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Does anyone try to clean their white bar tapes?

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Does anyone try to clean their white bar tapes?

Old 04-14-22, 09:13 PM
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qwaalodge
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Does anyone try to clean their white bar tapes?

They seem to turn "off-white" so easily. I guess I'll have to keep my gloves and hands clean. But for rainy rides, they can get muddy. Does anyone take them off to clean or replace or just regular bike wash would do?

The one I have is matte white and seem made of foam rubber. I chose it particularly because it was soft and thick and cheap. It's comfortable even on gravel but the foam rubber material got dirty so easily.

Last edited by qwaalodge; 04-14-22 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:27 PM
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If mine got to dirty I replaced it. Then I changed to black tape. White might have looked better but not once it got dirty.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:37 PM
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Those Magic Eraser sponges supposedly work, but I've got better things to do than clean my bar tape. I'd just get a different color.
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Old 04-14-22, 09:51 PM
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You can either use products that don't show their age as quickly, or make your peace with the fact that nothing looks new forever. I use white bar tape on a few bikes, and it stands as testament that the bikes get ridden.
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Old 04-14-22, 10:13 PM
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I use the Fizik stuff and it tends to stay pretty clean, unless I just had to mess with a greasy chain or something. Then I just clean it with degreaser. Mine is about 6 months old and it looks great still.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Those Magic Eraser sponges supposedly work, but I've got better things to do than clean my bar tape. I'd just get a different color.
I was actually looking to get dark brown bar tape instead until I got into a ride with lots of roadies riding gravel bikes, A LOT of them were using dark brown bar tapes!! Some had red or blue tapes. Fewest colors were white, yellow, and pink.

I was like OK, f$kk it! I went for white tape instead.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You can either use products that don't show their age as quickly, or make your peace with the fact that nothing looks new forever. I use white bar tape on a few bikes, and it stands as testament that the bikes get ridden.
I suppose that's fair assessment. My dirty white bar tape, that's my own business, not anyone else's!
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Old 04-14-22, 11:26 PM
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At the shop, we always dreaded the customer who wanted white bar tape installed because the mechanic who's installing it can't do another damn thing until it's finished, lest he gets his fingers dirty. And once it's done, no one dares to touch the bars until the customer picks it up. PITA.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:59 PM
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like white tape... even dirty white tape... Greatly Diluted 'Industrial Green" with a clean rag, getz it respectable again... always looks fine at 5 yds or 5mph...
on my roadies...
the gravel bike frame is British racing green, so of course the bar tape and saddle are rich leather brown...
if the frame is mostly Black or other darkish color (dark lapis, denim, sacramento green) then the bar tape is white or cream.
if the frame is 'color', then the bar tape is black or slate for cool and for warm, dark chocolate, hickory, garnet, depending... bicycle feng shui
...what we think, we become...
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Old 04-15-22, 12:00 AM
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Try? Yes.
Succeed? No.
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Old 04-15-22, 01:12 AM
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Didn't try the tape, but white hoods got clean with wd-40
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Old 04-15-22, 01:47 AM
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Ordinary Windex gets them quite clean. How clean depends on the material. I had an old De Rosa which had sewn-on while leather grips, and these stayed surprisingly clean for the 10 years or so I had the bike.
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Old 04-15-22, 01:49 AM
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I use white Fizik Microtex on the one bike that just really needs white tape. I also got the white version of Giro's Zero CS gloves for that bike. Between that, and occasionally cleaning with diluted Simple Green and a good rinse, it stays pretty clean. Not pristine white, but not bad.
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Old 04-15-22, 05:19 AM
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It's really simple...If a little bit of dirt or fading is causing you unnecessary aggravation and stress and if you're one of those people who is obsessed about keeping your bike sparkling clean, then choose colors that hide dirt better and are more forgiving to dirt and fading. Trying to keep white handlebar tape looking clean is fighting a loosing battle.
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Old 04-15-22, 05:29 AM
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When I used white tape I didn't try to clean it. "Evidence of process" as we'd say in woodworking.
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Old 04-15-22, 05:57 AM
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Yes, I've tried. I've gotten it to look better, but never back to as-new color, especially in the high-wear areas (around the hoods/under the brake levers where my fingers rest, basically). Really it isn't worth it, "better" is good enough. It's probably possible to get it bright white again, but it would take a lot of scrubbing, which would either decrease the life of the tape or tear it outright. Smoother tape, synthetic (rather than cork) are in general easier to clean. Cinelli with the impressed Cinelli logo, for example, you never get the grime out of the little indentations.

