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Brooks Bar Tape?

Old 04-06-17, 08:15 AM
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GordoTrek
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Brooks Bar Tape?

any good? i just purchased some and the reviews on amazon are mixed. People are claiming its almost vinyl now and the bar plugs are no longer cork. I noticed the price is almost half of what i remember it being. It was always around $80 bucks but now its around $45.

Anybody purchase it lately?
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Old 04-06-17, 08:21 AM
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I bought some when it 1st came out & was on sale for $48, still multiples of what Cinelli cork cost at the time. Also just came with black plastic bar plugs. Still have it on the bike. It wears well, gets dirty fast, but cleans up easily. Haven't tried the new stuff, but have used a couple of Asian leather tapes that look good & are far less expensive. You pay for the "Brooks" name. Don
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Old 04-06-17, 08:39 AM
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Do you have the tape in your hands yet?
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Old 04-06-17, 08:51 AM
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I've used it, didn't like the way the dye color wore off. I switched to HandleBra .. more colors, I found to be thicker and better quality overall. And, yes, more expensive.

store.handlebra.com

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Old 04-06-17, 08:56 AM
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Assume you are discussing Brooks microfiber tape, right? I just bought some for $25 shipped, so a bit higher than Fizik but not by a lot. Haven't wrapped the bars yet, but compared to Fizik 2mm it has a bit more cushion (believe it's listed as 3mm). I bought it because of the color - trying to match a honey Brooks saddle. The brown Fizik tape I have is way too dark and almost has a walnut/greenish tone. I can't speak for how it holds up in use.

...or maybe you are talking about leather tape, in which case I have no idea.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:03 AM
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I haven't received it yet, I just ordered it. I'm referring to the Leather bar wrap not the microfiber wrap.
Amazon Link
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Old 04-06-17, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by GordoTrek View Post
any good? i just purchased some and the reviews on amazon are mixed. People are claiming its almost vinyl now and the bar plugs are no longer cork.
I think you are conflating their leather tape and their synthetic tape. Tape cannot be "almost vinyl". It's either vinyl or leather. Binary.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:14 AM
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I had the leather stuff about 6 years ago...thought it was crap to be honest. Too slick with ANY moisture (like sweat) and just horrendous in rain - not good grip. The cork plugs separated (though Brooks was good about replacing). It looked good, but I'd never get it again. The handlebra stuff is far more usable.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:16 AM
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I used the leather tape on a Raleigh that I put between 7-8k miles on over a few years of commuting and joyriding. It always felt nice and stayed completely solid, but it doesn't clean up as well as leather usually should, probably due to all of the oily residues from being handled (literally). I would not use it again simply because I no longer care for the bulk - it looks like modern cork wrap when it's wrapped around a bar.

-Gregory
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Old 04-06-17, 09:18 AM
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I've been using Nashbar brand leather tape for a few years. I love it. But it's no longer available. I moved it from one bike to the next, which is to say this is the same set of tape. It cost a lot initially, but its durability makes it a good value.

I put Brooks leather tape on another bike but haven't used it long enough to evaluate it. I'm optimistic. I used to see this stuff as a luxury, and perhaps it really is, but it's also an investment.

Expect all leather things to fade to black, so buying it in black may be wise.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:21 AM
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Wow, that is a lot cheaper than I'd seen genuine Brooks leather tape before. I've been using some perforated Gyes leather tape and it's worked out well for me so far, but I have < 1000 miles on it.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:25 AM
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I have been using Brooks leather bar tape for 5 years. They were running a special when I bought it with my saddle. 5 years of wear and tear and though it has developed a patina for sure, it seems to have a lot of life left. Not the softest or grippiest, for sure. If I weren't wearing gloves, I would probably go for something a little softer. That said, the Brooks seems to workwell with gloves.
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Old 04-06-17, 10:09 AM
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I've never used it for riding, but it certainly LOOKS nice. I've seen a few nice looking bikes that used it.
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Old 04-06-17, 10:34 AM
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What I did not like about the Brooks leather bar tape was, they tend to look lumpy, between each wind around the bar. Something that had to do with how they made the edges of the tape which I think are not, or have minimum tapering. I did not fancy the high price either.....which maybe shouldn't surprise me,.........as it is by Brooks.....
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Old 04-06-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I have been using Brooks leather bar tape for 5 years. They were running a special when I bought it with my saddle. 5 years of wear and tear and though it has developed a patina for sure, it seems to have a lot of life left. Not the softest or grippiest, for sure. If I weren't wearing gloves, I would probably go for something a little softer. That said, the Brooks seems to workwell with gloves.
I think this is a solid review...if you always wear gloves, you'll like it.
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Old 04-06-17, 11:25 AM
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I do always wear gloves, and one reason is safety. I've fallen and scraped my palms, and I want to prevent that. For that reason, I don't need my tape to be super grippy.
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Old 04-06-17, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GordoTrek View Post
any good? i just purchased some and the reviews on amazon are mixed. People are claiming its almost vinyl now and the bar plugs are no longer cork. I noticed the price is almost half of what i remember it being. It was always around $80 bucks but now its around $45.

