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  1. #1
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    handlebar plug technique

    are there any tricks to getting the handlebar tape neatly tucked into the holes at the end of the bar with the plug and everything? are there superior plugs that make the difference or is there some trick where you wrap masking tape around the grip just as its at the end and then use both hand to finish it neatly. then take the tape off.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I don't stuff handlebar tape into the end of the bar. I make an angled cut in the tape to start at the end of the bar and to end the wrapping job near the center of the handlebar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grnsky View Post
    are there any tricks to getting the handlebar tape neatly tucked into the holes at the end of the bar with the plug and everything? are there superior plugs that make the difference or is there some trick where you wrap masking tape around the grip just as its at the end and then use both hand to finish it neatly. then take the tape off.
    If I understand your post, it sounds like you are finishing your wraps at the handlebar ends. Traditional practice is to begin at the bar-end. The Park Tool website has a pretty good tutorial on wrapping tape.

    For bar-plugs, I use Velox expandable plugs...but some guys use wine corks. There are lots of options available. As another poster mentioned, you can cut the tape flush with the bar end (this is what I do)...or, when you start your wrap, leave a half inch or so of tape hanging off the edge, and stuff it in.

    The first time I wrapped my bars, I did a practice wrap with the tape backing still on. You can't pull it tight enough, but it gives you a good idea of how things will go.

  4. #4
    And he's single... jmarkley710's Avatar
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    Spit or water on the plug will help it slid in. Then use a hammer with a paper towel over the head of it and tap at the plug till it's all the way in. If it's thick tape it'll slide partially out overnight. Tap it in again in the morning and it'll be good to go.
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    I've never had trouble getting the plug in, but I'd definitely love suggestions as to how to get the tape to stuff in nicely. Mine look okay, but that's it. Any way to pre-crease the fold to make it sit in there all pretty?

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    And he's single... jmarkley710's Avatar
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    Pre-crease it by pushing it in with a screw driver and then running it in circles pressed against the inside of the handlebars with the tape folded in. It'll help hold the tape in place. Then place the plug on the outside and rotate in the of the wrap to tighten it as your insert the plug.
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  7. #7
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    I've never had trouble getting the plug in, but I'd definitely love suggestions as to how to get the tape to stuff in nicely. Mine look okay, but that's it. Any way to pre-crease the fold to make it sit in there all pretty?
    There's a taper obvisouly, so I take the smaller wide and fold that in first, then take the biggest part and fold it in after it. 9 out of 10 times, that pulls everything in nicely and I just shove the plug in for a moderately snug fit. The 1 time it doesn't work nicely, it still works and I ride it knowing I will try again another day.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  8. #8
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    For bar-plugs, I use Velox expandable plugs.
    Absolutely! No more end-plugs slipping out. Great accessory!
    Good night...and good luck

  9. #9
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    If I understand your post, it sounds like you are finishing your wraps at the handlebar ends. Traditional practice is to begin at the bar-end. The Park Tool website has a pretty good tutorial on wrapping tape.
    Actually, traditional practice is to do it as the OP asks about.

    Starting at the bar ends works better, though, because your hands are not pushing down on the tape edges, causing them to curl.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Actually, traditional practice is to do it as the OP asks about.
    In 15 years of riding, I've never seen a knowledgeable rider wrap from the tops. I don't want to get into a discussion of what "traditional' means, but every tutorial I've ever read has indicated to start from the bottom. It's tradition with most everyone I know, and most everyone that I ride with.

  11. #11
    JBD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    In 15 years of riding, I've never seen a knowledgeable rider wrap from the tops. I don't want to get into a discussion of what "traditional' means, but every tutorial I've ever read has indicated to start from the bottom. It's tradition with most everyone I know, and most everyone that I ride with.
    My 30 yr old follis (whose tape has never (to my knowledge) been replaced) tape wrapping starts at the top and ends at the plug. (adhesive backed cloth tape if it matters)
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBD View Post
    My 30 yr old follis (whose tape has never (to my knowledge) been replaced) tape wrapping starts at the top and ends at the plug. (adhesive backed cloth tape if it matters)
    I don't dispute that it happens, I'm just curious why somebody was sharpshooting me for word choice.

  13. #13
    JBD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    I don't dispute that it happens, I'm just curious why somebody was sharpshooting me for word choice.
    if that is your question, I really have no idea, maybe the phase of the moon determines the pedantry of our fellow members (ie "conventional" vs "traditional" or some similar type of disagreement in word choice) other times new terms can even coined into the lexicon ala "drope teh hamer" and "guads"


    or maybe it's just because most of the guys that hang around here are C&V zealots
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  14. #14
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    If I understand your post, it sounds like you are finishing your wraps at the handlebar ends. Traditional practice is to begin at the bar-end. The Park Tool website has a pretty good tutorial on wrapping tape.

    For bar-plugs, I use Velox expandable plugs...but some guys use wine corks. There are lots of options available. As another poster mentioned, you can cut the tape flush with the bar end (this is what I do)...or, when you start your wrap, leave a half inch or so of tape hanging off the edge, and stuff it in.