I appreciate the trouble this causes the LBS. When I took delivery of my bike (many moons ago), the shop owner yelled "White tape!!!" when he called out back to get one of his guys to get the bike. I do my own maintenance (mostly), so it was only a problem once. (That's what I tell myself.)
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Old 04-15-22, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
I appreciate the trouble this causes the LBS. When I took delivery of my bike (many moons ago), the shop owner yelled "White tape!!!" when he called out back to get one of his guys to get the bike. I do my own maintenance (mostly), so it was only a problem once. (That's what I tell myself.)
Hilarious! Now that I'm using one, I'm really liking the looks of white tape. It's kind off nicer to look at during the ride, even relaxing to look at. I could probably learn how do deal with the varying shades of white from use.

So it's likely going to be white tape when I purchase new bike in the future....In that case, I'll ask the LBS NOT to install any bar tape (unless it came with one) and I'll simply install the white tape myself base on Rolla experience and yours!

I installed the white tape myself but damaged it a little when I tried to remove it for cleaning. The electricians tape I used stuck real good to the tape.
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Old 04-15-22, 07:21 AM
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I hate wearing gloves and will only do so when it's cold. I had to resign myself to the fact that white tape is going to look like crap under those circumstances, so I pretty much choose any colors but white and bright yellow. It's actually not much of a sacrifice on my part as I'm not crazy about the appearance of clean white tape anyway. Looks a bit like bandages for my taste.
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Old 04-15-22, 07:31 AM
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I ran this one with Lizardskins white tape, for 8 years, until switching to metallic silver Ciclovation last year. I cleaned the white, yes, but depending on how much I rode it, also changed it pretty much annually, which I realize was both a bit indulgent and a bit of a hassle.



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Old 04-15-22, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I ran this one with Lizardskins white tape, for 8 years, until switching to metallic silver Ciclovation last year. I cleaned the white, yes, but depending on how much I rode it, also changed it pretty much annually, which I realize was both a bit indulgent and a bit of a hassle.




Have you considered trying to match the blue? That's what I did with my Serotta.
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Old 04-15-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Have you considered trying to match the blue? That's what I did with my Serotta.
That was the very first way I went, but it only lasted a couple of days because I did not like the look. The blue paint is quite particular— metallic cobalt is the best I can do to describe it— and seemingly impossible to match or complement in blue.

I tried gold, too, picking up on the gold detailing, but didn’t find one at the time which was sufficiently shiny, but it probably would have been OTT if I had.

The bike is third string in the road lineup these days, and I like the silver tape, so that’ll probably be where it stays for the next couple of years, and who knows what kind of neat bar tape might be available then; the stuff has gotten pretty wild the past few years.
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Old 04-15-22, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I hate wearing gloves and will only do so when it's cold. I had to resign myself to the fact that white tape is going to look like crap under those circumstances, so I pretty much choose any colors but white and bright yellow. It's actually not much of a sacrifice on my part as I'm not crazy about the appearance of clean white tape anyway. Looks a bit like bandages for my taste.
My gloves have black leather contact patch that seems to discolor the white tape when wet. I'll have to find a lighter colored replacement someday when the gloves is finally ruined from wear.

I hate gloves too but an accident and road rash force me to wear one on all my rides. When it's hot, I wet my gloves during rides but the wet gloves is also staining the white tape.
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Old 04-15-22, 09:50 AM
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I gave up on White, and other lighter hues, years ago. After just a few rides, it tends to look like crap. The only ones I could ever clean properly are the plastic ones, like the old Schwinn tape, or Benottos.
Tim
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Old 04-15-22, 10:54 AM
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I've had the Specialized white bar tape on my white-frame bike for over 10 years. The tape cleans up pretty well with alcohol.
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Old 04-15-22, 01:45 PM
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You could try 'splash' tape. Mulitiple-colored tape that (I think) looks good and gives my bicycles a unique look. Here's a link I picked from the web to illustrate what it is, I've never bought from walmart so don't know the quality/durability of this brand of bar tape.

Shulemin Handlebar Tape,2Pcs Cycling Road Bike Sports Bicycle Handlebar Rubber Tape Wrap with 2 Bar Plug - Walmart.com
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