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Need some type of padding for drop down bars

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Need some type of padding for drop down bars

Old 09-09-22, 11:13 AM
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1964Supersport
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Need some type of padding for drop down bars

I have been experiencing pain in my palms. I'm not sure but I may have the original handlebar tape on my 64 Supersport. I can't remember changing the tape but if I did it was in 1983. My blue tape has zero cushion. I said something to them at my local bike shop and they suggested black gel tape. I was also wondering about getting half finger gloves with padded palms. I'm sure some of you have experienced discomfort in your hands. Would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thanks !
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Old 09-09-22, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 1964Supersport View Post
I have been experiencing pain in my palms. I'm not sure but I may have the original handlebar tape on my 64 Supersport. I can't remember changing the tape but if I did it was in 1983. My blue tape has zero cushion. I said something to them at my local bike shop and they suggested black gel tape. I was also wondering about getting half finger gloves with padded palms. I'm sure some of you have experienced discomfort in your hands. Would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thanks !
Get padded gloves. Even padded bar tape is not really enough for long rides. Its ugly, old, and hard to install but foam padding works.(Wait for it, people will trash that in one minute) Shop your gloves in person to check padding thickness. Some are padded, but poorly so. Some are so padded that they are clumsy. Some are padded in the heel but not the palm, etc. Brands don't matter, construction does.

Also, geometry matters. If your brake hoods and bars are not set up well, more hand pain. If your top tube/bike fit is too long you will be leaning forward and putting pressure on your hands. Look at thread on the Nitto Noodle handlebars and discussions of the ramp area of the bar. Bars with long flat ramps are comfy. Sharper bends tend to be less comfy

Last edited by etherhuffer; 09-09-22 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-09-22, 11:24 AM
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I just use 2 layers of tape. Or you can get thick tape like Lizard Skins. There are tons of thick tape options these days.
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Old 09-09-22, 11:34 AM
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I found this stuff at my local community recycle center, it was not in its original packaging so I have no idea who actually makes it but these are lil' gel filled pads you place under your tape. They come in four pieces, two for your top bar and two for your underbar curved to meet up to behind the brake lever. They have reusable sticky tape on one side so they don't slide around during install, and you can still use classic looking cotton tape under them.

Again, sorry I don't know the name but I'm sure a REI or other large shop probably has them.
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Old 09-09-22, 11:42 AM
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Try raising your bars a bit, it may shift your weight distribution and alleviate some hand/palm discomfort. Also, sometimes hand discomfort is actually originating from nerve issues in the neck- as we get old(er...), things deteriorate, arthritis & stenosis start to impinge on nerves, all that fun stuff.... Higher bars can change your neck position and give some relief to hand pain (at least it did for me, somewhat).
Brooks 'microfiber' bar tape is a decent compromise between no-cusion cloth/cello and the fat-and-foamy options, and looks passably like perforated leather...
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Old 09-09-22, 12:06 PM
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This one, on the right?
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Old 09-09-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fabiofarelli View Post


This one, on the right?
Yes. thats it Sky Blue
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Old 09-09-22, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Try raising your bars a bit, it may shift your weight distribution and alleviate some hand/palm discomfort. Also, sometimes hand discomfort is actually originating from nerve issues in the neck- as we get old(er...), things deteriorate, arthritis & stenosis start to impinge on nerves, all that fun stuff.... Higher bars can change your neck position and give some relief to hand pain (at least it did for me, somewhat).
Brooks 'microfiber' bar tape is a decent compromise between no-cusion cloth/cello and the fat-and-foamy options, and looks passably like perforated leather...
I was wondering about raising the bars, not sure how much more they can go up.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:02 PM
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Old 09-09-22, 01:13 PM
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I saw you're probably a bit older, retired. Do you ride more now than you did before? And getting older often brings some problems too. For example with the nerves and blood flow to the extremities, I first would try gloves with padding , than thicker handlebar tape and if that does'nt work I would consider change the position of the handlebar.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:41 PM
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Some excellent suggestions have already been made. If you haven't been using bicycle gloves you will love them when you do. Grab on Grips (a company out of Walla Walla, WA) makes handlebar cushioning for drop handlebars. This stuff used to be sold in about every bicycle store but its popularity has waned. Here is a link: Bicycle Grips | Grab On Grips, LLC. They make 2 varieties. It doesn't wrap, it comes in tubes that slide over your handlebars. Some suggestions for getting it on is to coat the bars 1st with liquid soap so it slides on more easily and then tends to stay put when the soap dries. Another trick is to use compressed air in between the foam and aluminum and that helps it slide on easily. I have a blow off air gun with a long thin nozzle that works well for this purpose. This is very retro stuff and was a common handbar covering in the bicycle boom era in the 70's.

