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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-13-12, 03:58 PM   #1
szewczykm
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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
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Old 06-13-12, 04:25 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/Cinelli-Cork-T...xp_grid_pt_2_2
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Old 06-13-12, 04:31 PM   #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.
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Old 06-13-12, 06:42 PM   #4
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yep, cinelli cork
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Old 06-13-12, 06:46 PM   #5
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I'm not a fan of cork tape at all - not durable enough.
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Old 06-13-12, 06:48 PM   #6
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Fizik Microtex Dual....love it.

http://www.fizik.it/product.aspx?c=Dual-Tape
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Old 06-13-12, 06:49 PM   #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.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:05 PM   #8
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IME, shifting or creeping bar tape is more a function of the installation than the type of tape used.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:30 PM   #9
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I'm old school. I still like the cloth tape. Getting more difficult to find however.
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Old 06-14-12, 08:09 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 08:34 AM   #11
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It currently is being re-cycled and used on the handle of my lawnmower
I thought I was the only one who does that.
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Old 06-14-12, 08:53 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 09:32 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:47 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:52 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:31 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:50 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 01:27 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 06-14-12, 04:04 PM   #19
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Bontrager gel
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Old 06-18-12, 04:45 AM   #20
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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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