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Shallow obsession w/ looks (bar tape question)(35 posts)

Shallow obsession w/ looks (bar tape question)litespeedchick
Oct 27, 2003 11:49 AM
Here's a pic of the new bike. She's very slim, but a little plain. I don't like the blue Litespeed bar tape that came on her (why blue?). I was going to order some black Litespeed bar tape, but it seems like pretty crappy tape (off the front) plus they want$14 + $10 to ship it to me UPS Ground...and I live in an adjoining state.

Opinions please...should I stick w/ Litespeed tape? Something else? Black,white,grey mottled? Black and white stripes?

Bonus question: I just received the 3TTT Less stem that I ordered. It's a 25.8 my bar is 26.0 My shop said that was "the same thing". Are they right, or have I screwed up here?

Many thanks.
OTF = an acquired tasteJS Haiku Shop
Oct 27, 2003 12:12 PM
i've had the good fortune to be in yearly supply of OTF tape as a courtesy of a side interest of mine. i've also tried many others, and finally came to settle on...wait for it...nashbar house-brand tape.

OTF tape is useful if you are doing excessively long rides or are very sensitive/have hand/wrist/joint sensitivities, and then (IMHO) only as a base layer under a double handlebar wrap. though it does offer a certain vibration dampening, it's very thin, gets dirty easily and can be tough to clean, is expensive if you're paying for it, stretches permanently if wrapped tight, and after bad weather riding (either extreme), tends to bond to itself.

opinion: find a color of cork tape that you enjoy, and try it. if the chunk/marble appeals to you, i'll bet black & white would look great on that bike.

sorry but i can't help with your bonus question.

good luck!
Oct 27, 2003 12:25 PM
Put black on it. I think it would look good. Try the Pinarello cork tape. Darn near twice as expensive as anything else, however, I like it that much.
Black classic cork (nm)cmgauch
Oct 27, 2003 12:26 PM
Go Bold! Go for the stripesbimini
Oct 27, 2003 12:26 PM
Who knows you might end up with the whole team kit.

I would go with the Zebra stripes (but I doubt the team kit). Or, a just plain pratical black so the grease stains don't show.

I'm not sure about the stem. My math says the 0.2 mm is .008" which is only the thickness of a couple of sheets of paper. Should work if it's a metal bar. If it's a carbon bar you need to make certain.
Any color you want...Andy M-S
Oct 27, 2003 12:42 PM
You have a perfect neutral bike to play with...any color will do. I'd try celeste or purple, or maybe rust red. Play around and see what looks good and feels good to you.
No more plain black please!!pitt83
Oct 27, 2003 12:57 PM
A little style please! Black means; I quit thinking about how it looks. Your bike should express fun and something about you. If your statement is "I'm morose" or "I'm boring", then by all means black!

The choice of mennonites and amish everywhere!
Litespeeds are hard to dress uppmf1
Oct 27, 2003 12:58 PM
Plain old battleship grey titanium is pretty boring stuff. Never scratches or chips though.

I have an Ultimate with big yellow decals that I accessorize around. I use black/yellow splash Cinelli tape. For your bike, I'd go for black/white splash. Plain white, like plain yellow, will look trashed pretty quick. The splash tape doesn't get trashed as quick. Juts ride the LS tape until it goes and get something different.

Performance sells its own brand of all cork tape that is nice (I suspect its the same as Cinelli). Any all cork tape is nice. I don't like off the front tape -- its not as plush.

I'm not sure what you mean about the stem -- they gave you a TTT stem that is 25.8, but your bar is 26.0? As long as it fits and doesn't damage the bar it should be OK, but if you ordered and paid for something different you should get what you wanted. Not their mistake.
Boring detailslitespeedchick
Oct 27, 2003 1:29 PM
Sorry, I was unclear about the stem/bar situation.

Bike came w/ 31.8 TTT bar and stem. Stem too long and bar not making me happy. So, I'm putting my old Salsa bar (26.0) on the new bike and ordering a new 90 mm stem. (TTT Less w/ the lovely carbon faceplate). I tried to let my LBS order the stem since I'm trying to show a little loyalty. That's when they told me 25.8 would work. Then, they informed me that they couldn't get that stem for 3 months. I ordered it from Excel and got it in 2 business days. On a side note, don't you think that sucks for a LBS that they have to turn down business because they can't get parts?
Very common problemZman
Oct 27, 2003 2:35 PM
In Minnesota I deal with 2 bike shops, Eriks Bike and Freewheel Cycle. I only deal with Eriks because they have exclusive rights to sell Cannondales and I own a lot of C'dales.

