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Old 09-18-10, 07:29 PM   #1
retnav94
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Drop Bar cushioning or padding

I recently picked up a Bottecchia from my brother. At 54 I am just getting into biking and trying to decide what I like for equipment and road vs bike path or trails etc. Anyway, I see some of the newer road bikes have padding on the drop bars. I want to add this to the old bars on the bike but am not sure of the padding used or how to wrap the bars. The wrapping I can figure out I think but the padding I am clueless.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:32 PM   #2
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I wrapped and old tube on my bars, then cover the tube with bar tape.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:44 PM   #3
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When you are ready to replace the existing tape, don't take it off.
Just wrap over it.
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Old 09-18-10, 09:39 PM   #4
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Yes, double wrap the bars, try gel tape / pads for contact points, or a good set of gloves. Also, make sure your fit is good & you are not putting too much weight on your hands.
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Old 09-18-10, 11:39 PM   #5
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'Grab On' brand rubber sleeves are good thick dense foam rubber. ,
But I've gone to double wrapping , now, myself..
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Old 09-19-10, 03:23 AM   #6
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Man, I'm the odd duck here - but I use cheap hockey stick tape. Works pretty well, and I can buy 8 rolls of it for the price of 1 roll of bicycle bar tape.

To me, this is one clear instance of the price of bicycle-specific products being ridiculous simply because they can.
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Old 09-19-10, 07:00 AM   #7
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Man, I'm the odd duck here - but I use cheap hockey stick tape. Works pretty well, and I can buy 8 rolls of it for the price of 1 roll of bicycle bar tape.

To me, this is one clear instance of the price of bicycle-specific products being ridiculous simply because they can.
That's not being an odd duck, I've done it too and it works great. Though it doesn't provide any softness or shock dampening.

If you want to get some shock absorbtion on the bars, you might want to go for Fizik bar tape, with the gel pads. Either that, or go with two layers of softer bartape, which is a cheaper solution than the Fizik one.

Last winter I went with double wrapping too, which did some great shock absorbtion. Though, I recall having seen someone using some old inner tubes as bartape as well, which provides shock absorbtion as well. So instead of throwing away the old inner tubes, you could use it as a bottom layer for bartape as well (edit: Which apparently was 10Wheels, as I could have read above).
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Old 09-19-10, 07:19 AM   #8
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Most of the shock absorption will be from the tires. So if you can fit wider tires at lower pressure, it will be quite a bit more comfortable.
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Old 09-19-10, 07:37 AM   #9
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Man, I'm the odd duck here - but I use cheap hockey stick tape. Works pretty well, and I can buy 8 rolls of it for the price of 1 roll of bicycle bar tape.

To me, this is one clear instance of the price of bicycle-specific products being ridiculous simply because they can.
if you are comparing it to the old school cotton tape or the thin fizik tape then sure but find me a replacement for "cork" tape
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Old 09-19-10, 07:59 AM   #10
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Check your saddle first. Start at level, because a saddle with the nose pointing down will put pressure on your hands.

In the past I have used foam handlebar padding under my bar tape.
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Old 09-19-10, 09:51 AM   #11
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Specialised Phat Wrap is another tape that comes with gel pads.
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Old 09-19-10, 10:36 AM   #12
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I had stripped the foam off a set of 80s drop bars- sliced it down the middle- fit it on my "new" bars, and Bontrager bar taped over it.

I arranged the foam so it fits over the beginning of the brake hoods- It looks kind of sloppy- but it's comfy.
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Old 09-19-10, 12:40 PM   #13
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raise your stem.
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Old 09-19-10, 04:52 PM   #14
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I had stripped the foam off a set of 80s drop bars- sliced it down the middle- fit it on my "new" bars, and Bontrager bar taped over it.

I arranged the foam so it fits over the beginning of the brake hoods- It looks kind of sloppy- but it's comfy.
You can still buy new kits of foam padding for drop bars.
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Old 09-19-10, 06:25 PM   #15
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I think the OP is refering to the cork tape found on modern bikes in comparison to cotton tape on vintage bikes.
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Old 09-19-10, 07:21 PM   #16
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You can wrap till your nuts and then your hands will hurt because the bar is too big around. Your best bet is to buy a good quality gel padded cycling glove. And if you need to rewrap the bar because the tape on there now is worn out then just replace it with Cinelli Cork tape. The tape along with the gloves will solve your problems...hopefully!!!

