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POLL: Best shock absorbing bar tape?

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View Poll Results: What is the BEST Shock Absorbing handlebar tape?
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush
1
2.22%
Cinelli Gel Cork
5
11.11%
Lizard Skins DSP 3.2
13
28.89%
Fizik Performance 3mm Microtex
4
8.89%
Specialized S-wrap Roubaix
8
17.78%
Zipp Service Course CX
3
6.67%
Soma Thick and Zesty
0
0%
Something else! (post below)
11
24.44%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

POLL: Best shock absorbing bar tape?

Old 02-26-18, 12:08 PM
  #1  
maartendc
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POLL: Best shock absorbing bar tape?

Hello all,

I know this has been asked before, but instead of getting just a list of answers, I wanted to post a poll to see which is the most popular shock absorbing bar tape out there? I am ONLY interested in shock absorbing ones, so I excluded just "regular" or "all purpose" bar tapes. (I included the most common ones I have found, please post below if I forgot any).

Post WHY you voted the way you did below! (is it ALSO durable, cheap, good feeling, good looking, ... )

Personally I am using Cinelli Gel Cork tape, pretty happy with it. I am re-wrapping my bars soon, and wanting to try something different for a change.

Thanks!

Last edited by maartendc; 02-26-18 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-26-18, 01:37 PM
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Personally I'd rather spend the money on bar phat type stuff and use a tape I can afford to replace often than to spend piles on the lizard skins type thick tape.
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Old 02-26-18, 01:39 PM
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Zipp Service Course CX is half the price of Lizard Skins and twice as nice.

It is one of the best kept secrets in cycling.


-Tim-
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Old 02-26-18, 01:42 PM
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Its not going to make a big difference anyway. If road shock and vibration are bothering you, consider lower tire pressure in the front wheel, or work on a loose "floating" grip where you wont get the same level of vibration.
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Old 02-26-18, 02:01 PM
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Pneumatic tires are the best shock-absorbing bar tape.

Requiring that the stuff on a handlebar double as suspension constrains its design in terms of hand grip.
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Old 02-26-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Its not going to make a big difference anyway. If road shock and vibration are bothering you, consider lower tire pressure in the front wheel, or work on a loose "floating" grip where you wont get the same level of vibration.
Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Pneumatic tires are the best shock-absorbing bar tape.

Requiring that the stuff on a handlebar double as suspension constrains its design in terms of hand grip.
I have to disagree, I do notice a big difference between bar tapes. I tried the Fizik Microtex and hated it, too "hard". The Cinelli Gel Cork proved to be way better for absorbing shocks and virbations.
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Old 02-26-18, 02:33 PM
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Add the Fizik Under tape bar gel pads then use their tape or something else.. in a kit tape is black, but pad set is sold separately..


I have some Generic Gel tape ..It's stripe on the back, a reusable creep resistant adhesive substitute , more than cushioning..
but in that , it does have that benefit.








....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-26-18 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 02-26-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
I have to disagree, I do notice a big difference between bar tapes. I tried the Fizik Microtex and hated it, too "hard". The Cinelli Gel Cork proved to be way better for absorbing shocks and virbations.
It does make a difference, but it's not necessary for shock absorption if shocks aren't getting there in the first place. There are people out there still using a thin hard layer of old-school cotton cloth tape who can ride it all day in comfort, if they don't overpump their tires.

But if you like the feel of gel cork, then definitely use it.
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Old 02-26-18, 02:44 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Zipp Service Course CX is half the price of Lizard Skins and twice as nice.

It is one of the best kept secrets in cycling.


-Tim-

I will second and third this. Zipp is the best IMO. I use it on all my bikes as well. Priced nicely too.
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Old 02-26-18, 07:18 PM
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Using bar tape for shock absorption is a losing proposition. HTFU
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Old 02-26-18, 07:21 PM
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Why are road riders such wusses these days. Why BITD we rode 19 mm tires pumped to 120 psi with unpadded tape. The internet has spawned a whole generation of softies.
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Old 02-26-18, 10:22 PM
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Old inner tube. Got the idea from the GCN YouTube channel. Works great. It significantly reduces road buzz with minimal added thickness.

Looks like hell. Smudges my hands, gloves and white brake hoods. I have some proper cosmetic bar tape to wrap around it. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. That'll solve the problem with smudging.

Even if you don't keep it, the inner tube strips are a cheap way to practice bar wrapping without ruining good tape.

