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Old 03-24-14, 09:43 PM   #1
Shahmatt
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Handlebar tape vs grips. Differences?

My Brompton M shaped handlebars have less length for the grips than standard.

With shifters this length is even shorter. Also the stock grips also appear to be shorter than standard.

The stock grips are now a bit loose fitting (from use I guess) and tend to come off slightly when riding. So they need to be changed.

I am also considering getting bar ends. These will shorten the available grip space even more.

I can move the shifters and brake levers inward a tad bit to give me more room.

But I am afraid the standard grip sizes may not fit, and so I am pondering bar tape.

How does bar tape compare with proper grips? Can they be as comfortable? Do they come off easily if the handlebars are held on tightly? Pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:56 PM   #2
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A few options to consider:

If your current grips are loose you could wrap a layer of friction tape on your bars and reinstall the grips.

You could buy another set of grips and cut them to length

You could also use bar tape but it's intended for wider diameter bars and may not be as comfortable on your Brompton. I know Specialized (and probably others) made these gel inserts that would fit between the bar and the tape to give it more thickness. That might be an option for you.

Handlebar tape when properly done will stay in place just fine. Personally though, I'd just cut off some regular grips.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
A few options to consider:

If your current grips are loose you could wrap a layer of friction tape on your bars and reinstall the grips.

You could buy another set of grips and cut them to length

You could also use bar tape but it's intended for wider diameter bars and may not be as comfortable on your Brompton. I know Specialized (and probably others) made these gel inserts that would fit between the bar and the tape to give it more thickness. That might be an option for you.

Handlebar tape when properly done will stay in place just fine. Personally though, I'd just cut off some regular grips.
Thanks for your reply.

The existing grips are somewhat worn and look like they may come apart soon. This is why I am considering replacing.

Cutting grips is an option I will consider.

I was listing towards bar tape for another reason. Since I intend to purchase bar ends I was hoping to extend the tape to the bar end as well.

My bars are 22.5mm in diameter. Is that so significantly smaller than regular road bars that tape may be uncomfortable?

I was considering purchasing this tape, since it seems to be well reviewed:

Prologo - One Touch Gel Bar Tape - i-ride
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Old 03-25-14, 10:32 AM   #4
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Brompton M3L owner,
I use a combination .. Ergon GP3, short, labeled as the for grip For 2 grip-shifters..
they each have a clamp bolt.. 1 bolt locks on bar end and grip.

they dont come all the way up to the band that holds the brake and shifter on,

so I fill the roughly 3/4" of space in with a wrap of cushioned tape ..

though a more common round grip could be cut down to a ring, just wide enough to fill in that gap, as well ..

any longer bar end and the fold will need the grip bolt loosened .


22.2mm (7/8") is more likely than 22.5mm.. the older , 90's Mk 2 Brommy bar was larger ,
it's shiny with a sleeve in the center, 15/16" tube , off the center

the current bar is matte and anodized .. and bulged in the center ..

you might like these without the bar end ..http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/gp1

get the short 2 grip shift version..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-25-14 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 03-25-14, 10:47 AM   #5
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& still like the road bar padded tape option? you can always wrap the bar to 2 or 3 thicknesses
to make a fat enough feeling grip.
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Old 03-25-14, 06:42 PM   #6
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There isn't significant difference in diameter between 22.2 and 24 to affect feel. It is to make sure that brakes and shifters are not interchangeable between MTB and ROAD bicycles. Bar tape assumes a ROAD handlebar. Just one side will do both grip areas of an MTB or any other kind of flat-bar, and then some, and then some more, and you will still have the other side not even touched. I know there are exchange clubs where amputee's can swap the unused shoe of a pair that they don't need but I don't know of a site like that for unused bar tape (or grips). Cutting down grips is done all the time, and some grips even have scoring to aid the process. There are grips with integral bar ends. FWIW.

H
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Old 03-25-14, 08:22 PM   #7
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Oh then it must be 22.2mm diameter then. Sorry I was just measuring using my ruler. Thanks for correcting.

The Ergon's are nice, however the bar ends can only be adjusted to point upward or forward. I prefer, rather, that they point downwards ever so slightly towards me. From the angles shown on images this does not seem to be possible.

For this reason I am considering dedicated bar ends, which can be adjusted to whatever position.

Since bar end clamps will occupy handlebar space, and space is short on this handlebar, it seems to me that making use of tape to give the clamp a grippy surface will be beneficial.

Bar tape can be used to cover both handlebars AND bar ends AND presumably the bar end clamp yes? If so, perhaps wastage will be less?
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Old 03-25-14, 08:31 PM   #8
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... they point downwards ever so slightly towards me ...
you realize the bar end will point Out when installed like that , when you fold the bike?

best of luck.
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Old 03-26-14, 04:53 PM   #9
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I've used bar tape on a MTB's flat bars with bar ends. It worked very well for me! It was regular tape, not too fat/squishy, and the result felt firm but not uncomfortably hard.

I *did* twine both ends of each segment, as I had the tape loosen and unroll itself once on one side of the bars. I guess you can use twine or electrical tape depending on your aesthetics.

(I've read about people installing Ergon grips with integrated bar ends on their Bromptons and being very happy with them... definitely worth a try.)
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Old 03-26-14, 07:21 PM   #10
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See if the Ergon GP5s would fit. I have had very good luck with them, and have been very solid.
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