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  1. #1
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Help padding and taping bars

    I would like some advice on how to pad and tape my drop bars.I need to move my hands to different positions way more often than seems right.I thought about double wrapping.And the hoods seem to need more width to spread the pressure over more area.Or do my hands just need more battle time?

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    Could be a position issue. If your saddle to bars relationship isn't right, you might be putting too much weight on your hands. Padding won't really help that much. You might google bike fit to check that. One tip is to raise your bars.
    Padding will help with the buzzies you get riding on chip seal and rough roads. I've never found that double-taping is enough, but I've taped over old tubes and all kinds of stuff. You probably don't want it to be really thick, though. I cut an inch off a yoga mat and wrapped over that, just on top of the bars where my hands rest. That's been best for me so far.

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    If you dont use cycling gloves you may want to consider getting some. I have heard that gel gloves are super impressive not only for helping hand fatigue but also for better grip. This could be a relatively cheap solution.

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I used Bar Phat under the tape on my Bianchi, and actually prefer riding that bike gloveless when it's not too cold. It also helps that the brake levers (RX100) are modern enough to be held comfortably for long periods of time. I'm not a fan of the skinny older type -- I might be a wuss, though.

    - Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Heh, heh. I'm thinking this is one of those simple projects that could turn into a fiasco.

    What kind of handlebar tape do you use and how wide are your handlebars? I use relatively wide handlebars and I like to use Cinelli cork bar wrap. The issue with that combination is Cinelli gives me all the bar wrap that I need but not much extra. If I were to put some kind of padding under my bar wrap - like maybe recycled inner tubes, I'd run out of Cinelli before I ran out of handlebar. There's ways around that of course, but that's where the fiasco part comes in.

    It's your bike, do whatever you think will make you happy. Worst case, you can undo it and put it back the way it was. It won't have been a waste because you will have learned through the experience.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    there are kits with a gel pillow of some sort, check those out,

    i use 'cork' padded tape, doubled, whole bar on trekking bars,
    tops of my drop bars .. the old tape gets taped over. with new.

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    There's not lots you can do to change the width of the hoods with bar tape and I tend to agree it sounds more like a fit problem if you have to shift position often. Check the fit, change the stem length and angle if necessary and then consider cycling gloves and / or a wing bar which will give you more palm contact area on the upper bar.
    Last edited by Burton; 02-11-12 at 04:58 PM.

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    Often a problem with excessive pressure on or numbness of hands is cause by the angle of the saddle - if the saddle is nose-down, even a little bit, the rider's weight slides forward and excessive hand pressure is the result.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    Could be a position issue. If your saddle to bars relationship isn't right, you might be putting too much weight on your hands. Padding won't really help that much. You might google bike fit to check that. One tip is to raise your bars.
    Padding will help with the buzzies you get riding on chip seal and rough roads. I've never found that double-taping is enough, but I've taped over old tubes and all kinds of stuff. You probably don't want it to be really thick, though. I cut an inch off a yoga mat and wrapped over that, just on top of the bars where my hands rest. That's been best for me so far.
    It's very likely I don't have my bars set right.I've done the best I know how.I read that if you feel like you could play piano keys,you are pretty close to right.I could do that.But my back muscles are needed to keep me in that position.But some weight is expected to be on your hands (I think),or it will all be on your butt.I've thought about using some pipe insulation around the hoods under my tape.I think I've seen handlebars that are not round.Flatter where your hands make contact.I don't recall where I saw them-or if they are a possible alternative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo734 View Post
    If you dont use cycling gloves you may want to consider getting some. I have heard that gel gloves are super impressive not only for helping hand fatigue but also for better grip. This could be a relatively cheap solution.
    I use cycling gloves.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Often a problem with excessive pressure on or numbness of hands is cause by the angle of the saddle - if the saddle is nose-down, even a little bit, the rider's weight slides forward and excessive hand pressure is the result.
    My seat was a little nose up until the other day.It is now a slight nose down-and with some other much needed relief.The hand issue has been the same both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    there are kits with a gel pillow of some sort, check those out,

    i use 'cork' padded tape, doubled, whole bar on trekking bars,
    tops of my drop bars .. the old tape gets taped over. with new.
    I recently put new tape with gel pads on the bars.I don't know if I mentioned it before.But I have a stock 2009 LHT with drop bars.

  10. #10
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    You can pick up an alloy wing bar (flat top) from Easton for less than $50, a CF one from Zoom for less than $60. Profile Design call a lot of their road bars 'wings' but thats often a name and not a reference to a shape.

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    Senior Member Agent Cooper's Avatar
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    Go to any sporting goods store and get some padded baseball bat tape. Wrap it right over the bar tape. It works great. Plenty of padding and stays put. Way cheaper than a new handlebar.

    And no, none of your cool bike friends will notice. It just looks like thick bar tape.
    Last edited by Agent Cooper; 02-11-12 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Clarity
    The owls are not what they seem...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    You can pick up an alloy wing bar (flat top) from Easton for less than $50, a CF one from Zoom for less than $60. Profile Design call a lot of their road bars 'wings' but thats often a name and not a reference to a shape.
    I like the look of the Easton Bar and may give it a try.Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Cooper View Post
    Go to any sporting goods store and get some padded baseball bat tape. Wrap it right over the bar tape. It works great. Plenty of padding and stays put. Way cheaper than a new handlebar.

