I’ll never put cork on this bike. It’s either bike ribbon or cloth tape for me and I usually lean to the latter more for comfort and daily use. Typically Tressostar, Velox or Cat Eye are your choices. All are perfectly fine bar tapes but once and a while, the new kid on the block deserves some credit. In comes Newbaum’s Cotton Cloth Bar Tape.
Check out the rest of the review below.
The guys at Newbaum’s sent me a box of bar tape a few months ago. It’s made in the USA, using eco-friendly dies and comes in 14 colors.
It was the perfect opportunity for me to re-wrap the bars on my Merckx pista.
Off with the Cinelli Pista bars and stem and on with the 1a and Criterium bars.
Sure, it looks fine and dandy but how does it perform as a bar tape? Like all bar wrap, you’re supposed to be pull the hell out of it when you’re wrapping your bars. This ensures the tape won’t slip or uncoil from normal, every day riding. Some bar tape rips or snaps when you do this and I generally avoid those brands. Newbaum’s Cotton Cloth Bar Tape pulled beautifully to the contours of my road drops.
The adhesive back is just enough to let it stick and the grade cotton they use keeps the tape soft. I’ve never been a fan of wearing gloves on cotton tape and the texture of this stuff is perfect for that. You can see here what the wear is like after two months or so of riding. Granted, I’m not on this bike every single day but I do ride it a fair amount and it’s held up just as well as other manufacturer’s tapes. It even held up on a few spills and that’s the true measure of a bar tape’s resilience.
Now, instead of trying to track down the vintage cloth bar tapes, I have an option and one that comes in a variety of colors and is environmentally sustainable. If your LBS doesn’t carry Newbaum’s, ask them why not? If you’re looking for a local shop that does, here’s a list of their current stockists:
Rivendell Bikes, Walnut Creek, CA
Box Dog Bikes, San Francisco, CA
Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative, Berkeley, CA
Corner Cycles, Falmouth, MA
Vic’s Classic Bikes, Louisville, KY
Velo Cult, San Diego, CA
The Bicycle Church, Santa Cruz, CA
Bikerowave Cooperative, Los Angeles, CA
Orange 20 Bikes, Los Angeles, CA
Open Road Bicycle Shop, Pasadena, CA
Elliot Bay Cycles, Seattle, WA
North Portland Bikeworks, Portland, OR
Cory the Bike Fixer, Milwaukee, WI
ASUCD Bike Barn, Davis, CA
Urbanistic Tea and Bike Shop, Denver, CO
2020 Cycles, Seattle, WA
Chari & Co., New York City, NY
Thanks again guys! I’m set on this stuff!
Newbaum’s Cotton Bar Tape