The purpose of rim tape is to protect the bicycle wheel’s inner tube from spoke holes, which will puncture the tube if exposed inside the rim. Faulty rim tape will cause recurring flats, so it’s something to look at when diagnosing the cause of flat tires. In addition, rim tape that’s too wide or thick will make tires more challenging — and sometimes impossible — to mount properly. If you have ever broken tire levers when attempting to mount a tire on a wheel, you know what we’re talking about! Here’s what you need to know about rim tape: Most bike racers and other performance-oriented riders prefer lighter-weight rim strips or tape, but it still needs to be durable enough to protect the inner tube. Rim strips need to be installed properly within the rim cavity to cover all the wheel’s interior spoke holes and sharp metal edges. Otherwise, these sharp edges will puncture the inner tube. Rim strips need to be the correct type and size to fit the rim snugly so it doesn’t slip when replacing a tube or mounting a tire. Otherwise, it could cause flats. Rim strips also needs to be the appropriate thickness to fit within your rim cavity and still allow space for the tire. If the rim strip is too thick and heavy, it might be impossible to mount a tire on the rim. (Cycle Plus brand is designed with this in mind!) If installed properly, rim strips often lasts for the wheel’s lifetime. But they will need to be replaced if it’s causing problems. If you experience a rapid series of flat tires or your tires are almost impossible to mount, consider whether the installation of your rim strip might be causing these issues. (Not completely level when installed) As always, the service staff at your local bike shop are available for assistance and advice on rim strips/tape and other technical issues.