    And no, none of your cool bike friends will notice. It just looks like thick bar tape.
    I was looking at the baseball bat tape last night.I was hoping for something longer and with a little more padding.I'll probably stick with bar tape.

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    In my experience hand pressure and pain can be caused by over-reach. If you stem is too long you have lean against the bars instead of just resting your hands on them and it causes all kinds of problems including hand, neck and back pain. If you constantly find yourself too far forward on your saddle or have your saddle all the way forward you should just buy a new shorter stem, handlebars with shorter reach, or a combination of both. Finding the correct saddle to bars reach has a really phenomenal impact on power and efficiency and can let you ride in total comfort for hours. The cross-sectional shape of the bars, type or thickness of bar tape has minimal effect in comparison to finding your ideal reach.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-14-12 at 07:43 PM.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    More battle time, proper fit, and better fitness. I have generally found padding the bars or gloves to be counterproductive.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Well,it sounds like I must have a "fit" problem.My saddle is all the way back.And I think I usually sit back-not forward.

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    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Having the saddle back should help, because in doing that the crank stays in one place thus your balance point is back taking weight off hands. You may well benefit from a shorter stem or higher bars.

    As to padding the tape that comes with the gel pads you put under it is pretty nice. I also buy 3M double stick foam tape at the hardware that is inch thick and it works great. I stick it on the bars first where I want padding and run a strip up the hoods if I want extra there. Peal the second cover off the tape and stick on the gels if you like and then bar tape over the double stick keeps the bar tape in place also but get it in the right place the first try.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You say:
    the hoods seem to need more width to spread the pressure over more area
    that's more difficult than double wrapping the Bars ,
    because there is all that mechanism that needs to move. like the brake lever.

    double wrap the tops with the brake levers well up on the curve.,
    So as to spend most of the time on the doubled bars,
    sliding to the hoods just when you need to brake.

    And certainly get some nicely palm padded Gloves.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
    Having the saddle back should help, because in doing that the crank stays in one place thus your balance point is back taking weight off hands. You may well benefit from a shorter stem or higher bars.

    As to padding the tape that comes with the gel pads you put under it is pretty nice. I also buy 3M double stick foam tape at the hardware that is inch thick and it works great. I stick it on the bars first where I want padding and run a strip up the hoods if I want extra there. Peal the second cover off the tape and stick on the gels if you like and then bar tape over the double stick keeps the bar tape in place also but get it in the right place the first try.
    If shortening the stem takes weight off my hands,I guess the padding isn't quite as important.I probably need to get some experienced help deciding how to size the stem.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You say:

    that's more difficult than double wrapping the Bars ,
    because there is all that mechanism that needs to move. like the brake lever.

    double wrap the tops with the brake levers well up on the curve.,
    So as to spend most of the time on the doubled bars,
    sliding to the hoods just when you need to brake.

    And certainly get some nicely palm padded Gloves.
    Here again,if a shorter stem takes weight off my hands,it wouldn't be as big of an issue.But I did get some double tape sided foam to put on.I put my hands on the hoods a lot.That my change as I get more experience-and get my stem/handlebar setup figured out.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Here is what I do if it helps you, and it should help a little even if just keeping cost down. When you remove the old tape save it. I like to play around with location of the bars and the things clamped on them quite a bit before I decide everything is to my liking. Ride around a little with bare bars and make sure things seem to be an improvement. For me an adjustable stem was great for trying to figure out what I wanted and my plan was to replace it with a fixed one when I got it right but I haven’t and I like to be able to adjust it once in a while so I kept it. What it did show me is what fitting worked for me and on other bikes I was able to go straight to a stem I needed. I sometimes set two bikes together one I know I like the fit and one I’m trying to dial in line up the centerlines of the crank and then stand back and look at the one bike in front of the other. Saddle position and top tube length etc. will pop right out. When you start feeling good about the locations of the stuff on the bar then start thinking about what padding you might like and were. You can add some and try it and when you think that’s right rewrap the bars with the old tape, (good practice) and if you use the double stick tape don’t peel off the second sticky yet. Don’t worry about little tears and stuff in the tape just put some electrical tape around here and there if you need to it’s only a temporary setup. Now ride the bike several 100 miles over a few weeks and pay attention to what you want to change. Finally don’t worry about the classic look and location of components put the stuff where it works best for you. Most people ride on the hoods most of the time and the hand locations are a compromise so you can get at them in both locations hoods and drops. Keep in mind to my way of thinking it’s much more important to be able to stop than to change gears from a safety standpoint. So in my case if I’m tucked down doing 40MPH on the drops I wouldn’t want my Brifters raised to where I had to move hand position up to the drops to slow down. Many bikes now are using Cyclocross style brake levers on the top hand position and for me that let me lower my levers to suit the drops better. I then in turn raised the drops up with a longer quill stem to where the drops became my friends. I’m not saying this is what you or anyone should do but explore all the options while you are experimenting. In general the more you ride the better you will feel lower also so plan for some adjustments down the road. But you have to start someplace where you can at least ride pain free to start the process.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

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