Veloplugs are another way to lose some weight from the bicycle – quite cheap, so I thought I’d give them a go!
I’ve had my Shimano RS80 wheelset since March (2012) and done approximately 4500 miles on them. Great wheels but I have had an issue – punctures! Regardless of tyre choice I’ve been getting lots of punctures, before I had very few, now I get them frequently. The rear wheel in particular has too much rim tape in it (so much that I have to fold it back on itself) – Veloplugs give me the option of removing the rim tape, whilst also shedding some weight. Hoorah!
Being the obsessive “weight weenie” that I am, I couldn’t help but calculate the total weight loss for both wheels. As both the pictures below show, the actual weight reduction was quite substantial – roughly 27 grams. Okay, not a huge amount, but enough to be pleased with, and at only 15 euros, a pretty cheap way to save a few grams!
Losing weight is nice but how was the installation process? Perhaps not as easy as I first thought, it actually took a good hour to get the job done. The RS80 wheelset requires yellow veloplugs, which fit rim holes of 8.5-9.3 mm size – it’s really important to check what size your wheelset requires!
- First I had to remove both tyres, and the rim tape (simply cutting with some scissors).
- I then cleaned the rim very thoroughly (now was the time to do it).
- Placed the plugs into the spoke holes. The plugs don’t just simply slide into the spoke holes (a good sign) but require a decent amount of force, I used a blunt edge of a tool to push them in, being careful that they were as flat as possible. This is time consuming work!
- Fix tape around the inner tube valve hole – this is essential so that the inner tube doesn’t get caught on the sharp edges of this hole – Veloplugs should provide a mechanism for doing this – you need to buy your own tape if you don’t have any.
- Get the tyre back on!
Not a simple job, and without any visible signs of work done, don’t expect everyone to be cooing at the local chaingang – only you’ll know they are there!!
I’ve done two rides on the wheels since the installation, approximately 100 miles, and can report no puncture issues – although only time will tell on this front. Given it’s winter, and given it’s 27 grams, I didn’t raise hell up the hills – any more than I usually do – but it’s a marginal gain which I shall gain some ego from. Ultimately, these ‘plugs are not for most riders, they are for the obsessive bicycle carers looking for that extra gram loss – they would frustrate people who find tyre installation a challenge. Buy these then if you are a true legend of kitchen scale use and a gram to £ ratio lover – you will gain satisfaction here!