There is something about new handlebar tape that makes a whole bike seem new. I just got through putting some new white Fizik tape on my road bike. I finished it off with some red electrical tape to match the bike’s red and white theme. The Fizik tape looks durable and from what I’ve read on the Internet it is easy to keep clean.
Over the decades I have used a variety of types of bar tape. Like most cyclists my age, I started with Tressostar cloth tape. It was thin woven cotton with an adhesive backing. I used the black version without lacquer and it lasted forever. I was never brave enough to try the famous harlequin wrap.
When I started racing I moved on to Benotto Cello Tape. This stuff was made of tough plastic and looked really cool on the bike. It was shiny with a slight texture and surprisingly grippy. Unlike modern tape, the Tressostar and Benotto had no padding at all.
My previous tape job was the coolest looking but alas, it did not last. When I re-furbished my Bridgestone RB-1 I decided to try Velo Orange‘s Elkhide sewn on bar covers in white. These are pre-cut elk hide and come with excellent directions. On evening I spent a couple of hours stitching them on. As you can see they looked great! Everywhere I went, other cyclists asked about them. They we comfortable and had excellent grip, the problem was that there was no good way to keep them clean. After a while they looked really ratty. I finally removed them and put the Fizik on instead. Apparently Velo Orange has discontinued the white version.
Well, with my new white tape I am ready for anything. I am sure that I will be faster on tomorrow’s commute!