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Gel under bartape?

Old 05-02-07, 12:27 AM
  #1  
mrbubbles
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Gel under bartape?

What's your take on this? Gel tapes, gel padding over the bar and under the tape, etc.

Personally, I love the Specialized Barphat, but the manager at a LBS that doesn't sell Specialized or any gel tapes says gel tape and under tape gel paddings are POS.

His argument: they shift and mould out of shape after prolong use.
His recommendation: double wrap the bar using regular tape to get the extra vibration dampening. Thus telling customer to buy double the amount of bar tape they need.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:43 AM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by mrbubbles
His recommendation: double wrap the bar using regular tape to get the extra vibration dampening. Thus telling customer to buy double the amount of bar tape they need.
that's what i do and it works great. i hate wearing gloves, and i'd buy the gel stuff if it wasn't $25, but the double-thick tape works fine for me.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:45 AM
  #3  
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It's personal preference.

Obviously over time it's going to move, especially if your tape job sucks. By then it's probably time to retape your bars anyway.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:57 AM
  #4  
eskimo85
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i prefer the thinner stuff, better feeling to the bar
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Old 05-02-07, 01:11 AM
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i like big fat mushy bars the best
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Old 05-02-07, 01:14 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by dog hair
that's what i do and it works great. i hate wearing gloves, and i'd buy the gel stuff if it wasn't $25, but the double-thick tape works fine for me.
sometimes, on long rides, my hands get sore...but on short rides, sometimes my hands get numb so I'm considering it myself. but I ride with glove because when I fall (not that I fall much) I don't want to tear up my hands.
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Old 05-02-07, 03:43 AM
  #7  
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I prefer using Cinelli Gel tape.. I used the bar phat on my cross bike after I broke my hand, it seemed to help with the pain..
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Old 05-02-07, 04:04 AM
  #8  
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I have it on my Allez & like it. It's never moved or shifted in the year plus that I've had the bike. I've rewrapped the bars a couple of times & the gel shows no signs of peeling off or breaking down.
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Old 05-02-07, 05:31 AM
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I have the Fizik bar gel under my tape. http://www.fizik.it/catalog_accessor...?subid=bar:gel
I have re-wrapped my bars and the gel has held up well. No movement or breaking down. Personally I like it much better than double wrapped bars.
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Old 05-02-07, 05:56 AM
  #10  
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I have gel under tape on 2 of my bikes, and i like them just fine.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:00 AM
  #11  
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I've got gel under the tape on my S-Works bar and I like it. It gives a nice cushy feel to the tape.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:38 AM
  #12  
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I had problems with my hnds last year. My problem was that I was spending a lot of time in my drops and the pressure and angles damaged the ulnar nerve (a main nerve that runs right through the middle of the bottom of your wrist/hand) and caused me to have weakness and numbness in my three smallest fingers. WHen I figured all this out I made a conscious effort to stay out of the drops unless necessary and to frequently change my hand position on the bars. The problem eventually went away.

This year, at the suggestion of a LBS owner, I just got some specialized gel wrap installed under my bar tape. It has taken some getting used to but I do like the big squishy feel of the bars and I am sure it kills some vibration. However, I wonder if it will help or harm my particular problem. It would seem to me that squishy bars might be more prone to put pressure on my ulnar nerve (think of the theory that you want a harder, not squishier saddle if your bits and pieces are getting numb....same idea, but for your wrist). Anyway, I did notice a little tingling in my hand a few days ago during a race where I was basically in the drops for 1 hour and 15 min. No big recurring problems yet.

My suggestion is to think about what you want gel wrap for. If you want to kill road vibration, I think it is a good choice. If you are getting hand numbness, I am not yet sold.

I have never tried the double wrap method...but it seems like an inexpensive choice you could try and remove easily if it sucks.
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Old 05-02-07, 07:44 AM
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I use the Bontrager gel tape on any bikes I spend a lot of time on, and it's the perfect balance between shock absorbtion/pressure distribution versus hand soreness from squeezing overly soft material.

