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Old 06-01-12, 08:29 PM   #1
NOS88
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Tell me about your handlebar tape.

It may be one of the most unappreciated parts of your bike, but lately it's been the unresolved bit with my overall riding experience. I noted one of my bikes needed some new tape. So, I picked up some at REI. After riding with it for two days, I realized I was not happy with it. So, I next get some Bontrager tape. Same thingÖ. a few days later Iím not happy with it. It just doesnít feel right. OK, so today I put on some Cinelli cork tape, and it doesnít feel right. Iím starting to wonder whatís going on. What is your favorite tape and why?
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Old 06-01-12, 08:33 PM   #2
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Can you be more specific about what feels wrong about it? Too hard? Too soft? Not grippy enough? I assume that color is not the issue. Have you considered gels under the tape? I prefer bars wrapped thick and nearly sofa pillow soft, but that's just me.

My current favorite is Deda... soft, thick and nice color selection... or Fizik soft touch.. thinner, but nice textures and contrasting inbeded logos in some. Shown below is the Deda in a navy blue color... though the pic makes it look brighter than it is. There is a nice Deda maroon tape too.

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Old 06-01-12, 08:35 PM   #3
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Cinelli



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Old 06-01-12, 08:35 PM   #4
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The Specialized and the Cannondale corks are my favorites NOS. they have a nice feel to them, not squishy but firm with good grip for my large hands to hold on to. They both allow me to use a light grip that does not tire or load my forearms. For all I know they are made ny the same company, they seem very similar and I'd be happy with either depending on stock at my LBS.

I tried Cinelli on my R500 and I didn't like it at all. it seemed flimsy to me. Best of luck in deciding on and finding a good bar wrap.

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Old 06-01-12, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
Can you be more specific about what feels wrong about it? Too hard? Too soft? Not grippy enough? I assume that color is not the issue. Have you considered gels under the tape? I prefer bars wrapped thick and nearly sofa pillow soft, but that's just me.

My current favorite is Deda... soft, thick and nice color selection... or Fizik soft touch.. thinner, but nice textures and contrasting inbeded logos in some. Shown below is the Deda in a navy blue color... though the pic makes it look brighter than it is. There is a nice Deda maroon tape too.

Sure they feel thinner. I was using Bontrager, but they seem to have changed their gel tapes. It doesn't seem the same. The REI tape just feel thin and rough. The Cinelli feels thinner than all of them.
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Old 06-01-12, 09:23 PM   #6
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I had Specialized Gel tape and was quite happy with it. I needed to replace it after retrofitting my Ultegra 6700 shifters to Ultegra Di2. George recommended Lizard Skins. He did a fantastic job wrapping my bars. I bought some new fizik gel, but we didn't use it. I really like the Lizard Skins. I even purchased red and black tape. I love the way it looks. The Lizard Skins is comfortable even without the gel that I had become accustomed to.
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Old 06-01-12, 09:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
Sure they feel thinner. I was using Bontrager, but they seem to have changed their gel tapes. It doesn't seem the same. The REI tape just feel thin and rough. The Cinelli feels thinner than all of them.
I wear gloves and ride with a light touch on the bars.
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Old 06-01-12, 09:35 PM   #8
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I tried pretty much all. My favorites used to be Deda and Fizik. For a long time before it used to be Cinelli. But recently I tried Zipp. It's by far the best. It cushions better that Deda or Cinelli cork but also stretchs when you put it so so it's not really thick and has better grip than Fizik.
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Old 06-01-12, 09:36 PM   #9
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I had Specialized Gel tape and was quite happy with it. I needed to replace it after retrofitting my Ultegra 6700 shifters to Ultegra Di2. George recommended Lizard Skins. He did a fantastic job wrapping my bars. I bought some new fizik gel, but we didn't use it. I really like the Lizard Skins. I even purchased red and black tape. I love the way it looks. The Lizard Skins is comfortable even without the gel that I had become accustomed to.
+1 to Lizard Skins. I should have mentioned that. I have the black/white combo on one bike and it rocks... I still used gels but that's just me. It's also the grippiest stuff going. I like it a lot.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:22 PM   #10
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I love screwing around with my bar tape. My commuter has this Rasta splash pattern made by Salsa. Several years ago I bought and used up several rolls of a black tape with a white desert and cycling motif (cacti,cogs, wheels, cow skulls, lizards, etc.), marketed by Scott. It felt rough but it was durable and started a lot of conversations. Bontrager is too spongy, and I hate gel--don't need it, really. I'm into LizardSkins now--durable as anything, washable, and the texture is addictive.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:30 PM   #11
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I've always used cloth tape. My wife prefers a bit of pipe insulation under hers on the tandem, but still cloth. I actually prefer it when it gets old enough that I have wrapped a third layer over it.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:37 PM   #12
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Leather is my favourite bar tape, however, it's pricey.

