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  1. #1
    Riding is my addiction jwill911's Avatar
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    Bar tape - bar tape - bar tape...

    My bar tape is starting to get a little ratty and I was thinking of doing the job myself but there are so many options. I can choose my own color but I'd like to hear some words of wisdom from the collective before I just go out and buy some, so I can make a more informed decision.
    Adhesive - non
    Cork
    Sticky
    some claim to reduce road vibration
    etc. etc.

    Thanks a bunch,
    jw
    "It doesn't get easier you just get faster" - Greg Lemond

    Silver/Grey 06 Orbea Opal (34/50 double)
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  2. #2
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    just get the cinelli

  3. #3
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    I prefer cork, non-self adhesive and some electrical tape.

  4. #4
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I have tried Cinelli, Deda and Nashbar. They all have been nice. I think I like the Cinelli the best. PBK has pretty good deals on tape, esp. if you buy more than one box. I usually stock up on a few colors, because I like changing the look of my bike and tape is the easiest way.

  5. #5
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Specialized S-Wrap.

    I've tried Cinelli Cork, nashbar, and a couple others. But I'm sticking with the Specialized.

    Why?

    1) Enough in a roll for a deep drop 42cm bar and generiously wrapped.
    2) A fair bit of stretch to get a good tight wrap
    3) Slightly tacky backing holds wrap in place once wrapped, but makes it VERY easy to fix a bad section of wrap job.

    #3 is very important if it is your first time wrapping bars. I used Cinelli the first time, and I overlapped too much in the drops and ended up not having enough to finish the tops. With the adhesive backing the Cinelli was very difficult to near impossible to undo to attempt a fix.

    The Specialized on the other hand I just pulled off a set of bars to swap them over to another bike (quill stem) and reused the tape over again no problem.

  6. #6
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    I am actually not a big fan of Cinelli. Bad experiences with it. So far I have like the performance gel wrap. wraps easily, stays put and it's like $3-5 a set.

    -D

  7. #7
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    The Cinelli feels best by far to my hands. I usually ride gloveless though, so the feel is quite important. It just feels more natural and gets less slippery when wet. It does have a sticky back which can be an issue if you are inexperienced at taping, but you can peel off the adhesive from the tape before starting if you want to be able to easily correct any mistakes.

  8. #8
    Rat Bastard mcoomer's Avatar
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    Specialized Bar Phat or Super Bar Phat! This is good tape with a light adhesive backing and the gel rocks. I replaced the stock white bar tape on my Tarmac with Bar Phat when the bike shop was building my bike and I like it a lot. It's hard to describe but the gel gives the bar a very comfortable feel. It isn't squishy, just compliant enough to be comfortable and absorb vibration. I would assume that the gel would help prevent numbness and tingling but I don't know that for a fact.
    It's better to burn out than fade away...or slip out of your pedal and face plant on the side of the road!!!

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  9. #9
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    Cinelli cork, black.

    Al

  10. #10
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    I like the Cinelli, and the adhesive makes little difference in the difficulty of application. But I like how solid the adhesive makes them feel, compared to my Cinelli Gels, which have more give. In wrapping, I start by slicing the tape at an angle (I measure that the material I'm cutting is 10cm long, meaning I line the ruler up at the angle across the tape and from one side to the other I measure 10cm.. a very shallow angle). This makes it easier to start, and it looks better. Also, think ahead about your bar plugs.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Stella Azzurra Tecno Spugna tape is very nice. It is fairly thick in the middle, with a thin strip of adhesive material on the back end. This strip guides you so that you wrap it evenly. Best stuff I have felt
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  12. #12
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    I like that Salsa Goma tape. Nice rubbery feel to it, cleans up nicely. I usually wrap an old inner tube round the bars from the hoods and across the flats for a bit of extra cushioning.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  13. #13
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    Cinelli is great because it comes in pretty colors. However the adhesive is so aggressive that it makes reuse nearly impossible. My favorite color is red and I stocked up on red Cinelli tape. However I have found that Bontrager tape is nearly indestructable. After many miles when it is starting to look tired from grease, grime, and wear, take it off and wrap it the opposite way for a nearly new looking tape.

    The biggest problem with Bontrager tape I have found is that it is hard to find online. So you may have to pay ~$17 at a LBS.

    Have any of you Specialized users tried Bontrager? I will be giving Specialized at least one try from the reccomendations.

  14. #14
    Year-round cyclist
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    I use Performance black. Always the same, so there is no colour co-ordination problem between my bike, my tandem and my two daughters' bikes if I need to replace only one side of the wrapping.

