Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

bar tape?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

bar tape?

Old 06-14-16, 07:19 PM
  #1  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 924
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 406 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
bar tape?

Yep: old question new day.

So what makes a bar comfortable on a long tour?
That discount stuff I bought is just that, discount stuff.
Got any ideas?
chrisx is offline  
Old 06-14-16, 07:31 PM
  #2  
bwgride
Slow Rider
 
bwgride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 1,041
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Some ideas:

1. use tape or grips that absorb shock and vibrations (dampens input from the wheels)
2. double tape bars
3. use gel pads under tape
4. raise bars to take more pressure off hands
5. title saddle back a bit to take more pressure off hands
6. try different handlebars
7. try gloves
8. rotate hand positions during ride
9. stretch fingers and hands against handlebar during ride
10. stop and rest at intervals

Sometimes it is not possible to eliminate all pain, so try to minimize pain.
bwgride is offline  
Old 06-14-16, 08:33 PM
  #3  
gerryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Since you've mentioned bar tape I'll assume you're talking about drop bars.
I do most of my riding with my hands on the break lever hoods, so padded bar tape isn't all that important to me. I also wear padded gloves. As far as comfort goes, remember that your hands adsorb a lot of road shock and vibrations, so anything to diminish that ( larger tires for example ) will go along way to make your life in the saddle a lot more comfortable.
gerryl is offline  
Old 06-14-16, 08:35 PM
  #4  
luker
juneeaa memba!
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: boogled up in...Idaho!
Posts: 5,632

Bikes: Crap. The box is not big enough...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fizik makes a gel pad kit that installs under the existing tape. I put a set n Patti's bike today. It was 18 dollars on line. I have been using the pads on my bike and have had much less grief than Patti...

You can adjust the ratio of butt load to palm load by playing with seat aft and forward position, or changing stem length and height.

You can live with a numb butt, but Numb and tingly hands can be a precursor to more serious injuries. Favor your hands.
luker is offline  
Old 06-14-16, 08:46 PM
  #5  
tortron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used cork with leather over the top. Fantastic, never had sore hands in 15 months
tortron is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 01:46 PM
  #6  
bikenh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,229
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
The more hand positions you can ride with, the better. I've made and installed some homemade aerobars that give me two extra hand positions and several mount positions as well for things like, cyclecomputer, headlight, video camera, cue sheet, water bottle, etc. When I hold on to the aerobars by hands don't have to do much holding, it's my elbows that has all the pressure on the bike not the hands. Not only does it help to keep my head up better but it also takes the pressure off the hands.

Yeah, I know I'll still get numb hands when I climb since I stand up to climb most of the time and put all my weight on the hands.
bikenh is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 02:00 PM
  #7  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,209

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3631 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 39 Posts
Never tried the good stuff. The discount stuff I used last was really discount: actually recycled from the girlfriend's bike when she insisted on pink tape over the black it had. Felt like all the other cheap cork tape out there for $7 a set. Worked just fine for my hands, though. Before that, though, I ran shakedowns for about 60 miles with nothing but hockey tape, and still no issues. All my bikes now have essentially the same stuff I hated when I first got drop bars.

What worked for me was padded gloves (again, just a basic set), and perhaps most importantly, core strengthening and playing with handlebar and seat positions to reduce the weight I was trying to support on my hands. And, as others have said, moving hands regularly. I don't stay in any one position more than two or three miles, and generally am moving my hands far more than that.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 02:44 PM
  #8  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 10,246

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3991 Post(s)
Liked 955 Times in 614 Posts
Cinelli Gel tape.
I love the stuff as its gel backed and not tape backed so its easy to remove and adjust. And it feels great to me. Plenty of cushion but not so much that I cant feel the bar. Many hand positions, as has been discussed, is most important to me though. The bars I use are full C bend with ample room on the ramps. That way, I have the tops, ramps, hoods, and drops to use.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 03:52 PM
  #9  
boomhauer
Senior Member
 
boomhauer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 708
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 197 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 11 Posts
the cheap solution that is really cushy....
Wrap the handlebars with window weather stripping foam from the local hardware store. Sticky on one side. Wrap gorilla tape over the top of that. Looks ugly but super effective.
boomhauer is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 05:44 PM
  #10  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,787

