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I suck at wrapping handlebars.

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I suck at wrapping handlebars.

Old 07-18-19, 04:08 PM
  #26  
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I cheat and put a couple of small pieces around the brake levers to cover up the spot that is usually missed when your figure 8 doesn't go as well as you thought it would. If you're an expert tape wrapper I'm sure you'd be offended watching me do this, but I've never been called out for it after the fact.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:17 PM
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With all the help here I was able to figure out where my mistake had been. One, I've been using a flimsy bike stand leading to 2, not wrapping tight enough. Thanks everyone for the help
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Old 07-18-19, 05:26 PM
  #28  
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I always wrap bars with the bike on the ground. I have a display stand like this,


and I steady the front wheel between my legs.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:06 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
With all the help here I was able to figure out where my mistake had been. One, I've been using a flimsy bike stand leading to 2, not wrapping tight enough. Thanks everyone for the help
Congrats.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:15 PM
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I unwrapped both bars and rewrapped them using the same tape and while not perfect they look 100% better.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:22 PM
  #31  
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One more thing,

As nice as full coverage can be, don't sweat it too much if there's that gap near the brake levers. I have them on this bike, and I really like the tape on it just the way it is. Had it out for 28 mostly rainy miles today. All smiles. After all, it's just tape.

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Old 07-19-19, 12:05 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
About every 10th attempt I do a phenomenal job... but then I can never remember exactly what I did that time that made it good.
You get lucky, every tenth time, IME.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:12 AM
  #33  
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I put the front wheel between my legs and face towards the back of the bike. This puts my eyes right over the handlebars. With each wrap, I look at the top and bottom of the bar to make sure the tape is flat and overlaps the right amount.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:23 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
You get lucky, every tenth time, IME.
Kind of like college...
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Old 07-19-19, 09:52 AM
  #35  
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If you wrap right you don't want to use the adhesive back tape. Did work on a friends bike with the white Miami vice taped bars that were ripped and dirty. Reversed the wrapping and he thought I put new tape on.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:00 AM
  #36  
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Yup, bike on the floor (though I usually lean it against my sturdy workbench and tape the near side, then turn the bike around)

Starting at the center is a new one for me. Do you start the tape.at the side of the hood then take the rear facing piece and go forward and vice versa? I've always started at the bar end., one full wrap then forward, always wrapping with the tape coming over the top and headed in. First I cut 3 pieces of tape from the end of a previous roll and tape under the hoods. No "X" under the brake, just one pass. Electrical tape at the top to finish, wrapped same direction as the tape and cut just behind the brake cable. (I never unwrap it with my hand while climbing.)

Recent years, I've been putting on two layers of tape. First later uses old tape. Continuous doesn't matter so I just cut all the worn sections out and butt the tape. For me, tape is all about "the ride". I'm an ex-racer. Haven't for many decades but it is still in my blood. I love to climb; as hard as my body will let me. I wear out tape on a regular basis with the heels of my palms, both behind the hoods and behind the drop curve. (And develop deep calluses there.) I no longer go through two plus rolls/summer but still, a lot. Most of my bikes still use black cloth, the tape I raced. (I do have to admit the thin Fizik plastic tape is a bargain. Feels very nice and lasts forever. It's on my geared ti bike.) Two layers now for a little bigger bar to grip with my older hands and a little cushier. Also tape saving. First wear through now doesn't show bare bar.

As interesting as the center start seems, I may never do it because in addition to being more work (gotta get those lengths right and deal with unrolled tape), it makes moving the levers later far harder. (Again, ex-racer here. Fit is paramount. And no, I do not ride Paramounts because the C&V ones did not fit me very well. )

Ben
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Old 07-19-19, 11:03 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
I have a guaranteed way for getting good:

Quit your job and make $12/hr working at a bike shop.
That's what worked for me. 'Cept I only made like less than $5/hr. Granted it was nearly 4 decades ago and I was 15.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:09 AM
  #38  
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I'm not the best at wrapping tape, but it's an art I get better at the more I do.

Interestingly the second side I do every time looks better than the first side - anyone else notice this?
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Old 07-19-19, 05:01 PM
  #39  
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I got pretty good at it- then kind of stopped messing with the bikes... I noticed the last 2 bikes I've wrapped are not so good- just did another one- again... not so good.

I guess I'll need to practice more.

Like redoing the last 2 botched jobs.
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Old 07-20-19, 08:20 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
One more thing,

As nice as full coverage can be, don't sweat it too much if there's that gap near the brake levers. I have them on this bike, and I really like the tape on it just the way it is. Had it out for 28 mostly rainy miles today. All smiles. After all, it's just tape.

After all
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Old 07-20-19, 10:26 AM
  #41  
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Gracias, @seedsbelize.
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Old 07-20-19, 10:32 AM
  #42  
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Anyone remember the loop around the brake lever method that used to be used when many levers did not come with hoods? It was sort of a variation of the figure 8 method, and it also worked well with mafac half hoods. It's been so long I've forgotten how to do it. I remember some people hilariously still trying to wrap bars that way when thicker tape came out.

These days I always use cut strips for the gap, and don't bother with a figure 8. It's not needed if you're careful. Besides, there isn't enough tape on a velox roll to do a Cinelli #66 bar if you do that extra loop.

BTW, yeah it's true. In vintage days many bikes were sold brand new with no brake hoods at all.
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Old 07-20-19, 06:09 PM
  #43  
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Much as I appreciate the Park Tool videos, they tend to be longer than necessary. Here's the most succinct bar wrapping demo I've found. Peter Sagan's tech needs a whopping 2 minutes from start to finish for both sides.

