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Thread: White bar tape

  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    White bar tape

    So my new bike isn't here yet, and it comes with white bar tape, which looks super cool in the showroom, but will probably soil quickly. In my "Yay, I pulled the trigger" thread, I talked about swapping to black tape, and there were a couple of comments about cleaning white tape.

    A quick google search produced, as is often the case, a plethora of strong opinion on both sides of the issue. No consensus. Easy to clean, PITA.

    I actually really like the appearance of clean white tape. I don't mind a little extra maintenance if that's all it takes. I usually wear gloves when I ride, by the way.

    So, in the interest of prompting a lively discussion which could fill the gap left by the end of the NFL season, let's hear it - do you like white tape or not?

    If I don't swap the white tape for black (or red), I would have extra pie money. That's certainly something to consider.
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  2. #2
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Mine came with black, but if I had been quick-thinking enough I would have asked my LBS to swap for white instead. I guess now I'll just wait until it needs replacing at some point. Then again, my bike has black spokes / hubs, etc. and given a choice I'd pick natural (silver) over that, but I still like it the way it is.
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  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One 25 mile ride on the new Pinnie and I was wearing gloves. The tape is dirty now. I am leaving it on till I get fed up with attempting to clean it and then it will go to Black. But by that time after a few punctures and on road repairs- It will probably be black so May get Dirt coloured tape instead.--Hang on--I'll already have that.
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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    The sliver sounds like a good replacement.
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  5. #5
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    what color is the saddle? they should be complementary, if you wuz OCP

  6. #6
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    The saddle is white. That's stock, not my choice. I would have preferred black or a buttery brown leather. But that can wait until I've dialed in the bike and decide if I like the saddle. It's a Masi SLR saddle, with which I'm not familiar. Like all saddles, it gets mixed reviews online.



    Quote Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
    what color is the saddle? they should be complementary, if you wuz OCP
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    You will be getting new tape soon anyway. White is fine if you always wash your gloves or aways clean it after every ride. But it is like a dirt and grease magnate. Change a flat and don't have a something to clean your hands and you end up with dirty tape. I have had it and replaced it one time. Now I tend to pick a different color. But you are correct it looks good when it is clean.
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  8. #8
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    The brand of tape makes a big difference in how easy it is to clean. LizardSkins are some of the easiest to clean and some of the most expensive.

    Up to this point I've been running black tape but am expecting to try white this year. Lets face it - the consumer has never has such an opportunity to color match bicycle components before. Paint jobs AND accessories have come a long way. I'm thinking gloves with white palms might help keep things clean. Dye does transfer when damp.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    My Uno came with white tape and I was going to change it. Only thing is that the tape supplied is very thick and when fitted felt comfortable. There might be a reason for that. The LBS suggested that I change it to a better colour and said they had plenty in stock. I told them that IF I did change it- it would be for the same as Pinarrello supply as stock and not the crap they sold me last time. Only one reason for bar tape and that is comfort. Colour and I reckon there is only one to use and that is whatever shows the dirt the least.
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  10. #10
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    bar tape should be like bike shorts--black, as it gives you something to wipe your hands on that doesn't show dirty. White bar tape will be dirty very quickly, and yes, it can be really easy to clean, but often it gets left to do 'later'... and you don't realize it is dirty until your next ride, and then it just gets dirtier. I don't wear white shorts for the same reason... one flat, and I absentmindedly wipe my hands on my legs (as if I were wearing jeans)....and if the shorts are white, you have stains that last forever. Go for the black

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    Senior Member Velo Fellow's Avatar
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    I'd like to put in a word for being anti-prissy about tape. Personally, white tape with a little grime on the edges suggests a hard and often ridden bike-- or, admittedly, a slob-rider with greasy gloves. Just like a well-used steel frame gets a few dings and scratches and develops "character". ("Yup, that scuff on the fork is where I hit the guard railing and took down two other guys.") Anyway, tape is easy to change out......different seasons, different moods, different "images" we want to project.............try 'em all.

    New bikes do demand the perfect tape color, texture, end caps, etc. The older and more familiar the bike, the funkier we can get. Years ago my newliwed wife only wore the the most delectable gossamer stuff to bed...years later it was hard to tell which species she belonged to. But it somehow didn't matter.

    So, Deege, no matter what the wrapping, the ride will be just the same.
    The aging cyclist may not get faster-- but he does get slower at slowing down.

