Tired of hassling with rim tape? There is a simpler, cleaner solution. These plugs are designed to fit over individual valve holes in a rim, protecting the tube from puncturing on the holes/spokes and decreasing weight. Additionally, in the case of needing to replace a spoke or nipple, you don't need to remove a whole layer of tape to get at the spoke hole. These plugs weigh 6 grams per wheel compared to 15 grams per wheel for traditional adhesive-backed cloth rim tape.
These things are fantastic! But there is a lot of mis-information out there about them. I've even heard a wholesaler who supplies them diss the product for "causing flats". I can assure you, I've ridden these for over three years and have NEVER had a flat caused by them.....including on a fully-loaded cross-continental tour.
The Veloplugs are touted by the manufacturer for being lighter than rim-tape. (But that is a pretty weight weanie concern.) Their real advantages are:
(a) Allows replacement of a spoke by removing only one plug rather than removing all the tape (b) Reusable (I've used the same set of Veloplugs over three or four wheel-builds) (c) They take up less space inside the tire than rim-tape, which means it is much, much easier to install new, tightly fitting tires
The ONLY downside to these, and it is a significant consideration, is that they aren't compatible with every rim/manufacturer. Obviously, they work great with any Velocity rim. But they won't work with rims which have double (internal) ferrules. Velocity makes various diameters of Veloplug for different drillings of the internal rim hole. However, even if you get the right drilling, some rims may not have enough depth on the inner cavity to allow the Veloplug to completely snap in. And, obviously, these won't work with single-wall rims at all.
It's nearly impossible to know if the Veloplugs will work with a given rim until you try them. So you may have to just risk it and be prepared to down-grade to rim-tape if things don't pan out. However, these are so worth it, I'd risk it. Hopefully more and more manufacturers will realize the value here and make sure they design their rims to be compatible.
PROS: Durable, Makes Spoke Repair Easier, Makes Flat Repair Easier, Easy To Install, Light, Reusable
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