jueves, octubre 09, 2014

Rim Strapping

(Yes the name is Duct Tape.  I am making fun of the word Duct.)

Frequently, too frequently, motorcycle publications mention a way to do away with the wheel rim strap and use duck tape.

No! No! No!

The problem has to do with the spokes and spoke nipples resting against the inner tube.  If not protected, abrasion will eventually wear through the inner tube and give you a flat tire.  The factory uses a rubber rim strap to cover the nipples and spokes and it does a very good job of it.  If you want to reuse a rim strap then check for cracks and rot that would allow it to separate by stretching it by hand.  If it hasn’t broken then it can be reused.  Replacement straps are available from your local motorcycle source and can be replaced for very little cost.

The only disadvantage of a rim strap has to do with occasional slippage when mounting a tire or difficulty in installing rim locks.  When using a rim strap and rim locks, the strap will hold the lock next to the wheel. You must press in the lock toward the inner part of the tire to allow the bead to drop into its correct place.  If you use a rim strap then you must deal with it.

The use of duct tape creates a number of problems dealing mostly with older application.

  1. If it is used on a chromed rim it will lift the chrome, create rust and jam up the spoke/nipple fastening.  You will have to cut the spokes off and the rim and spokes must  be discarded. The adhesive does one of two things.  It either becomes gooey or hardens. The goo attacks the chrome and lifts it and then attacks the spoke/nipple joint.  If it is dry it has hardened into a mass that is very difficult to remove.   It can do both over time.
  2. On alloy wheels it usually hardens and has to be scraped, cut, or dissolved off.  All methods take an inordinate amount of time and make any spoke repair miserable.  If you are dealing with a vintage dirt motorcycle this can be the difference in enjoying or not enjoying the process.

I have used a separate method that has worked on most of my wheel rebuilds.  I use plastic electrical tape.  It can be purchase in packs of 10 rolls and is relatively inexpensive.  All spokes must be no longer then one thread above the head of the nipple.  If any are too long then they will have to be cut off or ground down.  I start with a clean rim at the valve stem hole and make three passes around the wheel.  The first past is off a little to one side; the second to the other side about even with the edge of the first pass, and the last is down the center.  I have at least 2 layers over all spoke ends.  I use a box cutter to cut open the holes for the valve stem and all rim locks.  This accomplished what the duck tape is intended to do.

There are a few benefits.

  1. When removing the tire you are faced with a plastic strap that is much easier to remove.  Usually I can take a box cutter and cut across it and the strap falls away.  I have even used a screwdriver to snap the strap.
  2. In the rare instance when the adhesive has fastened itself to the rim it is much easier to remove and the spokes and nipples are rarely locked together.
  3. You will have to use new tape every time you remove the tire for wheel maintenance.  Odd!  That’s what you would have to do with the DUCK TAPE.

Note:  When assembling wheels the spoke threads should have a spot of anti-seize put on them.  This helps when retightening spokes

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Como diría Juan Ramón Jiménez, mi troll es pequeño, peludo, suave; tan blando por fuera, que se diría todo de algodón, que no lleva huesos.

Probablemente no tiene huesos y por eso insulta bajo seudónimo. Pero además de cobarde es tan coñazo que he decidido que sólo me moleste a mi. De tal modo que a partir de ahora me quedo con la exclusiva de leer sus bobadas. Disculpadme el resto que os haga pasar por la "moderación" de vuestros comentarios.