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I have been gluing tubulars since the mid 90's but have been thinking about trying tubular tape for the first time. How do people feel about tape? I have also read about the "Belgian Taping Method", but can't quite understand the benefit of all of the glue plus the tape. Am I missing something? What benefit does the tape add? Why not just straight glue, or straight tape? HELP!

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I've used tape and glue in the past for road tires. I'm a little hesitant to go tape only for cross tires, though. I just don't know if it has the strength to hold the tire when it's moving around at low pressure. And having ust removed some and seeing how easy it came off, I think if that tape starts to let go its over. One little weak spot and the tire is coming off fast.

I'm going to be gluing my cross tires up this week and will probably go with the Belgian method.
Hey Damon, this is a hotly-debated topic in forums for other forms of bicycle racing (time trials, road triathlon, road races); however, more often than not in the 'cross community, the consensus is that gluing or gluing with tape are the two preferred options to explore. If you check out the August 29 entry for this website, it may provide more helpful information from one of the top mechanics in cyclo-cross, Stu Thorne. Here's another article he's written that covers additional details of the method he employs:

I've tried tape alone for cyclo-cross, and regretted it. A rolled tubular is nothing you want to have to wrestle with in the midst of a race, and you are more likely to roll a tubular using the tape alone than you are with a strong glue job or the tape/glue method. Some may get lucky and be able to keep a tire taped for a few laps, or perhaps a few races; however, at some point those who use the tape alone will want to run lower pressures and roll it. For my purposes, I prefer glue alone. I was happy with the bond the tape/glue method provided; however, when it came time to remove the tire from the rim and either glue another tire to the rim or re-use the tire, I found the tape to be an unwanted nuisance to remove from both. While glue alone can be messy and is frequently cumbersome to remove - as you know - it wipes away clean and you can still re-use the tire in most instances without having to replace the base tape.

I'm anxious to see if others chime in praising the glue/tape method.
No doubt you should use the Belgian method of tape and glue. Tape alone does not waterproof the cotton on the bottom of the tire and after a few races or washes you're not going to have adhesion between the tire and the rim. Glue alone and you're not getting a complete contact between the rim and the tire.

Stu's article is excellent and I wrote one myself here: The article covers my process for gluing up tubbies and is pretty similar to Stu's. I learned it from talking with him and the other CXWorld guys and through a lot of trial and error on my own part. When the tire is set you'll need a knife to cut it off the rim.

Good luck! 2cents
First - I have no experience with tape, so I won't throw up any internet based opinion - I glue, and never have had a problem. I use the method that has been researched by much smarter and geekier people than me (Colin S. "Chip" Howat III Ph.D. P.E.), below are linkes to the info and their super nerdy, FAR-too-much-tim-on-their-hands academic engineering study on Tape vs. Glue. FYI - they are looking at road tires and pressures, but I highly doubt our 'cross situation is much different.

Short answer - glue holds better than tape, Mastik One holds the best, and Calvin from Park Tools says adhesion is better than any glue+tape method. If Calvin says glue, I go with glue.
... and don't blame me if this results in a 2 hour time suck. CX season begins here in Norcal this weekend, so I'd rather be riding!
I've done both, and for cross, I strongly recommend Stu Thorne's tape method. Use his tape, Tufo tape is not the same, and I really don't care for it. I've never rolled a tubie on the road and have raced them for quite a few years, glue only. I did have a glued tubie come off slightly in a cross race while remounting on an off camber. Yes, I should have checked them after the previous race, but thought I'd be ok, as I've never had an issue in the past.

I just pulled 2 tubies off last night that had used Stu's tape method. After being on for two years, it still took a lot of work to get them off. They would have likely been good for another season.

As a note, I would NOT recommend the tape method of you plan on getting new tubies in the near future. However, if you have some your sticking with, I say do it. It's a pretty permanent adhesion method and I've never had an issue with it.

This is not to say that glue is bad, by any means. And many prefer it. However with cross, I tend to trust the tape a bit more.
the aritcle dan werle was referring to is here:

and our how-to on just glue is here:

I'd agree with L. Peters in that if you plan on swappng tires out, tape and glue is not the way to go. If you're lucky to have multiple wheels or unlucky to not have diverse conditions to require different tires, than it's not an issue.

my question for folks that do belgian style - if you have ambitions of repairing an otherwise still-good tubular - does tape impact that in any way?
It shouldn't. The Challenges I pulled off are fine. However, I have heard of the Dugasts having issues with the base tape coming off. But, I suppose it depends on how you get the tubie off of the rim as well. A little finesse may help your cause.
I think that the tape just builds up the "valley" in the rim and improves contact with the center of the tubular. Just a guess. It's also one more geeky-techy thing that appeals to cyclocross nuts. And it's from Belgium. But you've been gluing tubs since the 90's. You should know what works, unless that ghastly X-Ray in the upper left is a result of one of your glue jobs. I just glue and glue and then glue some more. If I had some tape I probably couldn't find it in the mess all over my work bench anyway.
Nah, the x-ray is from mountain biking. I have only partially rolled one of my glue jobs and that was while "mnountain biking" on my 'cross bike and I landed while leaning the bike over. Even then only 5-6 inches rolled. It sounds like I am sticking with my glue method. If it ain't broke!


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