Every time that I want to special order something from Eriks they tell me it will take weeks. When I ask the very same question from Freewheel I usually have parts the same day or the next day at the latest. We have a Quality regional warehouse here in town so ALL shops can get the parts immediately. Most of the time they just do not want the hassle and must follow a ridged set of rules. Freewheel just believes in customer service and that is why I use them.

Oct 27, 2003 3:45 PM
I use a Ritchey handlebar. According to them the 25.8 and 26.0 bar are the same thing. The bar will work with either size stem.

I'd guess the same goes for your set up.
3ttt's 25.8 measurement.rufus
Oct 27, 2003 6:59 PM
for some reason, 3ttt has always listed their bars and stems as 25.8, but they are interchangeable with 26.0. i don't know if the actual measurement is exactly 25.8 or not, but there's almost no difference between the two sizes. the actual manufacturing tolerances are probably anywhere between the two. a 26.0 bar should work just fine.
I never buy parts from a LBSpmf1
Oct 28, 2003 7:16 AM
Most of them charge ridiculous prices and expect you to wait several weeks for them to order it. I've never understood this. If Excel has 25 of the stems you want laying around, why doesn't whoever supplies LBS also?

I'll use them for labor, or clothes, but never parts.

As someone else said, 26.0 and 25.8 are very close and probably work fine together.

Want a real treat? Try a carbon bar. I bought an Easton bar last year and really like it.
Cinelli "Rasta" bar tape..............nmMR_GRUMPY
Oct 27, 2003 1:01 PM
Can't believe I'm saying this...WrigleyRoadie
Oct 27, 2003 1:03 PM
But I really love that zebra tape on a ti frame. That's a big leap though....

I like the stipes idea... howabout the italian Red-white-green?
all tape ends up black, eventually nmDougSloan
Oct 27, 2003 1:15 PM
I beg to differwooglin
Oct 27, 2003 2:00 PM
And pardon the little message there. Meant for someone else...

It's time for a weave wrap...biknben
Oct 27, 2003 1:21 PM
I get a lot of comments about the weave wrap. Pick any two colors and have some patience.

For your rig? How about black/gray or black/white?
It's time for a weave wrap...Scot_Gore
Oct 27, 2003 2:57 PM

When I first did weave, I thought it would degrade pretty quickly. I've been pleasantly suprised. It's held up great all year. I started to get a little roll back effect early, but it never really went anywhere and has handled the miles pretty well this year.

It's been good for me too...biknben
Oct 27, 2003 3:09 PM
The yellow has gotten dingy but that's expected. It's holding up really well. Even on the tops, near the hoods are fine. I pulled the tape super tight cause I thought that area was going to be a problem.

I plan to do it two-tone blue over the winter. The dirty yellow is bothering me. :-)
How do you weave?george_da_trog
Oct 27, 2003 5:03 PM
Where do you start and how do you weave?
How do you weave?Scot_Gore
Oct 27, 2003 5:42 PM
Be warned, this will take some persistence and paitence to accomplish. Here's my tips

Scot_Gore "The Rivendell Bar Wrap" 1/28/03 3:29pm

and more from Ben and KeepOnTrekin

KeeponTrekkin "Rivendell Weave Hints" 2/27/03 7:32am

Good Luck
How about this......?davet
Oct 27, 2003 1:37 PM
Deda 'carbon fiber' bar tape. Not really CF, but it sure looks like it. Good grip too.
Got link?litespeedchick
Oct 28, 2003 6:50 AM
I saw that on one of the mail order sites but there was no picture. Do you have any idea where I could see a picture?

OTherwise, I'm now leaning toward the Zebra stripe. (Although when I mentioned that to my husband he rolled his eyes in a pained way)

Not a shallow obsession!Ironbutt
Oct 27, 2003 1:56 PM
The appearance of your bike is not a shallow obsession! It's how you want it to look, and at the cost of a Litespeed, it's certainly not shallow. My Ultimate sports Profile wrap of black/white/gray and I get a lot of compliments on it's appearance. Profile bar tape seems to stretch more than other brands to me, and gives a smooth, silky hand with a good grip when wet. A 25.8 bar is not the same as a 26.0 bar, and you may (but not certainly) have problems with the fit.
My wife is locally known as the WaterfordChick, I like your handle on this discussion list!
I think that you will surely void the warranty if you use somedjg
Oct 27, 2003 2:13 PM
other brand of tape.

