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can't decide on bar tape color.

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can't decide on bar tape color.

Old 05-07-13, 03:07 AM
  #1  
ftwelder
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Help me decide on bar tape color. 1972 Legnano

I started putting the the correct handlebars as well as brake levers with original hoods on this '72 Legnano. I have been thinking of switching to white tape with shellac but recently when some Italian tri-color tape became available, I jumped on it.

I am pretty sure the bike is already flashy enough with the candy red paint and chrome lugs but stem and handlebars have original stickers in more confusing colors and patterns and it sort of begs for more.

The "try it and see if you like it" scenario isn't practical because the hoods are fragile and the tape is rare enough to not want to waste it. I would prefer to use clean white tape but it really can't be kept clean for any length of time so that isn't practical. The fact that I took these photos with the background I chose is a good example of why I am seeking your advice.

perhaps shooting for a color to match the saddle? I am totally lost here. Thanks in advance.


side by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


29 670 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


29 663 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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Old 05-07-13, 03:14 AM
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I'd be happy staying with black. Anything else - except maybe dirty white - will draw the attention away from the rest of the bike.
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Old 05-07-13, 03:19 AM
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Are the hoods gum colour? I think grey would look nice. Its almost white but wont show the dirt. Beautiful bike btw...love it!
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Old 05-07-13, 03:24 AM
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I have to agree about the white tape - it would be my first choice too but, as you point out, black is far more practical. I'd leave the black tape where it is. As for the tri-coloured tape, I think it is hard to use but it would work with the red and white of the frame but the green appears no where else in any real presence. I think it would be too busy for the bike.

It is an exceptionally nice bike by the way.
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Old 05-07-13, 03:38 AM
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Black. If you want to ride this bike and often while not spending time worrying about white getting grimey before the 4th of July....black.

But, if the bike is an occasional rider and white sets off the front end nice and spiffy....there it is.
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Old 05-07-13, 04:36 AM
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Same as the saddle.

You'll need black hoods though.
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Old 05-07-13, 04:42 AM
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I'm also voting black...it looks great as is and it focuses the eye on the frame.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:02 AM
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Bright white, while complimenting that bike well, wouldn't look good for long, as you've said. If left natural.
How about either white or another light color with a bit of a tint to it?
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Old 05-07-13, 05:07 AM
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IMHO, a deep green to pick up the decal accent striping on the seat tube.
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Old 05-07-13, 05:09 AM
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OH. BTW Frank. I learned, the hard way, that Universal hoods, especially if old, tend to split when you tighten down the levers to the bars. That's what happened to the hoods in the pic above. Hoods are a good 3/16ths longer than the lever body, which puts stress on the rubber when you cinch them down. I cut new arcs on the lower section of another set of hoods as an experiment, and it seemed to work. Used a section 3/4 stainless tubing, ground to a razor edge. Just FWIW.
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Old 05-07-13, 06:13 AM
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Leave the black and maybe after a while it will match the saddle!
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Old 05-07-13, 06:40 AM
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IMO, color match with the saddle is a winner.. Could include tires too.
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Old 05-07-13, 07:10 AM
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I can't see white on that one. It would just stand out too much.
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Old 05-07-13, 07:16 AM
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I do think brown tape and a honey brooks would work as well.
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Old 05-07-13, 07:19 AM
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I absolutely love this bike, but I think black tape is boring. Also that Unicanitor is brown, not black. I think if it were mine I'd try blue cloth tape with blue binda straps to set it off. Also no harm in trying out the tricolor tape, it is easy to wrap, take off and try again on another bike if it doesn't work. here's what it looks like on:
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Old 05-07-13, 07:29 AM
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Black is a little boring.

White will get dirty, unless you shellac it, in which case it won't be white any more. If you really want white tape there's Fizik or Bike Ribbon etc. but those aren't period-correct, which I gather you care about.

Green will make the bike look like a Christmas ornament. I fear the same may be true of the Benotto.

I think I'd go with brown cloth with amber shellac. It will be quite dark but not quite black, and will match the saddle better.
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Old 05-07-13, 07:34 AM
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I prefer to match the bar tape with the saddle cover, so black would be the obvious choice. However, some natural cork tape would look nice on that bike and the color would match the skinwalls on your tires. White tape is OK if you have a white saddle, but is hard to keep clean.
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Old 05-07-13, 08:48 AM
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I agree about matching the saddle.
Very nice bike BTW.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:33 AM
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I say white! And then change it every time it gets so dirty, you start getting annoyed. A little worn off white bartape can give the same magic as a little patina IMO. Or switch it every now and then with black. it's like your wife changing her hairstyle Any other colour would be too flash.
>Keep in mind I'm just a 'calvinist' Dutchman, in other words: boring!

btw That bike is absolutely georgeous!

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Old 05-07-13, 12:19 PM
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In spite of my earlier post, I have to agree with Zieleman. White would look best, but no shellac. I also like the look of well-worn white tape, but as suggested you can always re-tape. $34.99 for ten rolls isn't a bad deal.

https://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....FdNzMgodYXEAvA
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Old 05-07-13, 12:59 PM
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*Cough* Benotto Italian colors ribbon *cough*. lol. Trust your judgement on your purchase. I was debating on putting this on my Guerc but wasn't sure it would push it over the top and give it too much of a circus look. Hahaha. Luckily the Benotto stuff can be reused if it's not too old. The stuff I pulled of my bike was still pretty pliable and was thinking of putting it back on over this perforated cork stuff.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
*Cough* Benotto Italian colors ribbon *cough*. lol. Trust your judgement on your purchase. I was debating on putting this on my Guerc but wasn't sure it would push it over the top and give it too much of a circus look. Hahaha. Luckily the Benotto stuff can be reused if it's not too old. The stuff I pulled of my bike was still pretty pliable and was thinking of putting it back on over this perforated cork stuff.
If I don't use the tri color tape on this bike, I will need another Italian bike for the tape N+1

I have a couple of rolls of black Newbaums in the warehouse so ill give that a try, thanks rootboy for the tip on the hood mods. It's not so much my hands as it is the dust in here. This building was old when my highwheel was still a new fad.

Thanks for the compliments. I love this bike also.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:42 PM
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how about leather wrap to match the seat?
someone else offerd this choice
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Old 05-07-13, 02:46 PM
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the honey/honey brooks would be a classy choice.

if this were my build a couple years ago, i'd go white fizik for a fast looking machine. today, i'm more mellow. and with all that's going on with that frame, i'd go black tape and a brown (not honey) b17 that will darken with age.

whatever you do, stay away from black hoods with your gumwalls. yuck.
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Old 05-07-13, 04:06 PM
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White without a doubt. And in my experience, it cleans up pretty well (I use "totally awesome"). Eventually I replace it, but I consider bartape to be just another consumable. White saddle too.
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