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Bar Tape: to phat or not......

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Bar Tape: to phat or not......

Old 05-24-04, 07:39 PM
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I've managed to chew through the present (normal stock crap) bar tape and have been eyeing the phat gel stuff available.
anyone out there using it want to give a thumbs up or down?

I'm not unhappy with the way things have felt but I'm not opposed to more comfort either.
I'm riding aluminum with carbon fork and stem so I'm wondering if it'll be more gentle or the same?

what about just cork? that's a flavor I haven't tried either.
what do you like??
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Old 05-24-04, 08:00 PM
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I just switched to Phat and it's very nice!
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Old 05-24-04, 08:13 PM
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My wife is using the Bar Phat system from Specialized. I am using the gel tape without the gel pads underneath. We both really like it. For me the "Bar Phat " system with pads was a bit to squishy....but as I said my wife loves it.
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Old 05-24-04, 08:19 PM
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there's my point of trepidation right there;
I just replaced my gloves too (someone in an earlier thread discussed how descents 'disintegrate' and I gotta agree), I checked out the gel packed gloves and didn't like how apart or spaced from the bars it felt.
felt like the sensitivity was gone, like the palms of my hands were numb.
so that leads me to thinking maybe the gel would be nice in the bars for comfort but I would not like to feel too much squish or yet another thing numbing the feel too much.

so maybe the gel tape without the gel inserts could be it.
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Old 05-24-04, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by zotma
there's my point of trepidation right there;
I just replaced my gloves too (someone in an earlier thread discussed how descents 'disintegrate' and I gotta agree), I checked out the gel packed gloves and didn't like how apart or spaced from the bars it felt.
felt like the sensitivity was gone, like the palms of my hands were numb.
so that leads me to thinking maybe the gel would be nice in the bars for comfort but I would not like to feel too much squish or yet another thing numbing the feel too much.

so maybe the gel tape without the gel inserts could be it.
I also hate gel gloves..... I use those cheap leather gloves with padding, but no gel.
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Old 05-24-04, 08:45 PM
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I have the gel pads on the drop bars only. At first it seemed too much, but now I like it. I am not planning on putting the gel pads on the top bars or hoods. Not on the same subject, but I don't like gel shorts.
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Old 05-24-04, 08:53 PM
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The Specialized Body Geometry Bar Phat Tape is excellent! I must admit at first I thought it was all hype, but my wife's Specialized Roubaix came standard with Phat Tape and I was impressed with the soft feel. Now I'm a believer!

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Old 05-24-04, 08:57 PM
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Just me, but I don't care for any of that gel stuff - too bulky. Unless of course you're experiencing pain, then I highly reccomend Cinelli gel cork - real nice and very pro. I'd try a GOOD pair of gloves first though - assos or castelli - worth the extra $ IMHO.

Then again, I'm ridin' steel w/carbon fork and bars.

Good luck!
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Old 05-24-04, 09:47 PM
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I love my phat bars
Lets me go for 10-15 more min before numb hands.
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Old 05-24-04, 09:49 PM
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i second the cinelli gel cork

i also have a carbon bar

ride with nalini gloves...simple leather palm
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Old 05-24-04, 11:06 PM
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I ordered the Forte gel tape from performance. Is that stuff any good?
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Old 05-24-04, 11:24 PM
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i like the bar phat, i never thought of it as bulky, but then again I am rarely ever squeeze the bars hard. Unless in a sprint, and then Im so lacted up and full of rage I would never notice the bars. Im usually on the hoods, or the tops when sitting up, and even then Im just barely resting my hands on there.

I guess when Im in the drops I do, but again, not enough to think about it. It is nice to have the bar phat on the top when Im resting my fore arms on the bars, sort of like an aero bar position, without the aerobars. And when I am in the drops, im still just sort of resting or pushing my hands down on the bars, and the bar phat gives a nice cushion
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Old 05-25-04, 09:42 AM
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I just use a few layers of cloth tape.

If i'm feeling extra-fancy, one layer of cork with a layer of cloth over it.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:46 AM
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I'm picking up my phat today. hope it helps.
After 5 or 6 hours, my hands are a bit sore.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:50 AM
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definitely hearing both sides here
maybe it's that I *need* carbon bars (while the tape is off anyway, why not swap out the bars, can always find a reason to get something more expensive and upgrade! heh heh)

good point about squeezing the bars. I don't think I am, but then I don't think I'm tight in the shoulders either till I see someone coming the opposite direction all hunched up and I relax (as was previously discussed in a thread). I think I wore the tape out from changing positions a lot.

leads me to another question....what tape that you've used lasts longest?
does the phat tape hold up?

as far as the forte gel tape, it's a couple bucks less than cinelli and it seemed comparable. anyone have experience with it?

thanks for the replies
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Old 05-25-04, 02:37 PM
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I have cork tape on my road-bike, and I put the bar-phat on my old commuter. It comes in 2 thicknesses, and I got the thicker. Big mistake. bar was too squishy and I hated it. I rode that bike on a 70 miler, and was uncomfortable after mile 50. I took the felt on an 80 miler, and no complaints. Perhaps it was the terrain (trail vs road) but count me out for future bar-phat purchases.

I use pearl Izumi gloves with pads but no gel.
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Old 05-25-04, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DogBoy
I have cork tape on my road-bike, and I put the bar-phat on my old commuter. It comes in 2 thicknesses, and I got the thicker. Big mistake. bar was too squishy and I hated it. I rode that bike on a 70 miler, and was uncomfortable after mile 50. I took the felt on an 80 miler, and no complaints. Perhaps it was the terrain (trail vs road) but count me out for future bar-phat purchases.

I use pearl Izumi gloves with pads but no gel.
too squishy on 70 miles sounds brutal. gel shorts seem to do that after 30 miles for me.
those PI's are the gloves I went with, I'm liking those.
thanks for the input, I'm definitely leaning towards the cinelli cork (now just deciding whether to go with flashy yellow/black or just black.....oy )
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