I also have found Bontrager gel cork tape pretty good, although personally I haven't seen a lot of difference from one brand to the other over the years. It may just be me.
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Old 06-02-12, 12:26 AM   #13
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The last couple times I used Fizik Microtex and had no complaints. However, I'm going to give Naubaum cloth tape a try next. I just received two rolls for $10 in the mail today. I hate to admit it but my decision to switch is based mostly on color.
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Old 06-02-12, 12:53 AM   #14
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Bar tape and previous bikes have always had a proprietary tape supplied with them. Never thought anything about it but it was black and covered the bars. Last bike I got and the tape supplied was "White". Built up the bike and the last job to do was tape the bars. Forgot to go to the shop and get black tape so used the Tape supplied and it was Pinarrelo branded tape. Looked at it and it was a bit thicker than I had previously used-might be a reason for that. It may be white and it may be grubby but that tape is the best I have had on a bike so far. Bit thicker than the usual I have previously used and haven't bothered changing it yet.----But it is no longer grubby- it is dirty.
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Old 06-02-12, 03:18 AM   #15
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I noted one of my bikes needed some new tape.
Is there any way you can contact the manufacturer to find out which make of tape was supplied originally? Can your LBS not make an educated guess?

Plan B - how about changing your gloves . . . :o)
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Old 06-02-12, 04:09 AM   #16
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Fizik dual. it is a strip of black and then a strip of another color (your choice) overlapped %50 and then sewn together the long way. when you wrap it, its easy to keep it nice and straight because there is stitch down the middle and you bars end up with a double layer all around. you can flip it over and have solid black or white
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Old 06-02-12, 04:13 AM   #17
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I had a bar tape that I used exclusively and liked. It was Sette ultralight tape and it is no longer sold under that brand name. I'll describe it because it may be available under different names.

It was the tape that hade holes in it with a double row of stiching down the center. It sometimes comes in two colors on each side of the stiching. I liked it because it reminded me of the tape that we used to use on tennis racquets. It has a grippy feel without being sticky. It works when wet. It's soft without being thick. It had an adhesive backing which I liked but some may not.

Very similar to the post just above I think but with adhesive.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:22 AM   #18
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Fizik microtex, used to use Cinelli. I really like the Fizik.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:37 AM   #19
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I replaced the OEM Colnago white tape with some Zipp tape and really noticed a difference in the way it grips and cushions. The tape is washable and being white, the dirt comes off real easy. However, any bleeding from the dye on your gloves remains on the tape. I'm thinking of changing saddles, so when I do, I'll change the saddle and tape colors to match.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:32 AM   #20
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Don't use the stuff. Have no need of it.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:38 AM   #21
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I love the gel (though not much in there except one little strip) padded, cork-like stuff. The feel of something grippy and padded under the gloves is just nice.

The brand/company doesnt matter so much as long as it's black and not thin.
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Old 06-02-12, 09:57 AM   #22
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I like Easton as it's long enough and it feels good and it come in a yellow that matches my bike. I also have bar phat under it and I'm really comfortable on it. Unfortunately I had a box of Nashbar yellow (too pale and too short) available so I used it. It's "OK" but not my fav. I also gotta undo and redo the right side. I goofed a bit and it's driving me crazy.
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Old 06-02-12, 10:22 AM   #23
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Oh oh! We may have found another "chain lube" topic - better suited for the Politics and Religion board. If you decide to post that question in the Road forum, you might want to blanket your computer monitor with a kevlar blanket.

I used nothing but unpadded Cinelli cork for ages. Wet or dry, it was never slippery and always felt good to me. Then, the last time that I reworked my Klein I chose Deda because I couldn't get Cinelli in gray. I liked the Deda just fine too.

Since I started riding recumbents I haven't wrapped a handlebar. I have some pricy but ultra-cool leather handgrips on my recumbent. If I ever rework my old "retro grouch" road bike again, I think it might get Brooks leather handlebar wrap as well.
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Old 06-02-12, 10:42 AM   #24
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Most often, it's BELL Black from Wally World.
Sometimes, it's a case of "Who has the color I'm looking for."
And then there's the Hockey tape method.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:16 PM   #25
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Brooks leather..really looks good, cleans easily, and last forever..or close anyway..
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