The ideal bar tape (which, when and why)?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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wheelsONfire
Posts: 2857
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

There's myriads of bar tapes on the market today, so i have a few things i would like to have an insight in.

What bar tape fits best, talking texture (similar to lever hoods), color and tone, flush fit bar to hood edge?
(Campa, Shimano & Sram)

What bar tape is thinnest?

What bar tape has even thickness (not thicker in middle section?

What bar tape is lighest?

What bar tape tends to tear when reapplying?

What is the consensus of cotton bar tape?

Please level!
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

by Weenie


bjarnetv
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:08 pm

by bjarnetv

Best tape i have tried so far is the cannondale pro grip tape that came with my CAAD12.
i recently changed the stock handlebars after half a year and 2.600km, and the tape was almost like new - no visible wear, and no flattening of the cushioning.
it was easy to remove, and the gel glue was still sticky and didnt stay on the handlebars.
i ended up reusing it on the new handlebars.
the grip is also great - wet or dry.

fizik superlight classic is ok. very thin and not very cushy, but feels nice and looks good.
the finish start wearing after a few months though, so it needs to be changed out once a year.
easy to rewrap, but the tape backing tends to tear off.

not a fan of cork, as they tear easily when removed, and seem to soak up sweat and dirt.
just put some cinelli cork on my vintage daccordi, and i dont like it to be honest.
i bough some supacaz sticky cush to replace it so i'm looking forward to seeing if it's as good as the cannondale tape.

lizardskins is easy to rewrap and feels pretty good, if a bit weird.
it deforms quite quickly though, so if you rewrap it after a few weeks it will probably look quite mangled where it was wrapped around the hoods.
the finish tends to wear off quickly if you wrap it too tightly.

the worst tape i have used so far was the Deda Elementi Mistral, as it lost most of its its cushiness after a few rides, and the foam backin tore off when i rewrapped it to change out the break levers.

MagicShite
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:33 pm

by MagicShite

Depends on your personal tastes to be honest.

I've tried: Giant (cheap and expensive ones), Supercaz, Fizik, Selle Italia, Zipps. All expensive as heck and I eventually grown to hate them. They either don't last, stinks or too thin. There is a trade off somewhere.

I now use chinese bar tapes (eva foam of 3mm thickness) which costs less than 2 bucks per pair. Never been happier. They don't stink, wraps nicely and is thick enough for my big lanky hands. They aren't as grippy as Fizik bartapes but at least they don't stink and as long as you wear gloves you're fine.

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StanK
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:10 am
Location: Croatia

by StanK

bjarnetv wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:41 pm
... not a fan of cork, as they tear easily when removed, and seem to soak up sweat and dirt....
For me, one of a point of a good bar tape is to soak some sweat. I don't need tape that would be wet and slippery when I would cooking myself in summer on some uphill. Of course, it can't be as towel :) but at least that it is of some help.

Also (Cube) float bar I have now on my bike is quite durable and I have already redo it 5-6 times, and it is practically as new. There is almost no tear. If I was a little more cautious, it would be like a new one.
But it is white, could be cleaned to some extent only, so ... every season - new tape. In a few weeks time I would put on my bike Cinelli original cork tape ... I just wonder if it will be good as Cube. It's lighter, so It would be few saved grams in process.

And with more or less overlap you could easily manage more of less cushion, and with it weight saving. For now, I have even no intention to try something else on my handlebars. Yes, I'm that satisfied. And it's looks good and it's very nice feel to touch.

Cotton bar tape I used more decads ago and, frankly, I don't considered it as a proper bar tape. I presumme design progressed in last 20-30 years, but if it's anything like back then, it's simply too thin, too odd looking... maybe for a (retro) commuter.

Broady
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:02 pm

by Broady

1.6mm, not too tacky and wipe clean works for me.

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wheelsONfire
Posts: 2857
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

Broady wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:30 pm
1.6mm, not too tacky and wipe clean works for me.
Which tape are you referring to?
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

Broady
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:02 pm

by Broady

Lizardskins. 1.8mm now I checked. Would probably prefer a bit thinner but 1.8 does the job. Right amount of tacky and reasonable easy to clean with a couple of babywipes, compared to most anyway.

benzebub
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 1:24 pm

by benzebub

The now discontinued Pro digital Carbon was perfect for me. I really wish this was still available so if anyone sees some old stock in a shop, please buy it and ship it to me.
But I could be wrong

peted76
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:30 pm

by peted76

LizardSkins all the way for me.. I like the feel of it, and can't find anything similar without loud logo's on. Three different thicknesses as well.

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nickf
Posts: 797
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

I like the Pro Race Comfort. Great grip without gloves, wet and dry. Says its 2.5mm but sure does seem thinner than that. Not at all what I would call squishy.

BdaGhisallo
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

benzebub wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:59 pm
The now discontinued Pro digital Carbon was perfect for me. I really wish this was still available so if anyone sees some old stock in a shop, please buy it and ship it to me.
Isn't the PRO Sport Control tape pretty close to this?
Last edited by BdaGhisallo on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kode54
Posts: 1608
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

Bontrager Supertack for me. The tape does thin out towards the edges for smooth transitions when wrapping...but what I like about this tape is that the material feels like rubber or silicone for a good grip similar material to the DA hoods. Easy to wrap with a little stretch. I ride in the summer without gloves. I use to use Cinelli cork, but the Supertack feels great.
- Factor 02 Disc + DA9170 + Enve 4.5AR CK CL hubs
- Moots Vamoots Disc RSL Titanium + DA9170 + Enve 3.4AR CK CL hubs
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 Ene carbon hubs
- Argonaut Spacebike 2.0 + DA9170 + Enve SES 5.6 DT Swiss 240 CL hubs

ancker
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:29 pm

by ancker

I suspect if you asked 100 people, there would be no less than 90 different tapes/opinions given.

I typically use Cinelli Cork Tape, but I spent $20 on a set up dual-color Fouriers tape from China/Taiwain/wherever because it perfectly matched what I was going for with a bike build. (If it wasn't so much and didn't take 6 weeks to get here, I'd buy more of it.)

c60rider
Posts: 449
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

I've used cinelli cork tape and more recently the gel tape for many years now. The thing I like with the gel rather than standard is that it grips to the bars rather than sticks so you don't get sticky residue left all over the bars when you come to replace it. You just have to pull the gel stuff quite taut as you're wrapping or else it will slip on the bars. But the feel of cork ribbon I've always found to be soft, almost slightly warm to the feel, grips well, all good things if you don't wear gloves out training, and you can scrub it really well with soapy water and a brush and it comes up pretty clean.

BdaGhisallo
Posts: 2292
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

I have used a lot of different handlebar tapes over my thirty one years of cycling and, hands down, the best tape for comfort and feel has been the Zevlin Big 40 tape. Zevlin went out of business and Red Monkey Sports is now selling the tape. The stuff is fantastic.

by Weenie


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