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Old 01-13-19, 03:22 AM
Me duelen las nalgas
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
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Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Does anyone make tape that come in interesting patterns? I'm thinking of a jungle pattern with a combination of gray and white.
Check out the harlequin wrap and other fancy braided wraps using two or more colors or types of tapes. A friend did that and it looked good even though the tape was pretty worn and weather damaged by the time I saw it. I'm considering blue and black for my early '90s Univega, which has that funky blue/black splatter paint.

Regarding padded tape for comfort, I've tried some no-name black foam tape from Jenson USA, $5 a roll, and it's just as good as Arundel Gecko Grip (which is also a good value, not nearly as expensive as some like Fizik). The no-name tape has held up well for six months and lots of rides, no apparent wear. The Arundel Gecko tape has nifty lizard patterns, but subtle, not crazy.

For crazy bar tape, Weanas sells everything from crazy colorful patterns to faux-leather '50s style sports car driving wheel wrap. I just got a roll of light blue faux-leather wrap just to play with because it cost only $5. Looks and feels comparable to my generic foam tape and the Arundel Gecko tape, but I don't know how well it'll hold up.

Padded bar tape makes a huge difference for me. I can even do without padded gloves, or any gloves at all. It tames the chatter and vibration from rural chipseal and striated concrete (typically on new developments that haven't been finished yet with asphalt and smooth fog seal). I don't get a lot of hand, wrist or elbow pain, but I do have chronic neck and shoulder pain from various crashes on my own and being hit by cars. Good foam tape makes a huge difference in comfort by taming the vibration and relieving pressure on the base of the thumb joint.

BTW, old inner tubes make great padding to tame vibration. Cut 'em into long strips just like bar tape. Wrap directly around the bar. Then add any decorative tape you like. Since the inner tube strips provide the cushion you can choose any tape you like just for the looks, even that old school ultra-thin metallic finish tape. The dual wrap can be thinner overall than foam bar tape, but still very comfortable. And while it is possible to use the inner tube by itself it'll smudge your hands or gloves every ride from the carbon black content.

Inner tube strips are also handy for practicing bar wrapping -- no need for adhesive, no expense, so no worries about a bad wrap. Good way to practice braided harlequin wraps, which I plan to do myself soon.

If I can find some paisley bar tape I'm gonna go nuts. That, a '60s style jersey zipped halfway down my chest, a newsboy cap and a medallion and I'll be as stylish as the Festrunk brothers.
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