Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

2nd hand road bike, should I remove bar tape to inspect bars?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

2nd hand road bike, should I remove bar tape to inspect bars?

Old 09-23-23, 03:47 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
2nd hand road bike, should I remove bar tape to inspect bars?

I've just bought a 2nd hand Focus Summit for my son. Apparently the previous owner only used it on a turbo trainer. I have heard horror stories of handlebars breaking due to corrosion caused by sweat. The front derailleur is rusty and completely seized suggesting the bike has been exposed to a lot of sweat. The handlebar tape looks fine but I'm concerned the bars underneath might have corrosion. Is this likely or am I worrying unduly?


Crwban is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 03:50 PM
  #2  
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 33,146

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1329 Post(s)
Liked 1,198 Times in 596 Posts
nope
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 04:06 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
bboy314's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pioneer Valley
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 399 Times in 214 Posts
Couldnt hurt to take a look.
bboy314 is offline  
Likes For bboy314:
Old 09-23-23, 04:11 PM
  #4  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Location: California's capital
Posts: 225

Bikes: Litespeed Firenze, Spot Acme, Specialzed S Works Pro Race, Davidson Stiletto, Colnago Superissimo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 78 Posts
I would. Think of how nasty the tape is from the same sweat (TBF looks possible it's been replaced, perhaps as a cosmetic makeover).
Rick_D is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 04:26 PM
  #5  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,151

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5839 Post(s)
Liked 4,458 Times in 3,074 Posts
Hard to say. I've never found any bars that had much if any corrosion under them whether mine or the few others I've dealt with. And the few that had any corrosion of any notable amount were bare alloy or steel bars. Those appear to be anodized or painted, so less likely to have issues I'd think.

If you are confident and decent at wrapping, why not? Some tapes can be re-used.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 04:42 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,179
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 308 Times in 203 Posts
I would remove everything to bare bars and inspect and clean if necessary. While the bars are bare put some force on them and look for any cracks.
Rick is offline  
Likes For Rick:
Old 09-23-23, 04:49 PM
  #7  
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 16,132

Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate, Ultegra; Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9252 Post(s)
Liked 10,381 Times in 5,282 Posts
You should remove the bar tape, if only because the blues don't match.

Seriously, though - replacing things like cables and bar tape makes the bike yours. Well, okay - PAYING for it is what literally makes it yours. But I mean it's what makes it feel like yours.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is offline  
Likes For genejockey:
Old 09-23-23, 05:12 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
bboy314's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pioneer Valley
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 399 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
Hard to say. I've never found any bars that had much if any corrosion under them whether mine or the few others I've dealt with. And the few that had any corrosion of any notable amount were bare alloy or steel bars. Those appear to be anodized or painted, so less likely to have issues I'd think.

If you are confident and decent at wrapping, why not? Some tapes can be re-used.
Having worked in shops servicing bikes used for racing and training, Ive actually seen quite a few badly corroded handlebars. Given the (probably sweat-induced) rust elsewhere on the bike, Id probably want to take a look under the bar tape.
bboy314 is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 06:37 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
50PlusCycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 963
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 456 Post(s)
Liked 600 Times in 328 Posts
Normally, I would say “no,” but having recently seen someone break a corroded bar during a sprint, and causing a pretty spectacular crash, now I would say “yes.”
50PlusCycling is offline  
Likes For 50PlusCycling:
Old 09-23-23, 06:59 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6,961
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 3,837 Times in 2,430 Posts
I would also remove the bar tape and inspect. They certainly can corrode with heavy trainer use. Ask me how I know?
PeteHski is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 08:15 PM
  #11  
LRP=HR
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,004

Bikes: Holdsworth 1979 Special, C-dale 1993 MT3000 Tandem & 1996 F700CAD3, Cervelo 2022 R5 & 2018 R3, JustGo Runt, Ridley Oval, Kickr Bike 8-)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 788 Post(s)
Liked 1,067 Times in 620 Posts
The cost of a roll of tape would put your mind at rest.

it would also be a good excuse to get rid of the extra brake levers.


Barry
Barry2 is offline  
Likes For Barry2:
Old 09-23-23, 08:22 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,601

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
Liked 902 Times in 651 Posts
I've seen heavily corroded bars, though never really enough to cause a failure but I always hated peeling the tape away to find the powdery gray corrosion from people over sweating. For that reason I'd always replace the tape on a used bike just cause of how gross it could be without seeing it.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 09:59 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
spelger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: reno, nv
Posts: 2,124

Bikes: yes, i have one

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1044 Post(s)
Liked 1,089 Times in 627 Posts
i would, but just because i don't want my hands on someone else sweat mess left behind.
spelger is offline  
Old 09-23-23, 10:25 PM
  #14  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,138

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10496 Post(s)
Liked 6,938 Times in 3,915 Posts
It's bar tape- just replace it with new stuff that your kid likes, whether thars color or texture.
The stuff is $6-30 depending on brand, website, and sale. Hardly something to even think twice about.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 01:48 AM
  #15  
seor miembro
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 8,476

Bikes: '70s - '80s Campagnolo

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3691 Post(s)
Liked 6,103 Times in 3,033 Posts
I always replace the previous owner's gross bar tape ... during a full overhaul of the bike, of course.
SurferRosa is online now  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 09-24-23, 02:18 AM
  #16  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Barry2
The cost of a roll of tape would put your mind at rest.

it would also be a good excuse to get rid of the extra brake levers.


