Pinning Race Bib

Not a fan of using safety pins and looking for an alternative. I know I’ve heard the guys on the podcast mention 3M spray, which I’m sure work great on most typically paper bib numbers, however, local race organizers are using cloth bib numbers.

I did a google search and found the following. Curious if anyone have tried them or possibly have any other suggestions?



Have used this - but be warned. If you race every weekend or so, and only have two team race kits, using the spray so much will start to take the color off your jersey. At least it has with a few teammates and friends. Even mine is showing a lot of wear after a few uses.

OH, haven’t tried with cloth. I’m sure it’ll work.

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Double sided sticky tape along all 4 edges.


Used the double-sided 3M VHB tape for a full cross season with excellent results for the standard paper-type bibs (even double bibed for two back to back races, where I took the top one off to expose the second one for the second race).

I would think that it would work very well for fabric bibs, too.

I actually pre-cut mine into two strips and stick them onto a plastic sheet and fold over a corner so a strip is easy to peel off the plastic sheet on race day. Also fold over a corner the red plastic, so once applied to the back of the bib, it’s easy to peel the red plastic off. I take the plastic sheet to registration so once I stick on the bib (without removing the jersey) I throw the plastic sheet away, so no need to head back to car.

In the cold of winter or in a low-light environment, it can be maddening to try to peel the red plastic off if you don’t fold the corners and have eyes like mine!!!

Far, far superior to pinning, although I asked organizers at a local crit (my first and only) and they told me that I must pin. That was for a Cat 5 race - so who cares - and I used the double sided tape anyway.

I’ve rotated jerseys, so don’t know if the color will fade.

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Do you have any problems with the tape leaving residue?

Here you go:

Superb company, amazing customer service

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If you can stretch to one financially, have a look at the NoPinz skinsuits, they do skinsuits with a pocket for your number. They do both road and TT versions, really good.

Never seen any tape residue in the dozen times I’ve used it; I usually remove the bib right after the race.


Try TNR tape. Made specifically for race numbers.


Okay I am maybe a bit biased(as the founder of TNR Tape :grinning:) but let me tell you why I think our product is the best to date and try and keep this non-commercial as possible. Also I will be the first to admit it has some limitations too(which I will cover).

So first let’s tackle the alternatives:

  1. Super 77 - Good Adhesion if you allow it to tack up, solvent can dissolve and leach color from fabric, most of the time you have to clean your kit with Goo-Gone or WD40 once you remove it. I started here myself when I was racing, and thought there must be a better solution.
  2. Race Dots/Bib Boards - Fine for running but trying to position them on a skinsuit can be a hassle. Lose one and you are after another set. I have heard some people say the bib boards are a little tough on the fabric too since you have to push the material through the snap(but I have not used them myself).
  3. VHB Tape, again could probably work okay. Number will stick up due to thickness of the tape(typically 1/16"-1/8") hard to peel back and if you leave it on it could be a real bear to get off. Some of the LSE stuff can be very difficult to remove. Can be kinda spendy too if you have to do the whole perimeter.
  4. NoPinz - Its a great idea and we liked it when we first saw it. Problem is you have to send your skinsuit to the UK to have them attach it($$$). Since the location is fixed its really only great for track cycling. If you race crits then you sometimes get one number, two numbers in all kinds of locations
  5. Carpet Tape(not mentioned yet) - Adhesion varies alot by brand and lot. Also has a tendency to leave residue behind. Not sure if its any better than Super77 but more convenient from a carrying perspective.

So why is TNR Tape better? We spent a lot of time and effort to come up with the best adhesive combinations for this application. Once adhered it is “water-proof”(i.e. you can race in the rain with no issue and you can’t sweat through it), it has a ton of adhesion, and if applied correctly peels of cleanly. We also make it easy to apply, no issues with cold fingers.

Couple caveats, with cloth numbers you do have to apply the adhesive to the number it at least 3hrs(or ideally overnight) before you can apply it to the jersey/skinsuit. When we started this all, nobody used them, but by the time we finished developing the adhesive it is the new hot thing. Next version of the adhesive will tackle this. You also have to apply it to a clean, dry jersey, so if you rode to the race in the rain, no dice and you will need to also use saftey pins. Also you need to peel it off right after your race, if you let it sit for a week it may not peel of cleanly(no worries though as the adhesive cleans up easily with Goo-Gone or WD40 and it has yet to ever have permanently damaged a jersey).

If you need to re-use the number, you just hanging onto the backings and after the race peel it off, cover the adhesive squares with the backers and hang onto it for the next race. With Version 1.1 of our product you can most likely re-use the same adhesive again if you had good adhesion with the first application. We are still getting test data from our beta testers on this, otherwise you can just stick some new adhesive over the old and are good to go.

Anyways, tried my best to make it as informative and not some B.S marketing sales pitch(i.e. no url). If you have any questions let me know!


Which specific VHB tape did you use - there are loads of different types.

Interested to try this as I’m sick of using pins for cross.


2 inch wide clear version. I didn’t buy from this guy, but it’s this:

I pin my suit but i have used the elmer’s glue once and it worked pretty well. I know Nate loves the 3M 77 spray glue. with a cloth number it may start getting crusty as you build up layers of glue on it.

I’ve used the 3m spray this past season, but am really thinking about the tape solution. The spray works well, but it’s kind of annoying to try and spray it and not have the number blow away and get other junk on it, and trying to hold it ends up with some spray on the hands. I’ve seen some teammates use double sided tape so I think I’ll be trying that

That and that technically at least USACycling requires pins. In that case, my main reason for tape is gone out the window, since you still have to damage the speed suit or jersey.

Any chance you use less pins and/or get a better connection to the kit that is more aero with tape/glue/etc. added to the mix?

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Sure, that’s true. maybe I could skip the pin under my arm that seems to cause the biggest holes. :slight_smile:

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USA Cycling updated the rules back in 2013 to remove the requirement of pins. The current rules for numbers by USA Cycing is covered under 1J7 and simply states “Hip numbers shall be attached securely at least at the four corners and no accessory or hair may obstruct a clear view of the number.”

TNR Tape is actually both USA Cycling and UCI compliant. We checked before we started all this that we wouldn’t have to petition rule changes and thanks to all the “pin alternatives” it helped pave the way for us. Sunny Gilbert has been nice enough to test our product at the UCI World Cup level, so its not just a theoretical “approved” type thing.


NoPinz had some worked commissioned that showed keeping the number flat and in the boundary layer was worth something like 17 Watts at 30MPH. At 20 MPH that reduces pretty significantly but there is still aero gains to be had keeping the number flat to the body.

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