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Old 08-28-11, 09:13 PM   #1
derekr1223
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Increasing the comfort of Brooks bar tape.

So I switched over to brooks grip tape on the bars, and i've come across several issues since the switch. the grip tape on the steel road bike bars doesn't feel comfortable whatsoever, this being increasingly noticeable as I step up the length of my rides. would i be able to layer the tape with a strict cushioning style of tape below it? anyone that can relate from experience?

the hands are starting to blister and i'd like to get this fixed asap.

also, the color has near faded completely. i was left with no choice but to to leave the bike out on a rainy day or two, but i would expect a little more resilience from tape that cost me close to $60. does the optional conditioning kit work wonders for preserving the leather?

am i better off with a different type of tape knowing that the bike will not always have a garage to sleep in?

thank you, compadres.
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Old 08-28-11, 09:51 PM   #2
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Continue using $60 tape that is hurting your hands, or use $15 tape that is actually comfortable...decisions, decisions...
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Old 08-28-11, 10:29 PM   #3
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Continue using $60 tape that is hurting your hands, or use $15 tape that is actually comfortable...decisions, decisions...
I'd have buyer's remorse too if I paid $60 for bar tape only to find out that it wasn't for me.

OP: next time, just buy some standard gel or cork tape.
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Old 08-29-11, 05:43 PM   #4
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I made some leather bar tape out of an old coat. Wasn't quite thick or cushy enough for the urban pounding I do. I wrapped them with some cheap profile design and then wrapped the leather over. Took a bit of work to get the end plugs in and now looks AND feels great. Free coat and lunch for the neighbor lady who sewed my strips into a longer length.
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Old 08-30-11, 02:46 PM   #5
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Gloves? Hands will love you if you happen to take a spill also.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:48 PM   #6
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Gloves? Hands will love you if you happen to take a spill also.
+1 on that! I took a header on my singlespeed once and the gloves were a big help. I was shaken up a little, but no scrapes on me or the bike!

Putting leather anything on a bike that is going to be exposed to the weather is just asking for issues. Why not cover the handlebars with plastic if it is going to left outdoors? I wouldn't leave a bike with a Brooks saddle outside, uncovered either. If you are using the Brooks because the bike is begging for a vintage leather look, there are some synthetic versions out there to be had.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:01 PM   #7
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Another way to get some extra padding is the gel pads that are available. Some are quite pricey. I wonder if you could just buy something else made out of gel, such as some shoe insoles and cut them up into smaller pieces? That's my cheap-side talking.

I have also used small pieces of very cushy tape, like Bontrager Gel tape under cloth and "harder" tapes and it seems to provide relief.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:30 PM   #8
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The Brooks tape looked good to me too, although the price kept me from buying it. But, I haven't read much good about it. Most people said it soon faded to an ugly gray. If it doesn't look good, I'd say forget about it.
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Old 08-31-11, 05:38 PM   #9
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Try wrapping an old innertube 1st then the bar tape.
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Old 09-01-11, 10:16 AM   #10
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Try wrapping an old innertube 1st then the bar tape.
Does one leave the valve stem available for pumping to the correct cushion level? :-)
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Old 09-01-11, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re wrap the leather stuff over something softer.
Gel pillow seem OK, might get some, some day, myself.

Will continue the 'no thanks' on the leather tape..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-01-11 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 09-01-11, 11:02 AM   #12
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For padding underneath,I like to go to the LBS and look at BMX grips.They are already formed correctly,come in lots of different hardnesses,different thicknesses,then just cut them to fit where I want.Tape over them.

I like sort of firm ones,real soft ones make my hands go to sleep after awhile.
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Old 09-01-11, 11:12 AM   #13
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Continue using $60 tape that is hurting your hands, or use $15 tape that is actually comfortable...decisions, decisions...
seriously. I made the same mistake, serious buyer's remorse. Not comfortable at all. It looked sick awesome, but it just felt terrible. I switched over to Deda cork and it's much much better. I'd rather have comfort over long rides and even short ones than looks. However, the cork rips pretty easily...so I'm going to replace the cork and double wrap it with cloth tape.
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Old 09-01-11, 11:33 AM   #14
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Huh. I really like leather bar tape. I wrap a layer of cloth under it and the leather on top. If you like how it looks but not how it feels, you could try some fizik tape in brown.
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