As we age we want/need to sit more upright. This usually means raising the handlebars and getting a shorter stem. Are you familiar with how to release the jam nut on a traditional stem to loosen it so it can be raised? Plenty will explain if that process is new to you. There is a max line to show how high they can be raised. While not recommended, they can be raised a little higher. Companies have a play it safe policy where they place the max line and it is below what can be tolerated.

The other adjustment is to slide your saddle back further. Like magic this balances your body better over the pedals and takes your upper body weight off of your arms and hands. This may require a shorter stem so you are not stretched out too far.

When my dad got me a Super Sport in 1965, he got me a 22" model. Schwinn measured their frames center to top so their 22" is really a 21" the way most frames are measured. I need a 24" SS frame now to be able to get the handlebars up high enough for my aging body.

Last edited by Doug Fattic; 09-09-22 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:50 PM
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Silca apparently has some good padded tape. I haven't used this.

Nastro Piloti Tape
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Old 09-09-22, 02:51 PM
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Get gloves. There's reason so many cyclists use them. It is not an affectation, they carry the padding you need because you are supporting your torso's weight on your hands.

I have always found padded tape to be too fragile.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by fabiofarelli View Post
I saw you're probably a bit older, retired. Do you ride more now than you did before? And getting older often brings some problems too. For example with the nerves and blood flow to the extremities, I first would try gloves with padding , than thicker handlebar tape and if that does'nt work I would consider change the position of the handlebar.
I try not to think of myself as older but the truth is I'm retired and 67 1/2 . Just got back into riding about 3 months ago, I try and ride daily. My main reason to start riding again was therapy for spinal stenosis. Besides it helping my back I have really enjoyed riding. Funny thing is my motorcycle hasn't hardly been out of the garage since I began riding my old 10 speed.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:05 PM
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Some good suggestions already made. These might also help:

Cinelli cork bar tape: www.jensonusa.com/Cinelli-Cork-Bar-Tape

Cinelli gel strips placed under the tape, wherever you tend to place your hands most: www.jensonusa.com/Cinelli-Antivibration-Pads
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Old 09-09-22, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Get gloves. There's reason so many cyclists use them. It is not an affectation, they carry the padding you need because you are supporting your torso's weight on your hands.

I have always found padded tape to be too fragile.
I have been wearing my 1/2 finger motorcycle gloves. They have a little padding but not much.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:06 PM
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On my touring bikes, where originality matters less than comfort and looks, I always use this stuff these days. It is stiff enough to be wrapped from top to bottom. It is comfy enough for use without gloves. And it is cheap enough (~$15) to keep a few sets in stock.

Available in honey and black:

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Old 09-09-22, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
Some excellent suggestions have already been made. If you haven't been using bicycle gloves you will love them when you do. Grab on Grips (a company out of Walla Walla, WA) makes handlebar cushioning for drop handlebars. This stuff used to be sold in about every bicycle store but its popularity has waned. Here is a link: Bicycle Grips | Grab On Grips, LLC. They make 2 varieties. It doesn't wrap, it comes in tubes that slide over your handlebars. Some suggestions for getting it on is to coat the bars 1st with liquid soap so it slides on more easily and then tends to stay put when the soap dries. Another trick is to use compressed air in between the foam and aluminum and that helps it slide on easily. I have a blow off air gun with a long thin nozzle that works well for this purpose. This is very retro stuff and was a common handbar covering in the bicycle boom era in the 70's.

As we age we want/need to sit more upright. This usually means raising the handlebars and getting a shorter stem. Are you familiar with how to release the jam nut on a traditional stem to loosen it so it can be raised? Plenty will explain if that process is new to you. There is a max line to show how high they can be raised. While not recommended, they can be raised a little higher. Companies have a play it safe policy where they place the max line and it is below what can be tolerated.

The other adjustment is to slide your saddle back further. Like magic this balances your body better over the pedals and takes your upper body weight off of your arms and hands. This may require a shorter stem so you are not stretched out too far.