Anybody purchase it lately?




I bought the honey brown recently. The colour looked a lot different than the ones I got years ago. I figured maybe it will change once I put some proofide on it. The proofide didn't even absorb into the tape. The top part of the tape is some kind of vinyl or plastic. I won't be buying the new stuff again. But I have found some old stock in a couple of bike shops.
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Old 04-06-17, 12:07 PM
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My comment above referenced the original, non-perforated Brooks leather tape back when they 1st began marketing it. That was more than 10 years ago, as I recently saw a pic of my bike with fairly new tape that was dated 2007. Don
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Old 04-06-17, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Bone Machine View Post
I bought the honey brown recently. The colour looked a lot different than the ones I got years ago. I figured maybe it will change once I put some proofide on it. The proofide didn't even absorb into the tape. The top part of the tape is some kind of vinyl or plastic. I won't be buying the new stuff again. But I have found some old stock in a couple of bike shops.

thats what i gathered from the reviews on Amazon. Thanks for your input. I guess I will see what it's like when it shows up.
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Old 04-06-17, 01:05 PM
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I recently wrapped a set of bars with the Brooks leather. I like the look, have only ridden a couple of times but so far so good. There's a long term review on Lovely Bicycle.
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Old 04-06-17, 01:38 PM
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It wouldn't surprise me if people have been sent the microfiber Brooks tape when they ordered the leather Brooks tape. I have been sent a cheaper but similar looking item when ordering from Amazon before.
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Old 04-06-17, 01:48 PM
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So I was able to cancel my order, and I ordered this instead
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

obviously not real leather, but also at a not real leather price. I can handle the Vinyl look and feel for only 10 bucks, harder to swallow for 50. Plus I have a stash of corks to use as bar plugs.
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Old 04-06-17, 06:53 PM
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I've got Brooks leather on two bars. (Both times I got one hell of a deal on the wrap...dunno if I'd pay the retail price for it.) I like the way it looks and feels, but not for long rides - no give whatsoever, and I like just a touch. Alternatively, I have Brooks Cambium rubber bar tape on my main ride. It cleans easily, and more importantly feels great from start to finish, regardless of distance. Both the leather and the Cambium sure do outlast everything else I've used, other than shellac-coated cotton wrap.
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Old 04-06-17, 07:32 PM
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I have Brooks leather tape on a couple of bikes and like it just fine. I wear gloves, so amount of cush isn't really an issue, and I have found that it installs quite easily (e.g., a decent amount of stretch to keep the winding tight).
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Old 04-07-17, 12:06 AM
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I had it on two bikes, White and green.

In the dry both were/are slippery.

The green faded and the backing adhesive came off when I tried to reuse when swapping out the bars/stem.

I used green cloth as a replacement.

The white backing adhesive stayed on when I reused it swapping out the bars/stem.

I bought another brand (BLB) for a third bike as Brooks don't make white anymore. The tape was thicker, grainier and the perforations were larger which I didn't like, the effect looked like pepper grains although the tape was grippier and the adhesive stayed on when I swapped the bars over.

I like the look of the Brooks and it suits the Raleigh but it's slippery! It will probably last forever but if I ever replace will either go cloth or try some of that Handlebra tape.
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