Don't forget to clip off the valve stem.
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Old 02-26-18, 11:18 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why are road riders such wusses these days. Why BITD we rode 19 mm tires pumped to 120 psi with unpadded tape. The internet has spawned a whole generation of softies.
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Old 02-27-18, 05:13 AM
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Bontrager Gel Cork Tape - on sale now at Trek web site.
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Old 02-27-18, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
So you are saying that riders are wusses now and proud of it?
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Old 02-27-18, 06:42 AM
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The best-kept secret in cycling, as far as I'm concerned: Syntace Cork tape. Not gel-cushioned but airy-yet-firm to the touch.
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Old 02-27-18, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why are road riders such wusses these days. Why BITD we rode 19 mm tires pumped to 120 psi with unpadded tape. The internet has spawned a whole generation of softies.
All the tough roadies have switched to gravel, hence the need for shock absorption.

Haven't you heard?


-Tim-
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Old 02-27-18, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
All the tough roadies have switched to gravel, hence the need for shock absorption.

Haven't you heard?


-Tim-
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why are road riders such wusses these days. Why BITD we rode 19 mm tires pumped to 120 psi with unpadded tape. The internet has spawned a whole generation of softies.
If you'd see the size of the bumps and potholes on the "bike trails" I ride, you'd know why. It is fine for a short ride, but after 4 hours of that, my wrists hurt like hell.

Yeah yeah, I know, drop air pressure, wider tires, blablabla. But every little bit helps, hence the question on bar tape.
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Old 02-27-18, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
If you'd see the size of the bumps and potholes on the "bike trails" I ride, you'd know why. It is fine for a short ride, but after 4 hours of that, my wrists hurt like hell.

Yeah yeah, I know, drop air pressure, wider tires, blablabla. But every little bit helps, hence the question on bar tape.

Yep, HTFU and drop pressure is the answer to everything.

Meanwhile my tires are already as low as they can go and the Zipp tape is $15 on sale. I have two boxes sitting in my closet and run it on my gravel bike because it is great at absorbing shock without feeling all sticky like the Lizard Skin tape.


-Tim-
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Old 02-27-18, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Using bar tape for shock absorption is a losing proposition. HTFU
Yep. Core strength and tire quality/pressure.
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Old 02-27-18, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
If you'd see the size of the bumps and potholes on the "bike trails" I ride, you'd know why. It is fine for a short ride, but after 4 hours of that, my wrists hurt like hell.

Yeah yeah, I know, drop air pressure, wider tires, blablabla. But every little bit helps, hence the question on bar tape.
Stop absorbing the road with your wrists. Bend your elbows and support yourself with your core.
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Old 02-27-18, 10:37 AM
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Performance GripTec2 and Fabric Knurl are my two current favorite tapes. Both are really similar tapes, so I go for whichever is cheapest at the time. As far as shock absorbing I'd rate them both higher than cork, but less than products with extra gel padding, double tape etc.

Also agree with above re: tire pressure and/or fit/core optimization.
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Old 02-27-18, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
Stop absorbing the road with your wrists. Bend your elbows and support yourself with your core.
Yeah I am planning to start doing core training on top of my regular training. It is true that this is often overlooked.
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Old 02-27-18, 03:48 PM
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Every once in a while I bust out my 1980's rigs. Yikes, what a departure from modern.

It's just what you get used to, and what was/is available.

The biggest "shock" besides the toe-clips (straps) is how thin and absolutely ineffective our bar tape was. It never crossed my mind back then that softer tape would be nice, bikes felt hard...that's just the way it was.

Anyway, my daily bike has some Bontrager branded tape that looks like Cinelli cork. It is incredibly effective at isolating road "noise".

Every time I start thinking the new generation are a bunch of wimps, one of these kids will prove me wrong.

Anyway, to sum it up, Yes, bar tape can have a substantial effect on comfort. Just don't go too soft, you want some feeling to translate through the bars.
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Old 02-28-18, 12:07 AM
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I rode my '89 Centurion Ironman with just the thin bar tape for a few weeks last summer. The authentic experience is overrated.

Padded or insulated bar tape has been available or improvised for as long as I can remember. Back in the '70s I used a fairly thick beveled rubber bar tape that did pretty much what inner tube strips and similar tape does. Helped on long rides in Mexico on rough roads. It replaced some much thicker foam rubber padding, the sort of thing used as pipe insulation or pool noodles now. That tape had no adhesive, was easy to rewrap. I'm sure the same or similar stuff is still available.

Being miserable doesn't make anyone faster, unless we're talking quitting sooner and getting to the pub for a consolation beer. Between two racers of equal capabilities, the one who's more comfortable or in less pain at the end of a long stage or multi-stage race will probably fare better.
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