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White bar tape that stays pure white..no kidding

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White bar tape that stays pure white..no kidding

Old 11-10-22, 06:10 PM
  #1  
fishboat
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White bar tape that stays pure white..no kidding

Some bikes scream for white bar tape and when it's first wrapped on the bars it looks..perfect. Unless the bike is a wall-hanger, then comes the first ride and that lovely white tape just...gets..trashed. From that point on the tape is only white in memory or in your dreams.

Last fall I was looking for some tape that stayed white. I did about as much research as I could on the topic here on BF as well as anywhere else I could think of. I ended up taking someone's advice here (don't remember who) to buy some brand (don't remember which) that stayed white! While I don't remember the brand, I do remember it ran me $30-$35..not crazy expensive, but not cheap in the world of bar tapes. I wear grey-padded riding gloves.

Well..the following two pics are after three rides(approx 140-150 miles total) with the new "stays white!" tape. Actually it looked nearly this bad after the first ride. I tried cleaning the tape after the first ride...zero help. Pretty disgusting.



Then I had an idea to try something else. I wrapped some different tape over the existing ugly tape. The following two pics are after about a dozen rides, maybe 500-600 miles total. I do wipe the tape off after every ride(soapy water, window cleaner..whatever is handy), though I don't really see anything that needs cleaning.




The following is the over-wrap tape I'm using. About $6 a ten foot roll(at Menards). You'll need nearly a full 10 foot roll for each side of your (drop) bars. I've had no issues with it being slick wet or dry. Actually it's a tacky-type surface feel. So far..it works well. It's available at box stores in the electrical dept.
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Old 11-10-22, 07:03 PM
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Old 11-10-22, 08:04 PM
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I always run white tape (different brands, too) and it takes a long time for mine to start looking dingy. I ride bare-handed and in dry weather, so that may be the reason.
The only tape I had that was bullet proof (never changed it even after tens of thousand of miles) was the one that came on the Iron Man Centurion I bought. I know it wasn't original to the bike. It was very smooth and glossy, and also very hard. Not much comfort, but it stayed clean.
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Old 11-10-22, 08:07 PM
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Fizik's white tape stays white. If you get some chain grime on it, just wash it off with some degreaser.
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Old 11-11-22, 12:44 AM
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I've used white Deda Mistral tape for quite a while. It looks good, is easy to wrap, is durable and stays clean. If it gets a little grimy, it's easy to clean it up as good as new. No padding, which I used to prefer, but now with some wrist issues, i either use padded tape or put gel under the Mistral.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:12 AM
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Great post. Thanks very much for the tip about white/clear silicone tape. I used to use white (i.e., translucent) Benotto tape over white cork tape. Looked terrific (someone once left a note on my locked-up bike complimenting the show-car-like depth of color!), but Benotto tape rolls were always too short for the job, which meant either that each bike required inventive wrapping using three rolls or that segments of the cork tape on the uppermost or lowermost portions of the bar were left exposed. And, of course, Benotto tape hasn't been manufactured for decades.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:54 AM
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That white silicone tape is a lot cheaper than when I buy it as bicycling-specific finishing tape. Good reminder that I should go to the local hardware store when my roll runs out.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:57 AM
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Benotto tape was nice stuff. I used it with a thin foam underwrap with yellow Benotto over the top. That combo was on the bike for 30+ years and it still looked very nice. Any yellow tape today would be trashed in no time.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:15 AM
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My wife's LBS talked her in to Lizard Skins and it was ugly after only a couple rides. She's cleaned it twice over the last 350 miles using recommendations from several LS "experts" and it still looks like crap. Her previous tape of choice was Specialized S-Wrap but it's been discontinued. She would get ~3 years (5,000 miles per year) before I'd change it and only then because she was wearing the surface out, not the color.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:49 AM
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Gray tape FTW
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Old 11-11-22, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I have overwrapped white tape with white tennis racket wrap for a cheap temporary solution to stained white tape. The tennis racket wrap seems to clean better than must handlebar tape I've used.
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Old 11-11-22, 11:21 AM
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I put white tape on my Paramount when I built it out and I was surprised how clean it stayed compared to how most everyone else seemed to bash white tape as being too hard to clean and getting stained. Looked good for over four years. I gave the bike away and now it's got black tape on it.

But even when I got gunk from the chain on it it just wiped off with the same wipes I use on my frame.

Fizik was the brand, I don't quite remember which version of their tapes.
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Old 11-11-22, 01:25 PM
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Went and found me old bars with the white tape still on it. I assume it's Fizik, since that is what's on the bar end plug. I don't know if it's a tape that is still offered, as I had bought this bike ten or more years ago, but it looks like the "TEMPO BONDCUSH 3MM CLASSIC" that they show on the sight. However, I'm pretty sure the gloss it has is from someone shellacking over the tape. I see on the spots I would have my hands most often, the gloss has worn away a bit and the bare tape is show, much like how it looks on Fizik's site. Shellacking would definitely extend the life and appearance of any bar tape.
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Old 11-11-22, 02:47 PM
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I think before using 'stays white' bar tape, you need 'stays black' cycling gloves
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Old 11-11-22, 04:18 PM
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The dingy off-white that comes with usage is cool. Embrace it.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:33 PM
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My vote goes for Fizik Tempo Microtex Bondcush tape, I have red one currently and is stays red, I suspect the same will happen to white tape.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:27 PM
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If your tape is that grungy imagine what is going on underneath that is not just gray from baking in the sun that is nasty corrosive sweat just soaked into that tape sitting on top of the bars doing who knows what to them. Replace your tape with some regularity whatever you choose and make sure to inspect those bars and make sure there isn't corrosion happening or anything bad because a failed bar is not a fun ride.

