Carogna is a dual-sided adhesive tape that makes gluing tubular tires a cinch. After three cyclocross races rattling around on Clement tires held on with Carogna, I can vouch that the tape holds as securely as the traditional paint-it-on glue, with so much less hassle.
Carogna tape is super easy to install. And just as important, in my mind, is how easy it is to align the tire on the rim.
The Carogna tape has a backing film on the tire-facing side. To install, you simply apply the Carogna around a clean rim, starting just next to the valve hole, and wrapping around to the other side of the valve hole. If the tape is wider than the rim, you will need to trim it. Then, you peel back about an inch or two of the backing on either side of the valve hole, slide the tubular’s valve stem into the hole, and install the tire, with those short tabs of the backing film folded outside of the tire.
Next, you pump up the tire enough that it holds shape. Since the backing film is slick, it is easy to slide the tire side to side to get it straight. For those of you who have glued your own tubulars, you know that moving a tire covered in mastic on a rim is like wrestling a snake that’s nearly set in cement.
Once you have the tire where you want it, you pull off the backing film, starting with those tabs you left folded out by the valve stem.
Next, you pump up the tire to compress the Carogna — Effeto Mariposa says the strips are pressure-activated — and leave the tire 24 hours to set.
The Carogna comes in three widths, for rims with 17-28mm external widths.
I used the largest width on Bontrager Aeolus 3 Disc tubulars and Clement MXP 33mm tubulars. In taping down the rim-facing side of the Carogna, I was a little worried at how little stick the tape had; it was easy to pull off the tape when I applied a stretch a little crooked and then reapply. This made installation easy, but made me wonder about the tape’s staying power.
Testing in cyclocross has shown great promise; the tubulars don’t budge:
The Carogna tape has held strong in three cyclocross races, and there is no evident reason it won’t continue to hold
The tire-facing side, however, is much grippier and more viscous initially. Once the Carogna set for 24 hours, the tires were locked onto the rims. Preliminary hand checks felt good, and subsequent hard riding on off-camber sections of cyclocross courses confirmed those checks. I weigh 190lb and have been running my tires at about 30psi on hardpack courses. My colleague Robin Wilmott has done a half-dozen races in the UK (at lower pressures) and had a similar experience: initial skepticism followed by complete faith in the system.
The Carogna isn’t cheap. A 2m roll for one tire is $20-$25 / £10-£13, and a 16m roll is $100 / £70. But for me at least, if you’re going to invest in quality tubulars, it’s worth it to get the things on straight. And since any serious rider can install Carogna and save the cost of a professional mechanic gluing tires, it could be a money saver, too.
One as-of-yet unknown is the removal process. We will update this review after taking off some glued tires and reinstalling with new tape.