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Old 08-12-13, 10:05 AM   #1
stat
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How to match bar tape to this bike?

I recently bought a used Litespeed. I'm trying to customize the look so that I'm happy to get on it every day. Pic is attached ... blue decals on a grey titanium frame. I put on a Brooks Swallow B15 saddle in the honey color. I felt OK with the previous owner's tires so I let them be. The brown tire walls somewhat match the Brooks saddle.

The only problem is the bar tape. Any suggestions on what color and brand to get for the bar tape and how to match it to the rest of the bike?

My instinct was to go brown/honey to match the saddle. I don't have 75 bucks to shell out for the matching Brooks tape. So let's cross off that option. [Some buyers say Brooks' tape doesn't match their saddles anyway. Plus I don't want to deal with leather tape getting ruined by rain commutes.] Anyway, is a brown triumvirate of saddle, tires, and bar tape just too much brown, or too drab?

I did try to the match the tape to the blue decals using a Cinelli light blue tape. The result was truly unsightly, as you can see. So I'm left scratching my head ...

Any suggestions [about the tape or whatever else related to the bike] very welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:14 AM   #2
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Because the chain is dirty , and when you get a rear flat by the time you remove, mend the puncture,

and put the wheel back in,.. you will have some black stuff on your hands,

thus, pragmatic, I have always used Black tape.



You have some black parts, hoods, fork, stem part of the seatpost tread of the tires..

and with a bottle of Leather dye , bought at the shoe repair shop, you can even dye the saddle black.

of course you dont see the color of the saddle while you are sitting on it.

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Old 08-12-13, 10:19 AM   #3
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Brown in first picture looks nice. There's not that much blue on the frame and that blue tape is a bit jarring in my opinion.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:45 AM   #4
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A deep wine color might look nice. I agree the brown is better than the blue.
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Old 08-12-13, 11:28 AM   #5
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I like the brown as well. I have a similar setup on my Soma. Brown saddle, tan sidewalls and brown handlebar tape.
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Old 08-12-13, 12:16 PM   #6
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You can use a cloth bar tape then cover it in amber shellac(made from excretions from the lac bug....YUM!)....You can control the color by using more or less coats.

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Old 08-12-13, 02:42 PM   #7
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Why tape is made in any other color than black is a mystery to me. But then I'm not in the business of selling bar tape. If I were I would only sell white tape. Or yellow. Or light blue. Maybe pink.
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Old 08-12-13, 03:32 PM   #8
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Why tape is made in any other color than black is a mystery to me. But then I'm not in the business of selling bar tape. If I were I would only sell white tape. Or yellow. Or light blue. Maybe pink.
Because it's fun! Mine is orange. ;-)
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Old 08-12-13, 03:36 PM   #9
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Because it's fun! Mine is orange. ;-)
Well, sure. Girls can change a tire without getting their hands greasy and dirty.

How y'all manage that is a bigger mystery than light colored bar tape...
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Old 08-12-13, 04:06 PM   #10
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Well, sure. Girls can change a tire without getting their hands greasy and dirty.

How y'all manage that is a bigger mystery than light colored bar tape...

OK, I'll help you out. It's called.... Gloves.

Also, my orange tape is a bit dirty now. That's fine, adds character. ;-)
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Old 08-12-13, 04:14 PM   #11
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I'm with bikebob on this; black is always in style. Very cool bike; that saddle looks wickedly far forward though.
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Old 08-12-13, 04:41 PM   #12
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I would have put a black Brooks saddle and black bar tape myself - and dirty hands isn't the reason. I'm just too lazy to spend time and effort trying out colour combinations - black works with almost everything
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Old 08-12-13, 06:32 PM   #13
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I would keep the brown tape and saddle but get rid of the gum walls for black walls.

Nice bike.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:20 PM   #14
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I like the brown as well. I have a similar setup on my Soma. Brown saddle, tan sidewalls and brown handlebar tape.
I'd love to see your triple brown setup
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Old 08-13-13, 05:23 PM   #15
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You can use a cloth bar tape then cover it in amber shellac(made from excretions from the lac bug....YUM!)....You can control the color by using more or less coats.
Thanks, this sounds really promising and I'm going to try it soon. Cloth tape made me skeptical because of the limited padding. But I did a google search and apparently you can shellac cork tape as well. I'm going to try to steel-wool it down, as they suggest here:

http://bostonretrowheelmen.bostonbik...on-steel-wool/

Really looks like leather!
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Old 08-13-13, 05:31 PM   #16
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I'm with bikebob on this; black is always in style. Very cool bike; that saddle looks wickedly far forward though.
Thanks for noting that---I had wondered whether the saddle position seemed odd to others. The original owner swapped out the stock seatpost for a seatpost with an offset---which is what I think you're seeing. He did this to adjust the bike to his extra long arms. I'm getting a seatpost without offset, so I think the seat will soon sit squarely in a neutral position.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'd love to see your triple brown setup
Here it is..

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Old 08-13-13, 05:40 PM   #18
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I would have put a black Brooks saddle and black bar tape myself - and dirty hands isn't the reason. I'm just too lazy to spend time and effort trying out colour combinations - black works with almost everything
Sure, I agree with you about black. I'm new to Brooks though -- and just couldn't resist the classic brown leather look.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:47 PM   #19
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Here it is..

Nice bike. What bar tape is that?
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Old 08-13-13, 06:22 PM   #20
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Nice bike. What bar tape is that?
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Old 08-14-13, 06:34 PM   #21
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Doesn't matter what color tape you have; if you go out in public with your shifters pointed at the sky like that, you're going to look like a dork.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:41 AM   #22
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Doesn't matter what color tape you have; if you go out in public with your shifters pointed at the sky like that, you're going to look like a dork.
Not charmingly put, but glad for your feedback. Should be fixed with new bar and seat post. Owner had swapped out stock parts to accommodate long arms. His positioning was definitely too elongated for me.

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Old 08-15-13, 08:01 AM   #23
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Doesn't matter what color tape you have; if you go out in public with your shifters pointed at the sky like that, you're going to look like a dork.

Mine look like those; better a dork out riding than a cool dude with back spasms laying on the couch at home...
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Old 08-15-13, 08:26 AM   #24
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I like the brown you showed first. Just always keep a couple pairs of blue nitrile gloves in your saddlebag for any/all emergencies. Makes life easier no matter the color your tape.
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Old 08-15-13, 08:38 AM   #25
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Mine look like those; better a dork out riding than a cool dude with back spasms laying on the couch at home...
I mean, if we all had 15K to spill for a custom bike and a personal mechanic, I'm sure we could be out riding AND look darn cool too. I get by with my resources.
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