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Bar tape for rough gravel

Old 09-28-20, 06:18 PM
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bonsai171
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Bar tape for rough gravel

Yesterday I did a gravel metric over some very rough, chunky gravel. The bar tape on my bike isn't very squishy, so I thought it would be a good idea to double wrap the bar. Any recommendations for comfy bar tape?

Dave
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Old 09-28-20, 06:56 PM
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Iíve had good experience with Lizard Skin DSP 3.2 bar tape, on its own or sometimes with silicone pads under the tape - good cushion, good grip, lots of color choices. But, itís not cheap, and also not super durable. Once the grippy surface wears off somewhere, itís soon time for new tape.
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Old 09-28-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Yesterday I did a gravel metric over some very rough, chunky gravel. The bar tape on my bike isn't very squishy, so I thought it would be a good idea to double wrap the bar. Any recommendations for comfy bar tape?

Dave
3.5mm Ritchey WCS Pave Tape is what I am using.
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Old 09-28-20, 09:01 PM
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I also like the lizard skin dsp in 3.2 and its what I have on my cross bike since I wanted the color. A little nicer and more durable is the Zipp Service Course CX tape. I read somewhere long ago that double wrapping tape is counter productive since it makes the bar or your grip feel less solid causing you to grip tighter and end up with more fatigue anyways. While tape can help I found a nice set of carbon bars to be the best option for long term comfort, just don't overtighted the stem or crash them into anything or they really get expensive.
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Old 09-28-20, 10:30 PM
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I wrap an old inter tube first then Salsa cork tape over it. I don't ride very much rough terrain, but I'd like to think the extra rubber helps with the vibration.
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Old 09-29-20, 04:53 AM
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Silca Nastro Cuscino.
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Old 09-29-20, 07:57 AM
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I'm a big fan of Zipp Service Course CX tape. It's got just enough squish to take the buzz off, but isn't super bulky.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'm a big fan of Zipp Service Course CX tape. It's got just enough squish to take the buzz off, but isn't super bulky.
Sounds like this might be the answer for me. Got Zipp Service course tape on my road bike now, and it is very nice. Will have to try the CX. Eventually I might put a carbon bar on too, but it's always good to start with the cheaper solution.

Dave
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Old 09-29-20, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
3.5mm Ritchey WCS Pave Tape is what I am using.
I have this on my main road bike and love it. It was out of stock everywhere last year when I built up my current gravel bike, but I found out that Cannondale Synapse bar tape is the same thing.
Identical tape, just no R for Ritchey embossed on it. Just an FYI in case its out the next time you go to buy some.
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Old 09-30-20, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Yesterday I did a gravel metric over some very rough, chunky gravel. The bar tape on my bike isn't very squishy, so I thought it would be a good idea to double wrap the bar. Any recommendations for comfy bar tape?

Dave
For me Cinelli Gel Cork tape is the best. I recently did a comparison test between 6 different bar tapes and this subjectively is the best in terms of comfort. You can find more about my comparison here:
https://gravelbikes.cc/tests/finding...able-bar-tape/
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Old 10-01-20, 02:55 AM
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If changing the dropbar is an option, Soma Gator dropbar have straight drops that will accept MTB grips and MTB grips have many wide and very squishy choices but it's only a good solution if you ride a significant time on the drops
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Old 10-01-20, 05:53 AM
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I put these gel pads under the bar tape, worked very well.

https://www.jensonusa.com/zipp-handl...el%20Pad%20Set
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Old 10-06-20, 03:24 PM
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Gel pads + Brooks Microfiber has worked well for me. The Brooks tape has been a good balance of padding and durability.
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Old 10-06-20, 06:33 PM
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Fizik Terra Microtex Bondcrush Tacky
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Old 10-06-20, 07:54 PM
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I’m curious about these Vibrocore gravel bars. Too cheap to buy them but wondering how chunks of pool noodle foam stuffed into my FSA A-Wing Pro bars could mimic the damping effect. Link to gravel bars article: https://bikepacking.com/index/gravel-bars/

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Old 10-06-20, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilbur76 View Post
Iím curious about these Vibrocore gravel bars. Too cheap to buy them but wondering how chunks of pool noodle foam stuffed into my FSA A-Wing Pro bars could mimic the damping effect. Link to gravel bars article: https://bikepacking.com/index/gravel-bars/

The technology sounds interesting if you don't mind the weight. They are on the heavier side at 355g.

Dave
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Old 10-07-20, 07:13 PM
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I've heard good things about these: https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...32376187519011
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Old 10-07-20, 08:20 PM
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Try Grab On Grips. About 1/4 inch of a dense closed cell foam, very good at absorbing vibration. FYI, I wrap my Grab On Grips with whatever brand gel tape. Better than just the tape by far.
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Old 10-08-20, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by timebomb View Post
I've heard good things about these: https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...32376187519011
In typical WT fashion, its on the high side of prices. But 5mm thick? Dang thats significant.
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Old 10-15-20, 02:28 PM
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This is coming from an old guy with worn out wrists and hands from a lifetime of manual labor... If you aren’t running carbon bars, do yourself a favor and get some. Same with a carbon fork. The difference is pretty amazing. I also run the fizik gel pads under the tape, it helps too.
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Old 10-16-20, 10:33 AM
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106g for a roll of 5mm thick WT tape. In the past I've tended to double-wrap plain old Cinelli cork tape (62g each or 124 total), at which point the WT is actually cheaper. Not sure how the thickness ends up from double wrapping but I suspect it's thicker. Double wrap can be tricky around the levers though, a double-thick single wrap is probably preferable

FWIW I'm not looking for comfort necessarily, but I'm a big guy on a big XL bike, 46cm bars, 155 saddle, long crankarms, prefer MTB Q-factor to road - but bar diameter never changes. I just have a much more secure grip with the larger diameter of double wrapped bars, and better control with a looser grip on the shaky gravel descents

Last edited by fourfa; 10-16-20 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 10-16-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
For me Cinelli Gel Cork tape is the best. I recently did a comparison test between 6 different bar tapes and this subjectively is the best in terms of comfort. You can find more about my comparison here:
https://gravelbikes.cc/tests/finding...able-bar-tape/
I have tried Lizard Skins (too spendy) and have been using Bontrager tape, but now just ordered this Cinelli.
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Old 10-16-20, 07:59 PM
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I've tried a lot of different tape and so far haven't found anything better than good old-fashioned double-layer Cinelli cork tape. It's stretchy and is definitely one of the easiest to use, and two layers gives you plenty of cushioning. Plus it comes in a wide variety of colors. When comparing cost, remember that when it wears out you only need to change the outside layer, $15-20, and it lasts a long time.

Personally, I think Lizard Skins is overpriced and over-marketed garbage. It's nice at first but I haven't had it last more than one season before it starts to break down and the top layer starts peeling and flaking off.

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Old 11-04-20, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I wrap an old inter tube first then Salsa cork tape over it. I don't ride very much rough terrain, but I'd like to think the extra rubber helps with the vibration.
Old inner tube worked a treat! It's totally free which is really great about it. I cut the inner tube lengthwise so it resembles a tape, washed it with water and soap to remove the powder, and then coiled across the handlebar in just enough tightness to avoid wrinkling before wrapping over the regular tape.

I only did it in the drops since I'm mostly in the drops. Not squishy but improved "suspension value" of the handlebar and increased thickness of the drops helped avoid numbness. Definitely more comfortable to use!
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