Construction Tape

redliner tape

redliner tape is a special type of pressure-sensitive tape that has been developed for bicycles. It can be used to give warning to pedestrians or other cyclists, but its main purpose is as a “lane marker” during road races. The red stripe becomes part of the cyclist’s lane on the road, eliminating any risk of collision with fellow riders near the edge of the road.

-The inventor was the Dutch cycling team manager Peter Post in 1967. It was introduced in professional racing at the 1968 Giro d’Italia where all teams sponsored by car manufacturers used it, and it subsequently spread through most levels of cycle racing. Professional cyclists usually take two strips per six-day stage race, one for front wheel and another for their back wheel.

-Since cycling is a sport where competitors are often traveling at speeds of over 40 kilometers per hour, crashes between cyclists or with other vehicles can be fatal or cause serious injury. The red stripe on the edge of the road serves as an important warning to motorists that they are entering a cyclist’s lane, and it also acts as a psychological barrier for the riders themselves, preventing them from swerving into oncoming traffic or into parked cars along the side of the road.

-The original redline tape was made by adding powdered aluminum pigment to rubber adhesive. It had very good results in visibility but was criticized for its abrasive nature during cornering. The abrasiveness caused many flat tires among professional cyclists wearing tire liners made of wool felt.

-The redline tape is also used in wheelchair sports. The strip seems to provide psychological benefits for runners, helping them stay on their line, especially at night or when under poor weather conditions. It stimulated the development of similar products by other manufacturers.

Redline tape has several variants: super-redline tape (50% more reflective than ordinary redline), white-redline (the opposite; 50% less reflective), glow-in-the dark yellow stripe (glows red after exposure to light). There are also vinyl and aluminum models that do not lose reflectivity like ordinary adhesive tapes. Special effects tapes with various color combinations are also available to meet the needs of specific sports such as running and cycling events.

-The invention of redline tape is often attributed to Peter Post, the manager of the TI-Raleigh professional cycling team. However, in an interview with Dutch newspaper Het Algemeen Dagblad in 2008, he stated that this was not correct and that he had only introduced it after seeing a similar product at a race in France. The credit for inventing it should go to French cyclist Charles PĂ©lissier who used valve rubber on his tires during races in 1935. PĂ©lissier’s bike supplier agreed to produce such tires commercially and marketed them as VS (Valve Stem – “Stemvork” in Dutch).

-In 1968 Post saw such tires on display at a race in France, where they had been used by professional riders. The American cyclist Ron Kiefel then returned home, bringing with him the idea to use the tape on his racing tires. This was adopted by other professional cyclists who used it during the Giro d’Italia that year.