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  1. #1
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    white handlebar tape

    A lady friend wants to buy a bike with white handlebar tape. How do you clean that tape, and can it really be cleaned, or should she come to her senses and put on black tape?

  2. #2
    Senior Member powpow's Avatar
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    Most likely it will get dirty and stay dirty. I'd go for black tape.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Only way it would stay sort-of white is if you coated it with clear shellac. Within minutes of putting it on.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    She's either gonna ride and not care, or not ride and look pretty.

  5. #5
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    Handlebar tape is something that should be changed frequently - and is easy to change for anyone with $10. Your friend will soon decide whether or not it is worth the effort required to (try to) keep the white tape clean.

  6. #6
    Rumblefish jtarver's Avatar
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    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=A1554

    I use this stuff when white just can't be avoided. It's vinyl and can be cleaned. It doesn't have much padding, but it's pretty comfy stuff.
    1973 Crescent Pepita FG, 1987 Panasonic DX-4000, 1991 Trek 1400 FG, 1990's Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-e-Koo SS, 1990's Denti Road Tech Five, 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  7. #7
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Grimey white is PROGRAM PRO!
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighroader1 View Post
    A lady friend wants to buy a bike with white handlebar tape. How do you clean that tape, and can it really be cleaned, or should she come to her senses and put on black tape?
    Do what the pros do: change it after every ride.

  9. #9
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    1. Only wear white gloves when riding is an absolute must
    2. Buy new tape frequently, or in this age of economic heartache...
    2. When the white tape gets grubby, remove the tape from the bars, spray with Simple Green, and scrub with a dish brush, rinse really well in hot water, and let dry, and reinstall

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mr. Fly's Avatar
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    I use mainly white bar tape for my bikes, and I don't have any issues with it. A couple of helpful hints:

    1. Wear clean gloves when biking.
    2. White cork tape can be effectively cleaned (in situ) by gently scrubbing with soap.
    3. White cork tape is an indicator of the interval between when you need to replace bar tape*.
    4. Clean white bar tape is PRO.

    * If bar tape isn't replaced regularly, a nasty, grimy layer builds up underneath the tape that will have your bike mechanic breaking out the supplied air respirator, especially if you sweat a lot and bike in warm/hot weather a lot. Don't ask me how I know.

  11. #11
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Simple Green or orange cleaner works well, but white tape is like owning a black car: you'll spend a lot of time keeping it looking clean.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Bottom Line: It's gonna be gray the next day.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  13. #13
    Addicted to Dirt Freefallman's Avatar
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    I know white brake hoods can be cleaned with a little isopropyl. Never tried it on tape but might want to give it a shot....

  14. #14
    Senior Member sunburst's Avatar
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    It cleans surprising easily. I'll be taping someone's bars with white later this week. I just use dish detergent. I never tried cleaning tape before reading bf. My yellow tape cleans up nicely too. Not like new, but worth the effort to get a wet soapy rack after it.

    I noticed recently my suede gloves rub off on the tape. The smooth leather type are much better.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    It cleans surprising easily. I'll be taping someone's bars with white later this week. I just use dish detergent. I never tried cleaning tape before reading bf. My yellow tape cleans up nicely too. Not like new, but worth the effort to get a wet soapy rack after it.

    I noticed recently my suede gloves rub off on the tape. The smooth leather type are much better.
    +1. My favorite is GoJoe hand cleaner. The kind without the pumice. Smear a little on and hose it off. Takes less time than it took me to type this.

  16. #16
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Bottom Line: It's gonna be gray the next day.
    Think of it as patina.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
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    natural lemon cleaner

    I used natural lemon cleaner on my white tape and it works well. I didn't want to use chemicals and have them leech out onto my hands and end up rubbing my face or something. The citrus seems to get it pretty clean, probably not quite bright white.

  18. #18
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    I use white handlebar tape on one of my bikes. I change it semi-regularly but it stays white between changes. I wash my hands before I ride it.

  19. #19
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    Try the washer...if it doesn't work then shell out $10 for another set...it's expensive to look good

  20. #20
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    fizik tape tends to say cleaner than other tape, I have found. every once in awhile I'll take a wet towel and just scrub. no need for soaps or cleaners - they tend to make the tape sticky or discolored.

    my current white fizik tape is still very white after riding the last 6 months. I ride every day w/o gloves.

  21. #21
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    Benotto tape from the '70s and '80s can still be had on eBay from a few sellers. The white Benotto tape is pearly, iridescent, and gorgeous. I apply the Benotto tape over modern white cork tape. Great look, great feel, stays clean.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    An old toothbrush, some Palmolive, Dawn, etc dishwashing liquid, and some Wesley's Bleche-White automotive whitewall cleaner. Prepare a small mixture in a cup, dab of dish soap, 3-4 squirts of Bleche-White, some warm water (not hot).

    Wet the bars, but don't spray water all over the bike, etc. Scrub the bars with the mixture and brush, let it foam on there, give the Bleche-White a couple minutes to work, rinse before the foam dries, make sure you don't get the mixture on some anodized wheels.

    Squeeze dry with a towel, and 20-30 minutes of sitting in the sun, the tape looks pretty new.

    I use white, yellow, and black bar wrap, always cork these days. The system works on gel, too, and I've not replaced any wrap in a couple of years. I ride 3-4 bikes in a rotation nearly every day, so the white wrap is seeing use about 1-2x a week. I don't use gloves.

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