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Minimizing Road Shock by Multi-Wrapping Handlebars

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Minimizing Road Shock by Multi-Wrapping Handlebars

Old 04-27-14, 05:53 AM
  #1  
Bruce27
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Minimizing Road Shock by Multi-Wrapping Handlebars

I've gone from a single wrap to a double wrap on all my bikes. Even with gloves, the bars can never be too soft. Now I'm thinking about adding a third or even a fourth wrap.

Anyone else doing this? At what point do you say enough is enough and you've found your perfect cushion?
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Old 04-27-14, 06:09 AM
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Terrible roads?
Too much weight on your hands?
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Old 04-27-14, 06:18 AM
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Enough is enough at one very firm layer. You are supposed to feel the bar. Three or four gel layers would IMO be bizarre. HTFU
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Old 04-27-14, 06:20 AM
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Get some good gloves and the padding is always where you want it. I ride on the hoods most of the time so the bar tape doesn't matter much.
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Old 04-27-14, 06:21 AM
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First wrap with an old tube.....Thickness determined by the tube and how thick you want it....Second wrap the tube with bar tape.

Have you ever toured on Texas Chip Seal day after day?

300 miles
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Old 04-27-14, 06:22 AM
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Fatter tires make good suspension and probably better than more tape.
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Old 04-27-14, 06:32 AM
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Get a comfort bike.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:04 AM
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I want to see pics of the angle of your saddle, and the relationship with your stem. I'm going to bet your problem has much more to do with poor fit, than lack of padding.

That said, increasing padding can INCREASE hand discomfort. Your hands will naturally squeeze the softer padding. This leads to fatigue, soreness.

If you MUST increase padding, buy some of the Specialized stuff that goes under your wrap. I can't remember what it's called.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:09 AM
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First question: what are you wrapping with? Athletic tape? 2 mm Lizard Skins? Getting pounded on the bars makes me think of a death grip through potholes on a steel frame running 28 mm tires at 100 psi and you only weigh 150 lbs. Been there, done that. I've since gone to 2 or 3 mm padded tape, lowered the pressure to 90/80 on rough rides, changed out to P4SC 25's, eased up on the death grip, and the ride is fast and smooth. When on the very nice MUP I might go up 5 lbs.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:28 AM
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Yeah, I think you're using the wrong bar tape. There's a huge difference between, say, classic Cinelli cork tape and Lizardskins DSP.

I agree that three or four wraps of anything is just bizarre, and raises the specter of fetishes, compulsions, irrationality, and other problems.

My advice would be to invest in quality, thick tape rather than under-tape pads, because I suspect you'll appreciate the fullness of padding all around the grip. High quality, dense material will absorb shock well, though to be clear, we're talking about small vibrations; Bikemig is right on with the tire size thing having far more impact on shock than any amount of bar tape.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:41 AM
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FOUR rolls?!? lol
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Old 04-27-14, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
First question: what are you wrapping with? Athletic tape? 2 mm Lizard Skins? Getting pounded on the bars makes me think of a death grip through potholes on a steel frame running 28 mm tires at 100 psi and you only weigh 150 lbs. Been there, done that. I've since gone to 2 or 3 mm padded tape, lowered the pressure to 90/80 on rough rides, changed out to P4SC 25's, eased up on the death grip, and the ride is fast and smooth. When on the very nice MUP I might go up 5 lbs.
RT, did you mean 28 or 23 there? Sounds backwards to me. Sure you don't need that kind of pressure with that width tire, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable compared to narrower. Makes more sense if you meant to type 23 mm.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
RT, did you mean 28 or 23 there? Sounds backwards to me. Sure you don't need that kind of pressure with that width tire, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable compared to narrower. Makes more sense if you meant to type 23 mm.
Nope - Until recently I was riding my one-owner '75 Sekine, 27in, 1 1/8 in tires, running at 100 psi because I thought that was faster. (I said 28, though actually it's 28.6, and I wanted to keep the units the same) That much pressure in a wide tire is brutal on me, and I'm 15 - 20 lbs heavier than I was in high school. Now I'm running P4SC 25's, actually measured at 27mm, on a regular alu/carbon bike, at lower pressure. The lower pressure is a blessing, and I think between that and the quality of the tire made all the difference. At 95 R / 85 F I can feel the vibration in a worn rocky sidewalk, at 90 / 80 no vibration, though I can still feel the contours. If that makes any sense.