By the way Serfas makes a glove called the RX that come in a variety of styles from short fingered to full fingered, design with the sole purpose of preventing numb hands.

Cinelli and Bontrager make gel inserts that go under the bar wrap on the top of the bar only, not all the way around, effectively keeping the bar almost the same diameter but adding padding where the palms rest.
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Old 09-19-10, 07:24 PM   #17
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raise your stem.
Or just get stronger - torque from pedaling will take weight of your hands.
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Old 09-19-10, 07:48 PM   #18
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You can wrap till your nuts and then your hands will hurt because the bar is too big around. Your best bet is to buy a good quality gel padded cycling glove. And if you need to rewrap the bar because the tape on there now is worn out then just replace it with Cinelli Cork tape. The tape along with the gloves will solve your problems...hopefully!!!

By the way Serfas makes a glove called the RX that come in a variety of styles from short fingered to full fingered, design with the sole purpose of preventing numb hands.

Cinelli and Bontrager make gel inserts that go under the bar wrap on the top of the bar only, not all the way around, effectively keeping the bar almost the same diameter but adding padding where the palms rest.
I think going nuts with gloves, padding, gel inserts is just a band-aid. the real solution to the problem is a proper fit.
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Old 09-19-10, 08:31 PM   #19
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I think going nuts with gloves, padding, gel inserts is just a band-aid. the real solution to the problem is a proper fit.
That is true to a point, but no two people have the same physical characteristics. Thus you could have two identically physically fit individuals, same size and dimensions on the same bike and one could experience numbness in the hands and the other not. I don't use padding on my bars but I do wear padded gloves, but not the RX I showed, I have no problems and I'm 56, but I don't attribute that to proper fit because I have several road bikes that range from 54 to 56 and can ride any of them with no problems. But the MTB's that's a different story, they have to be close to exact and still have hand issues.

But I do think the op should just try to get the bike to fit properly as you suggested, if that doesn't work then add one thing like the gloves, and try that, if that doesn't work then add the gel inserts.. Eventually the op will get it right but it will take some experimentation.
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Old 09-20-10, 01:35 PM   #20
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As you can see, there is a wide variety of opinions on bar-wrap/bike fit/fitness. If you just like the look of the new style wrap, then Cinelli cork should do it for you. If you want padding, you have all sorts of choices. I like gel padding with a cheap bar wrap over it, THEN I put on Cinelli cork wrap over all that. I have large hands (XL gloves), so this works for me. I also use Spenco Ironman Elite gel gloves for long rides (50mi+). You may need to try some different wraps to find out what works best for you. After all YOU are the one who rides your bike!

P.S. You can do a Google search for "bike gel pads" for sources of these.
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Old 09-20-10, 02:23 PM   #21
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Note that when people are talking about fit, a big part of that is also core strength --- yes, a good fit should have you with your elbows slightly bent, your wrists straight and very little weight on the hands when pedaling. But to get there you don't just need the right saddle and bar position, you need enough strength in the back muscles to hold your torso up and get leverage for your glutes to work against. Someone just getting into biking is possibly not there yet.

It's also worth paying some attention to how you put your hands on the bar. There are a couple of tempting grip positions on the corners of the bar tops and on the outside of the hoods that could end up pinching the ulnar nerve (which runs in the 'valley' between the two pads at the base of the palm). Over-padding can make this worse by actually transferring weight from the pads into the valley. Make a conscious effort to rest on the weight-bearing parts of your hand instead.

Personally I use unpadded gloves and minimally padded Fizik Microtex bar tape, just came back from a 300 mile tour this way and only times when I think I could have wanted more was doing descents down loose rocky unimproved roads...
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Old 09-21-10, 11:02 AM   #22
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i've been using this company's foam handlebar grips on my road bikes since 1980. i no longer need padded bike gloves. http://www.grabongrips.com/
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