Barry
I Don't want to go off topic but I'm interested to know what's wrong with the extra levers, surely it's safer to ride with them?
Crwban is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 03:22 AM
  #17  
Doesn't brain good.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,787

Bikes: 5 good ones, and the occasional project.

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1579 Post(s)
Liked 1,355 Times in 781 Posts
Originally Posted by Crwban
I Don't want to go off topic but I'm interested to know what's wrong with the extra levers, surely it's safer to ride with them?
It's a cyclocross racing thing. Generally they're never used outside of CX racing because nobody rides with their hands in that position unless they are climbing a steep grade and are positioning their body for best respiration and core muscle engagement. Going uphill slowly at very high effort rarely generates a need for emergent brake use unless you are in a very dense pack of people. Even then, hands on the hoods/shifters would result in more control. They are also a secondary to a crash broke brake lever.

IOW: those levers outside of that specialty use are a redundant waste of space & as such most people remove them.
__________________
I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.

Car dependency is a tax.
base2 is offline  
Likes For base2:
Old 09-24-23, 05:13 AM
  #18  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I've just taken some of the tape off and the bars look fine. I managed to stick the tape back on again also.
Crwban is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 08:22 AM
  #19  
LRP=HR
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,004

Bikes: Holdsworth 1979 Special, C-dale 1993 MT3000 Tandem & 1996 F700CAD3, Cervelo 2022 R5 & 2018 R3, JustGo Runt, Ridley Oval, Kickr Bike 8-)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 788 Post(s)
Liked 1,067 Times in 620 Posts
Originally Posted by Crwban
I Don't want to go off topic but I'm interested to know what's wrong with the extra levers, surely it's safer to ride with them?

its one of those things!

if you have to ask..

🙂

Barry
Barry2 is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 04:36 PM
  #20  
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 1,524

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 691 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 523 Posts
suggest you also replace the bolts holding the stem faceplate

and re-torque them properly (4-6 Nm)

some evidence of corrosion on this bike.

/markp
mpetry912 is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 04:53 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,151

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 1,381 Times in 887 Posts
Whats the big deal... Strip it down, buff out the existing rust, replace rusty bolts, put on new cables and tape, polish the bike up.

The bike deserves it!

Fun, Fun, Fun...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 06:38 PM
  #22  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 12,660

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4004 Post(s)
Liked 3,511 Times in 2,347 Posts
Yes I would always remove someone else's tape and throw it directly in the trash. It is garbage pure and simple. It is soaked in someone else's corrosive nasty sweat. Get new tape, tape is cheap if you want cheap tape or you can get some nicer tape and enjoy it more.

Bars should really be inspected with some regularity, yearly or or every two years is a good idea. It doesn't hurt to do and doesn't cost much but a corroded bar can cost quite a lot.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 09-24-23, 10:09 PM
  #23  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: Florida west coast
Posts: 78

Bikes: Kestrel Legend SL, Motobecane Grand Record

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 23 Posts
I bought a used bike recently with carbon bars. They were too wide so I replaced them with narrower bars. Glad I did because after removing the tape I discovered the brake levers were way overtightened and caused indentations and a minor crack in the carbon fiber.
Biker Pete is offline  
Old 09-25-23, 10:49 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Black wallnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ellensburg,WA
Posts: 3,134

Bikes: Schwinn Broadway, Specialized Secteur Sport(crashed) Spec. Roubaix Sport, Spec. Crux

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 139 Times in 70 Posts
I'd replace for the simple reason that they are wrapped wrong. The secondary brake levers... I agree with base2 . Ditch them.

Replacing fasteners because of surface rust is throwing money away, however fasteners cost pennies, well they cost me pennies when I buy in boxes of 100 from an industrial supply house. Your local ACE or Turue Valuse might have them for a bit more than pennies, being metric cap screws and all.
__________________
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria

Last edited by Black wallnut; 09-25-23 at 10:53 AM.
Black wallnut is offline  
Old 09-25-23, 01:10 PM
  #25  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,138

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10496 Post(s)
Liked 6,938 Times in 3,915 Posts
Originally Posted by Crwban
I Don't want to go off topic but I'm interested to know what's wrong with the extra levers, surely it's safer to ride with them?
Originally Posted by base2
It's a cyclocross racing thing. Generally they're never used outside of CX racing because nobody rides with their hands in that position unless they are climbing a steep grade and are positioning their body for best respiration and core muscle engagement. Going uphill slowly at very high effort rarely generates a need for emergent brake use unless you are in a very dense pack of people. Even then, hands on the hoods/shifters would result in more control. They are also a secondary to a crash broke brake lever.

IOW: those levers outside of that specialty use are a redundant waste of space & as such most people remove them.
They are also found on kids road bikes and entry level road bikes because they provide a transition safety point when people are moving from flat bars to drop bars and still not totally comfortable. Further, they have been on smaller road bikes because small hands dont grip STI brake levers as easily as large hands, and because the reach to brake levers is often a lot for many kids to continually manage. So interrupter levers allow people to ride comfortable on flat road with a hand on the brake still.

Yes, some remove them. No, they arent inherently redundant wastes of space.
mstateglfr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.