The Trek 420’s handlebars were wrapped in some thin, gummed up fabric tape that was not designed to wrap handlebars. I think it was gaffer’s tape. When I started the arduous process of removing the tape, I was hit with the putrid odor of OTHER PEOPLE’S SWEAT. It had soaked into the tape, which took a box cutter, muscle, and the better part of an hour for me to remove. Then there was a layer of plastic tape underneath that stuck to every part of my latex gloves like super glue. But even with the tape gone, there was still that ODOR. Yuck. It had permeated the rubber brake hoods like the ghost of man-hands past. The hoods at one point had been white and now they were covered in black streaks. Since I was loathe to shop for another pricy replacement set of hoods, I’d have to at least try cleaning them.

It was clear that Simple Green could not handle this level of stench or grease/odor. I tried some baking soda and vinegar, but that only made the hoods feel sticky. This was a job for Goo Gone. It worked great! The hoods have yellowed a bit with age, but at least now I am not having to be constantly reminded of someone else’s microbiome.