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Old 01-20-10, 11:27 AM   #1
chico1st
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difference in tape?

There is a large price range in cork/foam bar tape. Is there really a difference or is this just a marketing thing.

I just bought some tape from my LBS for 15$ and when i saw the price my jaw dropped open. It was the cheapest tape they have but its "higher quality"
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Old 01-20-10, 11:39 AM   #2
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Aside from gel padding, there is not much to distinguish one cork/foam tape from another. The only tape that sits outside of that box is the Fizik Microtex tape (and a few other imitators) which is more of a fabric than cork or foam. There's also the Brooks leather tape but it's in a whole 'nother category. Whether the "better" (gel or Fizik) tapes are worth the extra price is up to you. On my own bikes, I use Fizik tape. On bikes I rehab for sale or to give to friends, I use the cheapest black tape I can find. Niagara Cycle usually has some for $5-6.
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Old 01-20-10, 01:29 PM   #3
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I always look for stuff that does not use glue/tape. I always end up changing things and need to unwrap the bars. The glue/taped down stuff always tares on me and leaves a sticky mess. I like the stuff that has a tacky gel back.
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Old 01-20-10, 02:10 PM   #4
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I always look for stuff that does not use glue/tape. I always end up changing things and need to unwrap the bars. The glue/taped down stuff always tares on me and leaves a sticky mess. I like the stuff that has a tacky gel back.
+1 on how messy the adhesive is that gets left behind when you remove old padded tape, and how difficult it is to remove. Unfortunately, most "cork" and vinyl padded tapes out there use the stuff. I don't remember having a hard time removing the adhesive during the 80's when these padded tapes first came around, for some reason, they all now seem to have decided to use stickier stuff instead. Have an old ITM bar with the sticky stuff still on it. Used Goo-gone on it and it didn't seem to take it off at all. Now the bar just sits in the garage with all it's messy stickyness spiralling around it....seeming to be sticking out it's tongue at me everytime I walk past it! Maybe some gasoline will take it off...if not,.....I guess I'll just light it on fire!!!...Bwahahahaha!!...crispy sounds better than sticky!

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Old 01-20-10, 03:05 PM   #5
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yeah that's about right. it will be nice and stretchy; soft; malleable and forgiving. last year I wrapped 4 bikes and it ticked me off. but this year I don't have to wrap any!
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Old 01-20-10, 03:19 PM   #6
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I always look for stuff that does not use glue/tape. I always end up changing things and need to unwrap the bars. The glue/taped down stuff always tares on me and leaves a sticky mess. I like the stuff that has a tacky gel back.
I stopped using Cinelli cork tape for this reason. Now I just use the $5 cork stuff that Perfromance sells. No sticky stuff and its cheap.
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Old 01-20-10, 05:02 PM   #7
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Used Goo-gone on it and it didn't seem to take it off at all.
WD-40 works like a charm for removing the old adhesive. Better than Goo-Gone.
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Old 01-20-10, 05:36 PM   #8
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WD-40 works like a charm for removing the old adhesive. Better than Goo-Gone.
Love using WD40 on many things to clean them but I tried it and it didn't work on the bar tape junk at all.
I did recently use hand sanitizer gel on some old price label adhesive residue I had to remove from a pair of NOS rims and to my amazement, it worked very well and fast. I'll give it a shot with the hand sanitizer gel on my sticky old handlebar this weekend.

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Old 01-20-10, 08:05 PM   #9
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I find the only difference between expensive vs. cheap bar wrap is the more expensive brands give you more. If I spend 15 bucks or more on cork bar wrap, I expect to have enough for a double wrap on the tops of the bars.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:23 PM   #10
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I just got some Nashbar foam tape for $5.99. Awesome stuff, don't mind the thin strip of adhesive on the back. The thicker, the better.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:36 PM   #11
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WD-40 works like a charm for removing the old adhesive. Better than Goo-Gone.
Except for the part where one is ultra toxic and one isn't. Go read the material safety data sheet for WD-40 and tell me you're not scared.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:38 PM   #12
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I prefer leather. Brook's is great - but there are other brands loose for less cost. Brook's will run you about $65 to wrap a drop-bar. Other than leather, I'm a long time fan of good, old Tressostar cloth-tape. Which can also be shellacked for longer life and beauty. Cloth runs about $6 for enough to wrap one handlebar.
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Old 01-21-10, 12:05 AM   #13
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Yeah, it's marketing.

