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  1. #1
    Senior Member szewczykm's Avatar
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    Preferred Handle Bar Tape?

    It's time to swap out my handle bar tape. What I have on there came from Giant. It's a velvety type of gel tape. I like it because even though I wear gloves, the added cushion is great. However, over time, with my weight on the bars, the tape shifts.

    I'm wondering what handlebar tape you might recommend?

    Thanks!

    Mike

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I just wrapped one of my bikes with the Lizard Skin DSP 2.5 tape and it's great. Expensive, but great. My previous favorite until now was the Specialized Roubaix.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
    yep, cinelli cork

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I'm not a fan of cork tape at all - not durable enough.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    Fizik Microtex Dual....love it.

    http://www.fizik.it/product.aspx?c=Dual-Tape
    Cars man, whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!

  7. #7
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    Fizik Microtex is the only brand of tape I'll use. The regular stuff, not the "soft touch". Their white bar tape is the only brand I've found that actually stays white! Seems less prone to tearing than the cheap cork tapes I used previously.

  8. #8
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    IME, shifting or creeping bar tape is more a function of the installation than the type of tape used.
    Craig in Indy

  9. #9
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    I'm old school. I still like the cloth tape. Getting more difficult to find however.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    On my current drop bars:

    Avenir cork- super light weight, decent cushion. I don't ride this bike much, and I wouldn't expect the tape to last very long if I rode it every day. It was only $6, though.

    Avenir gel- Has a "checked" rubbery grip. Very comfortable, and tough. Lasted about 6 months before I took it off for a different tape (swapped for vanity, not necessity). It currently is being re-cycled and used on the handle of my lawnmower, and over a year later still going strong. Paid about $12.

    Easton cork: Paid about $12, just got plain black. Looks alright, feels alright. Seems to be holding up good, but nothing phenomenal about it.

    Serfas cork: Paid about $12, got a brown cork. Looks good, feels great. Has been thoroughly rain-soaked more than once and ridden tons with sweaty/grimy hands and still looks new many months later.


    I've used a ton of other brands over the years, and none of them particularly stand out. I generally buy cheap tape, though. Not the Microtex or Brooks, or anything like that.

    My current faves are the Serfas cork and the Avenir gel. I will purchase those again to replace, when needed.
    Last edited by Wolfwerx; 06-14-12 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Corrected to "Easton" instead of "SRAM". Mis-remembered.

  11. #11
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwerx View Post
    It currently is being re-cycled and used on the handle of my lawnmower
    I thought I was the only one who does that.
    Craig in Indy

  12. #12
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I really like cork tape. Very comfy stuff. It doesn't seem to matter as much who makes it.

    I liked these gel pads (more than the tape) when I had them:



    This isn't what you asked, but, FYI, I tried red bar tape on a mostly red framed bike, and it's a lot louder than I hoped for. Black is good.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  13. #13
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    I like synthetic cork. The real stuff (Cinelli) is great and comfortable, but just not very durable. I have it on my fixed gear, but that only gets about 400-500 miles a year. Road bike has brand new SRAM synthetic cork on it. It is a good deal thicker and has a lot of spring to it, but so far amazingly comfy.

    Make sure you watch some tutorials on how to wrap. Natural cork can tear if you pull it too tight, and some of the shifting you describe can come from wrapping too loose. The synthetic stuff benefits from a tighter pull when wrapping.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I thought I was the only one who does that.

    It works well to dampen the vibrations from the motor.

    Some other good uses for "recycled" wraps:
    -For the handles on my toolboxes and powertools. Old gel wraps work great on any tool that vibrates your hands, helps with fatigue. I bet an old innertube would work, as well.
    -I don't have stroller-sized children anymore, but one of my jogging friends runs with her infant in one of those three-wheeled strollers, and she complained that when her hands got sweaty that the handles got slippery. I wrapped the handle with some cork, and she loves it.
    -As a "frame protector" underneath zip ties, clamps, etc.
    -Steering wheel cover.

  15. #15
    Senior Member oddtanlines's Avatar
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    Used cork or synthetic cork for years and years. Just switched to Brooke's leather and love it!! Expensive though! Hope it lasts a long time, but I am pretty sure it will.
    “DÚIRT ÍOSA LINN Do theach a thógaint ar an gcarraig.”

  16. #16
    Long Haul Truckin' Jaye's Avatar
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    Another vote for Fizik Microtex. I strongly prefer the regular to the soft-touch. Got the soft touch by accident and the only reason I haven't replaced it yet is that I am cheap and it isn't worn enough to justify it yet.

  17. #17
    Probably Injured beebe's Avatar
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    I've tried Sram cork, Fizik, and Cinelli cork. Cinelli's my favorite so far, with Sram in a close second and Fizik in a distant third. Sram may be slightly more durable than the Cinelli, but it's too close to not be attributable to other factors.

  18. #18
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Had Cinelli cork for years until I finally wore it out. Couldn't find the color pattern I liked so tried another brand of non-cork tape that looked good but didn't last long. I put some Salsa tape on it about a week ago. Looks good and is both comfy and grippy. Stretches just enough to wrap very neatly.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Bontrager gel
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of leather tape for handlebars as well. Mostly, I make my own from the couches students throw out at the end of the semester. Inexpensive and durable.

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