Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
It's very exciting to get something new for your mountain bike. It can be something big like new suspension or something relatively small like rim tape. Although something like rim tape can seem boring, it can make a huge difference on a ride. Our friend Travis gives his take on the Spank 25mm Tubeless tape for OohBah Profile Rims. Check it out!
I built up my first wheel recently. After weeks of scouring YouTube, internet forums, and books for the proper way to build a strong wheel, I eventually came to the realization that everyone does it differently. It's like asking 10 different people how to make scrambled eggs; you're going to get 10 different answers. When in doubt, I ended up following the manufacturer's recommendations. So, when it came to tubeless rim tape I did what the manufacturer said, "buy our rim tape."
Spank rims have a unique profile, which they alleged is stronger, called Oohbah. What the heck does Oohbah mean? I don't know, but the inverted well design made me question how easy rim tape would be to install. You'd need a tape that would conform to the well profile and also not be prone to bubbles. Some tapes I've used in the past didn't have much flex in them, so I thought this could be problematic. Another concern I had was with the ribbed "Bead Bite" surface at the bead of the rim. This is designed to grip the tire and a thick tape could mean serious difficulty in seating the bead.
I've read mixed reviews of Spank 25mm Tubeless Tape for OohBah Profile Rims, with some saying it wouldn't stick to the rim and some saying it was awesome. How can tape not stick? Isn't that what tape does? Well, it didn't stick... initially. It sticks to itself great, though getting it to stick to the rim was a little tricky and took some experimentation. The trick is to pull the tape taut, not super tight, but just enough to get it to conform to the profile of the rim. That and you need about 18 inches of tape pulled down the rim's channel. The elasticity of the tape is what helps it grab the rim surface. Getting it to grab is tricky with only 2 hands because once you let go of the tape to align or push out bubbles, the tape lets go. In hindsight, it would have been helpful to tape the tape down with scotch tape. (Wow, that sounds so silly.) Some screenshots of a video I took show the tape pulled tight against the rim but then released as soon as I gave it slack.
I stopped my video, thinking my documentary was ruined! Persistence paid off and after getting a longer 18-20" strip tight on the rim, I was able to work my way around the wheel, pushing out air bubbles and ensuring it was seated nicely against the Bead Bite ribs. It's important to note that the tape recommended for my 29mm wide rims is only 25mm wide. Spank recommends that you wrap the wheel twice, with each wrap just touching one side of the rim wall. This gives a single wrap on the ribbed portion of the rim, but doubles up on the spoke holes.
Overall, the tape is thin but strong. If creased or crinkled it will hold those deformities forever, though doesn't seem to cause any problems. Some bubbles that I missed were easily spotted because the tape is clear but near impossible to get out because the tape sticks to itself so well. I've had no signs of sealant leaks at all. I'm definitely going to use it for my other Spank wheel as it did quite well conforming to the rim profile. Would I use it on non-Spank rims? I think it's a good candidate if it looks like the tire's bead would seat snugly against the rim's bed.
Also, for your viewing pleasure: https://youtu.be/AsADYoim7LU