Bikes: Miele Beta, Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno LS, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 992 Post(s)
Liked 546 Times in 374 Posts
I have short fingers compared to the width and length of the palse of my hands. Thus I don't like thick bar wrap tape. Back in the 1980s it was common to cut strips from old inner tubes, wrap the bar with that and then apply cotton tape over the rubber. I sometimes do the same thing but I use quality (Renfrew brand) hockey tape instead of the harder to get cotton bar tape. The hockey tape lasts and is thin so it doesn't thicken the grip diameter too much.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 06-15-16, 11:47 PM
  #11  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,115

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 41 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by luker View Post
Fizik makes a gel pad kit that installs under the existing tape. You can live with a numb butt, but Numb and tingly hands can be a precursor to more serious injuries. Favor your hands.

Started using Fizik gel strips recently & they're very comfy & easy to install. They give cushion where needed vs bulky bike gloves.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 12:15 AM
  #12  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 2,877

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
bar tape?

I made the mistake of buying Lizard Skins bar-tape a few years ago. Horribly expensive ... But I can't go back... Love 'em
imi is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 08:05 AM
  #13  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,847

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7127 Post(s)
Liked 615 Times in 414 Posts
Way back .. 'grab on' fat sleeves, of dense foam rubber, on the upper of drop bars , with cotton tape over them.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 04:14 PM
  #14  
mikedefieslife
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What do you do about the hoods though? I taped my bars today over the existing tape, and it's nice enough, but I spend 95% of the time on the hoods.
mikedefieslife is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 04:27 PM
  #15  
nickw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
What do you do about the hoods though? I taped my bars today over the existing tape, and it's nice enough, but I spend 95% of the time on the hoods.
If you spend 95% of time on the hoods I think you need either a) work on flexibility or b) raise your bars, but maybe you have some unique bodily limitations that don't allow for it. I think you should be comfortable on flat ground in the drops on a touring bike for an extended period of time. That is the whole point of having a drop bar after all.

Careful raising your bars too much though, tends to take pressure off your hands and on to your butt....which can influence saddle choice.
nickw is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 04:56 PM
  #16  
mikedefieslife
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fair enough. On the hoods just feels like a good position for me. Only tend to use the drops if I'm really going for it. Top bar bar helps to briefly relieve some pressure now and again. With the double tape it's quite nice now.
mikedefieslife is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 04:59 PM
  #17  
seeker333
-
 
seeker333's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,840

Bikes: yes!

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 271 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 28 Posts
Nashbar deluxe cork tape is pretty good for $6. I've used it 3-5 times over the years. I suppose there is better tape, but I'll never know since I'm not willing to pay much more than this for tape.

Before wrapping bars, I put a strip of tape on the handlebar tops and hoods, secured by 3M Super 88 electrical tape, plus a short strip across my brifters so that it will be hidden by the rubber hood. Then wrap as usual.
seeker333 is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 08:38 PM
  #18  
jonc123
Ozark Hillbilly
 
jonc123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Show Me State
Posts: 680

Bikes: Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
What do you do about the hoods though? I taped my bars today over the existing tape, and it's nice enough, but I spend 95% of the time on the hoods.
I also spend 95% of my time on the hoods. Bar tape, what's that?
jonc123 is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 10:07 PM
  #19  
LuckySailor
Senior Member
 
LuckySailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 651

Bikes: Trek 520 total custom build, Cannondale Mountain Tandem, Oryx Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I used Brooks bar tape last cross country tour, and non padded gloves. very comfortable.
LuckySailor is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 10:29 PM
  #20  
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11,017

Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Get some well padded cycling gloves!
zonatandem is offline  
Old 06-16-16, 10:30 PM
  #21  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,975

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Yep: old question new day.

So what makes a bar comfortable on a long tour?
That discount stuff I bought is just that, discount stuff.
Got any ideas?
Wrap an old tube on the bars before the tape.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 06-17-16, 01:27 AM
  #22  
elcruxio
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 1,890

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by nickw View Post
If you spend 95% of time on the hoods I think you need either a) work on flexibility or b) raise your bars, but maybe you have some unique bodily limitations that don't allow for it. I think you should be comfortable on flat ground in the drops on a touring bike for an extended period of time. That is the whole point of having a drop bar after all.

