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So. Calif.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting a thicker, more cushioned handlebar tape, and recently installed Deda tape.

However, the Deda tape was only marginally thicker (2.4 mm at center) than the OEM tape (about 2.1 mm) I removed. Otherwise, the Deda feels nice.

Specialized claims their "Roubaix" tape has :
  • elastomer gel backing for vibration damping performance
  • More than double the elastomer thickness of competitor gel tapes
Specialized is pricey ($20), but worth it to me if it's thicker and better cushioned.

Has anyone tried both brands, and if so, how do they compare ?

(There's no Roubaix in stock locally, so I'd have to special order)
 

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I've been wanting a thicker, more cushioned handlebar tape
Regardless, you may not like the feel of the tape. It's almost like a cloth. I and few people I've run into didn't like the feel. Even if it's not in stock, check the shop's Roubaixs for the feel. It comes on some (all?) of them.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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13,390 Posts
Never tried the Specialized, but I like the Deda as well or more than any cork tape I've ever used.
 

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I just recently put the Specialized Roubaix tape on my ride and am very pleased with it. It is definately thick and cushy. John is right regarding the feel of the tape, it feels like a very fine terry cloth. I'd imagine most people's problem with that is the fact that it differs from the "normal" smooth or cork feel. I typically wear gloves when I ride but when I don't I find the soft texture to be rather pleasant.

There is a kit that Specialized offers that contains both the Roubaix tape and preformed gel pads. Completely overkill in my opinion.
 

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Roadbike Rider
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You can get too cushy

I find the gel back tapes move around under my hands when I want to grip the bars hard
 

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I like the stuff myself. It is also very durable. I recently replaced some that was on my bike for 1 1/2 years with around 3k miles on it and it was still not in bad shape. I use the gel pads under my tape, but I first tightly wrap the gel pads with friction tape to "firm up" the feel of the gel. I like the increased diamater that the combo gives me, especially on the tops just before the brake levers. I don't use the gel pads on the drops, however.
 

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So. Calif.
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2,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finally located some blue Roubaix tape at another LBS.

The Roubaix is marginally thicker (2.6 mm) than the Deda tape.

However, I think I will prefer the Roubaix tape's textured surface ... the tape seemed to grip nicely when I examined a Roubaix-tape-equipped bike at the store.

Since I didn't do a great install of the Deda tape last weekend (my first attempt), I'll probably start over and install the Roubaix tape this weekend.
 
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