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Soft Bar Tape

Old 04-05-19, 10:44 AM
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BirdsBikeBinocs
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Soft Bar Tape

Anyone have a recommendation for a soft, comfortable bar tape,?? Also, why is it that bar tape isn't used on flat bar bikes.??

Last edited by BirdsBikeBinocs; 04-05-19 at 11:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-05-19, 01:08 PM
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All the padded tape I have is old stock so can't tell you what brands are out there now, but I recommend the padded tape. Gives a nice feel for touring, but I also still wear gloves. I think Innovations made some of what I use.

You could use tape on straight bars and some people might, but it's easier to use grips that are probably thicker and provide better cushioning.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:21 PM
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Doug64
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Using gel pads under standard bar tape has worked well for my wife. It gives some cushion and yet if firm. https://www.nashbar.com/fizik-bar-ge...702302/p314887
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Old 04-05-19, 01:29 PM
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I always leave on one layer of old tape and wrap the new tape onto the old tape.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:30 PM
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I don't remember the brand, but the last time I re-wrapped my road bars, I left the old tape on and overwrapped it. I liked the little larger circumference it provided and it's good and "cushy" also.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Anyone have a recommendation for a soft, comfortable bar tape,?? Also, why is it that bar tape isn't used on flat bar bikes.??
Do you want to put your hands between the grips on a flat bar? Just curious, I don't know anybody who rides that way.

Grips work well on flat bars because they're easy to fit, and damn near impossible to fit for drops.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:46 PM
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Needing Peer Support?

Also, why is it that bar tape isn't used on flat bar bikes.??
It's a choice, no one will compel you to put a grip on the bars .... do what you wish..

you probably have a limit to what you see.. or saw..
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Old 04-05-19, 01:47 PM
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Cushy (aka "comfortable"?) and soft seem to be ask.. I like Fizik's tape; in your case I'd give the Tembo Bondcush Soft a shot:
https://www.competitivecyclist.com/f...t-bar-tape?s=a
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Old 04-05-19, 02:11 PM
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I've always been happy with Cinelli cork gel tape. I also liked the Nashbar tape, but I doubt that's around anymore since Nashbar got bought out.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:23 PM
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Zipp Service course, my go to for all bikes. Great stuff and not crazy spendy either!
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Old 04-05-19, 03:26 PM
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some of each..

And there is Under tape Gel pads ..this (Fizik) was put on my C&V road bike,



On my straight bar bikes 2 have Ergon grip/bar end setups , 1 has round grips..


Trekking bars are double layer taped...






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-10-19 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 04-05-19, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Do you want to put your hands between the grips on a flat bar? Just curious, I don't know anybody who rides that way.

Grips work well on flat bars because they're easy to fit, and damn near impossible to fit for drops.
Um, no. I have no need to put tape between the grips. Why would I do that.?? I am asking why not put tape where the grips are, eliminating the grips. And no, I wouldn't put grips on drop bars.

In all due respect, after re-reading your post, I understand now what you were asking. No, I wouldn't ride with my hands between the grips.
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Old 04-05-19, 06:58 PM
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The COOP bikes at REI seem to have some super cushion thick bar tape. I have no idea how well it performs and what happens when it gets wet. Personal choice.. I don't like super cushion tape, I end up grabbing too tight to get a good confident grip when I am riding off road or in gravel and it ends up making things worse on my hands instead of better on long rides.
I personally like Planet Bike comfort cork. It has a silicone strip back for easy rewrap and removal (website description says adhesive backed but my last two sets were just a tacky silicone strip), comfortable and it performs well wet and dry, and has a gel like feel compared to any other other cork I've tried. I put an old piece of whatever I have laying around on the outside of the drops under it, not so it is double wrapped but just some extra where the outside of my hand rests. I've seen some people do that on the flats to.

Kind of related..
Walmart.com has Fizik gel pads on clearance. Low stock but only $10.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bar-Gel-4...Tape/733036213

Last edited by u235; 04-05-19 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 04-05-19, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Um, no. I have no need to put tape between the grips. Why would I do that.?? I am asking why not put tape where the grips are, eliminating the grips. And no, I wouldn't put grips on drop bars.

In all due respect, after re-reading your post, I understand now what you were asking. No, I wouldn't ride with my hands between the grips.

It's always interesting to try to figure out why something isn't done the other way. I think there are probably two reasons tape isn't used on flat bars. First is being flat doesn't really offer a natural place for the hand to grip, so the handle grips provide an irregular surface that sort of catches the hands. With drops, you're really grasping the bars from the side, usually either on the hoods or the drops, this really allows you to grasp the bars with your thumbs opposite from the fingers. With flats, all of your digits are on the same side, so unless there's something substantial to hold onto, your hands will tend to slip. The second reason, I'm guessing, is that I think that tape is going to unravel off of a flat bar more easily than off drops.

