Cotton Handle bar tape



bpatterson

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Aug 27, 2006
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Finally found the color I wanted, but it's cotton handle bar tape, I’ve always used cork what are the differences. Seems like it would not last.
 

Retro Grouch

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Dec 29, 2005
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Hey! It's only handlebar tape. Give the cotton tape a try and decide for yourself whether or not you like it. The worst thing that can possibly happen is you'll have to put out $10.00 for new cork tape. Think of it as the price of education.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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Keep it dry and it will last for years. This is what was used before plastic and cork tape were around. Oops, I'm showing my age.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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bpatterson said:
Finally found the color I wanted, but it's cotton handle bar tape, I’ve always used cork what are the differences. Seems like it would not last.
How long do your blue jeans last?

Cotton handlebar tape will last more than a season (unless you "drop" the bike and the bars take part of the impact) ... particularly, if you wear gloves. You could, if you wanted to, leave it on for many seasons ... and, when it fades, you can unwrap it and rewrap it with the "inside" facing out, or let it age gracefully.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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bpatterson said:
what are the characteristics as compared to cork?
Well, I'm not exactly sure what you are asking ...

The cloth tape provides a GOOD gripping surface -- cold bars in the morning & hot bars in the aftenoon will be buffered ... close to zero padding. Cloth tape is much easier to install ... impossible to tear UNLESS you have Super Hero powers. The dye in the cloth tape may fade over time, but it is theoretically reversible (simply unwrap & rewrap).

The "cork" tapes also provide a GOOD gripping surface AND are thicker ... and, can tear during installation. Theoretically NOT reversible due to the chamfered edges (i.e., for cosmetic reasons) and/or because of the adhesive band [some have it, some don't]. Color won't fade. Water resistant.

Whereas old cork generally just looks dingy or neglected, old cloth tape MAY (or, may not!) have character.

You've got the cloth tape ... there is little lost in using it at this point. You MAY like it better!
 

strummer_fan

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Aug 13, 2004
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bpatterson said:
Main thing you notice straight away:

Cork = thick and pads the bars, which cushions hands / wrists from road shock
Cloth = thin and doesn't pad or offer that "shock protection"

What color were you looking for? I'm surprised as Cork comes in all colors and cotton is harder to find...
 

bpatterson

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Aug 27, 2006
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Dark (kelly) green... trying to give my litespeed an Irish look instead of the shiney gray and black
 

BornInZion

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Nov 13, 2006
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AHHHHHH! Where did you find cotton tape? I am looking for cotton!:mad:

I have artificial cork tape that I will cover with cotton tape. In my experience, cotton is easier to work with, but doesn't last as long. But I like changing the color every so often anyway.

Tailwinds, BIZ
 

Steve_A

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Sep 7, 2010
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Cotton tape is often shellacked. The more coats the more grip/padding. Clear shellack maintains the color more or less, amber shellack changes the color. See Rivendell site (previously mentioned) alao Lovely Bicycle! and Velo Orange. If you want retro/old school/traditional, check it out.
 

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