Product Courtesy of SpeedmatrixAvailibility: NowMSRP: SGD$ 30
Velocity is an Australia company that specialized in the manufacturing of rims and wheels. In their latest array of innovation, they have come up with the interesting Veloplugs which is supposed to replace conventional rim tapes.
As we know, the sole purpose of rim tape is to cover up the spoke holes in the rims and thus protecting the inner tubes from getting damaged. The Veloplugs serve the same purpose but instead of covering the rim with a piece of tape, rider will have to insert the Veloplugs individually into each of the 32 holes on the rim.
Veloplugs in action
For this review, the Veloplugs are installed on a pair of Sun DS1-XC rims. Installation is straight forward but took more time as compared to conventional rim tape. The fingers can get a little tired after getting it done.
We faced some issue with two holes whereby we could not get the Veloplugs to hook on securely. They tend to drop off as we are working on the other holes. In the end, we leave them to the last, and install them only after we have mounted one side of the tire and just before we put in the inner tube. That worked just fine. The rest of the Veloplugs managed to stay on throughout the whole process.
Truth be told, the sole purpose of Veloplugs or conventional rim tape is solely to fill up the spoke holes and protecting the inner tubes. Substitutes such as electrical tapes, duct tapes will work as well and with little cost. There is no difference riding a wheel installed with Veloplugs or with conventional rim tape. The only good thing about using Veloplugs is its lightweight and reusability. Conventional rim tape weighs in the region of 15 grams while a set of 32 Veloplugs weigh only 5 grams, even lighter than lightweight rim tapes from big brands like Panaracer and Michelin. And unlike rim tapes, Veloplugs can be recycled unlimited number of times. Since it is made of plastic, there is little worry that it will disintegrate like latex based rim tapes would.
Veloplugs is an interesting idea that brought life into a component which most riders would not think much of. Many of us have accepted the fact that rim tapes are usually a once off affair and would require replacement every couple of years. However, Veloplugs is set to shift this paradigm.
Weight weenies who are constantly balancing between weight and functionality will most probably buy into the idea. After all, those super light rim tapes are not cheap to begin with. For the rest, unless you change wheels very often, it might take a bit of conviction to justify spending $30 for a set of “rim tape”.