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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #1 
I got some new bar tape on order. The gravel around here gets pretty chunky and after long miles on that stuff sometimes my hands get a little tingly from vibration due to a little carpal tunnel on one of my arms. I’ve got some 2.5 mm Soma gel tape coming but I thought about maybe putting a little extra cushion underneath. I’ve got some remains have some Easton gel pads. But I’ve also seen where people have cut up computer mouse pads and wrap them underneath. And I even thought about some Dr. Scholl’s inserts for your feet. I’ve been getting by OK with just good thick bar wrap and some of those gel pads underneath but I’m just thinking if I’m going to re-wrap my bars now would be the time to experiment if I was going to do something. Have you guys tried any of this stuff?
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #2 
The problem is if you go to thick with the padding it makes it difficult to wrap the bar and you can end up with the bar tape slipping and unraveling.  I have used different types of bar gels, and they tend to work okay.  My favorite is probably the bike ribbon pads, they come in different firmness levels. https://www.amazon.com/Bike-Ribbon-Gel-Soft-Orange/dp/B001F11XWW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512402834&sr=8-3&keywords=bike+ribbon+gel  My favorite comfy tape to wrap over it is Cinelli Gel Cork.  I would recommend getting a Redshift Shock Stop stem, it works way better than any amount of padding under the bar tape will.  I have these on two bikes and they are awesome.  They are tunable so you can set them up to feel just how you want.  https://redshiftsports.com/shockstop-suspension-stem


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stevef

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've tried a few different under-tape pads and the best has been Fizik gel.  It works well and doesn't break down even when moved from bike to bike...
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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #4 
I’ve already got some Easton gel trimmed and taped behind the hoods waiting for wrap. I will probably just go ahead and use that like I had before but I just wanted to get some opinions on other options. I know what you were saying about being too thick as I got to thinking a mouse pad would be extremely thick.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #5 
Specialized makes some great stuff too. I use that and 3.2mm lizard skins and the tops of my Ritchey bars are 31.8 until the bend.

It's a great setup for the large handed individual.
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Clyderyde

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Reply with quote  #6 
Keep it simply & double wrap. I have done it since I have owned my CX bike and have no issues with slippage or unraveling. Generally, when I replace cables & rewrap, I use my old wrap as a base or cheap cork/gel tape and tape from the shifters up. Works great & costs nothing.
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DrBagg

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Reply with quote  #7 
You could also try wrapping the bars with used innertubes....that'd give you some padding as well.
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moe53

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyderyde
Keep it simply & double wrap. I have done it since I have owned my CX bike and have no issues with slippage or unraveling. Generally, when I replace cables & rewrap, I use my old wrap as a base or cheap cork/gel tape and tape from the shifters up. Works great & costs nothing.


+1 Pro riders have been doing this for decades in Paris Roubaix and other rough spring classics. I do it on my rigid mtb bars.

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chas

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyderyde
Keep it simply & double wrap. I have done it since I have owned my CX bike and have no issues with slippage or unraveling. Generally, when I replace cables & rewrap, I use my old wrap as a base or cheap cork/gel tape and tape from the shifters up. Works great & costs nothing.


that is what I do, and I really like it.  The thicker bar is an advantage (unless you have feminine hands).  

Just don't get thick bar tape when you do it.  It really has made gravel riding nice...
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #10 
Coming from the roadie end I have done like others have done and that is double wrap. When I did my 600k and 1200k rides my hands use to be numb afterwards. I just used a cheap no gel tape underneath and double wrapped with gel on top. I now have the lizzard skins on my bike and luv that. The other thing you can do is deaden the front end of your bike. I use to run 10-15 lbs lower on the front end to deaden the road vibration some. Not sure how that relates some to gravel riding/racing as I am kind of the newbie to it. The gel pads around the hoods work well also as that is well you need the padding.


Good luck
Zman

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Clyderyde

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Reply with quote  #11 
Yes! Good call Zman. I always stagger my tire pressure. Usually by around 10lbs. Great call.
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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyderyde
Keep it simply & double wrap. I have done it since I have owned my CX bike and have no issues with slippage or unraveling. Generally, when I replace cables & rewrap, I use my old wrap as a base or cheap cork/gel tape and tape from the shifters up. Works great & costs nothing.


I like this idea. Since my old bar tape is in bad shape, I stripped up an old inner tube and did a pre wrap tonight with it. I wrapped over my little gel pieces behind the hoods. I have large hands and like a fatter grip so I think it will feel good once the finishing tape is on.

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chas

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyderyde
Yes! Good call Zman. I always stagger my tire pressure. Usually by around 10lbs. Great call.


I agree.  I always do this, so forgot to mention it.

Weight balance is often 40f60r*, so you should have 50% more pressure in your rear wheel (or 2/3 pressure in the front) compared to the front to balance things out.   No reason to have a front tire stiffer than your rear tire on gravel.

* feel free to use a bathroom scale to know your own bike's loaded weight balance.
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heybrady

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Reply with quote  #14 
I love the SRAM Supercork tape.  Cheap, thick, stretchy, and cleans well.  I would think a double wrap would be about as cushy as anyone would want/need   
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #15 
My $.02: IMHO, you can only do so much with thicker or padded bar tape. If you are having trouble with hands and wrists on the terrain you are riding, then the best cure may be wider tires at lower pressure + a serious review of your bike fit with a reputable bike fitter. There are also a number of good youtube videos on proper stem length etc if you want some DIY advice. You may find that a shorter stem with less drop may help quite a bit.
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bnystrom

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Reply with quote  #16 
The best handlebar tape combination I've found is generic cork tape for the first layer, then Cannondale Synapse 3.5mm tape for the outer layer. The C'dale tape is EVA foam, which has much more rubbery, cushioned feel to it than cork tape. It soaks up vibration and provides a good grip in all conditions. It's also extremely durable; the tape on my road bike has lasted at least 4 seasons with negligible wear.

I also run 40mm tubeless tires at 28psi front / 30psi rear. I typically run a 10psi difference front/rear on my road bikes (72 front / 82 rear with 25mm tires), but I find that I can't get away with that on woodland roads and trails. The front tire tends to take some pretty good hits and will occasionally bottom out at lower pressures. On hard-packed dirt roads, I'll run the pressure a little higher, with more front/rear differential. I weigh 170# and "ride lighter" than that, almost never having issue with pinch flats or dented rims.
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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnystrom
The best handlebar tape combination I've found is generic cork tape for the first layer, then Cannondale Synapse 3.5mm tape for the outer layer. The C'dale tape is EVA foam, which has much more rubbery, cushioned feel to it than cork tape. It soaks up vibration and provides a good grip in all conditions. It's also extremely durable; the tape on my road bike has lasted at least 4 seasons with negligible wear.

I also run 40mm tubeless tires at 28psi front / 30psi rear. I typically run a 10psi difference front/rear on my road bikes (72 front / 82 rear with 25mm tires), but I find that I can't get away with that on woodland roads and trails. The front tire tends to take some pretty good hits and will occasionally bottom out at lower pressures. On hard-packed dirt roads, I'll run the pressure a little higher, with more front/rear differential. I weigh 170# and "ride lighter" than that, almost never having issue with pinch flats or dented rims.


That Cannondale tape sounds very similar to the soma thick and zesty bar tape that I have been using. It is kind of the foamy substance that’s really cushiony as well.

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