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first drop bar tape attempt... how long to live with my ineptitude?!?

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first drop bar tape attempt... how long to live with my ineptitude?!?

Old 07-03-22, 08:44 PM
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mschwett 
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first drop bar tape attempt... how long to live with my ineptitude?!?

after viewing a half dozen videos with conflicting "best methods" for doing this, i decided on the top down approach (not too worried about pressure on the bar tops unraveling anything, i'm on the hoods 95% of the time and the drops the rest) because i didn't like the electrical/finishing tape the bike came with. tape was ripping on one side from a minor spill.

ended up with some lumps... some asymmetry (shouldn't have tried to make the second one "better"), one or two little leading edges that aren't sitting flat, and i'm not 100% sure the last bit of tape is going to stay tucked in at the plugs.

live with it until it wears out... or eat the $40 for a second try!?!?





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Old 07-03-22, 08:54 PM
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I doubt anyone will notice. Give yourself a break, and ride the bike until you feel like having a re-do.
I recently did my second wrap job on a set of "trekking" bars, and while I think I did an all-right job, I somehow managed to wrap the second side so the "Easton" name doesn't appear on the tape.
I'll live with this...

Both sides started and wrapped the same way, but the brand imprint is covered on the right side. :-(
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Old 07-03-22, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
after viewing a half dozen videos with conflicting "best methods" for doing this, i decided on the top down approach (not too worried about pressure on the bar tops unraveling anything, i'm on the hoods 95% of the time and the drops the rest) because i didn't like the electrical/finishing tape the bike came with. tape was ripping on one side from a minor spill.

ended up with some lumps... some asymmetry (shouldn't have tried to make the second one "better"), one or two little leading edges that aren't sitting flat, and i'm not 100% sure the last bit of tape is going to stay tucked in at the plugs.

live with it until it wears out... or eat the $40 for a second try!?!?




why on earth are you spending $40 on bar tape? Tape is a wear item - buy a $10 roll, replace it every few months, youíll be an expert after a few rolls
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Old 07-03-22, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I doubt anyone will notice. Give yourself a break, and ride the bike until you feel like having a re-do.
I recently did my second wrap job on a set of "trekking" bars, and while I think I did an all-right job, I somehow managed to wrap the second side so the "Easton" name doesn't appear on the tape.
I'll live with this...

Both sides started and wrapped the same way, but the brand imprint is covered on the right side. :-(
looks clean other than that! i guess the logo side has to be the ďoverĒ edge!
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Old 07-03-22, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
why on earth are you spending $40 on bar tape? Tape is a wear item - buy a $10 roll, replace it every few months, youíll be an expert after a few rolls
i liked the way it looks, they had it at the shop? the same tape lasted 5000+ miles on my last bike, so itís not really a high $/mile kind of thing even at $40. does the $10 kind only last a few months?
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Old 07-03-22, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
looks clean other than that! i guess the logo side has to be the ďoverĒ edge!
At least I'll be able to tell which side is which!
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Old 07-03-22, 09:17 PM
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Looks way better than my first couple attempts at wrapping bars. I'd say you could have applied a little more tension at the bends, but you'll get another chance before too long.
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Old 07-03-22, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
...does the $10 kind only last a few months?
Seems unlikely. The original tape on my bike was 20 years old and still looking good. I only changed the tape because I went from drop bars to trekking bars.
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Old 07-03-22, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
At least I'll be able to tell which side is which!
That would drive me nuts. If it isn't something that would get damaged by taking it off, take it off, and switch the two ends so that the label is exposed, and re-wrap.

Always remember this: there should be a hyphen in anal-retentive.
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Old 07-03-22, 09:49 PM
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Wrapping Bars

