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Re-using bar tape

Old 07-18-19, 08:23 PM
  #1  
Irenicus
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Re-using bar tape

I had purchased some bar tape and had it put on my bike, then decided I didn't like it and had it removed within 2 days. Is the tape basically garbage now? I was considering re-selling it but one guy told me you can't possibly re-use it. It's Supacaz tape and it has an adhesive on the back.. maybe it's dried up? I don't know. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-19, 08:27 PM
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I re-use bar tape all the time. I operate six or seven old road bikes. If/when I change them up I will unravel the tape and, if it's intact, will roll it up to use another day on another bike.

And...truth be told...bar tape doesn't need to be "bar tape" at all. I sometimes make my own out of materials/colors that I prefer.

But...reselling the tape you used as "new" doesn't seem fair since it isn't in "new" condition...unless you priced it as such.

Dan
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Old 07-18-19, 08:36 PM
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Reselling? Not a great plan unless you go rock-bottom pricing and even then you'll probably find no takers.

I routinely unwrap tape to swap out a stem, brake levers or hoods, or to run new brake cables/housing for aero levers, then reuse it. The key to success there is paying attention to how it was wrapped before removal, as the tape will stretch and deform -- particularly at the brake levers -- and unless the rewrap matches up pretty closely it'll look like hell.
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Old 07-18-19, 08:44 PM
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When I purchased my current bike the bike shop swapped out the handlebars from 42cm to 44cm for me. When I went to pick it up they were still working on it and I saw they were going to reuse the tape. I was surprised since I didn't know you could reuse the tape but it came out as good as new and so far through almost 4 months of riding you wouldn't never know it was reused. As far as selling it though, good luck with that.
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Old 07-19-19, 03:41 AM
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It’s like your used underwear.

You can keep reusing it, but NOBODY else wants it.
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Old 07-19-19, 03:49 AM
  #6  
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I had stopped by a friends shop and was talking to him while he was dismantling an old road bike. I noticed the handlebars and stem were Cinelli and offered to purchase them. He agreed and took the Brooks leather bar tape off carefully which looked new. I offered him an extra $5 for the tape and it is still on one of my bikes. The only thing is that the tape had a "memory" to it in that it was formed a certain way which made it tricky to get it just right. A few days on the bike and it gets shaped a certain way , but still very usable. Joe joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 07-19-19, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
It's Supacaz tape and it has an adhesive on the back..
I find adhesive backed tape rarely comes off cleanly, but I'm usually not removing "new" tape either.

Non-adhesive tape is usually fine, so I wouldn't worry too much about your adhesive.

Anyway, if your tape came off cleanly, and you've managed to put the protective strip back on the adhesive, then it can probably be re-used.

It looks like your tape was quite expensive tape, but don't expect to get a fortune from the resale. Somewhere between FREE & $10 ???
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Old 07-19-19, 04:27 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Itís like your used underwear.

You can keep reusing it, but NOBODY else wants it.
Plus it's got all that crap on it.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:06 AM
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If you find a buyer for used bar tape, please post. Got some stuff....
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Old 07-19-19, 05:33 AM
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I had to replace a jacked up right shifter recently, and I wrapped the old bar tape around it, and I must've followed the original wrap pattern fairly closely, because it looks pretty good. BTW, this had some adhesive on the back, too.
So, I vote for re-using it, if at all possible. If you get another year or three out of it, then it's money in the bank. Worse case, it looks like crap so you yank it and put on some new stuff. No biggie.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:07 AM
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Yes, you can re-use bar tape.

No, no one will want to buy it from you.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:44 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Itís like your used underwear.

You can keep reusing it, but NOBODY else wants it.
You wouldn't think so, but...

Weird Stuff | Steve Tilford
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Old 07-19-19, 12:16 PM
  #13  
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My LBS wrapped the tops of my bars the wrong way and too close to the stem, making it nearly impossible to attach the headlight I wanted to take on STP. I was too lazy to do anything about it for 2 months but decided the day before the ride to re-wrap it. Even though it had stretched in its previous direction, I managed to wrap it the correct way just fine. It's even easier to reuse tape when you aren't changing the wrap pattern.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Itís like your used underwear.

You can keep reusing it, but NOBODY else wants it.
Used underwear is a HUGE market. Just not yours,


-Kedosto
*mine either*
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Old 07-19-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
My LBS wrapped the tops of my bars the wrong way....
Very strange, you'd think they would have that figured. Hope you corrected them!
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Old 07-19-19, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Very strange, you'd think they would have that figured. Hope you corrected them!
They've treated me well, so I never brought it up. And to be honest, if it weren't bunched up next to the stem after they swapped the OEM bar for a narrower one I provided a few weeks after I bought the bike, I might not have noticed or cared enough until it was time for new tape.