Note that this demo shows wrapping around the brake hoods to cover it, rather than using short strips and wrapping over those. But the basic technique is the same.

The easiest bar wrap I've found is Arundel Synth Gecko. It's 100% silicone, thick, soft, grippy, durable and can be washed and rewrapped many times -- but be careful to avoid cuts and tears against sharp edges around the brake hoods and bar ends. No adhesive backing, the rubbery material sticks to itself about like a Post-It Note. It resists taking a set or permanent curl, so it can be reused without duplicating the previous wrap. When first removed after use it will appear to have taken a set, but it will straighten out within a day or so.

The only downsides are the bulk and weight. It can't be wrapped flat like cloth, cello or some foam/cork tapes, including Arundel's own. Synth Gecko resembles a gooseneck lamp neck or flexible conduit, a bit chunky and sausage-like. But it's so comfy and grippy I prefer it for long rides on rural chipseal and rough pavement. Really tames the road buzz. I use it on my early '90s Trekenstein 5900. The Ironman is already so forgiving I just use regular foam/cork tape -- Arundel, Eclypse, whatever I have in the bin.

Synth Gecko is pricey at $30-$35, but actually a good value because it can be rewrapped. No worries if you need a few tries to get the wrap to your liking.

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Old 07-20-19, 06:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Anyone remember the loop around the brake lever method that used to be used when many levers did not come with hoods? It was sort of a variation of the figure 8 method, and it also worked well with mafac half hoods. It's been so long I've forgotten how to do it. I remember some people hilariously still trying to wrap bars that way when thicker tape came out.

These days I always use cut strips for the gap, and don't bother with a figure 8. It's not needed if you're careful. Besides, there isn't enough tape on a velox roll to do a Cinelli #66 bar if you do that extra loop.

BTW, yeah it's true. In vintage days many bikes were sold brand new with no brake hoods at all.
Yup, I remember that. My 1976 Motobecane had naked metal brakes. I got some thick rubbery bar wrap used to tame vibration on power tools, etc., and used it with that convoluted wrap around the brakes. I don't recall the technique, just something I picked up from a magazine article and trial and error.
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Old 07-22-19, 12:09 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Cut an old tube into strips. Use it to practice wrapping. Also good as padding between the bar and nicer cosmetic tape.
I've done that with cloth tape then applied over the rubber strips. I've also used the rubber strips as a wrap and then used hockey tape over that when I wanted a cloth tape. Another thing you can do is cut the inner tube into long segments of tube, turn it inside out to get rid of the molding seams and then slip it over the handlebar. You most likely will need to lubricate the inside of the inner tube with bit of soap and water. I put one long section of inner tube onto the bar and work it up to the top of the bar and beside the the reinforcing ferrule of the handlebar. Then I position the brake levers and trim any of the first section of inner tube that's needed. Once the brake levers are positioned I add the second length of inverted inner tube to t he lower portion of the handlebar and finish that with whatever I'm wrapping the handlebar with - usually hockey tape.

Cheers
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Old 07-22-19, 02:36 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Synth Gecko is pricey at $30-$35, but actually a good value because it can be rewrapped. No worries if you need a few tries to get the wrap to your liking.
Thank you for that tip. I've started using leather tape for that reason, but there's a big difference between $35 and $55. I'll give it a try. But first, I have some Brooks synthetic tape I'll be trying. It got bad reviews, so we will see.
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Old 07-22-19, 02:44 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Heh. Wrap from the top down, and the only finishing is putting the plugs in the bar ends

But I did put some unnecessary "finishing" on my Raleigh by adding an underlayer of complimentary colored hockey tape (again, wrapped top down):

I am curious. Do you always wrap this way - ie both sides in the same direction? I always reverse the sides so they are mirror images. But I am thinking your way might be cool with striped Benotto.
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Old 07-22-19, 03:45 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I have some Brooks synthetic tape I'll be trying. It got bad reviews, so we will see.
I give it a bad review, too. It's simply too thick, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to wrap ... and it feels weird. Here it is on a Univega I built:



But the bar end plugs it comes with are cool. I put 'em on one of my keepers.

Shoulda gone with honey Fizik.
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Old 07-22-19, 08:49 PM
  #49  
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Here's the Arundel Synth Gecko wrap as of today. I've rewrapped it a few times this year.

I already had generic black foam tape on the bar but wanted a little extra for the weekend rides.

So I did the quick and dirty wrap, top-down, no electrical tape, finishing at the bar ends, using plugs to hold the wraps. Not as elegant but I'm planning to rewrap again soon after replacing the brake cable housings.

It's a meaty looking wrap. Like sausages. Or flexible metal conduit. The other colors would look less meaty than the yellow.


Arundel Synth Gecko wrap on the Trekenstein 5900. Hey, the hi-viz yellow clashes nicely with the purple frame.
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Old 07-22-19, 10:09 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I am curious. Do you always wrap this way - ie both sides in the same direction? I always reverse the sides so they are mirror images. But I am thinking your way might be cool with striped Benotto.
I don't even know. I'd have to look at a sample of my bikes to tell. But on a lot of my bikes, there's still the tape that came on them when I got them, so ... ?? I've wrapped at least a dozen bars, but I can't claim to have put much thought into it.

It always seems to come out more or less OK, as long as I manage to get both brake levers at more or less the same elevation
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