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I have a DT Swiss EX 511 Disc Rim, where I assembled the hub myself.

Its documentation says I can use it tubless/ with a tube set up. I want to use it with a tube.

Do I need to get a rim tape and run it around the wheel, or can I just put the tube and tire directly?

Basically, all of the nipples-screws do not pop out at all, from the holes, as you can see in the photo: enter image description here Thank you very much!

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    I think the tube would expand into the holes and you'd have an increased chance of punctures, even if the setup survives rolling out of the gates. Better use tape.
    – DoNuT
    Feb 9 at 19:53
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    @DoNuT,yes, it's going to be stressed at every hole, and is quite likely to reach the spokes/nipples if it doesn't burst first from a burr or just the stress of the edges of the hole
    – Chris H
    Feb 9 at 20:07
  • Even a tube that's been used with rubber rim tape shows permanent stretching at the spoke holes
    – Chris H
    Feb 9 at 20:08
  • Note that "rim tape" can refer to either a sort of adhesive tape which glues itself to the inner surface of the rim, or a large "rubber band" that is held in place by tension. You need to pick the right one. Feb 9 at 21:17
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    @DanielRHicks there are other types as well, but with tubes it doesn't really matter which type (I'd use velox adhesive cloth for preference, but have ridden for years with the rubber band type and a plastic band that barely stretches enough to get on). I personally haven't ridden with adhesive tubeless tape, but I've helped put tubes in tyres with it, so I know that works too
    – Chris H
    Feb 9 at 21:20

3 Answers 3

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You need rim tape. This is the simplest possible answer.

Recall that pre-tubeless, you would need rim tape as well. The tube would expand into the spoke holes and pretty quickly burst. Same story. There are a few rims made without spoke holes, where you could dispense with rim tape. I think the Mavic Ksyriums may have been an old example? Modern Campy wheels also omit the holes. This makes the rim very hard to build without specialized equipment, fyi.

You might as well use tubeless tape, even though you want to run a tube. Tubeless tape serves the same function. Additionally, modern bike stores are very likely to stock it, and I don’t know if they even have older style rim tape. Also, I don’t know how wide that rim is, but non-tubeless tape for MTB width rims may not even exist. That said, non-tubeless tape, e.g. Velox cloth tape, would also work. Whatever the case, you will need tape wide enough to cover the holes plus a bit more.

After typing this, I wondered if Velox cloth tape was still around. It is, and sources often describe it as an old reliable industry staple, but I see 16mm, 19mm, and 22mm sizes. The OP's rim appears to have an internal width of a full 30mm. You need tape that's the same width or a couple mm wider than the rim. Of course, Velox shouldn't be expected to make 30mm cloth tape, because MTB rims have almost all moved over to tubeless.

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  • Hm, at least in Germany, tubes are still very common, even for MTBs. So any decent shop should have rim tape available.
    – sleske
    Feb 12 at 10:04
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    @sleske That is true but if check, e.g., bike-components.de/de/s/?keywords=felgenband , you will see that non-tubuless tapes are almost only for narrow road-bike rims. The Velox one, mentioned in the answer, is available for 22 mm and Continental Easytape even for more, but there is much more choice for tubeless ones, which will work just fine. Feb 12 at 15:28
  • Yeah, I specifically meant non-tubeless rim tape, like the Velox cloth tape lots of people used to use.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Feb 12 at 16:45
  • Of course if you use velox it doesn't need to span the entire rim, just cover the spoke holes. Even on a 30mm rim I wouldn't expect the alternating offsets to be that extreme... Feb 14 at 23:28
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Yes, you need rim tape, same as with any tube-only rim. The tube will deform at the spoke holes, any of which can create a puncture. The fact that this is a tubeless-ready rim does not confer any special properties when using tubes.

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As others said, you need to cover the holes to prevent extra stress on the tube.

I just chime in for an alternative to either rubber bands, tape or plastic bands:

Veloplugs - these are plastic inserts, which you put in each hole. Only usable for tube setups (they are not airtight). They claim to reduce weight - which I don't really care about, but I find them very useful because they stay in place.

Some bands tended to wander all over the place over their lifetime, some even so far that the holes aren't covered anymore. That can't happen with Veloplugs. Just make sure there is no burr around the holes, which could damage the plastic - but that should be done anyways.

I'm not affiliated with Veloplugs, just a happy user.

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  • One wonders if a 3D printed solution would work here ...
    – Criggie
    Feb 12 at 11:56
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    @Criggie I could imagine that it's possible, it probably takes some extra finish to make the surface smooth and some experiments which material works - especially for high pressure road bikes. And I don't think they have a flat surface anywhere for the print bed to go naturally. For me, it wasn't worth the trouble (but I'm from Germany where they are easy to get).
    – Arsenal
    Feb 12 at 12:39

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