I'm guessing that the tape job happened when the bike was assembled for me to test ride on short notice, and they just reused the tape with the same wrap pattern after the bar swap.
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Old 07-19-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
I had purchased some bar tape and had it put on my bike, then decided I didn't like it and had it removed within 2 days. Is the tape basically garbage now? I was considering re-selling it but one guy told me you can't possibly re-use it. It's Supacaz tape and it has an adhesive on the back.. maybe it's dried up? I don't know. Thanks.
Reminds me of a friend that brought over freezer burned chicken and ice that smelled like fish. He thought he was doing me a favor.
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Old 07-19-19, 03:27 PM
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I've re-used bar tape several times on several bikes, but I wouldn't try to sell it.

I re-used this faded red foam tape to remain within $100 Clunker Challenge budget restraints.

Re-used ugly camo tape until brake lever poditions were finalized. Camo pattern doesn't show fading or discoloration as much.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
I had purchased some bar tape and had it put on my bike, then decided I didn't like it and had it removed within 2 days. Is the tape basically garbage now? I was considering re-selling it but one guy told me you can't possibly re-use it. It's Supacaz tape and it has an adhesive on the back.. maybe it's dried up? I don't know. Thanks.
same stuff from your other tape/wrap thread? https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ebar-tape.html

don't see why you couldn't reuse it, or perhaps attempt to sell it for a few bucks on CL or something.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Reminds me of a friend that brought over freezer burned chicken and ice that smelled like fish. He thought he was doing me a favor.
Freezer burned chicken, ok, it happens, I'm ignoring a package of it in my own refrigerator as I write this.
However, I can't think of a single drink that ice smelling of fish would improve...

I think there may be a thread waiting to be born... Perhaps in combination with "Florida Man"
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Old 07-20-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
I had purchased some bar tape and had it put on my bike, then decided I didn't like it and had it removed within 2 days. Is the tape basically garbage now? I was considering re-selling it but one guy told me you can't possibly re-use it. It's Supacaz tape and it has an adhesive on the back.. maybe it's dried up? I don't know. Thanks.

After your grimy sweaty hands have been all over it?

You question was really meant as a joke right? Please tell us it was meant as a joke.
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Old 07-20-19, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
My LBS wrapped the tops of my bars the wrong way and too close to the stem, making it nearly impossible to attach the headlight I wanted to take on STP. I was too lazy to do anything about it for 2 months but decided the day before the ride to re-wrap it. Even though it had stretched in its previous direction, I managed to wrap it the correct way just fine. It's even easier to reuse tape when you aren't changing the wrap pattern.
Somehow I seem to frequently wrap differently around the brake levers... so I frequently get some discoloration from use on the drops, and stripes on the tops (fresh/old parts of the tape).
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Old 07-21-19, 05:51 PM
  #23  
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If you want to reuse bar wrap, get some Arundel Synth Gecko. No adhesive. Doesn't take a set or permanent curl. It's 100% silicone, stretchy, durable, can be cleaned and reused. Comfy on chipseal and grippy even with sweaty mitts.

Downside? It's thick and wraps chunky. Looks like a gooseneck lamp neck, or flexible metal electrical conduit material. Or like a sausage. And it's heavy, so it's not for weight weenies.

Pricey at $30-$35, but worth it for the advantages.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:54 PM
  #24  
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I've been going back and forth between hydraulic and cable brakes on my bike. I must have reused the same tape over four or five swaps. Still seems to be fine, even when I ignore the "set" the tape has taken.

I figure if the adhesive ever does start to slip, I can always just put a layer of carpet tape on the bar.

Okay, let's count the changes:
  1. Initial use with cable brakes
  2. Upgrade to hydraulics
  3. Switch back to cables while the hydraulics were being warrantied
  4. Brand new hydraulic levers
  5. Switch to cable preparing to sell bike (sale fell through)
  6. Switch from 10sp to 11sp with cable brakes
  7. Switch back to 10sp because that was a wider range cassette
  8. Switch to 11sp hydraulic (and new cassette)
It sure seems like Cinelli cork ribbon has changed. The adhesive on the older stuff seemed to stick to the bars better and the tape would rip. Now, I guess the tape substrate is a lot more polyurethane with just a bit of cork in it, so it doesn't tear apart.

Or maybe it's the powder coated bar I'm using now? And the adhesive doesn't stick as well as with bare aluminum?

Or maybe I'm more of a slob and my hands now get more oil and grease on the bar, weakening the adhesive.

One thing I really should do is replace the electrical tape on both the bar tape ends and the pieces holding the cables down under the bar tape.
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Old 07-22-19, 10:24 AM
  #25  
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Same as @Geekage, I re-wrap with used tape if I have to get at my brake cables or some other emergent circumstance where I need my bar naked but don't have new tape. If I am planning a larger repair where I will need the bars unwrapped, I take the opportunity to buy and install new tape.

I can't imagine anyone buying used handlebar tape - that's kinda gross. Just keep it in a ziplock bag with your other spare parts and you can re-use it if the need arises - ie. tape is torn or damaged in a crash or when trying to unwrap to get at your cables. Or if you are planning on selling the bike, the fresh tape will make it look like new, even if you don't like it.
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