for the new tire? Also, wouldn't the latex strip, which is thin and fragile, be damaged by the typical arm wrestling in removing a tire?
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chas

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh

Thanks. That's very useful. As I understand it, you still need to use something like Stan's tape under the latex strip. Also, the way I read the description of the latex strips from the web site, they bond to the tire bead and make the tire into a quasi - tubular. In that case, wouldn't the latex strip adhere to the tire rather than to the rim, requiring a new latex strip for the new tire? Also, wouldn't the latex strip, which is thin and fragile, be damaged by the typical arm wrestling in removing a tire?


Yes, I would use stan's tape under the strip.  I've done it with just an old school cloth tape, but I wouldn't recommend it as the latex is very thin (like a balloon).

Yes, the latex adheres to the tire, not to the rim.

I didn't have any problem removing the tire with the latex intact, however if it is a tire you struggle with (Like I seem to with my G-One, which is super tight), I can see it being damaged on removal.  If you can get a tire lever under both beads and pull both beads off together (as I did on some Maxis and some Conti tires) the latex isn't damaged.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Yes, I would use stan's tape under the strip.  I've done it with just an old school cloth tape, but I wouldn't recommend it as the latex is very thin (like a balloon).

Yes, the latex adheres to the tire, not to the rim.

I didn't have any problem removing the tire with the latex intact, however if it is a tire you struggle with (Like I seem to with my G-One, which is super tight), I can see it being damaged on removal.  If you can get a tire lever under both beads and pull both beads off together (as I did on some Maxis and some Conti tires) the latex isn't damaged.

Thanks for all of this info. Even if removing the old tire trashes the latex, no big deal. I would guess, at the very least, the latex strip would prevent a lot of the mess from the old sealant. As you say, these strips aren't very expensive, especially compared to the time and aggravation they can save you. I'll definitely give them a try. Wish I knew about this trick a few days ago whilst trying to get those new GK SK's installed!
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Croz

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Reply with quote  #11 
Chas,
first, thanks for posting this. I like what I'm seeing here, but have a question about removing a tire with the strip still on.

Do you just - very carefully - pull it over the base (rubber part) of the valve stem or do you remove it with the valve stem still attached to the skinny stripper? I'm imagining pinching the base of the valve stem with the bead of the tire and carefully pulling it out... so you'd need new valve stems for each set of tires - not that big a deal if they all air up with a floor pump.

I'm definitely curious about this system.

Thanks for sharing!

Croz
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
You trim it after mounting the wheel (as in picture above).  I use a small scissors on my Swiss army knife.  I just keep a little tension on the strip it and run the scissors around the rim to cut. the material is basically the same as a latex balloon or glove.  Its very thin and light and cuts easily under tension.

I buy 8 rim strips for $20, so not too expensive.  And if you are swapping tires, just leave the rim strip on.  The only reason to take it off is if you want to clean out old latex.

Last night I tried to mount some "tubless easy" G-One tires on some tubeless Bontrager wheels.  They did not want to seat with a floor pump.  So I put a skinny stripper on and they pumped right up.  

Hi Chas- thanks for the advice and info. I actually purchased the skinny strips and watched a video by the developer on how to install. He used some kind of spray cement to glue the strip to the rim. I gather from your description that you don't do this when using the skinny version. Here is how I plan to try using this product on a tire and rim which I couldn't seat for tubeless:
1. Clean rim and install 2 layers of fresh Stan's tape.
2. Working in a clean area to avoid contaminating the latex skinny strip, install the strip with valve over the Stan's tape.
3. Install the tire, leaving the skinny strip untrimmed until the tire is inflated tubeless with my compressor,
4. Trim the skinny strip with small sharp scissors.
5. Deflate dire and add 2 oz. of sealant.
6. Re-inflate ---- done.
I'm concerned about step 3. How can I avoid damaging the skinny strip while installing the tire over it??? Tubeless ready tires frequently require use of tire levers and muscle to install.
Thanks again for all of your help. I hope this works out because this product can be a real game changer, until both tire and rim manufacturers get together and adopt some industry wide standards.



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chas

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Croz
Chas,
first, thanks for posting this. I like what I'm seeing here, but have a question about removing a tire with the strip still on.

Do you just - very carefully - pull it over the base (rubber part) of the valve stem or do you remove it with the valve stem still attached to the skinny stripper? I'm imagining pinching the base of the valve stem with the bead of the tire and carefully pulling it out... so you'd need new valve stems for each set of tires - not that big a deal if they all air up with a floor pump.

I'm definitely curious about this system.

Thanks for sharing!

Croz


Generally I leave the valve stem on the tire (skinnystripper) when swapping tires between wheels.  

This material is basically like a latex balloon.  super thin, light, stretchy.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh


3. Install the tire, leaving the skinny strip untrimmed until the tire is inflated tubeless with my compressor,

I'm concerned about step 3. How can I avoid damaging the skinny strip while installing the tire over it??? Tubeless ready tires frequently require use of tire levers and muscle to install.



Good question.  I hear ya - I usually need tire levers for tubeless tires. 
I agree, but it has never been a problem for me.  I think it is because any potential holes are going to be on the rim - and that is going to end up sticking to the tire.  If there is a small hole, the latex sealant should take care of it.

I have used skinnystrippers on non tubless rims with just the old fashioned rubber rim tape.  

The last set of tires I installed (G-One) I installed with a tube but I just couldn't get the bead on the rim without getting a hole in the tube (using levers).  #*&^%$!  So I just did it tubeless with the skinnystrippers

No, I don't glue the strip to the rim.  Not sure why I would do that - maybe it helps with Fat bikes???  


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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #15 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Good question.  I hear ya - I usually need tire levers for tubeless tires. 
I agree, but it has never been a problem for me.  I think it is because any potential holes are going to be on the rim - and that is going to end up sticking to the tire.  If there is a small hole, the latex sealant should take care of it.

I have used skinnystrippers on non tubless rims with just the old fashioned rubber rim tape.  

The last set of tires I installed (G-One) I installed with a tube but I just couldn't get the bead on the rim without getting a hole in the tube (using levers).  #*&^%$!  So I just did it tubeless with the skinnystrippers

No, I don't glue the strip to the rim.  Not sure why I would do that - maybe it helps with Fat bikes???  



Chas - thanks again for all of your advice. I'll give it a try this weekend on that problem tire -- 38mm Gravel King SK on a HED Tom Cat rim (similar to the Belgium). Funny how some tire and rim pairing are so difficult. I mounted a pair of 38mm G-One's on HED Belgiums without too much difficulty. I did use Schwalbe tire levers. I find that the Schwalbe levers are thinner and easier to engage the rim when the tire is very tight. They also have tab which allow you to use one lever as a clip, while you work the tire in on the other side with another lever. If you haven't tried the Schwalbe levers, I strongly recommend them: 
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