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Thread: Handle bar tape

  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Handle bar tape

    The tape on my right grip is coming off, so it's time to replace it. My plan is to go to the bike shop, and get the softest or most padded tape they have, then go home and apply it. But I know that sometimes squishy actually creates the kinds of problems you're trying to solve, so I wonder if there's anything counter-intuitive that I should know before I fix this?

    I've always had mountain and "hybrid" bikes in the past; I got my first cyclocross this past July at a used bike sale. If it matters, I do most of my riding on pavement, but I do enjoy dirt trails, and even stairs from time to time. Never having had a drop handlebar ( ram horns ) bike before, I'm probably a bit behind.

    If it matter ( I can't see how it would, but ... ) I've got a Novara Element:


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    what kind of problem are you talking about? I have always used Specialized Bar Phat which has a quite thick gel insert under the tape. I have wrist problems and without it, I wouldn't be able to ride. Never had a problem with it and it usually lasts until I crash.
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  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think you're OK with padding on the bar.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    So it sounds like there's no hidden gotcha to be aware of ... whatever seems good in the shop is probably going to work out on the road. Thanks!

    Oh, and I'm not having any problems with the current stuff, other than it unraveling. But I think I've heard that seats (?) with too much padding wind up being bad for some reason or other on long rides, which is a bit counter-intuitive, and made me think I should ask about this before picking something.

  5. #5
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    +1 on the Bar Phat... very good stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    But I think I've heard that seats (?) with too much padding wind up being bad for some reason or other on long rides, which is a bit counter-intuitive, and made me think I should ask about this before picking something.
    This is because you "sink in" and pressure is put on soft tissue instead of your sitbones. With a hard saddle(the more common term for seat), you don't sink in and your weight rests on your sit bones(where you want it), which is much better for longer rides.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I wrap the curves of the bars with an old tube, then cover with the new bar tape.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I like this stuff

    http://www.arundelbike.com/gecko.html?p=1.1.3.1

    It is thicker and more durable than cork tape. The only downside is it can be a little slick when wet.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
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  9. #9
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    Has anyone used leather bar tape and have any opinions on it?

  10. #10
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I used the sew up Elk Hide covers from Velo Orange for about a year and a half or so. Cushion was non existent and they were slippery when wet, but they lasted longer than anything else I have used.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    So, I got a set of Fizik tape, with gel "pads" that go on the bars, but underneath the tape. They don't feel as squishy as I expected, but so far everything is working out. The old tape started unraveling, and the main thing I notice is that my hands don't get so cold when they're not in contact with the metal bars...

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