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Poll: Tape Color

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View Poll Results: Which color to match saddle in photo?
Light brown
25.49%
Dark brown
74.51%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

Poll: Tape Color

Old 03-16-21, 04:16 PM
  #1  
Roger M 
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Poll: Tape Color

I'm getting ready to tape some handlebars.

There's two choices. The saddle carries a bit of both colors. I'd appreciate some input, but it's one or the other. I'm not interested in clothe or shellac or some other material on these bars.

Thanks for your vote.

EDIT: These are both microfiber tape from Brooks. I don't know how much these will darken(if any) over time. I do understand that leather does(as shown by the saddle).



Last edited by Roger M; 03-16-21 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 03-16-21, 04:27 PM
  #2  
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Wouldn't both those tapes darken down with use/age? Just like a saddle? I voted light brown.
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Old 03-16-21, 04:33 PM
  #3  
Roger M 
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
Wouldn't both those tapes darken down with use/age? Just like a saddle? I voted light brown.
Thanks for pointing that out, FBOATSB. I edited the post.
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Old 03-16-21, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
Thanks for pointing that out, FBOATSB. I edited the post.
My bad. Can't change my vote it seems.
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Old 03-16-21, 05:37 PM
  #5  
SurferRosa
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Wrap the too thick Brooks tape on a flip and use Fizik on your keeper.
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Old 03-16-21, 05:42 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Wrap the too thick Brooks tape on a flip and use Fizik on your keeper.
I'm interested in trying the Fizik tape but they don't appear to have a dark brown option, only honey.

OP - Dark seems to be the better match. That's my vote.
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Old 03-16-21, 06:25 PM
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I went Honey and Honey not sure if things would darken.



A couple of years later and things are still pretty much the lighter shade.

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Old 03-16-21, 06:40 PM
  #8  
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predicting how a Brooks will change is not easy.
Still... there are some data points that might provide guidance.
I offer two Brooks Champion Flyers in honey; one new and one with plenty of miles & experience.....





My honey Brooks have all darkened significantly, so I voted for the darker tape. The light tape might end up that dark too, but at least if it starts out dark, it should stay a more consistent shade over its length.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 03-16-21, 06:40 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I went Honey and Honey not sure if things would darken.



A couple of years later and things are still pretty much the lighter shade.

Thanks for posting that, jamesdak. That's what I wanted to know. That is a beautiful bike! Nice work.

I missed out on an Opus III just like yours, about 8 years ago.Those bikes rarely show up for sale, and in a 62cm or bigger, never...
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Old 03-16-21, 06:48 PM
  #10  
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I voted dark brown. As you say, there's a little bit of both colors in the saddle. I really like the coloration of the saddle. I think the lighter color tape might draw the eye, and I'd rather have my eyes drawn toward that nice saddle. Not to mention the darker tape will hide any dirt better. Just my 2 cents. Neither is a bad option in this case.
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Old 03-16-21, 06:51 PM
  #11  
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Dark. My gut says it will get along better with the frame's anthracite grey. (or whatever that specialized 1980s stealth grey was called)
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Old 03-16-21, 07:06 PM
  #12  
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I'm just wondering why splash isn't an option.
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Old 03-16-21, 07:23 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I'm just wondering why splash isn't an option.
Well now that you mention it..
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Old 03-16-21, 07:38 PM
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My vote is for the dark. I think it provides a better overall look. In seeing this, I'm debating getting the same tape saddle my seat has the same color variation.
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Old 03-16-21, 08:55 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I'm just wondering why splash isn't an option.
I was thinking harlequin wrap.
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Old 03-16-21, 10:20 PM
  #16  
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I suppose the clothes we ride with determine if a saddle darkens or not (thank you @jamesdak and @steelbikeguy for the additional data points!). Or maybe it's the leather itself that is prone to variation in behavior. Whatever it is, this is a prescient thread as I am contemplating a Honey/Honey or Antique Brown/Antique Brown Brooks saddle & bar tape for a Trek build. The Honey combo works great with the colors as it matches a 3Rensho bike photo I have (ok, I took the anodized blue rims and made them dark grey via Photoshop). As for your situation, Roger, I think the darker (Antique Brown) works better here as the once-Honey B17 is a lot closer to Antique Brown now. If your leather-colored bar tapes (assuming you've run them before) darken with use, then I'd go with the Honey tape. If that's never been your situation, then I'd go Antique Brown and have the once-Honey B17 continue to darken. Even in your comparison photo, they're already close, which is great for the OCD, haha.
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Old 03-17-21, 06:36 AM
  #17  
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just a follow-up....
I thought I should offer a direct comparison of new and old saddles. In my limited experience, there is a trend for all Brooks to move towards a dark brown color., regardless of the original coloration.

In this photo is a new (well, NOS) honey Brooks B.17 saddle at lower left, with a black mid 70's Brooks Professional at the rear and a used honey Brooks Swift on the right. Lesson: the black ones fade, especially if you use oil on it, and the honey ones darken when subjected to sweat and/or oils and waxes.



I've had the Pro since the mid 70's and it has seen a fair bit of neatsfoot oil in the early days, and gotten a lot of use. The Swift hasn't really gotten that much use, and hasn't been abused much at all. The B.17 has been sitting on a shelf for 20 years, but hasn't been subjected to either Proofide or butt sweat.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 03-17-21, 08:00 AM
  #18  
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Bartape opinions cannot be based just on matching a saddle.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:42 AM
  #19  
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Voted light cuz I'm biased...
Have the similar Leather Bar Tape from Velo-Orange, but have have a white Fizik saddle. Figured the tape would darken with use/age & it has. but not all that much. In my case, thought the lighter went better with the overall scheme of the bike....?

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Old 03-17-21, 09:46 AM
  #20  
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Put the Brooks tape on Ebay next time there is a shortage and people panic buy. Put Splash tape on your bike and ride it shamelessly!
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Old 03-17-21, 12:12 PM
  #21  
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Rule of thumb: Always go with the lightest color. With time and use, that lighter bar tape color is going to have a variety of darkness which will more closely resemble the seat as it sits today. If you start with the darker color, the tape is going to darken more, and be the dark walnut color around the rivets of the seat before you know it, and that's going to look goofy.
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Old 03-17-21, 12:21 PM
  #22  
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I voted dark. That said I just helped a friend install this tape on a build and it was some serious work to get it to look passible. I have used pretty much everything (Cloth/Cork/Leather/Elk hide sew on etc.) out there over the years and can't remember a tape that put up such a fight! Let's hope it was just user error and your experience is better than mine!
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Old 03-17-21, 02:10 PM
  #23  
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Fwiw, I was looking for bar tape with some interesting color and patterns for my dull grey Ti bike. I ended up with some from Serfas, which has lots of choices:

https://www.serfas.com/product-categ...ucts/bar-tape/

I also really like the eastern and western rattler tape from campandgoslow:
https://www.campandgoslow.com/produc...ttler-bar-tape
https://www.campandgoslow.com/produc...esnake-bartape
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Old 03-17-21, 04:17 PM
  #24  
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Neither is going to match when that Brooks lets go.

I would relegate that one to show/wallhanger/placeholder duty and get one that will go the distance for the rider.
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Old 03-18-21, 04:12 PM
  #25  
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The brown Brooks microfiber tape doesn't get darker over time; it just keeps looking like it looks. You can decide if that's a feature or a bug.

To whomever wondered if the battle to wrap this tape was user error: Nope. Your experience sounds pretty typical.

I now pay the extra dollars for Fizik every time.

Also: dark brown.
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