I have seen tube stuff that was supposed to take the place of bar tape, but not in a few decades. Basically, it was foam rubber grips, kind of like pipe insulation.
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Old 04-05-19, 10:16 PM
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I dont have a close up of the new tape but it feels good to me.

On my Raleigh I wrapped Brooks leather over some cork tape, not sure of brand. It looks kinda fat, but feels good.

I just put on this red Fizik 2mm tape. The old cloth stuff was on its 4th year, and I don't like shellac, so it was getting pretty dingy. This was after unwrapping and throwing in the washing machine. I started wrapping over the cloth, but thought it looked too fat, so I wrapped it over bare bars.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 04-05-19 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 04-05-19, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
Zipp Service course, my go to for all bikes. Great stuff and not crazy spendy either!
+1, although I've learned that there are two types: "Road" and "CX". The former is pretty conventional foam-based tape, but not bad. The CX tape is the good stuff: thicker and "rubberier" in a comfy and durable way. And the white tape cleans up surprisingly well.
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Old 04-05-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
It's always interesting to try to figure out why something isn't done the other way. I think there are probably two reasons tape isn't used on flat bars. First is being flat doesn't really offer a natural place for the hand to grip, so the handle grips provide an irregular surface that sort of catches the hands. With drops, you're really grasping the bars from the side, usually either on the hoods or the drops, this really allows you to grasp the bars with your thumbs opposite from the fingers. With flats, all of your digits are on the same side, so unless there's something substantial to hold onto, your hands will tend to slip. The second reason, I'm guessing, is that I think that tape is going to unravel off of a flat bar more easily than off drops.

I have seen tube stuff that was supposed to take the place of bar tape, but not in a few decades. Basically, it was foam rubber grips, kind of like pipe insulation.
I understand what you're saying. On the flatbar Schwinn that I ride I am often placing the heal on my hands on top of the widest point of the bars. Sort of like having those bar end grips that are slighly vertical. And almost like gripping hoods on drops but there is nothing to hold onto. My fingers and thumbs are free from gripping anything. So any control that I have is conducive to the heals of my hands.
I have a new bike coming with drops. I love the bike but the tape is rather thin promoting a hard surface while gripping the corners of the dropbars. I haven't spent a lot of time on the bike but that's my initial thought, feel. I hope to have the new Specialized E5 Comp paid off in a couple weeks. Looking forward to that bike. Aluminum with a 105 groupset.
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Old 04-05-19, 11:01 PM
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I have actually done everything listed in this thread I think.

As for soft bar tape my two favorites are Profile Design and Specialized gel tapes. I also like the planet bike gel pads for extra comfort. My current method is to use my old wrap as a tight base layer, then put the gel pads on, and finally wrapping with the new tape. The result is a very cushy bar.

I have also wrapped a flat bar. Before recently making some upgrades to my mountain bike I had some really cheap bell ergo grips combined with some bar extenders. I used some inner tube to make the bars kinda even all the way from the grips to the end of the bar extenders. Then I wrapped them with bar tape. It worked ok but I know it probably looked funky and I decided not to redo it after some upgrades.
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Old 04-05-19, 11:11 PM
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Cannondale Synapse tape is $20 and is cushiony. Maybe not as cushiony as some of the Fizik 3.5 thick tape, but it's less expensive.
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Old 04-07-19, 11:47 AM
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I lucked out, went into a sporting goods store early in the season, before the hockey coaches could buy out the entire stock( like they usually do), it's for hockey sticks:
Hockey Tape
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Old 04-07-19, 04:00 PM
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I like Lizard Skins DSP bar tape. The 2.5 or 3.2 is very comfy.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:43 PM
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S-Works Roubaix tape - ~$30, w gel pads. Very comfy.
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Old 04-10-19, 04:19 AM
  #23  
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I'm a late in life convert to more expensive, soft bar tape after buying a Trek Domane that came with Bontrager Double Gel Cork Handlebar Tape. I've found it very comfortable, and durable. It is on a bit of a sale right now via Trek - look here.

They have some slightly less expensive, less padded similar tape in more colors, as well.
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Old 04-10-19, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
why is it that bar tape isn't used on flat bar bikes.??
Flat bars generally only have one hand position, so a hand grip is usually sufficient.
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Old 04-10-19, 08:41 AM
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I bought my Roubaix used and it had gel pads under the tape. I hated the feel. Took it off and replaced with a fizik bar tape. Don't recall which thickness but it wasn't the thickest. Big improvement for me. So many choices out there you just need to pick something and give it a try. It's not a huge investment so if it doesn't work out, get something else.
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