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To Tape or Not to Tape... That is the Question

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My latest bike came with aero bars. That's not something I would've purchased on my own as I just can't justify the expense for such a minimal gain, but so be it.

I'm going to re-tape the bars as the previous owner didn't do a very good job of taping them. However, now I'm wondering... do I tape the entire bar or do I leave the tops of the bar bare?

I ride hills (not mountains) and do rest my hands on the top of the bars with relative frequency. However, I certainly don't grip the top of the bars with a death-grip when climbing, hence I'm not sure how important or useful tape really is on the top. I might also add that the roads here in Wisconsin vary from sucky to super-sucky in that the freeze-thaw cycle of our weather really beats-up the roads. Hence, there's a little bit of a comfort factor to consider.

One argument I've been able to give myself to justify taping the entire bar is that occasionally I ride in a fake aero-bar position by resting my elbows on the tops of the bars (where aero bars would go if I had them.) Without padded tape, that would certainly hurt as my elbow bones would be resting right on the bars. Ouch!

Thoughts? Did you tape the tops of your aero bars?

Aero bars with the tops not taped...



Aero bars with the tops taped...

 

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My latest bike came with aero bars. That's not something I would've purchased on my own as I just can't justify the expense for such a minimal gain, but so be it.

I'm going to re-tape the bars as the previous owner didn't do a very good job of taping them. However, now I'm wondering... do I tape the entire bar or do I leave the tops of the bar bare?

I ride hills (not mountains) and do rest my hands on the top of the bars with relative frequency. However, I certainly don't grip the top of the bars with a death-grip when climbing, hence I'm not sure how important or useful tape really is on the top. I might also add that the roads here in Wisconsin vary from sucky to super-sucky in that the freeze-thaw cycle of our weather really beats-up the roads. Hence, there's a little bit of a comfort factor to consider.

One argument I've been able to give myself to justify taping the entire bar is that occasionally I ride in a fake aero-bar position by resting my elbows on the tops of the bars (where aero bars would go if I had them.) Without padded tape, that would certainly hurt as my elbow bones would be resting right on the bars. Ouch!

Thoughts? Did you tape the tops of your aero bars?
First off, those are not "aero bars". Aero bars have the extensions that allow you to put your elbows on or near the bars with your forearms extended out front.

The shape of your bars is to provide a wider place to put your hands when on the tops. I rarely ride in this position but I do tape the bars to near the center (just where the cables come off the bars). This is because about the only time I use this position is when seeking a little different body position when climbing, and that often means my hands are sweating profusely and I don't want to have a slippery grip location.

Beyond that, it's all about what YOU think looks good.
 

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What the what???
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Aesthetically, I like the look of option 1. But if I knew I was going to spend a decent amount of time on the bar tops, I'd probably go ahead and tape them for the extra bit of cushion it would provide. Function over form in this case.
 

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First off, those are not "aero bars". Aero bars have the extensions that allow you to put your elbows on or near the bars with your forearms extended out front.

The shape of your bars is to provide a wider place to put your hands when on the tops.
While you're right about the first, you couldn't be more wrong about the second. They are aerodynamic handlebars, and the shape of the tops is to provide better aerodynamics, not a wider place for your hands.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Tape em. More comfortable, also grip in wet conditions.
 

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While you're right about the first, you couldn't be more wrong about the second. They are aerodynamic handlebars, and the shape of the tops is to provide better aerodynamics, not a wider place for your hands.
Actually the first is wrong too. Makers of those do indeed refer to them as Aero Handlebars.

Just because something else goes by the same name doesn't mean those don't.
 

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They are aerodynamic handlebars, and the shape of the tops is to provide better aerodynamics, not a wider place for your hands.
I would beg to differ on this point. I don't care what you call them, but I don't use them because they are 'aero', I use them cause they have a wider top and you can add a lot of cush to that also, ... and I do!

I have aero bars, and those aren't them. That name is already taken, sorry, your going to have to use 'aerotop bars'.
 

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Actually the first is wrong too. Makers of those do indeed refer to them as Aero Handlebars.

Just because something else goes by the same name doesn't mean those don't.

The term most use for this cross section is "wing" actually. Easton does, FSA does etc....but this is ofc a pointless pedantic debate to dodge talking about handlebar taping preferences:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
but this is ofc a pointless pedantic debate to dodge talking about handlebar taping preferences:)
bwahaha! This ^

One reason I had considered not taping the entire bar is that I find that bar tape manufacturers these days sure like to give you the least amount of tape they can. I typically use Lizard Skins DSP tape, but on more than one occasion have had to re-wrap my bars because I found I did too much overlap and had to start over. With aero bars (or whatever the heck you want to call them), I'm figuring I'm going to have to minimize overlap big-time or I'll likely not be able to wrap the tops anyway.

Grip is probably something I ought to consider. As much as I hate riding in the rain, sometimes the weather doesn't listen to me and I can only imagine a bare bar is probably slippery in the wet.
 

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While you're right about the first, you couldn't be more wrong about the second. They are aerodynamic handlebars, and the shape of the tops is to provide better aerodynamics, not a wider place for your hands.
I would beg to differ on this point. I don't care what you call them, but I don't use them because they are 'aero', I use them cause they have a wider top and you can add a lot of cush to that also, ... and I do!

I have aero bars, and those aren't them. That name is already taken, sorry, your going to have to use 'aerotop bars'.
For the record... this is why non-cyclists hate us... :)
 

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If you are going to spend a lot of time on the tops, you bought the wrong bike.
 
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