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    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Grip tape for my adj. dumbbells? Or buy a new set? If latter, which brand?

    I just built an in-home gym and picked up some used 1" adjustable dumbbells.

    After using them for chest day and farmer carries, I realized the knurling is quite extreme, making heavy reps uncomfortable and leaving behind pretty good indents on my hands.

    Any recommendation for a grip tape that is durable and won't get slimy with sweat? I wouldn't mind a slightly thicker bar anyway, so I would probably put on a couple of layers.

    Or is tape just going to constantly need replacing and I should just suck it up buy a new set? If so, what is a good quality brand? One annoyance of my current set is that the locks get slightly loose anytime the weight hits the floor (even if from a low height).

    Thanks,
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    Throw some Fatgripz (or similar) on them
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    I just built an in-home gym and picked up some used 1" adjustable dumbbells.

    After using them for chest day and farmer carries, I realized the knurling is quite extreme, making heavy reps uncomfortable and leaving behind pretty good indents on my hands.

    Any recommendation for a grip tape that is durable and won't get slimy with sweat? I wouldn't mind a slightly thicker bar anyway, so I would probably put on a couple of layers.

    Or is tape just going to constantly need replacing and I should just suck it up buy a new set? If so, what is a good quality brand? One annoyance of my current set is that the locks get slightly loose anytime the weight hits the floor (even if from a low height).

    Thanks,
    You could try hockey stick tape, generally works well but it takes awhile for the excess adhesive to come off on your hands, really sticky for a few weeks. I've used Howies brand on a pullup bar and on some dumbbells. It should be fairly durable and its cheap, but its really gooey at first.
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    Buy some Gripz. I've got two pairs of Gripz, because I'm getting sick of having callouses (and I have nails so they tend to dig in when I'm using the metal dumbbells) but I don't have big hands so I end up with some hands. Either way, I'll end up with sore hands. If you're a man, Gripz will probably really help you out. They really should have smaller Gripz options for women.
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    You could try hockey stick tape, generally works well but it takes awhile for the excess adhesive to come off on your hands, really sticky for a few weeks. I've used Howies brand on a pullup bar and on some dumbbells. It should be fairly durable and its cheap, but its really gooey at first.
    I second this! I use hockey tape on my adjustable dumbbells and on my trap bar. It is sticky at first but after that wears off, they're grippy and great to handle. I put hockey tape on my dumbbell handles 2 years ago and still haven't had to retape them.
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    I use tennis racket tape on my pull up bar. Works pretty well. I'd give it some time though and see if you get used to the knurl, unless it's poorly done/defective. The only reason I use tape is because there's no knurl.
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    I just built an in-home gym and picked up some used 1" adjustable dumbbells.

    After using them for chest day and farmer carries, I realized the knurling is quite extreme, making heavy reps uncomfortable and leaving behind pretty good indents on my hands.

    Any recommendation for a grip tape that is durable and won't get slimy with sweat? I wouldn't mind a slightly thicker bar anyway, so I would probably put on a couple of layers.

    Or is tape just going to constantly need replacing and I should just suck it up buy a new set? If so, what is a good quality brand? One annoyance of my current set is that the locks get slightly loose anytime the weight hits the floor (even if from a low height).

    Thanks,
    Gripz or https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=weight-lif...l_30ml3engpg_e
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    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the suggestions. I currently have a fat gripz but it seems a bit too fat for the bar.

    I think I'll go with some hockey or tennis grip tape and see how it goes.
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    I fit some black pipe over the grips of my Olympic dumbbells, since the 1" grips really dig into the hands when doing heavier weights. One of these days I'm going to spray the pipe with bedliner to add a little more grip.
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    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    To those who have used hockey/grip tape, how thick did you apply? I'm considering doing several wraps to increase thickness, but not sure if that will leave a "squishy" feeling?
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    To those who have used hockey/grip tape, how thick did you apply? I'm considering doing several wraps to increase thickness, but not sure if that will leave a "squishy" feeling?
    I would go once around the dumbbells and then try them out, if you feel you need a second layer, add it on and then use them again. I use them with one layer, my issue is that they felt slippery and the hockey tape solved that problem.

    Let us know how it works out.
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    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    To those who have used hockey/grip tape, how thick did you apply? I'm considering doing several wraps to increase thickness, but not sure if that will leave a "squishy" feeling?
    I'd start with a single layer, starting at one end and wrapping around in a spiral to the other end with a slight overlap, and just see how it goes, it can get thick fast. If its not thick enough do another layer. The ridges formed by the overlapping spiral provides some knobbiness to grip on and the stuff itself is extremely grippy, similar to knurling. The stickiness is annoying but it goes away over a few weeks. I use the white Howies tape. You may get some callouses from it, its not like tennis racket tape which is squishy and comfortable, instead its a bit abrasive and provides a solid uncompromising grip similar to a knurl. It breaks in and becomes pretty nice. Since its only a couple bucks a roll it may be worth a try. The stuff lasts so you probably won't need to redo for awhile. I've had it on my carport pullup bar for several years now and it still is holding up.
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  13. #13
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    So I bought A&R sports hockey tape from Amazon. $7.99 for two rolls. I bought the white. I honestly only bought this instead of Howie's bc shipping (one-day Prime vs 8 days). And I think i'm glad I went with A&R.

    I wrapped each handle once, overlapping each tape strand by about half. The tape stuck very well to the handle.

    I've done shoulders and farmer carries so far. HUGE improvement. I'm psyched with the result. The aggressive knurling no longer rips my hand apart while my grip is substantially improved.

    The tape is not really sticky. Maybe a 2 on a 10 scale of stickiness. But it has grip. Kind of hard to explain.

    I bought white since I wasn't sure if the tape would be really gooey and leave marks over my hands and other equipment. But that is not the case.

    I can't speak to durability since I just got it, but I will update as time goes on. Chest will be later in the week, which will be the heaviest test yet.
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    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Completed chest day with the tape-wrapped dumbbells.

    Again, huge improvement. Very happy for such a simple, low-cost solution.

    No gooey mess. No stickiness on my hands.

    Can't speak to durability since it's only been a week.

    My only consideration for the future is whether to add a few layers to thicken up the bar. I probably have ~25mm diameter and I wouldn't mind something closer to 30mm. But not sure what several layers of tape will do to overall grip.
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    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Completed chest day with the tape-wrapped dumbbells.

    Again, huge improvement. Very happy for such a simple, low-cost solution.

    No gooey mess. No stickiness on my hands.

    Can't speak to durability since it's only been a week.

    My only consideration for the future is whether to add a few layers to thicken up the bar. I probably have ~25mm diameter and I wouldn't mind something closer to 30mm. But not sure what several layers of tape will do to overall grip.
    Good stuff! I'd think that adding more layers will work if you can get it on there tight and compressed so it doesn't become a squishy tape ball. You could try if and if you don't like it, remove it, the tape is cheap.

    I've been using CFF Fit's 38mm dumbbells for a few years, its hard to use anything less than 32 now.
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    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    I wrapped each handle 5 times, overlapping each strand by about a half.

    I wasn't overly strict in keeping the tape tight, probably could've done a better job.

    My rough measurement looks about 28mm. I think it's a much better thickness.

    I feel some forearm pump after using them.

    There is a very small amount of squish from the tape, but it's not bad and I think better than the skinnier alternative.

    Feel very solid in my hand. No slipping when I sweat.
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