    The first time I wrapped my bars, I did a practice wrap with the tape backing still on. You can't pull it tight enough, but it gives you a good idea of how things will go.
    +1 on Velox. I just ordered a new set myself. Seems like a mundane part, but they really finish off a bar just right, they never fall out and almost never break. Plus, because they're rubber, they don't scratch the side of my car if I lean my bike up against it. Probably should have stolen the pair off the bike I sold a little while ago...but oh well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    +1 on Velox. I just ordered a new set myself. Seems like a mundane part, but they really finish off a bar just right, they never fall out and almost never break. Plus, because they're rubber, they don't scratch the side of my car if I lean my bike up against it. Probably should have stolen the pair off the bike I sold a little while ago...but oh well.
    I love my Velox plugs...they were surprisingly hard to find. You're right-- they really add a nice touch to certain handlebar setups. I tried shellacking my bars for the first time, and couldn't get them to get quite right...then I found out about the Velox plugs, and there it was! I ordered mine from Velo-Orange-- what about you?

  16. #16
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Velox plugs can be found quite easily at Wallingford Bicycle.

    Along with Brooks saddles...but that's another thread.
    Good night...and good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
    Velox plugs can be found quite easily at Wallingford Bicycle.

    Along with Brooks saddles...but that's another thread.
    Yep...I bought my B-17 from them. Nice people.

  18. #18
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    What a boring discussion. Do whatever the heck makes your handlebar tape secure.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    What a boring discussion.
    As opposed to all the crucial brain-busting going on in the other forums...thanks for the useful input.

  20. #20
    Campy NR / SR forever cadillacmike68's Avatar
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    The 35 + year old tradition is to start at the center of the bars. This is with cloth tape - since i never use anything else. The idea is to wrap it in a clockwise rotation so if you use a screw in plug in will "thread" with the direction of the tape. I use Mil-Remo plugs myself but I doubt that these can be found anymore.

    I've never had the tape curl off.
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  21. #21
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    I don't dispute that it happens, I'm just curious why somebody was sharpshooting me for word choice.
    It's because "somebody" apparently has more experience that you and took the time to point out the error in calling something traditional that really isn't.

    I've been riding "good" bikes for about 35 years (since high school) so trust me, you ain't seen it all. Back then all bikes were wrapped from the bar center down; that was how it was done in Italy so of course that was how we did it here.

    JBD's 30-year old Follis is a good example; have you even heard of Follis?

    JBD, is it the candy-apple red? I always loved that color!
    Last edited by rmfnla; 08-30-07 at 05:12 PM.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    It's because "somebody" apparently has more experience that you and took the time to point out the error in calling something traditional that really isn't.

    I've been riding "good" bikes for about 35 years (since high school) so trust me, you ain't seen it all. Back than all bikes were wrapped from the bar center down; that was how it was done in Italy so of course that was how we did it here.

    JBD's 30-year old Follis is a good example; have you even heard of Follis?

    JBD, is it the candy-apple red? I always loved that color!
    Wow, what a jackass. Have you ever heard of that? I was trying to be helpful, and was-- you tried to act like a know-it-all snob, and did. Nice work.

    I never said that "I seen it all," professsor-- you did. I love you retro guys-- can't think of a nice word for anyone that doesn't admire the same shiny junk as you. Well you sure showed me, pop-- I'm real real sorry that I tangled with such a guru.

    It's traditional where I come from. In 15 years I've never seen otherwise, and that's traditional enough for me. Like most people without much brains, you attack a minor semantic point rather than making any real argument. I hope you feel better for it. I can tell from your impeccable writing that you are a real scholar, and thus would know that "traditional" is a vague term, which is why I chose it. It tends to be tied to regional or demographic practice, so I am technically correct. If you want to imitate Italian practice, go ahead...it can be 'tradition' for you to do so.

    Next time engage your brain before you type, and back your ego off a bit-- I know that you probably think of yourself as a big cheese 'round here, but to me you're just a self-righteous blowhard.
    Last edited by Gordiep; 08-30-07 at 12:52 PM.

  23. #23
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    Just so I don't offend anyone, I start at the brake levers and work both ways.

  24. #24
    JBD
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    It's because "somebody" apparently has more experience that you and took the time to point out the error in calling something traditional that really isn't.

    I've been riding "good" bikes for about 35 years (since high school) so trust me, you ain't seen it all. Back than all bikes were wrapped from the bar center down; that was how it was done in Italy so of course that was how we did it here.

    JBD's 30-year old Follis is a good example; have you even heard of Follis?

    JBD, is it the candy-apple red? I always loved that color!
    nope, mine is a speedy racing green not as fast as a hot candy apple red, but still pretty speedy



    Quote Originally Posted by Noam Zane View Post
    Just so I don't offend anyone, I start at the brake levers and work both ways.
    Perfect! the best of both worlds!

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  25. #25
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordiep View Post
    If I understand your post, it sounds like you are finishing your wraps at the handlebar ends. Traditional practice is to begin at the bar-end. The Park Tool website has a pretty good tutorial on wrapping tape.

    For bar-plugs, I use Velox expandable plugs...but some guys use wine corks. There are lots of options available. As another poster mentioned, you can cut the tape flush with the bar end (this is what I do)...or, when you start your wrap, leave a half inch or so of tape hanging off the edge, and stuff it in.
    +1

    It's much easier to begin *AT* the bar-end, and work towards the center. When I wrap handlebars, I also put a loop of upside-down electrical tape every few inches, which helps greatly in holding the tape on, particularly at the bar-end.

    I agree that the expandable plugs are best at holding the tape in (you expand them with a screwdriver). Some of the cheap plastic plugs that come with tape work very well, and some work horribly and fall out easily. I've had pretty good luck with the Nashbar deluxe tape plugs!
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