Thursday, March 31, 2011
My favorite color handlebar tape for the last eight years has been white. I like white tape for a variety of reasons, but it takes a lot of work to keep it clean.
If you're going to run white you need to be ready to take dutiful care of your equipment, and if you're not up for the challenge then stick with something lower maintenance like standard, boring black. If you do go for white then there are a few tips and tricks that help keep it clean without going crazy.
Sram offers hoods to match many of their bar tapes, and I'd be lying if I said that wasn't one of the reasons I opted for Sram groupsets on my road and 'cross rigs. And of course, when I run white tape I have to run white hoods to match.
The downside of the white hoods is that they can be harder to clean than the tape. One of the best ways to clean the hoods is to remove them completely and then scrub them with hot, soapy water and a clean soft-bristled brush. I use an empty GU Brew container to soak the hoods for a few minutes before I give them a good scrubbing. The advantage of removing the hoods is that you don't get any water or cleaning solvents into the shifter internals, but I have a different method for cleaning them on the bike.
Here's a shot of the cleaning apparatus. Riveting, right? And yes, I have three sets- enough to cover each drop bar-equipped bike simultaneously.
This is what I'm doing now because it's supposed to snow again tonight into tomorrow. Sigh.