Or did I just repeat the same error ... let me check. Nope, wider and too much pressure was the problem. But thanks for checking - it's always good.
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Old 04-27-14, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yeah, I think you're using the wrong bar tape. There's a huge difference between, say, classic Cinelli cork tape and Lizardskins DSP.
Can you explain the difference? I like Lizardskins under my gloves, but I'm thinking good cork would have more of a positive feel. (Lizardskins w/o gloves just feels...weird.)
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Old 04-27-14, 08:03 AM
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I got it!!!
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Old 04-27-14, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
Can you explain the difference? I like Lizardskins under my gloves, but I'm thinking good cork would have more of a positive feel. (Lizardskins w/o gloves just feels...weird.)
I think that's a fair way to characterize it, although I was thinking specifically about damping characteristics of the thickest, 3.2mm Lizardskins DSP tape. I'm using Cinelli cork on one of my bikes right now, and yes, it's more dense than the DSP, which gives it more directness, but also less vibration absorption. I think.

I've only used the 2.5mm and 3.2mm Lizardskins, and I like the feel of both gloved and barehanded, although I rarely ride without gloves. When I do ride gloveless, it's usually on the trainer, and I like that the Lizardskins stays grippy even when my hands are wet with sweat.
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Old 04-27-14, 09:36 AM
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I've seen a guy double wrapping and it already looks weird. They do have gel pieces that you can put under the wrap. Unless you're riding on cobblestones or the streets you ride on are riddled with pot holes I don't think the problem is a matter of having enough "cushioning". You are probably riding with your arms locked out + putting all of your weight on the bars.

> Keep your elbows slightly bent.
> Use your core to hold your upper body up.
> When you see big bumps, stand up and use your arms and legs to absorb the shocks.
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Old 04-27-14, 10:22 AM
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"Grabon " foam idea , use deepsea fishing rod handle replacements .
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Old 04-27-14, 10:29 AM
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Invest in proper tires
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Old 04-27-14, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
I've gone from a single wrap to a double wrap on all my bikes. Even with gloves, the bars can never be too soft. Now I'm thinking about adding a third or even a fourth wrap.

Anyone else doing this? At what point do you say enough is enough and you've found your perfect cushion?
Making your bars soft is a loss of the connection you have with the bike/road. The only thing on a road bike that should provide any cushioning is the tires. That includes the saddle.

At most all you need is one small strip across the top of the bars. Learn to ride with suppleness (Souplesse)on the bike, lose the death grip, bend your elbows and let your arms move and absorb the bumps. Once you learn to ride and not just sit on bike everything else is easier.
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Old 04-27-14, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by clausen View Post
Once you learn to ride and not just sit on bike everything else is easier.
what do you mean by "not just sit on bike"? do our legs also suppose to support our body weight?
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Old 04-28-14, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bleui View Post
what do you mean by "not just sit on bike"? do our legs also suppose to support our body weight?
Yes, lots of support from the legs. The stronger your legs get the less weight you will be putting on the saddle, especially on rougher roads. Just becomes more natural, very much so on road bikes, but it's the singletrack mtb crowd that gets my respect for all the standing they do. I can't imagine...
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Old 04-28-14, 08:10 AM
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Are we being trolled? Cause 2+ bartapes is just silly.
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Old 04-28-14, 08:18 AM
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Double wrapping bar tape isn't uncommon with pro classics riders and guys who ride alot of gravel. If you like the feel of thicker bars and the cushiness go for it.
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Old 04-28-14, 09:04 AM
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I use the light, thin Fizik tape, and I ride 90% on chip seal bumpy roads. I don't like spongy bars because when I pull and push on them I want them to be firm.
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