When my dad got me a Super Sport in 1965, he got me a 22" model. Schwinn measured their frames center to top so their 22" is really a 21" the way most frames are measured. I need a 24" SS frame now to be able to get the handlebars up high enough for my aging body.
I am not familiar with how to release the jam nut. Im assuming the jam nut is the nut on top of the handlebar stem. Im wondering if the large nut at the base must be held in order to break the top nut loose ? Hopefully I said that right.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 1964Supersport View Post
I try not to think of myself as older but the truth is I'm retired and 67 1/2 . Just got back into riding about 3 months ago, I try and ride daily. My main reason to start riding again was therapy for spinal stenosis. Besides it helping my back I have really enjoyed riding. Funny thing is my motorcycle hasn't hardly been out of the garage since I began riding my old 10 speed.
You're doin' a good job ridin' that bike, just take care it's comfortable! And, just for the record, I"m three months younger.

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Old 09-09-22, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
On my touring bikes, where originality matters less than comfort and looks, I always use this stuff these days. It is stiff enough to be wrapped from top to bottom. It is comfy enough for use without gloves. And it is cheap enough (~$15) to keep a few sets in stock.

Available in honey and black:

I have been noticing the black pads on the brake levers. Where do you purchase those and how do they attach ? Thanks !
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Old 09-09-22, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 1964Supersport View Post
I have been noticing the black pads on the brake levers. Where do you purchase those and how do they attach ? Thanks !
I clicked on this stuff to look at the tape but couldn't find a way to translate the language.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 1964Supersport View Post
I am not familiar with how to release the jam nut. Im assuming the jam nut is the nut on top of the handlebar stem. Im wondering if the large nut at the base must be held in order to break the top nut loose ? Hopefully I said that right.
Nope. You need to loosen the nut a few turns with whatever wrench fits. Then you whack it down with some light taps using a hammer and something non-marring (such as a block of wood) between the hammer and nut (actually a bolt). That forces the wedge out of the bottom of the stem which will allow you to pull the stem up and out.

Also, I'm wondering if your hand pain is because the bike is not set up properly for you so that you are falling forward and have too much weight on your hands. If this is the case then you should try sliding your saddle backwards which will lessen the weight. While sitting you should be able to lift your hands free of the bars without falling forwards. Note that doing that may increase the reach too much which is rectified by installing a shorter stem, not by sliding the saddle forward.
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Old 09-09-22, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Nope. You need to loosen the nut a few turns with whatever wrench fits. Then you whack it down with some light taps using a hammer and something non-marring (such as a block of wood) between the hammer and nut (actually a bolt). That forces the wedge out of the bottom of the stem which will allow you to pull the stem up and out.

Also, I'm wondering if your hand pain is because the bike is not set up properly for you so that you are falling forward and have too much weight on your hands. If this is the case then you should try sliding your saddle backwards which will lessen the weight. While sitting you should be able to lift your hands free of the bars without falling forwards. Note that doing that may increase the reach too much which is rectified by installing a shorter stem, not by sliding the saddle forward.
Seems like if the seat was back farther I would be leaning down more on the bars.
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Old 09-09-22, 05:08 PM
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1964Supersport the "black pads" on the brake levers are called "hoods." Unless you've changed them, you have Weinmann brake levers from the 1960s. Finding the specific hoods which fit them is challenging. These A'ME hoods will fit and the price is reasonable from Canada. Unfortunately, they are only offered in limited colors. Search eBay for "Weinmann or DiaCompe hoods."
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Old 09-09-22, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 1964Supersport View Post
Seems like if the seat was back farther I would be leaning down more on the bars.
It might "seem" that way but it's not true. You will have to reach further forward for the bars (hence often the need to get a shorter stem), but the farther back you slide the seat relative to the pedals, the more you will tend to fall off the back of it and thereby reduce the proportion of weight on your hands because your butt will move further behind the pedals. It's the position of your butt relative to your feet on the pedals that determines the weight distribution on the handlebars vs the seat. Many people incorrectly move their seat forward to compensate for too much weight on the hands but that is the wrong thing to do. First, adjust the seat back far enough to minimize the weight on your hands. Second, if the reach is now too long for you to reach the bars comfortably, get a shorter stem.

Last edited by davester; 09-09-22 at 05:37 PM.
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