Wrapping bars is one of my least favorite chores. Your wrap is OK but looks a little loose on the drops. When you do rewrap the bar, use the old tape and practice on another bar if you have one before you do the rewrap. I just
wrapped bars on a vintage bike, and the left side looked great, but the right side a little rough at the finish. But I
just donít wrap enough bars to get good at it. Bill
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Old 07-03-22, 09:58 PM
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Personally I think the direction you went is the worst when it comes to the edges rolling which will result in it looking worn faster. Since I'm cheap, I'd leave it and use it as an experiment to see how long it holds up wrapped like this. If it lasts the season, replace in the spring. Other then the direction you wrapped, it isn't a bad job, I've seen plenty of techs do worse with more experience, and even the really good ones don't get it perfect, just close enough people don't usually notice.
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Old 07-03-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
That would drive me nuts.
Luckily, I don't actually look at my bars to tell right from left!
I'd say I'm more OCD than A-R.
I don't think I'll take the tape off, since there's adhesive involved. Next time I'll know better... 20 years from now!
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Old 07-03-22, 10:31 PM
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That Supacaz tape is probably not the best choice. Itís not stretchy enough.
Next time go with a silicone bar tape. Itís stretchy and it doesnít have any adhesive backing so you can re-wrap it as many times as you want.
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Old 07-03-22, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Personally I think the direction you went is the worst when it comes to the edges rolling which will result in it looking worn faster. Since I'm cheap, I'd leave it and use it as an experiment to see how long it holds up wrapped like this. If it lasts the season, replace in the spring. Other then the direction you wrapped, it isn't a bad job, I've seen plenty of techs do worse with more experience, and even the really good ones don't get it perfect, just close enough people don't usually notice.
Yeah, itíll be interesting to see if it holds up. Seems like mixed opinions out there on the matter, I can see why the other way would be better for edge security but I really disliked the ring of electrical tape at the top!
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Old 07-03-22, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
That Supacaz tape is probably not the best choice. Itís not stretchy enough.
Next time go with a silicone bar tape. Itís stretchy and it doesnít have any adhesive backing so you can re-wrap it as many times as you want.
yeah. Something which conforms a little more would be better!
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Old 07-03-22, 10:48 PM
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Practice makes perfect. Use a hair dryer on low heat to soften up the adhesive, remove tape and try again. Also helps to make the tape more pliable when wrapping.
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Old 07-03-22, 11:18 PM
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Wrapping bars is absolutely one of my most favorite aspects of bike maintenance! I think yours looks pretty good, tbh. But when you're ready to tackle it again, I would highly recommend starting from the ends of the bars and using something awesome like $30 Zipp Service Course tape. It's super stretchy, has a great feel, stays grippy when wet, and lasts a long time. The "figure 8" at the brake hoods and the diagonal cut at the end are the critical moves. Electrical tape is more forgiving than the finishing tape provided, but try to only do one or two wraps of it.

Until you become adept, it might take you 45 minutes to do the whole bar, so crack open a cold one, put some good tunes on the speakers, and enjoy the process!

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Old 07-04-22, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
live with it until it wears out... or eat the $40 for a second try!?!
You kind of answered your own question as far as I'm concerned...
Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
i'm not 100% sure the last bit of tape is going to stay tucked in at the plugs.
Let that decide. As soon as it comes untucked or otherwise out of place, redo it. FWIW I think it looks fine and would probably not question that tape job if I saw it in a pack.
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Old 07-04-22, 04:15 AM
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I've seen worse than what is in the OP on bikes for sale that were touting the wrap as a positive.

If it was my bike, it may bother me or it may not. But finishing tape bothers me too.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:08 AM
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For next time, if you want to try starting at the bottom (which Iíd recommend), ESI makes some really nice silicone finishing tape that looks good and is easy to use. It comes itís their bar wrap but is also sold by the roll.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:57 AM
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If it bothers you, unwind that tape and reuse it. No biggie. It might not stretch as much in the second wrapping but it's important to pull it tight. Tape wound from the top down probably won't last too long.
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Old 07-04-22, 06:42 AM
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After watching a half dozen videos and you still wrapped it backwards. As soon as the edges start curling back..it'll look rough. I'd strip it off and re-wrap it..you actually can use the same tape.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
After watching a half dozen videos and you still wrapped it backwards. As soon as the edges start curling back..it'll look rough. I'd strip it off and re-wrap it..you actually can use the same tape.
half the videos illustrated doing it top down, and the other half illustrated bottom up.

iíll see how it lasts.
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Old 07-04-22, 09:03 AM
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As others have said, it looks good but will hold up better if you wrap bottom-to-top. Yes, black electrical tape looks crappy, but you can find colour-matched electrical tape at the dollar store, and the electrical tape AND the bar tape can be trimmed to make a clean looking blunt end.

Another option is to tie off at the top with twine. There is a trick to finishing a twine wrap so the loose end is hidden and this looks very stylie...https://www.rivbike.com/pages/handle...d-twine-finish
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Old 07-04-22, 10:13 AM
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Looks fine to me but I agree with other folks. I always start from the bottom. Ride until it needs replacing. And $40 isnít too much except for the cheapskates among us (and they are legion on this site).
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