Careful raising your bars too much though, tends to take pressure off your hands and on to your butt....which can influence saddle choice.
That's just not true..

Back in the day it may have been the case but with todays compact drop bars the hoods are the intended hangout point while the drops are for control and aerodynamics.

If you look at the pro peloton, most riders use hoods most of the time and swap to drops when the situation so dictates.

Back in the day when bikes didn't have functional brake hoods and had those horrendous deep drop bars even the pros spent a lot of time in the tops, and bars were often level with the saddle.

With today's bike design, the bar is placed so that the rider uses 95% of their time at the hoods as bars are lower than they used to while still having the drops in the same place (compact bars you see)

So no, if not doing a TT, one should not ride extended periods in the drops and if one does, the bar is likely too high
elcruxio is offline  
Old 06-17-16, 10:12 AM
  #23  
nickw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
That's just not true..

Back in the day it may have been the case but with todays compact drop bars the hoods are the intended hangout point while the drops are for control and aerodynamics.

If you look at the pro peloton, most riders use hoods most of the time and swap to drops when the situation so dictates.

Back in the day when bikes didn't have functional brake hoods and had those horrendous deep drop bars even the pros spent a lot of time in the tops, and bars were often level with the saddle.

With today's bike design, the bar is placed so that the rider uses 95% of their time at the hoods as bars are lower than they used to while still having the drops in the same place (compact bars you see)

So no, if not doing a TT, one should not ride extended periods in the drops and if one does, the bar is likely too high
I don’t follow your point about compact drops which is counter to what I think you are trying to say based on my experience, but don’t take my word for it!:

https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/buyer...wzXLRHAfbLr.97

“compact bars keep you higher and work well for people who are less flexible, or aren’t racing and therefore don’t need to be chewing the stem”

If you look at pro-tour rider, their position on the TOP of the hoods is likely to be lower than most touring riders in the DROPS – so not comparable at all. Seems like you are getting into frame design, current racing frame trends (short head tubes) and how to make an average guy fit on one.

I was offering my opinion to this point: if you are going to use drops make sure they are setup to be “able” to use comfortable (if required) for extended periods of time in them. If not, may as well get trekking bars….which is a 100% legit solution if it works.

Besides, todays touring frame are much closer to the ‘racing’ frames back in the day.
nickw is offline  
Old 06-17-16, 10:23 AM
  #24  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,209

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3631 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 39 Posts
Originally Posted by nickw View Post
If you spend 95% of time on the hoods I think you need either a) work on flexibility or b) raise your bars, but maybe you have some unique bodily limitations that don't allow for it. I think you should be comfortable on flat ground in the drops on a touring bike for an extended period of time. That is the whole point of having a drop bar after all.
The whole point of having drop bars is to have multiple positions available at any given time. In reality, you could cut my bars off past my brake levers, and I'd rarely notice the difference. Only time I am in the drops is when I get a boost of wanna-go-fast or headed into a heavy headwind. I don't even really take ability to use brakes in drops into consideration when placing controls anymore.

Now that one of my bikes have cross top brake levers as well as the regular ones, I spend more time right on the tops, too. Really convenient in cities.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 06-17-16, 10:29 AM
  #25  
nickw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
The whole point of having drop bars is to have multiple positions available at any given time. In reality, you could cut my bars off past my brake levers, and I'd rarely notice the difference. Only time I am in the drops is when I get a boost of wanna-go-fast or headed into a heavy headwind. I don't even really take ability to use brakes in drops into consideration when placing controls anymore.

Now that one of my bikes have cross top brake levers as well as the regular ones, I spend more time right on the tops, too. Really convenient in cities.
Agreed, multiple hand position for touring is key. With that said, I do ride tops/hoods more often then not, but think switching it up for comfort or as conditions require is helpful.

Careful with lever position though, drops have their place on descents offering more control and much better braking.

Last edited by nickw; 06-17-16 at 11:48 AM.
nickw is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.