Had an hour to kill the other day, so I finally gathered up my stuff and went out to the garage to perform major surgery on the bike. OK, it wasn’t major by any means, but it did repair some damage, and did alter the look of the machine. I put on new bar tape.
A number of readers weighed in a few weeks ago about which way I should go on the tape. Thanks for your input. I decided on black, which is the way I had been leaning anyway. Since the bike came with a white saddle, which I had changed to a black one because I didn’t like its looks, why would I put white tape on the bars? I already knew I wasn’t crazy about the blue. It pretty much had to be black.
At the MS 150 Bike Expo in Houston, I found some tape that filled the bill on a number of fronts. It was black. It was relatively cheap — $10. And it was a cork-gel compound that feels squishy to the touch.
It was instructive to peel off the old tape. On the drops, I found some gel inserts that the Specialized factory apparently puts in place before they wrap the stock tape. That was a nice bonus. I’ve never developed the ability some bikers have of reading the road through their hands on the bars. I much prefer a cushioned place to grip during a ride. Furthermore, the new tape gives the bike a slightly more subdued appearance, which appeals to me.
I’m afraid inside the garage at night doesn’t give the same quality picture as outside during the day does, but you get the idea.
New bar tape is one of the easiest things you can do to change the look of your bike. The possibilities are endless. You can keep it simple, or make it flashy. It’s an easy do-it-yourself job that takes less than an hour — even if you have to unwrap and rewrap portions along the way. Who knows? Maybe in another year, I’ll be ready for yet another look. Maybe some of that marble pattern…