The trick for finding the perfect balance for me involves:

1) using the gel tape

2) pulling it tight as hell so it doesn't move or feel to soft
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Old 05-02-07, 08:43 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Lucky07
I have it on my Allez & like it. It's never moved or shifted in the 5 months that I've had the bike. I've rewrapped the bars a couple of times & the gel shows no signs of peeling off or breaking down.
+ 1
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Old 05-02-07, 09:18 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Lucky07
I have it on my Allez & like it. It's never moved or shifted in the year plus that I've had the bike. I've rewrapped the bars a couple of times & the gel shows no signs of peeling off or breaking down.
+2.

The only downside is that you don't even need gloves, so if you crash, your hands will get destroyed.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by nobrainer440
+2.

The only downside is that you don't even need gloves, so if you crash, your hands will get destroyed.
something that I don't like is that I haven't worn gloves since getting my Allez (equipped with Bar Phat and White bar tape), so my white bar tape is slowly turning charcoal colored.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:05 AM
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I find the Specialized S-Wrap to be relatively thin yet super cushy. It's some nice stuff. I got it free with my Toupe saddle a while back and just put it on after replacing my bars post-crash.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:11 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by camflan
something that I don't like is that I haven't worn gloves since getting my Allez (equipped with Bar Phat and White bar tape), so my white bar tape is slowly turning charcoal colored.
Embrace the dirty tape look! Makes your bike look hard core.

Also, on topic, if you don't like the gel tape, you can get some good results by wrapping your bars with an old inner tube and then cork tape over that.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:23 AM
  #19  
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I've got Aztec padding under my tape--got it hoping it would help with finger numbness. No such luck--tweaking seat height/angle/fore-aft and stem length had more effect. Improved core conditioning is helping more than anything. It should be noted that I spend most of my time in the drops, and even when I go up to the hoods my back is almost parallel to the ground. I just retaped my old steel stalwart after replacing the stem--reused the old tape from about 4" from the top side of the brake levers (friction downtubes on this one) down into the drops under the new tape. Feels just as good as that spiffy $25 Aztec gel to me.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:59 AM
  #20  
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I have Bar Phat under my tape and it's never moved or caused the tape to move. On my previous bike, I had double-wrapped bars. The Bar Phat is more comfortable, IMO, but I think it all comes down to personal preference and the reason you need extra padding on the bars. My hand pain is probably going to feel different than your hand pain.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:04 PM
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It's great stuff, especially early in the season when you're resting on the bar tops too much. It doesn't break down and it makes up for thinner diameter of ergo bars on the tops and drops- which I don't like.

I've sinced removed the gel inserts and use the Bontrager gel tape, it's still soft but not quite as squishy.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:13 PM
  #22  
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+whatever on the Fizik gel.

Whats ironic is trying to wrap fizik gel padded bars with fizik tape is really tough because fizik doesnt give you enough tape to get the job done.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:16 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by mrbubbles
His recommendation: double wrap the bar using regular tape to get the extra vibration dampening. Thus telling customer to buy double the amount of bar tape they need.
So the shop recommends selling you two rolls of crappy bar tape instead of one roll of something better.

I use non-adhesive backed gel tapes (whatever brand, they are all the same). They don't deform if installed properly.
 
Old 05-02-07, 12:32 PM
  #24  
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I use the Specialized barphat on my EA-70s and have had them smush out quite a bit, change color (not that you can see it) and move around causing me to need to rewrap the bars. I still use it though, much more comfortable.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:45 PM
  #25  
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Is the bar aluminum or carbon? I had all that stuff on my aluminum bar, but I don't even have tape on the top part of my carbon K-Sword. Carbon bars have their pluses and minuses, but one of the pluses is inherent vibration dampening that might obviate the need for the further weight and fuss of gels.
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