Alternatives to Bar Tape

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by StormStrikes, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    Are there any alternatives to regular bar tape? Something that my offer a bit more diameter for comfort, perhaps easier to put on and take off for cleaning or replacement, etc.

    I had the crazy thought of going to hardware store and getting some of that foam insulation you put around pipes to keep them from freezing in the winter but I think that would look dorky and weird.

    I liked it though because its easy to get, would b thicker so more diameter and I wouldn't have to order it.

    Anyway, looking for some thoughts and input.
     
  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member Tavern Member

    5,352
    66
    48
    Check Nashbar they have an open cell foam bar tape that is thicker and offers more cushion that regular bar tape. The best part is it is only 5 or 6 bucks a roll. I use it all the time it last for quite some time also.
     

  3. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,344
    632
    113
  4. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    I tried the gloves, still not very comfortable.

    davero, or anyone for that matter, let me ask this; when you order bar tape, do they automatically package enough to do both sides or do you have to order two rolls.

    I noticed today, specifically on amazon, only one mentioned there was two rolls in the package. Everyone else left you guessing whether you would have enough or not.
     
  5. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,344
    632
    113
    Should always be two rolls.
     
  6. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,344
    632
    113
    How big are your hands, and what kind of tape are you using now? Also, how is the rest of your setup? If you've got some discomfort in your hands, you really need to consider the source.
     
  7. longjohn

    longjohn tall old member

    1,270
    574
    113
    I was in the bike shop one time when they were servicing an ancient road bike. It had really strange drop bars and foam pipe insulation. I commented on it and they said the owner was a longtime customer and liked to do things his own way. They said he actually rode quite a few miles every year. It did look funny.

    My aluminum road bike with alumimum forks beat me up on an eight day ride and I went online and found an anti-vibration system that came with bar tape. It was just a bunch of foam pads that you apply to the bars and tape over them. When I bought my 520 this year it came with that setup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  8. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    I can wrap my hands around the bars quite handily. The tape that is on there now is the tape the bike came with. I wasnt trying to address any particular issue with the tape, just trying to dress it up a little and perhaps increase the diameter a bit.

    I do get some discomfort in my wrists and the heel of my hands on longer rides, but the wrists, I have learned, seems to be primarily from them not being straight, so I have been working on that.
     
  9. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,344
    632
    113
    If you Google variations of bar tape, you'll probably find some nice options. I'm sure someone makes some sort of gel type tape, or at least thicker padded tape. I recently switched from a synthetic cork to thicker rubber/vinyl, and I prefer the extra diameter.
     
  10. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    Okie dokie, I will do that.
     
  11. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    I was looking at some options like that as well. Some kind of gel pads that I could put on the bars then wrap over. If I knew what that 'gel' was made of and if it could be made at home I would try a few things out.
     
  12. katz

    katz Junior Member

    600
    2
    18
    On my butterfly bars, I use foam grips. They come in various sizes, some are made specially for road bikes, like these.

    http://tinyurl.com/bl8dg6z

    They increase the dia. quite nicely, and made my long rides very comfortable. I haven't removed them yet for cleaning; I find it easy enough to clean the grips while on the bike.
     
  13. rynoman03

    rynoman03 Well-Known Member Tavern Member

    5,029
    231
    63
  14. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    katz, I actually ran across those in my searches and I have considered going that route. I just they were in a wrap form instead of slide on, Im afraid of how it would look with the shifter/brake hoods, but that is exactly what I was thinking of when I considered the pipe insulation you can buy in hardware stores, a high density foam wrap that would increase the diameter of the bar but still look like a traditional bar wrap.
     
  15. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

    1,650
    230
    63
    I considered something red but thats going to show dirt fairly easily. I found some black bar wrap that had red stitching in it that I thought would look pretty darn good.

    If I knew what that gel was made of, the gel like they use in the comfort seats, gloves, etc. and if it could be made at home, I would just make some and wrap my own material around it. Ive got some pretty wild fabrics laying around from when I made my own embroidered head rest wraps and door handle wraps for my previous car.
     
  16. Merlincustom

    Merlincustom Senior Member

    1,545
    258
    83
    Bar tape is sold in a package that contains two rolls. One package is enough.
     
  17. giantcfr1

    giantcfr1 Kyoto Member

    122
    0
    0
    I wrap a single base layer at the two points I most use on my bars. Ie. the top and the drops.
    Then wrap with a nice thick tape over the whole bars. Feels great.
     
  18. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Mod Team Tavern Member

    20,177
    8,243
    113
  19. Merlincustom

    Merlincustom Senior Member

    1,545
    258
    83
    Yes. If it were me, I'd invest in a professional fit from someone who knows what they're doing.
     
  20. katz

    katz Junior Member

    600
    2
    18
    Can you detect a noticeable difference when using these? Or, do you have to "convince" yourself that they are doing the job? My radar always goes off when I see newfangled stuff like this. :p

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not meaning to bash them at all, I'm just leery of products that seem odd, or odd to me at least. :D