If I were to do a white bar tape it would probably be the ESI RCT Wrap because it has no glue or adhesives so it can come off and be washed off the bike and then reused and I can inspect my bars with some frequency and also re-wrap because I am not a great wrapper.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:11 PM
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I second the DEDA stuff mentioned earlier. Its on Amazon if you like to shop that way.


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Old 11-12-22, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Some bikes scream for white bar tape and when it's first wrapped on the bars it looks..perfect. Unless the bike is a wall-hanger, then comes the first ride and that lovely white tape just...gets..trashed. From that point on the tape is only white in memory or in your dreams.

Last fall I was looking for some tape that stayed white. I did about as much research as I could on the topic here on BF as well as anywhere else I could think of. I ended up taking someone's advice here (don't remember who) to buy some brand (don't remember which) that stayed white! While I don't remember the brand, I do remember it ran me $30-$35..not crazy expensive, but not cheap in the world of bar tapes. I wear grey-padded riding gloves.

Well..the following two pics are after three rides(approx 140-150 miles total) with the new "stays white!" tape. Actually it looked nearly this bad after the first ride. I tried cleaning the tape after the first ride...zero help. Pretty disgusting.



Then I had an idea to try something else. I wrapped some different tape over the existing ugly tape. The following two pics are after about a dozen rides, maybe 500-600 miles total. I do wipe the tape off after every ride(soapy water, window cleaner..whatever is handy), though I don't really see anything that needs cleaning.




The following is the over-wrap tape I'm using. About $6 a ten foot roll(at Menards). You'll need nearly a full 10 foot roll for each side of your (drop) bars. I've had no issues with it being slick wet or dry. Actually it's a tacky-type surface feel. So far..it works well. It's available at box stores in the electrical dept.

Interesting option. I see that this tape is "self-bonding". So if you were to remove the over-wrapped tape for some reason, would it damage the underlying (i.e., original) bar wrap?
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Old 11-12-22, 12:12 PM
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No, I use that stuff as finishing tape and have re-wrapped my bars with the same tape a bunch (new finishing tape every time) without any damage.
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Old 11-12-22, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean_TX View Post
Interesting option. I see that this tape is "self-bonding". So if you were to remove the over-wrapped tape for some reason, would it damage the underlying (i.e., original) bar wrap?
The tape sticks to itself with a little time, but can be repositioned (pulled away from itself) if you do it quickly. Once it bonds to itself and you try to remove the overwrap, it'll come off in one piece, leaving the original tape intact with no damage (in my experience, so far).

As mentioned above, it works well as finishing tape when you do a conventional tape bar-wrap. I've been using it this way for years. Once I did the white tape and it got nasty very quickly I figured..might as well use the finishing tape over the whole thing and see what happens. Very happy with it so far.
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Old 11-12-22, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
No, I use that stuff as finishing tape and have re-wrapped my bars with the same tape a bunch (new finishing tape every time) without any damage.
Thanks for replying 😊
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Old 11-12-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
The tape sticks to itself with a little time, but can be repositioned (pulled away from itself) if you do it quickly. Once it bonds to itself and you try to remove the overwrap, it'll come off in one piece, leaving the original tape intact with no damage (in my experience, so far).

As mentioned above, it works well as finishing tape when you do a conventional tape bar-wrap. I've been using it this way for years. Once I did the white tape and it got nasty very quickly I figured..might as well use the finishing tape over the whole thing and see what happens. Very happy with it so far.
Thanks! I'm going to give this a try.
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Old 11-14-22, 11:05 AM
  #24  
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A couple of my bikes have white tape, one has yellow, they both show dirt, which tells me that my black tape has to be dirty too, so I clean them all.

I use Dawn for Dishes, not the citrus crap though, with a sponge, and lather it up well and scrub the tapes, and they come clean; on rare occasion I might have to use 409 to get stubborn stains off.

I will say this, I can ride for a lot longer than a couple of dozen rides and my tape won't look near as bad as yours, not sure why, though it could be that I also wash my gloves about every 4th ride, and by washing my gloves it could be keeping the tape cleaner longer.

I haven't found any tape, including Fizik tape, that will stay clean. I think the old 70's and 80's era plastic tape stayed cleaner than the new stuff, but that plastic tape had no cushioning, and it didn't breathe so your hands sweated all over it which made it slippery when it got wet.
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Old 11-15-22, 02:04 PM
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Finally bit the bullet and wrapped a red bike bar w white (fizik) tape. Ten rides in and no discernible dirt. Two things I do differently; I always wash my hands before the ride, and I don't wear gloves on that bike. Good Luck!
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