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Been looking at getting some new bar tape. I know the likes of supacaz are in trend at the mo but are they worth it? Or is a £10 roll of fizik or the like do just as good a job? Bike is black with red decals. Been looking at supacaz black with red or lizard skins wildfire camo. Can any one recommend either. Pics would also be great. Thanks. 

35 comments

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hawkinspeter [3923 posts] 2 weeks ago
4 likes

It takes a person of singular tastes to really appreciate a hand-made artisanal handlebar tape. If you're asking the question, then you'll be fine with the standard mass produced type you find in shops.

Now, if you'd rather be cycling around with your hands caressing some cave-aged single estate bar tape, then you'll be eager to 'splash the cash' and get some bar coverings that have been lovingly shaped for exactly your setup and pre-aged to prevent your bars looking worse over time.

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StraelGuy [1727 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I doubt it. I bought a pack of Supacaz recently and it was no different to the cheap crap I usually buy. Unstrechy and really hard to wrap .

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vonhelmet [1404 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I spent £25 on some lizardskins dsp and was disappointed by how much it came apart. It didn't stay put at all. I have cheap deda tape on all my bikes.

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Kieran0885 [21 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

So the short answer is no. It’s all style over substance. Ok I’ll stick with the Deda I was looking at originally at 7.99

thanks

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

I am currently stocking up on cork tape from Planrt X for about £4 a time, wrapps easily, comfortable and good grip when wet. Some shocking colours too if that is your thing.

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kil0ran [1643 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

I spent almost three hours wrapping the bars on my tourer with Brooks microfibre tape, which is around £20. Hateful stuff, but it matches my saddle and it actually comfy in use. So little stretch in it my shoulders were aching afterwards from having to keep tension on it whilst wrapping.

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Plasterer's Radio [546 posts] 2 weeks ago
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No.

The Lifeline stuff at £5 or so is every bit as good. 

It's bar tape. just needs to be soft and grippy.

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maviczap [381 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

A fool and their money are soon parted, and these expensive bar tapes are snake oil for the gulible.
Most expensive I've paid is for Fizik at about £11. Good tape, goes on easy. But I tend to buy cheap tape, Deda, BBB, Lifeline all good, no issues. Put some Ritchey on my best bike as all the stem and bars are Ritchey, that was also good and clever bar end fixing meant the R was nice and vertical.

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dooderooni [45 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I've used all sorts of bar tape previously, even including some from Wilko as an emergency stop gap while waiting for some Deda tape to be delivered, but I can honestly say that the Fizik Performance tape I'm currently using is by far the most comfortable I've ever used. I don't like padded gloves and prefer the cushioning to be on the bar itself. For that, the Fizik 3mm stuff is perfect for me.

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Rapha Nadal [1125 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

I'm 3 years in on some Lizard Skins tape - no signs of wear, no movement in that time, easy to clean, still looks great.  Money well spent as far as I'm concerned.

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Jimthebikeguy.com [267 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Lifeline stuff is just about all you need. If you want more cush, wrap it twice...

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dooderooni [45 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
Jimthebikeguy.com wrote:

Lifeline stuff is just about all you need. If you want more cush, wrap it twice...

That's fine if you've got hands like builders shovels yes

 

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Xenophon2 [102 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

It's worth it for those who like the sight of 'em and are willing to pay for looks rather than strictly functional aspects.  Don't have to be a fool for that.

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matthewn5 [1405 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Kieran0885 wrote:

So the short answer is no. It’s all style over substance. Ok I’ll stick with the Deda I was looking at originally at 7.99

thanks

That £7.99 Deda tape feels lovely. Really nice under the hands. I've got it on my long distance bike.|
The only problem I've found with it, once it's on, it's on for good. There's no readjustment possible, the glue is so strong, it tears if you try to unwrap it.

The other one I've been using for the last few years is Cinelli Tennis tape. That feels really luxurious.

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kil0ran [1643 posts] 2 weeks ago
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PlanetX currently have a bunch of genuinely lurid Bike Ribbon tapes at 99p.

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kil0ran [1643 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

At a stretch (pun intended) you can use silicone plumbers/electrical tape. Plenty of colours, sticks to itself, durable, easy to apply and remove. But based on some of the prices in this thread, probably more expensive than real bar tape.

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LastBoyScout [624 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
matthewn5 wrote:
Kieran0885 wrote:

So the short answer is no. It’s all style over substance. Ok I’ll stick with the Deda I was looking at originally at 7.99

thanks

That £7.99 Deda tape feels lovely. Really nice under the hands. I've got it on my long distance bike.|
The only problem I've found with it, once it's on, it's on for good. There's no readjustment possible, the glue is so strong, it tears if you try to unwrap it.

The other one I've been using for the last few years is Cinelli Tennis tape. That feels really luxurious.

I've got that Deda tape on 2 of my bikes and it's great. Also agree with it tearing like mad once it's been on a bit.

Have the Fizik superlight stuff on my best bike.

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David9694 [128 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I’m mainly a Deda and a Fizik guy. Most expensive departures were Brooke’s to match a saddle, Fabric Hex for a particular blue I wanted and Tortec quite padded, the latter in white.

they’ve all lasted well, including being rewrapped, but how do you get the darned things clean??

