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White cork tape: how do you keep it clean?(20 posts)

White cork tape: how do you keep it clean?Wafer
May 15, 2002 3:12 PM
I'd love some tips on cleaning my white cork bar tape. Like the idiot I so often am, I recently took my road bike out with gloves that I had previously worn MTBing--and hadn't washed. Needless to say, my once-pristine white tape now has a dull brown veneer to it. Any suggestions (besides the obvious--"don't wear dirty gloves")?
can't be done; use black nm (I'm serious nm)DougSloan
May 15, 2002 3:18 PM
totally agree--black tape is the way to go (nm)ColnagoFE
May 16, 2002 7:36 AM
Agree with Doug.No_sprint
May 15, 2002 3:19 PM
Also, get the Pinarello stuff. It's double the cost of all the others, but once you try it, you'll love it. I've got in all my rides.
May 15, 2002 3:21 PM
Only white vinyl tape can be kept looking decent for long. The vinyl tape is OK if you always wear gloves. If you don't (like me), it too slick. I've given up on all light-colored tapes.
re: White cork tape: how do you keep it clean?mackgoo
May 15, 2002 3:26 PM
It's going to get dirty, fact of riding. You either accept or replace once a month.
re: White cork tape: how do you keep it clean?Wafer
May 15, 2002 3:32 PM
This is what I was afraid of--because I had tried a few cleaning methods that are "sure-fire" for cleaning just about anything else and nothing has helped.

Unfortunately, this bike is of the "classic steel" variety and it looks sooooo nice with the white tape. For about three weeks. Then the tape starts to look like hell.

Anyway, thanks to all for the reality check.
Mount bike in glass case, open museum instead. nmmr_spin
May 15, 2002 3:31 PM
It won't be spotless but...Lone Gunman
May 15, 2002 3:32 PM
If you spray on some of the citrus type degreaser that is sold at Home Depot or some Simply Green and then with a wet towel twist in the direction that the tape is wrapped, you can keep it relatively clean. If it feels sticky after the wipe down, use more water to remove the residue. This is the way to clean golf club grips, it works on bar tape. Can also use a dish detergent mixture in a spray bottle.
May 15, 2002 3:51 PM
Undiluted dishwashing soap and a clean damp rag. Wrap the rag around the bars and go nuts. It is really not difficult. Use a nail brush on the more difficult areas. Presto.

I actually prefer white tape because you can tell when it gets dirty, unlike black tape.
May 15, 2002 4:11 PM
This I've got to try. Thank you.

I had tried the Simple Green that Lone Gunman mentioned, though not nearly as methodically as he described. It helped a bit, (and I'm sure it would help a lot more if I followed his instructions) but it had an odd result: the "green" somehow gave the tape a bluish tinge wherever I scrubbed. Go figure!
I think a good rinse and rub with a clean towel might helpLone Gunman
May 15, 2002 4:16 PM
The stuff is not supposed to stain, I like the citrus orange stuff. Just cleaned my jamaican stripped cinelli cork tape this afternoon that has been on the bike for a good 6 months.
What about that noxious stuff they clean car tire sidewalls w/ ?Ahimsa
May 15, 2002 4:19 PM
Seems like that would do it. Or maybe just black tape?


Waterless hand cleaner, like Go-JoSpoke Wrench
May 15, 2002 4:28 PM
I prefer the kind withoug the pumace, but it's sometimes hard to find. Just smear a little on with your hands and hose it off. Takes less than a minute.
I've heard others say this works as well. Worth a try.(nm)Sintesi
May 16, 2002 4:37 AM
I wouldn't bother, but here's a possibilitycory
May 15, 2002 5:04 PM
Grant Petersen is big on covering cloth bar tape with shellac. That gives it a golden color, but if you HAVE to use white tape (and I'm warning you most people will think you're a sissy), what about coating it with a clear finish like polyurethane varnish? I'd test it on a scrap piece first, but if it works, a couple of coats should give you a washable (though slick) surface.
or just use Benotto CelloTape nmDougSloan
May 15, 2002 7:04 PM
May 16, 2002 8:36 AM
You've got way too much time on your hands if you're all worried about keeping your bar tape white. Might as well ask how to stay perfectly clean and dry while MTB'ing. You don't.
Here is what I do........Dave Hickey
May 16, 2002 10:03 AM
I use the little towels with bleach. They sell them at grocery stores in cleaning supplies.
Go Jograndemamou
May 16, 2002 11:08 AM
My bar tape is celeste a little easier but not much. This will get most but not all of it. Drive train and frame should be spotless but bar tape and saddles should be a little grungy and nicked up. A sure sign of a bike used for it's intended purpose. It adds character.