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The best bar tape

Old 03-18-21, 07:52 PM
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The best bar tape

Itís time to change my bar tape. What are your recommendations and what color should go with? I have a Fuji Gran Fondo. The primary color is red with Fuji printed in white along with some silver accents. Iíve been looking at Fizik and Lizard Skins mostly. I want something both comfortable and stylish and I kind of want to make a statement. Iím actually leaning toward white but let me know what you think.
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Old 03-18-21, 08:00 PM
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I have Bontrager Sticky Bar Tape on 2 bikes and it is very nice...I used Lizard Skins for about 6 years give or take, but decided to give something else a try.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...e-set/p/14245/
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Old 03-18-21, 08:01 PM
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It would seem like white or red would be color coordinated but blue would make a statement. (White for the added accent with the name)
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Old 03-18-21, 08:09 PM
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Never white bar tape.
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Old 03-18-21, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
I have Bontrager Sticky Bar Tape on 2 bikes and it is very nice...I used Lizard Skins for about 6 years give or take, but decided to give something else a try.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...e-set/p/14245/

how was that sticky tape to wrap. I went to buy some a couple months back and the manager at trek did not recommend those after I told him it would be my first time wrapping bars.
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Old 03-18-21, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
how was that sticky tape to wrap. I went to buy some a couple months back and the manager at trek did not recommend those after I told him it would be my first time wrapping bars.

I had no issues with it....but I have been wrapping my own bars for a while, but I don't think as a first timer you would have issues with it. I put the red on my Domane, but I actually like the white better. When I have to replace it, I will go with the white.


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Old 03-18-21, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
I had no issues with it....but I have been wrapping my own bars for a while, but I don't think as a first timer you would have issues with it. I put the red on my Domane, but I actually like the white better. When I have to replace it, I will go with the white.


looks good.
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Old 03-19-21, 01:14 AM
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I like Profile Designs cork bar tape. Simple, many colors available, plenty of cushion and priced right.

I get the black, non adhesive variety - boring but excellent

https://profile-design.com/collectio...ducts/bar-wrap
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Old 03-19-21, 02:30 AM
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My favorite tapes are Profile Designs Drive (Amazon.com : Profile Designs Drive Tape, Electric Blue : Sports & Outdoors) and Fabric Knurl (Amazon.com : Fabric Knurl bar Tape, Green : Sports & Outdoors).

I have used both on my predominantly red bike (Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 5 Bike - 2017 | REI Co-op). Nothing on my bike is color coordinated. (I would show you guys but I don't know how to post pictures.) In fact, now that I have found tape that I like, next time I might buy two packages of different colors so I can use a different color for each side.

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Old 03-19-21, 06:00 AM
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Another vote for Grippytack - it's great. When wrapping, you just need to keep good tension going around the curves and pay attention to the direction/overlap; the perforations are only on one edge of the tape.
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Old 03-19-21, 06:23 AM
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The $2-$3 tape on Ebay works as well as anything - easy to wrap, cleans easily, enough cushion, lots of colors
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Old 03-19-21, 06:43 AM
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Might have been a bad batch, but I had horrible luck with Lizard Skins, kept slipping, rewrapped it several times and then got rid of it. Have Zipp CX on the gravel bike and Supacaz on the road bike, both have been great.
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Old 03-19-21, 07:36 AM
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The best bar tape is tough enough to survive a small crash, isn't too grippy or slippy, resists edge curling, is strong enough not to break if you need to wrap it tight (stitching is good for that), but not too stiff to conform nicely, and is almost certainly black, or at least the same colour as the hoods. A continuous coating (rather than a stripe in the middle) of that tacky stuff they use these days is the best form of adhesive by far. A pattern of perforations or stitching helps a lot to get an even wrap, particularly if you haven't done it dozens of times.

Budget up to three hours for perfection, depending on difficulty. The second half takes twice as long as the first, if you want it to match.

I like to disconnect the cables and coil them up in a single coil around the stern, which I pull off the steerer. Now you can really get into it properly. While you have the bars off, before taping,might as well check your levers are level with aid of a pane of glass. Also ensure cable housings are nicely seated and securely taped in place while you're here. Most modern tape can resist edge curling pretty well if you wrap top down, the trick is to make it tight. Heaps neater without finishing tape.

Selle Italia Smootape, the 5mm stuff equivalent to a double wrap, gave me the flattest-looking wrap I've ever seen; it looked awesome. Was a total bastard to get it to conform though, it has a rather stiff core, despite being really light (the thinner version is probably much easier, and even lighter). Pretty impressive toughness for a tape with a foam/cork texture too.

