Anybody that has owned tubular tyres knows how much time and effort is required to mount a tyre on the rim. Applying glue to the rim and tyre is labour-intensive and each coat takes hours to dry. While it’s possible to use just a single layer of glue on the tyre and rim, multiple layers are far more reliable and improve the rolling resistance of the tyre.
Double-sided tape circumvents a lot of this effort, making it relatively easy for the uninitiated to install a tubular tyre. Both Velox and Tufo tubular tape has been on the market for some time, however neither has a strong reputation for being a reliable performer under demanding conditions (e.g. cyclocross).
Effetto Mariposa’s Carogna tubular tape promises to address this shortcoming by utilising new adhesives, one of which was originally developed for underwater use. At the same time, the company claims that its tape is actually more temperature-resistant than traditional glue, making it a safer choice for high-speed descents and ongoing rim-braking.
A different adhesive is used on each side of the tape. On the rim-side, there is a so-called semi-structural and removable acrylic adhesive. On the other side, a permanent adhesive designed for underwater use provides a sure hold on the tyre in all sorts of conditions. It also makes it easy to fit a new tyre and tape since it is designed to separate from the rim rather than the tyre.
A clean, smooth rim bed is required for maximum adhesion of Carogna tape, which is why Effetto Mariposa created its Carogna Remover, a solvent for dried glue. Resembling a thin paste, Carogna slowly loosens tubular glue from alloy and carbon rims so that it can be wiped away 2-12 hours after application.
Carogna tape is available in three widths (S, 16.5mm; SM, 20mm; and M, 25mm) to suit the growing range of rim sizes on the market. A 2m roll provides enough tape for one wheel while a 16m shop-roll will serve eight wheels. Carogna Remover comes in one size only (150ml).
The only way to truly appreciate the simplicity of tubular tape is to go through the process of gluing a tyre in the first place. It’s very labour-intensive, and once the tyre is installed, it’s difficult to make small changes to centre it on the rim. The only saving grace is that the process gets easier with practice but it remains a major barrier for new users.
Carogna tubular tape comes in a choice of three widths. One 2m roll provides enough tape for a single wheel.
I was able to install Carogna tape in half the time it takes to apply a single layer of glue onto a tubular rim and tyre. After that, the tyre was ready to install, and I was able to complete that, too, in about half the time it normally takes for traditional glue. Importantly, much less effort was required to seat the tyre on the centre of the rim.
While Carogna tape cuts down the installation time, users must be prepared to set the wheel aside for at least 12 hours so that the glue can cure. For those working in cold temperatures (<10°C), they will have to find a warm room to store the wheel otherwise the glue will not adhere to the rim or tyre.
Another important aspect to Carogna tape is the need for a clean, smooth rim bed. This counters conventional wisdom for tubular rims, which are typically roughened up with sandpaper to improve adhesion of traditional glue. To this end, Effetto Mariposa cannot recommend Carogna tape for older alloy rims with eyelets or any kind of scoring on the rim bed.
I left a pair of tubulars for 24 hours before testing the hold of the tyres, at which point, it was as sure as any glue I’ve ever used. That this result was achieved with considerably less time and effort was more than enough to inspire my faith.
As for Carogna Remover, it definitely works, making a tough, labour-intensive job much easier. Some patience is required, but as long as there is no hurry to use the wheel, it can be left overnight and cleaned up the following day. For this reason, I’d count it as a must-have product for anybody that installs tubular tyres, even if it is only on an occasional basis.
Finally, it is possible to remount the tyre after it has been removed from the wheel (e.g. to true the wheel that has internal nipples) but fresh tape will be required. I found the tape came off the rim as cleanly as promised and while it took a little time, it could be peeled off the tyre without a lot of effort.
Effetto Mariposa advises that there is no need to clean the rim or worry about the residue left on the tyre after the tape is removed. This residue was quite tacky so it was a little more difficult to centre the tyre on the tape. Otherwise, I had the rim taped and the tyre installed in less than ten minutes — another significant time saving over traditional glue — so I’m going to keep using it and happily ignore the extra expense.
Price: Carogna tape (2m), AUD$30/US$20; Carogna remover (150ml), AUD$30/US$20.