Monday, July 27, 2009

Cyclo Confessions Of A Bar Tape Addict

Finding the perfect bar tape for your bike is like finding the pefect set of shoes, necktie or handbag to go with an outfit. Last week, I put some new stripped bar tape on my cyclocross bike. I hated it. Two days later I ripped it off and sprung for something else. It felt wasteful. At the same time I knew I couldn't go a week, let alone the whole season, with that hideous tape. Then I found out about another cyclist who has changed bar tape no less than seven times in the last eight months, a bonafide bar tape addict.

In order to keep this cyclists identity a secret we have put them in the Witness Protection Plan. We hired an expert at the medical textbook center to block out the eyes and other personal features in the photo and we will refer to this cyclist only as Bar Tape Addict. The Best Bike Blog Ever* now presents the exclusive interview as it unrolled on Facebook earlier today.

TBBBE Thanks for coming out of your bar tape closet and sharing your unique addiction with the cycling world.

BTA It is an embarrassing monkey on my back and I am often ridiculed for my beliefs but if a contribution to your blog can be educational for others, I am happy to help.

TBBBE How many rolls of bar tape have you put on your bikes in the past year?

BTA 7 (since Dec' 08)

TBBBE What has been the least amount of rides between tape changes

BTA 1 week

TBBBE How much money have you spent on bar tape in the past year?

BTA $200

TBBBE (cough) JESUS! Excuse me. Is bar tape the cycling version of shoes or purses for you?

BTA Yeah, actually. I guess it's sort of like that.

TBBBE Would you call it an addiction?

BTA This is an addiction. And, I have not found a treatment center that can help conquer it.

TBBBE If someone were shopping for bar tape what would you suggest? White, black or a color matching the frame?

BTA It depends on your mood or the season. (my bike) had red/white stripped for the winter holiday season, then bright green to match my kit, then pink for Spring, then there was pink Camo for the State Championship Race, and lately it's been white to feel get my point.

TBBBE Makes sense to me. Which was the biggest mistake?

BTA The bright green because it was paper thin.

TBBBE What texture/finish do you like the best? Rubbery, shiney or that soft Fizik fine velvet?

BTA I know I will risk sounding "lude" but, I like thick and grippy. I dont wear gloves while riding on the road so I need some padding. I like grippy tape for my cross bike.

TBBBE Being an aficianado of bar tape, you must have a favorite brand.

BTA Bontrager

TBBBE Why do you change your bar tape so often?

BTA I change my tape based on my mood or for an upcoming race.

TBBBE Do you find yourself mentally criticizing other peoples bar tape?


TBBBE As a bar tape fashion expert, do you have pet peeves about other's bar tape?

BTA Dirty, worn out tape. Like your shoe can tell a lot about someone by their shoes!


Anonymous said...

People need to know that this condition affects more than individual riding the bike. At least in this case someone has to install all the new tape. I guess maybe I'm an enabler since I continue to change it. . .

Publishing as Anonynmous to help protect the identity.

StevenG said...

Never underestimate the importance of bartape! Possibly the most important cycling equipment choice.