I've used other good tapes that were better in other regards or maybe even other aspects of aesthetics, but nothing was such a standout in one regard while also being so good all-round. Bit pricey, but tough and rewrappable.

Last edited by Kimmo; 03-19-21 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 03-19-21, 08:41 AM
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As has been pointed out, Lizard Skins are difficult to wrap, but even worse than that is that it doesn't last. I tried it on three bikes a few years ago, two of mine and also my wife's, and all three had started to peel by the end of the season.

Now I use Cinelli Gel Cork tape. It's cheap, easy to use, and it lasts a long time.
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Old 03-19-21, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
The $2-$3 tape on Ebay works as well as anything - easy to wrap, cleans easily, enough cushion, lots of colors
I couldn't agree more. Plus, if you decide you don't like the color (I hated the blue) it didn't cost an arm and a leg to swap it for the black, which goes good on the bike. No complaints about wear so far either. I did add a cut of inner tube beneath the drop section because I like a thick bar to grab onto. No problems.
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Old 03-19-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
I had no issues with it....but I have been wrapping my own bars for a while, but I don't think as a first timer you would have issues with it. I put the red on my Domane, but I actually like the white better. When I have to replace it, I will go with the white.
Can I bring mine to you? Mine broke while I was putting it on, which is always a delight with $30 bar tape.
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Old 03-19-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Can I bring mine to you? Mine broke while I was putting it on, which is always a delight with $30 bar tape.
Ha, yea I did that with Lizard Skins once....I was less than please. I know when I put this stuff on, I went much slower than normal as I was advised it can be "finicky", I believe the word was.
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Old 03-19-21, 09:59 AM
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The best tape is the kind that wraps right the first time.
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Old 03-19-21, 10:11 AM
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"The best tape is the kind that wraps right the first time."

Correction: "The best "taper" is the kind that wraps the tape right the first time."
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Old 03-19-21, 10:38 AM
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I love Lizard Skinz but it doesn't last more than a season without showing a lot of wear...

Supacaz is another favorite. Super Sticky Kush or whatever weed name they give it. I have used a few different versions of it on different bikes and feels great and wears well.

Regular "cheap" tape - I use Deda Logo black. If I get deals on it I can sell it for $10 in the shop otherwise it's $15 ish. Lasts long enough for most people and the feel is nice. Long haulers that don't like to spend money on bar tape will end up ripping it and using electrical tape to repair it towards the end of the season.
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Old 03-19-21, 11:40 AM
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I really like Ciclovation bar tapes. https://www.ciclovation.com/pro.php?m=l&f=78&cid=78
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Old 03-19-21, 01:02 PM
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I like the Fizik Microtex Classic, myself. It's kind of a pain to wrap, but once done it stays put. It's neither sticky nor slippy, it cleans well, and it's comfy. It's a pain to wrap because it's not really stretchy, but on the plus side it's also tough so it's not a problem using a fair amount of tension to keep it flat around the curves.

With a red and white bike, I'd use white - in fact I DID use white on my red and white bike - because you'll never match the red. Same reason not to use red tires on a red bike.

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Old 03-19-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
"The best tape is the kind that wraps right the first time."

Correction: "The best "taper" is the kind that wraps the tape right the first time."
The best tapers are the ones who start with tape that is long enough for the application so their initial wrap is satisfactory. My experience has been that rolls are more often too short than too long, which is only discovered well into the job.
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Old 03-19-21, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
The best tapers are the ones who start with tape that is long enough for the application so their initial wrap is satisfactory. My experience has been that rolls are more often too short than too long, which is only discovered well into the job.
+1. This is what could be part of a valuable thread.

Measured lengths of the various bar tapes (sorted by tape thickness), as well indicator of whether or not they provide the patching strips for the shifter clamp area or not. Also worth knowing quality of bar end plugs (plastic, alloy, with/without expander plug). Finishing tape?
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Old 03-20-21, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Can I bring mine to you? Mine broke while I was putting it on, which is always a delight with $30 bar tape.
Unfortunately that is part of the tuition in the course of learning how to choose and wrap bar tape, no matter how many YouTube videos one watches on the subject. I wasted a few rolls before being able to do it satisfactorily. Hopefully I still remember how to do at least as well when it comes time to do it again.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 03-20-21 at 12:16 AM.
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