Want tubeless? You need tubeless tape. Well, you don't *need* it but it makes everything a lot simpler, and this Schwalbe tape makes it about the simplest it can be. It's expensive, but it's really good.
- Pros: Seals first time, handles high pressures, adhesive works well
- Cons: Expensive
If you're switching to tubeless you might baulk at the price of dedicated tubeless tape and try to get the job done with insulating tape, or duct tape, or whatever else you've got knocking about. It tends to work okay at lower pressures but if you're running a 28mm tubeless road tyre at 80psi then you'll often spring a leak, in my experience.
Schwalbe's tubeless tape is designed to handle high pressures, and does so extremely well. Assuming your rim bed is clean and dry it's super-easy to fit, with an adhesive that's stronger than some of the other options. Make sure you get the right width for a good seal: you want the tape to fill the whole of the rim bed. Generally you'll want tape that's a few millimetres wider than the stated internal width to account for the fact that the tape drops into the recessed middle section of the rim.
Schwalbe says you only need one wrap of tape, which means you'll get three wheels done from a 10m roll. I didn't have any trouble at all sealing rims with a single wrap, with about 20cm of overlap over the valve hole. The tape is thick enough to handle a nice tight wrap and just flexible enough to work its way into the gaps, without stretching and leaving gaps of its own.
Overall it's an excellent tape: if you just want to get the tubeless job done with minimum fuss then 20 quid might seem like a reasonable spend. DT Swiss tape – which is also excellent – costs about the same. There are plenty of cheaper options out there if you're on a budget. You won't go far wrong here, though.
Excellent – if spendy – tubeless tape for high-pressure systems
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Schwalbe Tubeless Rim Tape
Size tested: 23mm x 10
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Schwalbe says: "The tubeless rim tape and valve allows conventional wheels to be sealed and prepared for tubeless use.
"The tubeless rim tape is extremely user friendly and at the same time very high pressure resistant. Even on road bikes a single ply of tape is sufficient."
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Seals first time, handles high pressures, adhesive works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the top end of the market along with DT Swiss.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's expensive but a justified spend for the fuss-free performance.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.