I have 2 unused rim strips. Along the edges and on the surface there are brown marks (patches, streaks, blotches).

2 images (I cannot improve the resolution)

rim strip

rim strip too


  1. Both strips were stored hanging vertically (i.e. not folded nor rolled up).
  2. When I place the 2 strips over each other, I see that the edge marks overlap, i.e. the strips have the same brown edge marks in the same positions.
  3. Overall the rim strip is smooth. The material is not brittle. There are no scratches nor nicks.
  4. Seems like the brown color has steeped into the plastic.
  5. The size written on the rim tape: 32 559
  6. There is a number which looks like a manufacture date: 06/05
  7. Manufacturer: Schwalbe


  1. Is this rim strip beyond its use-by-date, i.e. if I use it will it need to be replaced soon?
  2. Perhaps an alternative question: what does a rim strip look like when it is in need of replacement?
  • 1
    In addition to ojs' excellent answer: Mountain-bike tires have very little pressure in their tires, so there's not much force on the rim strip. I.e. no need to worry... Nov 29, 2018 at 9:28
  • 1
    It should sit tight and you ought to need some force to get it into the rim.
    – Carel
    Nov 29, 2018 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


This particular rim strip absorbs color from everything, and it is not a problem. Mine have turned green in use from something leaching from tubes.

In general, rim strip should be replaced if it splits, stretches deep into the spoke holes or exposes the spoke holes. Discoloration happens, but since rim strips aren't usually visible this is not much a problem.


The rim strip prevents some dirt and moisture from sneaking into the wheel through the spoke holes and the spokes from rubbing/puncturing the tire or the tube's inflation pushing into the spoke hole (which can be rough or a bit sharp) I would never go to the bike store and buy a new rim strip; I might keep one in good shape from a destroyed wheel but with a lot of wheels going tubeless you need a rim strip less and less.

If you're at all concerned just run a strip of electrical tape around the rim and you are good to go. If you're a roadie (with their obsessive weight considerations) just run a very thin strip of tape over only the spoke holes.

You could make a case that dirt and grime inside the tire will wear the tube, but I'd suspect that's a pretty minor impact compared to what it does to the rest of your bike... Yours look perfectly adequate.

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