I used to love Tressostar, but I found it, uh, frictionous, to coin a word. I actually prefer vinyl.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:10 AM   #14
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?? unless you're getting the bars ready to sell, I don't understand the consternation with sticky residue on the bar. It's going to be covered with bar tape anyway.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:14 AM   #15
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Some people, knowing under their bar-tape their is a sticky residue, simply go berserk. Why is beyond me. I'd rather see some tape, any tape, covering the bare metal. That is, after all, the concept.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:57 AM   #16
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?? unless you're getting the bars ready to sell, I don't understand the consternation with sticky residue on the bar. It's going to be covered with bar tape anyway.
Tape residue adds weight
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Old 01-21-10, 08:26 AM   #17
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I really like Profile Design's bar tape. It's a cork/rubber blend so it's got reasonable thickness and padding and good hand grip. It has NO adhesive but still wraps and clings well and has been very durable. Best of all, if I shop carefully I've gotten it for $7 or less a roll.
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Old 01-21-10, 09:24 AM   #18
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Yeah, I think the sticky residue is a PLUS. Now I have sticky to sticky when putting the tape on and I know it wont slip even a little bit.

A tip to you flippers and uber-cheap people, they sell rolls of cloth tape in Wal mart and in sports supply stores for hockey sticks, it makes cheap bar tape (if you have low standards).
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Old 01-21-10, 09:38 AM   #19
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?? unless you're getting the bars ready to sell, I don't understand the consternation with sticky residue on the bar. It's going to be covered with bar tape anyway.
I don't care about residue. Its the wrapping process. I am terrible so usually have to start over several times before I get it half way decent. Nonsticky tape makes this a lot easier and haven't noticed that it is any more likely to come undone.
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Old 01-21-10, 11:09 AM   #20
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This is my favorite stuff:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Wholesale-Lot-Ca...item3efa42f4b2

Only $3 a set, neon, how can you go wrong?

There are a lot of subtle differences between different brands of cork tape, but in the end it comes down to what's available in the color you're looking for. When I worked at a shop with inconsistent inventory, I tried just about every tape available in all price ranges at the time, and could discuss the differences forever, but I won't. The main division was between the tape that smells like a shoe store, the kind most often used OEM on bikes, and the "nicer" tape that's firmer and presumably made of different plastic blended with cork bits. Cheap stuff was usually the former.

My favorite is legitimately that Casiraghi tape, but the padded "Professional" tape from Bike Ribbon is very similar, and still manufactured. Easy to clean, thinner than cork, wraps smoother, less padding. Not as easily found in all colors unfortunately, and no neon.
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Old 01-21-10, 11:14 AM   #21
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The only difference I have seen is about $15.
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Old 01-21-10, 05:55 PM   #22
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Look at probikekit.com They often sell name brand tape for pretty cheap. I've become a big fan of Deda foam tape at their usual sale price of $8US or so. I also bought some "brand X" foam tape from Performance a few years ago for around $3/roll. I bought several rolls because I was tweaking the bar/brake set up my and my daughter's road bikes and planned to maybe waste some. Turned out we both were really happy with the tape too, and it was easy to put on and off (little or no adhesive). So, don't hesitate to try cheap tape. Decide if you prefer foam-type or cork-type and then try some cheap stuff to see if it suits you.
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Old 01-21-10, 05:59 PM   #23
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Wow, Deda sounds good and a good value. I see it here in the US for $10.
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Old 01-21-10, 06:09 PM   #24
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I don't like the residue because if I try to take the tape off to add something to the bar, move it to another bike, add a break lever, or what ever I come up with I have to toss out the old bar tape and buy new since it rips to pieces. It is not so much the glue left on the bar,(although that does suck too if you have to try to wiggle the bar out of the stem.) as much as it rips the tape as I take it off. So I like the stuff with a gel backing. It actuly sticks to the bar after awhile. Not so bad you can peel it off with out harm to the tape. And I have never had it slip. I can't think of a reason why I would ever go back.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:17 PM   #25
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buy tape in bulk from online stores. much cheaper than $15 at stores even if you throw in shipping and customs.
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