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ktache [1989 posts] 2 weeks ago
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This is a particularly timely thread for me, as I intend to wrap the loop on my Jones H bar.

I don't think that I have wrapped any bars since the early 90s.

I'm thinking a middleish price, not too cheap and not very expensive.  The Cinelli Tennis tape sounds about right.

Is it necessary to use finishing tape, or will electrical tape sufice?

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Pilot Pete [183 posts] 2 weeks ago
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David9694 wrote:

I’m mainly a Deda and a Fizik guy. Most expensive departures were Brooke’s to match a saddle, Fabric Hex for a particular blue I wanted and Tortec quite padded, the latter in white.

they’ve all lasted well, including being rewrapped, but how do you get the darned things clean??

Just cleaned my wife’s white bar tape. Simple. Bucket of warm water or a hose pipe, clean cloth, washing powder/ liquid and a nail brush (not actually necessary). Dampen the tape with the cloth or hose on a fine spray. Take a small amount of washing powder in your palm and rub it into the bar tape. As it lathers work it all around the tape covering it all. 

Once it is covered, scrub gently with the brush, or run your fingernails over the surface to pull the dirt out. Rinse with spray or blot with the clean damp cloth, rinsing and wringing regularly. Work oil stains etc a second time if required.

if it is really grubby start with something like Vanish Oxy Action stain remover, which is what I did yesterday. Tape looks like new again in gleaming white.

PP

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srchar [1534 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Depends what you want it for.

Tarting up your bike? Given that the difference between cheap and expensive is about a tenner, I'd say it's a cheap way to do that.

More comfort or grip? I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference unless you currently have the cheapest of the cheap, worn out tape.

Longer lasting? I have Deda Mistral (£8) on my commute bike and I only change it when the sun has faded it (it's hi viz yellow to go with the details on my T3 frame).

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peted76 [1533 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I do like the feel and tackiness of Lizard Skins, it costs a bomb and it wears out quicker than I'd like in my experience. 

I recently brought some rubber 'Pro' (shimano) tape, I'm very pleased with it so far, has the same tackiness and also feels sturdier somehow, time will tell if it is.  Still wasn't cheap though.

 

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Kieran0885 [21 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

I have decided to go for Selle Italia smootape corsa gel cork in black 2.5mm thick. Will be fitting this weekend. I’ll let you know the results. Oh, it was 14.98 from Wiggle. 

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Chris Hayes [457 posts] 2 weeks ago
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You have three contact points with your bike: pedals, seat and handlebars.  No point in having an expensive rig if these touch points make it uncomfortable or look a mess.  Decent bar-tape is the easiest of these fixes and when put on properly lasts for ages.  I use F:zik tape, wrapped tightly (over gel and old tape on Thomson carbon bars).  Done properly its a fixture.  Mine has lasted 4yrs + at well over 10,000k per annum. I use electrical tape on the tape ends to make sure 

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sammutd88 [123 posts] 2 weeks ago
4 likes
ktache wrote:

This is a particularly timely thread for me, as I intend to wrap the loop on my Jones H bar.

I don't think that I have wrapped any bars since the early 90s.

I'm thinking a middleish price, not too cheap and not very expensive.  The Cinelli Tennis tape sounds about right.

Is it necessary to use finishing tape, or will electrical tape sufice?

 

Electrical tape works better. 

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Huckfinn [70 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Anyone uses gel "pads" under the tape?

Or even has two layers of tape?

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jacknorell [1064 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

Anyone uses gel "pads" under the tape?

Or even has two layers of tape?

I've got gel pads as loathe padded gloves. Works ok.

Current good bike bar tape is Guee silicon and has so far lasted 3.5 years over two bikes and 3 handlebars. Good vibration damping and sort of easy to clean with rubbing alcohol

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Huckfinn [70 posts] 1 week ago
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3.5 years & 3 handlebars..?

wow!!

thanks for that

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kil0ran [1643 posts] 1 week ago
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Yep, I've used gel pads rather than double wrapping, just in the place where my hands rest most often (this can vary from bike to bike so it tends to be something to do once you've ridden for a while and worked out where that is.

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Boatsie [381 posts] 1 week ago
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I use cheap cork tape. Cost 2.5-3 quid per set.
I bought two sets to match red, green port, starboard on two bikes to continually assist with my knowledge.

I don't think it's as good as many other tapes but it ain't wrong neither and it is cheap and comfortable!

Initially a bar end wouldn't hold a tape end and it unraveled during a ride but maybe because I layed it on thick. I layed it thick because I couldn't sit it properly. I'm no expert.
I redid the tape leaving the last inch or 2 of the bar ends absent of cork but thin wrapped the ends using gaff tape.
It's comfortable, it works, it feels good on the drops with a more direct feel and there is another bike here with good tape that feels better on the bars but I didn't wrap that. That uses masking tape as hood covers. Lol. The layers layed properly are probably easier to do with most of the more expensive tapes and being thinner it allows better responses to be had while riding.

Weight of cheap tape ain't an issue. An alloy bike with alloy rims at 7.1 kg with 28 mm heavy tyres.
Best of luck..

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