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  1. #1
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    Free Polypropylene bar tape

    I'm sure somewhere someone has done this before but check this out:

    my hands got cold today on the bike just doing an errand with ski gloves. I don't want to have to go to mittens, as I like the dexterity, but I'll do that if it gets colder.

    Save that old polypro jacket with the broken zipper. I cut 1 1/2" wide strips in bar-tape length and just wrapped this over my regular tape. You have to make it a bit wider because the stuff stretches pretty well, but surprisingly, you can get a pretty tight, decent looking wrap. The more anal you are about cutting the strips straight, the better it will look. You MUST use fabric scissors, they are very useful once you buy them.

    I finished it off with strapping tape (which I now swear by for securing bar tape, use an underlayer of that, then some colored sports tape (baseball bat grip etc) which is only 2.00 a roll . Way better that electric tape.

    It looks pretty decent and feels fabulous. Polypro won't absorb water, you can just brush the water off. It should be durable enough. if you want to waterproof it more , just hit it with scotchguard.

    Now I have an insulatory layer under my gloves, and it won't absorb water like open celled foam.

    If you want to make it look even more fancy, wrap some black nylon trim (maybe even some parachute cord) in the cracks in between the layers of wrap. I just played with that for a sec . It looked great, just like real bar tape. I used black.

  2. #2
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    update: I just tested it out on a training ride at 30 degrees with snow falling. It works AWESOME. I only had light ski gloves on, when I braked I could feel my fingers get cold instantly, so I'll wrap the levers also. It's wicked confortable, not squishy like foam . I am so psyched....

  3. #3
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    Interesting cold weather bar tape approach. But are you sure the stuff is polypro. 98% of jackets are made from polyester. While the fiber doesn't absorb much water the weave will. But it should also dry out and with the regular bar tape beneath it should protect the bar from any moisture problems.

    Also, I don't believe that any of the bar tapes are made from open cell foam. This stuff is like a sponge so no one makes bar tape out of open cell. Have only seen people use closed cell foam for bar padding which will absorb even less moisture than the poly jacket stuff.

    Still it was an interesting approach to a problem and since you can buy a yard or so of scrap polyester fleece at a fabric store for probably 5-6 dollars could be a useful winter method.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
    Interesting cold weather bar tape approach. But are you sure the stuff is polypro. 98% of jackets are made from polyester. While the fiber doesn't absorb much water the weave will. But it should also dry out and with the regular bar tape beneath it should protect the bar from any moisture problems.

    Also, I don't believe that any of the bar tapes are made from open cell foam. This stuff is like a sponge so no one makes bar tape out of open cell. Have only seen people use closed cell foam for bar padding which will absorb even less moisture than the poly jacket stuff.

    Still it was an interesting approach to a problem and since you can buy a yard or so of scrap polyester fleece at a fabric store for probably 5-6 dollars could be a useful winter method.
    I meant that some people might try that hideous 70's bar foam, or whatever they scrounge up. The old "factory grip foam" I think might be open cell, but I could be wrong there. It sort of seems to absorb water. Modern bar tape is fine, but I think it just doesn't cut it insulation-wise, it's too thin, and perhaps doesn't have enough air pockets.

    What is the actual difference between polyester and polypropylene fleece? I always thought fleece was polypro, I think it's soda bottle plastic. Anyway, most of the time it's dry in the winter, except for today. It's definitely better than solid rubber, like you'd have on a three speed grip. Today I rode another bike with the same gloves and it was 10 degrees warmer , and my hands were cold on the Profile-wrapped bars.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IknowURider View Post
    I meant that some people might try that hideous 70's bar foam, or whatever they scrounge up. The old "factory grip foam" I think might be open cell, but I could be wrong there. It sort of seems to absorb water. Modern bar tape is fine, but I think it just doesn't cut it insulation-wise, it's too thin, and perhaps doesn't have enough air pockets.

    What is the actual difference between polyester and polypropylene fleece? I always thought fleece was polypro, I think it's soda bottle plastic. Anyway, most of the time it's dry in the winter, except for today. It's definitely better than solid rubber, like you'd have on a three speed grip. Today I rode another bike with the same gloves and it was 10 degrees warmer , and my hands were cold on the Profile-wrapped bars.
    Polypro is a specialty fabric used to make long underwear and a few hunting jackets. It wicks very well so that is why it is used in those applications. Polyester is probably a stronger and more stretchy fiber so it is more useful as a source for making fabric. It is used in nearly all of the fleece fabric products. Polyester also is more UV resistant than most plastics. Another possible reason for it's widespread use in outerwear fabric.

    I can see how it would be warm especially over the regular bar tape. Did you use a double or single wrap of the stuff. I may have to try this method some time in the future as my I cannot get a hold of the right kind of polyurethane garage door weather stripping that I have used for bar tape in the past.

  6. #6
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    I can see how it would be warm especially over the regular bar tape. Did you use a double or single wrap of the stuff. I may have to try this method some time in the future as my I cannot get a hold of the right kind of polyurethane garage door weather stripping that I have used for bar tape in the past.[/QUOTE]

    I just did a relatively quick / sloppy single wrap over the modern Profile tape. It's super comfortable too, I don't have brake hoods so I wrapped some over that as well. I'm sure a double wrap would be awesome. I rode the other night at 18 degrees and hands were fine. My gloves are cheap thinsulate ski gloves. Remember, the trick is to start with a pretty wide strip, wider than regular bar tape, maybe even 1 3/4" because it stretches a lot, but it's strong enough that you can wrap it pretty tightly, and it won't move around on the tape. If you don't want to remove it consider some hairspray or Artists' fixative to anchor it even better.

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