    Comfort wise, I place one length of old tape on the upper side of the drops, then I wrap. That way, I get extra padding for comfort, but not extra diametre.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    Riding is my addiction jwill911's Avatar
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    Yahoo I've done my first (of many I'm sure) bar tape

    Well I got Cinelli. And if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have screwed it up. The first time I overlapped just a bit too much on the wrap and didn't leave enough at the beginning for the plugs and didn't stretch the tape enough as I wrapped and came up too short on the first side. It doesn't un-wrap without destroying itself. So I went to my LBS found the red-white-blue Splash Cinelli in the 50% off bin and took another stab at it. It came out beautiful. Just like many things I encounter in life, I usually have to do it more than once to understand the little nuances. I saved some of my old spongy rubber bar tape, cut it into strips applied rubber cement to one side and on the top of the bar to keep it in place, layed it along the top flat of the bar and wrapped the new tape over it to provide a little extra cushion there.

    It really does give the bike a different look for so liittle money. I will be keeping my eye pealed for bargains and squirrel some away for the next change.

    Thanks for the advice,
    jw
    "It doesn't get easier you just get faster" - Greg Lemond

    Silver/Grey 06 Orbea Opal (34/50 double)
    Black 1999 Trek 2200 (triple)

  16. #16
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    can you peel the adhesive off of the back on cinelli tape? I've encountered some before with which it was possible to do this... I found a color I need that only matches exactly from cinelli, but I hate that adhesive.

  17. #17
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Gel wraps are too squishy for my taste. So no Bonty or Specialized for me, thanks.

    Seems to me that Cinelli is the tried and true standard. Kinda like a set of Open Pro wheels. One thing I like about Cinelli is that it offers a reflective stripe option which is great for winter training and commuting.

    I also like Deda very much.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  18. #18
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    I can't stand adhesive backed bar tape. It makes a mess of your bars and it's difficult, if not impossible to unwrap without destroying.

    I've been using Profile bar wrap for years. Available everywhere, no adhesive, and it holds up to repeated wrapping and unwrapping (I never get it right the first time).

    I've never used Cinelli, so I have no basis for comparison. Does Cinelli make a non-adhesive backed tape?

  19. #19
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Cinelli 'Gel' ones don't have adhesive, and they actually feel different. Plus, as others have stated, you can peel the adhesive strip off..
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I don't like the adhesive backing on bar tape for the reasons people have mentioned. If tape I am using has it, I de-stick the adhesive strip with baby powder. It works great, and the tape doesn't get ruined when I remove it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunacycle
    I can't stand adhesive backed bar tape. It makes a mess of your bars and it's difficult, if not impossible to unwrap without destroying.

    I've been using Profile bar wrap for years. Available everywhere, no adhesive, and it holds up to repeated wrapping and unwrapping (I never get it right the first time).?
    +1 I've been using Profile bar tape for years and it's durable plus the noted advantage of being reusable if you want to modify something on the bars.

  22. #22
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Bah! These guys are crazy with the sissy padded bar tape, "ewww, my hands hurt." You should be riding Benotto ribbon like a real man! Bunch of whiners, who ever heard of cycling without numb hands!?

  23. #23
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I also prefer bar tape with slightly tacky against-the-bar surface, so it sticks somewhat but can be re-used and re-wrapped. That said, the ability to re-wrap isn't such a big deal once you've wrapped a few bars. I've also never run out of bar tape, even on 44cm deep-drop bars. I ended up with a lot leftover on my 46cm ergo bars on my Raleigh. Maybe because I wrap tightly, and don't overlap a ton, although certainly enough that the bar isn't going to show through.

    Adhesive or tacky-backed bar tape is useful if you're going to be torquing on the wrapped part of the bar (not just on the brake hoods) at all. On my moustache bars, the non-adhesive-backed "cork" open-cell foam tape migrated a bit over time.

    I do find the adhesive-backed bar tape to be annoying and kind of a PITA to wrap, and don't see much benefit to it. Below is the 44cm deep-drop Cinelli bar that I recently wrapped with adhesive-backed tape.

    Last edited by TallRider; 11-21-08 at 01:30 PM.

  24. #24
    # BF-STL-00020 marengo's Avatar
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    Um, I know I'm new here and all but I really don't understand these comments about trying to peel the tape off the back of the cork wrap. If the stickyness so offends you, why not just leave the paper on it?

  25. #25
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marengo
    Um, I know I'm new here and all but I really don't understand these comments about trying to peel the tape off the back of the cork wrap. If the stickyness so offends you, why not just leave the paper on it?
    When you stretch the tape as you wrap, the paper backing doesn't stretch and will come loose anyway. If you don't like adhesive backed tape, better not to buy it. For a first timer, best to get non-adhesive tape because I guarantee you will be unwrapping half of it to get it right.

    If you must have an adhesive brand, then get a roll of cheap non-adhesive type for practice before you use the good stuff.

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