  12. #12
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I use white bar tape. I like the way white offsets the darker hoods, wheels and frames of my bikes. I almost never wash it and replace it when I can't stand how it looks anymore.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    DG, here is the deal. I ride down to SD now and then and one day I might see you. If you have white bar tape the rule is you buy coffee and Pie. And Denver once said Blueberry is the official 50+ pie. Think of blueberry on white tape.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    My mechanic when changing my brake levers and hoods (both black) changed my handlebar tape to white, Fizik brand. I was skeptical at first, but now I love it because it looks really cool, and is comfortable, with some padding. It is still clean, though I don’t take my road bike out in bad weather, and I have mostly ridden much of the time with full fingered gloves. I think he replaced it in late summer.

    See this thread about white tape that appeared on the Road Forum recently, “Recommendations for white bartape”:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ighlight=white

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    Quote Originally Posted by buelito View Post
    bar tape should be like bike shorts--black, as it gives you something to wipe your hands on that doesn't show dirty. White bar tape will be dirty very quickly, and yes, it can be really easy to clean, but often it gets left to do 'later'... and you don't realize it is dirty until your next ride, and then it just gets dirtier. I don't wear white shorts for the same reason... one flat, and I absentmindedly wipe my hands on my legs (as if I were wearing jeans)....and if the shorts are white, you have stains that last forever. Go for the black

    train safe-
    Another reason for black shorts is the fact that they are less transparent.

  16. #16
    alpine cross trainer Ludkeh's Avatar
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    I've got white bar tape and white seat on my Specialized. This will be my third year on the bike and the tape still looks good. Originally I didn't think I would like it but now I do. When it comes time to replace the tape, I think I'll stick to white.

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Fellow View Post
    I'd like to put in a word for being anti-prissy about tape. Personally, white tape with a little grime on the edges suggests a hard and often ridden bike-- or, admittedly, a slob-rider with greasy gloves. Just like a well-used steel frame gets a few dings and scratches and develops "character". ("Yup, that scuff on the fork is where I hit the guard railing and took down two other guys.") Anyway, tape is easy to change out......different seasons, different moods, different "images" we want to project.............try 'em all.

    New bikes do demand the perfect tape color, texture, end caps, etc. The older and more familiar the bike, the funkier we can get. Years ago my newliwed wife only wore the the most delectable gossamer stuff to bed...years later it was hard to tell which species she belonged to. But it somehow didn't matter.

    So, Deege, no matter what the wrapping, the ride will be just the same.
    When my car was brand new, back in 2000, I wanted it to remain pure and pristine. Fat chance. Now it's got a dent or two, the seats have duct tape, and there's scratches from various bikes on the bike carrier on the back. That said, I am now free. I don't care where I have to park it, I don't worry about another scratch, I just want it to work mechanically for as long as possible.

    That said, I'm still torn between white and black tape. I think the white tape looks good given a white saddle, but I think a black one would stay looking good for a lot longer. I'm all for "character" but not when the bike is new. After I rejoin Club Tombay, well, that's when things might change. Perhaps I should get gray tape!
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  18. #18
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    The white tape in the Masi photo looks good with the white saddle. If you change to a black saddle you can change to black tape. I didn't like the white saddle on my bicycle because it was too wide. I changed it to a black Specialized Toupe saddle. I changed to black tape when I bought narrower carbon bars. The new black tape was also more comfortable than the stock white tape.

  19. #19
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    First off, saddle and bar ape must match.That said:

    MyLilPony has white tape on her Rudy. Looks pretty cool. It also has a cool "Yep, I ride lots" look when the tape gets a bit dirty. I think she's proud the tape on teh drops is darker than the tape on the bar tops. YMMV.
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  20. #20
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I'm thinking Lou Reed says White Tape/White Seat. Use Oxy spray cleaner on the tape, it works great. That's what I did until I got tired of cleaning it all the time and sold the bike.

  21. #21
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    Just ride no-handed! Tape will stay clean and new.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Velo Fellow's Avatar
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    General observation as the Amgen flew by me last year, and after many hours watching Versa on the sofa (not white), most of the pro's use white tape. 'Nuff said.
    The aging cyclist may not get faster-- but he does get slower at slowing down.

  23. #23
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I use white bar tape on my Gunnar. I have previously used black and gray. I feel the white compliments the blue very nicely.
    Hard to keep clean? Not really. Yes, it will get some munge on it, but is easily lived with.
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    Perhaps I should get gray tape!
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  25. #25
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    I have two blue bikes. Both came with white saddles and bar tape. One still is in white. I had an accident with the other and tore the saddle up pretty badly. I was thrilled to have a good reason to replace the saddle and bar tape with black. I don't like the white bar tape because it does get dirty and I can never get it really clean. YMMV, but the white ensemble always makes me feel a little "Sally Starr"ish.
    Sally Starr.jpg

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