The red, bulging rim strips

AUSTIN – The bulging of the Surly rim strips in the Rabbit Hole rims was driving me a bit crazy. At 2.5 bars it was just too much – I’m sure it was structurally fine, but it annoyed me.

It looked like the tubes (these aren’t tubeless, yet) would stretch too much and eventually the strips would also. It also looked like it was a puncture or tear waiting to happen.

On my way home from class, I stopped at Breed & Company, half a local Ace Hardware store and half fru-fru housewares and fancy confections.

I decided to use something like reflective tape or digital camouflage tape (it’s like cheap duct tape, but
comes in colors and patterns). I forgot how cheap the cammo tape was – I could see through the outer layer to the layer below on the roll – and I wasn’t really sure how I would get it around the rim with the proper side out.

I walked a few aisles over to the mailbox numbers, where the safety tape was. I saw the various reflective tape in different colors and configurations, but it was all adhesive and sold in 24” lengths. I bought a few of them and a roll of Gorilla tape (and a box of strawberry shortcake cookies. Every hardware store should have cookies) and rode home to put it all together.

To keep from being wasteful, I cut the tape in half, which was enough to cover the rim cutouts, if I lined it up perfectly (I did not). Given the reflective tape was adhesive, I had the extra fun of removing backing and getting the tape as tight and centered as possible, lining up three joints, before two tight layers of Gorilla Tape. I know a non-adhesive version of the reflective tape exists, and I’ll use it when I
eventually redo these wheels. I hope it will also be in longer lengths so I don’t have as many seams.

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