At one time, most handlebar tape was cloth. These days, it’s often just about anything else. I’ve used (and am using) just about every version of bar tape at one time or another.
But I keep going back to cloth tape. I’ve used Tressostar, Velox (though these I think are the same thing), and a few others over the years. I like how it feels, how it wears, how to goes on, and how I can just put another layer over the top of the old one when it gets worn.
When it came to be time to wrap another set of handlebars (the Salsa Woodchippers on the Albatross), I found that the parts bin held only a couple of rolls of Newbaum’s, in Eggplant.
As you can see, it’s quite striking.
It’s also quite comfortable and provides an excellent grip — both of which I put to the test on the ride during which the above photo was taken. I used one roll for each side, but you can also use two rolls on each side for more overlap and a slightly thicker grip.
Newbaum’s comes in a wide array of colors (and they add a couple every now and then):
I think, from now on, I’ll stick to using Newbaum’s. Perhaps orange or maroon for the Trek 613 and eggplant or blue for the Handsome Devil. I’m even tempted to strip the crappy black Planet Bike tape from the Smoothie in favor of the grass green (though I’ll probably go with black in the end to keep the monochrome color scheme).
Oh, and by the way, Newbaum’s retails for about $5.00/roll. Ten bucks to wrap your bars. Or twenty, if you want to go double-thick. Even then, it’s still less expensive than most bar tapes on the market.
And it just plain feels better.
Note: This post is part of an ongoing series: Stuff I Like. These are unsolicited reviews of things that I use and like. In the unlikely event that anyone gives me something to review, I’ll make sure to let you know.