As my MS 150 ride fast approaches — just a week and a half away — I’m giving some thought to improving the looks of my bike. After all, I don’t want to be in the middle of thousands of other bikers on something that looks less than pristine, right?
When I bought the bike last year, it came with soft, squishy gel tape. But my crash in November ruined the tape on the left handlebar. I haven’t done anything about it, mainly because it stayed in place, and didn’t unravel like I thought it would. But now, I’m getting over the “badge of honor” look, and I’m thinking about getting some new bar tape.
I’ve been down this road before. On my old Raleigh, the cloth tape was all torn and ratty, so I replaced it — but with cheap cork tape. I figured if I made a mess of the wrap job, I wouldn’t be out much money. It looked pretty good when I finished, and then I found that I had wrapped it backward, from the middle out to the end, instead of from the end to the middle. Hey, I found these instructions online, and I just followed them, you know?
It stayed together though, but it was firm tape. I’m spoiled by the gel tape now.
I’ve noticed you can get gel inserts that glue onto the handlebar, then you wrap your tape over the inserts. That looks interesting.
My other issue is color. The bike came with blue bar tape. While I like my bike, I’ve never been crazy about the blue and black color scheme. So I’m leaning toward plain black tape.
Here’s your chance to weigh in on which way I should go. Black gel tape? Other ideas? What brand? Or, should I keep that “badge of honor” look, to remind me not to ride stupid?