Tape Your Tubulars: Carogna

The first race of the Kansas City cyclocross season had plenty of 'rolled' tubulars. The track was twisty and some slippery wet grass in the corners called for low tire pressures. Unfortunately, not everybody's tire stayed stuck.

We won't debate all the reasons that tires come off of rims. But it happens too often. We've seen what appears to be 'by the book' glue jobs fail. We know that to do the job correctly it takes patience, practice and time. We  know there are several methods and a variety of adhesives. We have seen top mechanics in the sport bow their head and turn red when they spot their rider coming to the pits, on foot, with a rolled tire. It's awful.

Since late 2015, the Localcycling test crew has been working with a fresh product that just might be the ultimate answer to the problem: Effetto Mariposa's Carogna Double adhesive tape.

Sticky tapes themselves are not new. Tufo developed a version, with some success for road tires a few years ago, but with poor application for cyclocross. The 'Belgium' tape that many mechanics use as a supplement to traditional glue jobs has been around for many years. We've seen that method fail as well.

The Carogna tape is a different animal. The tape itself is designed with enough heft to work on all types of tubulars, and make a solid interface with the variety of base tape shapes. When the proper width is selected, the rim is provided with a generous bed of sticky adhesive. Like any adhesive, there is an ideal temperature range to mount the tire, but AFTER the curing time, temperature will not affect the wheel.

A huge advantage to the system, is a 24hour vs. 3 day procedure. If you need to mount fresh rubber, you can be up and running in one-third the time. A definte plus any time of the season.

Here's the link to Leonard Zinn working with the Carogna system. Note how much simpler it is to center a tire; no fighting glue that's beginning to set up.

We've been aggressively riding Carogna taped wheels at a variety of pressures; training and racing. In fact our test bike was handed out to a rider with a rolled tire at that initial race last weekend. We are happy to report that under the same conditions, the taped tire held, as opposed to the traditional method of the riders other wheels.

We have not had the need to remove a tire that has been mounted with Carogna as of yet, but from pushing on the inflated tire, we speculate that it will take plenty of effort. That's a good thing.

An important note. Carogna tape, which works on Carbon or Aluminum rims, requires a clean rim surface. Clean. Tradtional methods allow for old glue to remain; Do not with Carogana.  In fact the company also produces a fine product to remove your old glue. Working somewhat like furniture stripper, it does require monitoring as it does it's work. 

Our bottom line? This product works. We've had superior bonding to traditional glue jobs. It's a slightly more expensive method, but well worth it. Available at Elite Cycing in the Kansas City area.