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I am a beginner here. I am installing for the first time my own tire and want to make sure I have a basic issue down. I have a new set of Fulcrum carbon clincher wheels. Basic question here....I do NOT need to use any type of tape correct on the wheel do I? Being a carbon wheel there is obviously no spoke holes that are exposed to the tube. So I assume no tape is needed for this type of clincher. I just put on the tire and tube and good to go?

Also, any other basic advice anyone has I would welcome again as this is the first time I'm actually doing this myself.

Thanks in advance.

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    Some wheels have rim beds that are free from spoke holes. For those rim-tape isn't an absolute requirement. Campagnolo (and Fulcrum, same with different name) are among those. – Carel Dec 24 '20 at 18:08
  • Rule number 1: Have some good quality tire levers. 2-3 good stiff plastic ones of the "normal" design, plus a Quik Stik. Avoid metal tire levers. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 26 '20 at 1:48
  • @Carel is correct, but to add to that: most carbon wheels do have spoke holes. It's only some wheels (both carbon and alloy) that lack them. Omitting the spoke holes does make the build process a bit more complicated, or at least different from normal. That's something the manufacturer will have to consider on their end. – Weiwen Ng Dec 27 '20 at 14:31
  • @WeiwenNg As a matter of fact I have a pair of Campagnolo Zonda and 2 pairs of Mavic Aksium that have no holes in the beds of the rims. The Mavic ones have special nipples threaded into the rim from the outside While the Zonda nipples are inserted through the valve hole and guided to their position from the outside with a magnet. For the purpose a tiny steel screw goes into the nipple. Quite fastidious if you want to replace 3 spokes! – Carel Dec 28 '20 at 15:50
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Congrats on taking the first step to DIY.

Rim tape is used to make sure the inner tube does not get punctured from sharp edges where the spoke connects to the rim. Also, if your wheels are rim brake alloy wheels, Rim tape can act as thermal insulation to protect the inner tube from exploding under extreme braking. Since your wheels are Carbon and if your wheels do not have any of those spoke edges exposed in the rim bed, then no you do not need it and it would be just additional weight.

I suspect perhaps those wheels may have something already in place that makes the inner portion smooth and thus would make rim tape redundant. It never hurts to call customer service too to double check, but if you are not seeing an exposed connection point for each spoke, then you probably are good.

Regarding installing a new tire, I would say take your time and have good pair of tire levers. These videos should help

The hardest part is near the end when lifting the last portion of the bead into the rim. Note the technique Calvin/GCN uses with the levers as that is the correct way to use them. Also as a side note that was the easiest I have ever seen a road tires slip over a rim in these video. I ride on Continental GP 5000 clinchers and the last part of the bead is not usually that easy to lift over the rim (i.e. expect to put some force to lift the bead into the rim bed), which in my opinion is a good thing.

Also, after you are done mounting the tire make sure you inflate it and ensure the bead + tube is inside the rim all the way around. Oftentimes, I will inflate the tire to max rated pressure on the 5000s that is like 110 psi for a 28MM and that forces the bead into the edges of the rim. After that I reduce pressure to what I ride on and that should be it.

Of course make sure you put your wheels on the bike properly using your quick release, etc.

Wear your riding glasses or a pair of safety glasses (my pref if I do not have a flat on the side of the road) just in case a tire lever or something goes flying accidentally or snaps.

Hope that helps.

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    To make the answer more general and suitable for alloy rims as well: cycling magazines recommend the use of rim-tape on smooth i.e. hole-free rims especially alloy rims because they insulate the inner tube from the heat generated by rim-brakes in the bed of the rim and prevent exploding tubes. This does not apply with disk-brakes and to a lesser extent with carbon rims as carbon doesn't transmit built-up heat in the way of alloy. – Carel Dec 24 '20 at 18:02
  • @Carel - Good point that does make logical sense especially if you are really using rim brakes hard on descents where a blown out tube would be very sketchy. – Tude Productions Dec 24 '20 at 18:07
  • sorry i should of added; yes I am using a Rim brakes on this one. Rim brakes on as I said Fulcrum carbon wheels – Jeffery Elswick Dec 24 '20 at 18:54
  • @JefferyElswick Note carel mentions this and it makes sense from a material properties perspective that carbon wheels usually do not need this extra layer of rim tape for heat insulation as Carbon Fiber will not conduct heat like an alloy wheel would. Again good to double check with Fulcrum, but I suspect you should be fine with slapping the tube on-top of the rim bed that covers the spoke holes where the spokes meet the rim. – Tude Productions Dec 24 '20 at 18:57
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    @TudeProductions Feel free to edit my comment into your answer if you want to do so. Might be useful for future reference. – Carel Dec 24 '20 at 21:16

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