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Verdict: 
Excellent – if spendy – tubeless tape for high-pressure systems
Weight: 
63g

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 tubeless rim tape-2.jpg

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.

Schwalbe tubeless rim tape-1.jpg

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.

Verdict

Excellent – if spendy – tubeless tape for high-pressure systems

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

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."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Faultlessly.

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

Expensive.

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.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

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.

14 comments

Avatar
treetard [9 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Tesa 4289 tape works well for me. Cheaper but more importantly a bigger roll so when you muck up your first attempt you don't risk running out of tape. 

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Boombang [68 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I've tried Tesa 4289 and it works, but just is nowhere near as easy as Schwalbe or DT tape.  Tesa tends to crease up as lacks the little bit of give this stuff has, plus I found Tesa isn't that nice on skin when trying to smooth down.

Tesa is miles cheaper but seeing as I only tape a wheel maybe once a year I'd rather go back to Schwalbe/DT and pay the premium.

Avatar
barongreenback [160 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

It's a very good tape and got a set of Bontrager wheels to seal properly (even though they were badged up as TLR with the proprietary strip).  Very easy to use and worth the money - I'm as cack handed as it gets and still managed to do it first time.

Avatar
IanEdward [354 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Ironically I'm interested in this even though I run latex tubes, apparently they have a habit of sneaking under loose fitting rim tapes, and my multiple wraps of insulation tape are now causing issues get the tyres to seat properly (WTB, reputedly prone to this).

One nice clean wrap of tubeless tape would probably be a lot neater.

Avatar
STATO [569 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Boombang wrote:

I've tried Tesa 4289 and it works, but just is nowhere near as easy as Schwalbe or DT tape.  Tesa tends to crease up as lacks the little bit of give this stuff has, plus I found Tesa isn't that nice on skin when trying to smooth down.

Tesa is miles cheaper but seeing as I only tape a wheel maybe once a year I'd rather go back to Schwalbe/DT and pay the premium.

 

Agreed. Ive tried TESA, its less pliable than Stans tape (it is different despite what people say).  Got some Schwalbe with a kit i bought and its brilliant.  Is it worth paying over TESA, probably not if you think youll muck it up and want some spare, but the Schwalbe tape is a dream to install on all rims, even ones with shaped rim beds, so you will likely get it right every time.

Avatar
3mkru73 [72 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Tesa 4289 on every wheel I've built up tubeless, with no issues.  Little tip, warm the roll up before applying. I pop it on the radiator for 20 minutes before hand, and it becomes a lot more pliable then. 

I stay WELL clear of gorilla tape. In my experience, the one time I used it it soaked up the sealant and then frayed over time. 

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Miller [298 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I have a large roll of the Tesa 4289 and it works well with two wraps of the rim. Agree to avoid Gorilla tape, it works but is not fully airtight so daily air loss is significant plus it becomes a sticky mess over time.

This Schwalbe tape does sound very good though.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6538 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
3mkru73 wrote:

Tesa 4289 on every wheel I've built up tubeless, with no issues.  Little tip, warm the roll up before applying. I pop it on the radiator for 20 minutes before hand, and it becomes a lot more pliable then. 

good tip on heating it up. going to get some in and review it on the site.

Avatar
Smartstu [23 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I used Gorilla tape that came with 'Slime Pro' sealant. I double wrapped the rims and run my G-Ones. Absolutely no air leakage, no punctures and no issues at all - after a years running. The kit with tape, sealant and 2 x CO2 canisters was less than this tape...

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hawkinspeter [4248 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Smartstu wrote:

I used Gorilla tape that came with 'Slime Pro' sealant. I double wrapped the rims and run my G-Ones. Absolutely no air leakage, no punctures and no issues at all - after a years running. The kit with tape, sealant and 2 x CO2 canisters was less than this tape...

I've used gorilla tape a couple of times with success but then I've also had problems with the edges sticking to tyres when replacing them, so I now use proper rim tape (caffelatex currently). It might be how I applied the gorilla tape, though.

Using CO2 isn't recommended with tubeless sealant - the cold temperature difference can cause the sealant to set (apparently - I haven't had a noticeable issue when I have used CO2). A handy tip is to position the wheel with the valve at the top so that the sealant goes to the bottom and reduces the cold shock from the CO2.

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Ad Hynkel [199 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Tesa Tape does the job nicely and is about 12 quid for 66metres. It does require a bit of effort to tape up a wheel, but haven't really found it different to Stan's tape (from memory). Maybe this is easier on the shoulder and back muscles, and lets face it we cyclists aren't known for our upper body strength, but that's quite a lot of price difference if you are doing a few sets of wheels or running spoke replacements.

Avatar
Ad Hynkel [199 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Planet-X Jobsworth 22mm x 50m for well under a fiver. Anyone tried it?

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philhubbard [206 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
dave atkinson wrote:
3mkru73 wrote:

Tesa 4289 on every wheel I've built up tubeless, with no issues.  Little tip, warm the roll up before applying. I pop it on the radiator for 20 minutes before hand, and it becomes a lot more pliable then. 

good tip on heating it up. going to get some in and review it on the site.

 

Good tip on warming it up, also put the wheel back into the bike so you can scretch the tape as you apply it so it fits better

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4248 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
philhubbard wrote:
dave atkinson wrote:
3mkru73 wrote:

Tesa 4289 on every wheel I've built up tubeless, with no issues.  Little tip, warm the roll up before applying. I pop it on the radiator for 20 minutes before hand, and it becomes a lot more pliable then. 

good tip on heating it up. going to get some in and review it on the site.

 

Good tip on warming it up, also put the wheel back into the bike so you can scretch the tape as you apply it so it fits better

I find it easier to hold the wheel between my knees and stretch the tape.