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Smelly bar tape...

Dan WaltonDan Walton Posts: 147
edited January 2017 in Road general
Yeah, no real nice way to put it, my bar tape stinks!

Had a quick spin on the turbo last night so left my bike in the house, pottering around this morning and noticed a really bad sweaty smell, seemed to be coming from the bike area and I can confirm it's the bar tape. You know the smell I'm on about, like vinegar or something.

Is there anything I can do to make the smell go away? I know the obvious solution is to replace the tape, but it doesn't really look or feel like it needs replacing and I'm assuming new tape will go the same way anyway.

Or am I worrying over nothing!?

Posts

  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    It may look clean but the smell is all the bacteria from your sweat so it's anything but. You can help by replacing it with something less likely to harbour high bacteria levels like lizardskin tape instead of the soft absorbent spongy tapes
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,092
    You can get Antibac fabric sprays made by Dettol I believe. Or just wash with a dilute solution of Miltons fluid and rinse when doing your normal bike wash.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Never noticed that and I do a lot of turbos in the winter. But I do have a towel over the bars. You dont want sweat on the bike if possible.

    Wash the towel after each turbo. Job done.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    i've never noticed that either (but i have it on good authority that my sweat doesn't stink!)

    do you wear gloves when on the turbo? wrist sweat bands might help to stop it running down onto the bars.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Sweat doesnt smell... its when its left, such as UNDER the bartape. If it smells when its wrapped you wait until you undo it you dirty git haha.

    Im sure you got some Lynx Africa for christmas just spray it with that. Muaha.
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Fabric sell a silicone bar-tape, I have some which just came on my new bike and it looks and feels great, as with the Lizardskins stuff or the Supacaz stuff it will just wipe clean and doesn't really adsorb sweat (I have the Supacaz on the winter bike and its awesome)
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    Dan Walton wrote:
    Yeah, no real nice way to put it, my bar tape stinks!

    Had a quick spin on the turbo last night so left my bike in the house, pottering around this morning and noticed a really bad sweaty smell, seemed to be coming from the bike area and I can confirm it's the bar tape. You know the smell I'm on about, like vinegar or something.

    Is there anything I can do to make the smell go away? I know the obvious solution is to replace the tape, but it doesn't really look or feel like it needs replacing and I'm assuming new tape will go the same way anyway.

    Or am I worrying over nothing!?

    Replace it. And next time put a towel on the bars when you turbo :roll:
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Dan Walton wrote:
    You know the smell I'm on about, like vinegar or something.

    I really don't!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,202
    Does nobody wash their bar tape along with the bike.? Soap/washing up liquid and scrub with a kitchen brush.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    As above, just wash the bars with water containing a bit of detergent and leave the bike to dry somewhere warm
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,606
    I had a similar experience when our riding on a calm summer day but the smell was coming from the foam pad in my helmet, the one just above my forehead. I had a closer sniff back in the garage - euch.

    New helmet time. It was getting on a bit, the red plastic had faded was was turning pink.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    edited January 2017
    I rinse off the foam pads and straps on my helmet with water after every ride...
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    navrig2 wrote:
    I had a similar experience when our riding on a calm summer day but the smell was coming from the foam pad in my helmet, the one just above my forehead. I had a closer sniff back in the garage - euch.

    New helmet time. It was getting on a bit, the red plastic had faded was was turning pink.

    I'm the same with pants. Once the smell gets really intrusive, time for a fresh pair. I like to keep on top of these things.
  • RiggaRigga Posts: 939
    I bought my winter bike second hand and when I changed the bar tape it smelt rank! My current tape has been on about 18 months now and doesn't smell, I do keep a towel on the bars during turbo sessions though.
  • Thanks for the responses.

    I just found it a bit strange because I haven't ever noticed it being a problem before on this or my previous bike. I always have mitts on when using the turbo and a towel sort of over the bars, but I suppose it's more hanging around the Garmin mount rather than tops or hoods.

    Also, only seems to be one side of the bars! Possibly coincidental, but I hosed the bike down after a wet club ride last weekend and left it stored damp. Regardless, I'll give the tape a wash as best I can and if it doesnt improve I'll replace it.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,606
    Alex99 wrote:
    navrig2 wrote:
    I had a similar experience when our riding on a calm summer day but the smell was coming from the foam pad in my helmet, the one just above my forehead. I had a closer sniff back in the garage - euch.

    New helmet time. It was getting on a bit, the red plastic had faded was was turning pink.

    I'm the same with pants. Once the smell gets really intrusive, time for a fresh pair. I like to keep on top of these things.

    Try selling them in the classifieds section. 2nd hand bib shorts do well so perhaps pants will too.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    navrig2 wrote:
    Alex99 wrote:
    navrig2 wrote:
    I had a similar experience when our riding on a calm summer day but the smell was coming from the foam pad in my helmet, the one just above my forehead. I had a closer sniff back in the garage - euch.

    New helmet time. It was getting on a bit, the red plastic had faded was was turning pink.

    I'm the same with pants. Once the smell gets really intrusive, time for a fresh pair. I like to keep on top of these things.

    Try selling them in the classifieds section. 2nd hand bib shorts do well so perhaps pants will too.

    As sold in Tokyo vending machines?
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    Dan Walton wrote:
    Thanks for the responses.

    I just found it a bit strange because I haven't ever noticed it being a problem before on this or my previous bike. I always have mitts on when using the turbo and a towel sort of over the bars, but I suppose it's more hanging around the Garmin mount rather than tops or hoods.

    Also, only seems to be one side of the bars! Possibly coincidental, but I hosed the bike down after a wet club ride last weekend and left it stored damp. Regardless, I'll give the tape a wash as best I can and if it doesnt improve I'll replace it.


    Leaving anything damp will cause bacteria problem and then it will start to stink. Normally we don't need to wash our handle bar tape but probably you got your sweat indie the bar and with it stored damp it multiplied.


    Baby Milton tablets and soak it in them and you should get rid of the smell.


    All my years of riding I must say I never got smelly bar tape.
  • Take the tape off and put it in the washing machine. Should come up a treat.
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    soak/wash with hibiscrub solution , perhaps a capful in a litre of warm water. do the same for your feet and shoes if they pong. Dettol/ milton might work , i never used those, but milton is a bleach.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

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