But seriously folks: kinda like the Cinelli cork tape myself, and I'm just about to try their gel cork tape for the first time. I don't see what's wrong with black, but you can really go for any color you like.

Bit of a digression, but is it just the photo or do you really like having the nose of the saddle pointed down like that.
Oct 28, 2003 6:53 AM
Well I don't know. I'll look at it when I get home. I've only ridden it about 5 times so far. The "asspain" saddle that came with it has not bothered me like I thought it would, so I'm pretty happy in that department. Assuming it is tilted down that bad?

Oct 28, 2003 7:51 AM
Well, if you're comfortable you're comfortable--I'm not sure there's much more to say than that.

Apart from time trialists and tri folks (who tend to be pitched low and forward onto arm pads), most people are not comfortable with that much of a downward pitch to the nose of the saddle--it tends to put a lot of your weight on the bars which, on longer rides, can be both tiring and uncomfortable (or even painful for arms/wrists/hands and sometimes neck and shoulders too). Most prefer either a level saddle or even a slight upward tilt to the nose. But to each his or her own.
Saddle position = very personalinnergel
Oct 28, 2003 7:53 AM
No problem with it tilting down a couple of degrees if you are comfortable, and don't feel like you are sliding off the front.

Saddle tilt, like saddle choice, is very personal. As long as it fits your body and riding type, and isn't causing any undo pressure points, you should be fine. If you do need to adjust it, as has been said many times before, best to start with a level saddle and adjust up/down in very small increments from there.
If you stay with a neutral color, ie black, white, gray...innergel
Oct 27, 2003 2:58 PM
or any combo, you don't have to worry about clashing when you wear your favorite crazy colored jersey or team kit. I personally like the look of a clean Ti bike, with black decals and dark bar tape.

Another option is to match your bar tape to your tires. I put some red/black Vittoria Rubnio Pro's on my silver Trek2300 and added some red Cinelli bar tape. Doesn't look too bad, if I do say so myself :-)
I second the red rubinos, but with red - Profile - tape! nmBowWow
Oct 27, 2003 5:08 PM
blue does go with gray...weiwentg
Oct 27, 2003 3:18 PM
at least for me. but on to your question ... plain black or plain white, if you want the spartan look. I've found Airborne's cork tape to be a good buy. they have blue, black and grey. come to think of it, grey would go fine with your frame.
25.8 and 26.0 will probably work together. 25.4 is MTB standard.
Colorful tape . . .now about that saddle . . .Look381i
Oct 27, 2003 7:00 PM
Is it tilted down or is that an optical illusion?
coordinate with decals..C-40
Oct 28, 2003 5:13 AM
I'd suggest coordinating the tape with the Litespeed decals.

The diference in bar diameter is not a problem with an open face stem.

I would also suggest different bars. Your bars drop the brake levers down further than necessary, resulting in the need for more spacers and stem rise. Highly recommend Salsa Poco bars. These bars will reduce the reach to the brake hoods by about 10mm. They have a shallow drop and an anatomic bump that makes using the drop section much more comfortable.

Also, if you're having trouble reaching the brake levers, I found a fairly easy way to bring the levers up to 1/2 inch closer to the bars. Great if you have small hands. I can elaborate if you have an interest.
the bar...litespeedchick
Oct 28, 2003 7:09 AM
that I'm putting on is a Salsa (pro road, I think). It has the shallower hand position, it was last year's upgrade to my previous bike, so I'm pretty happy about putting it on the new bike.

I know the picture is bad, but don't you think the bar itself is tilted down too much? I went from a 49" normal geometry Giant to this 51" sloping top tube Litespeed. The LS has a 52.5 top tube, my Giant was 52. Unfortunately, I was using a 90 mm stem and this bike came with a 110 stem. So, I've been feeling stretched out, and I find myself not riding with my hands on the hoods, but further up the curve of the bar. I'm hoping that the 2 cm I'm gaining(loosing?) with the new 90mm stem, combined with tilting my bar up a little more will make me comfortable.

With all this going on, I haven't really thought about if I'm happy with my brake reach or not. I appreciate the offer and will "page" you if I need to ask for more help.