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  1. #1
    Free wheel Ganzen's Avatar
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    Bartape - Shrink Wrap = Tidy Ending

    Wrapping bartape from the bottom up makes sense but leads to issues about how to end the wrap at the top. Most people are familiar with using electrical tape to secure the end of the wrap however if the tape slips you will wind up with sticky black adhesive on your hands and then on most everything you touch.

    While working as an electrician I have used heat shrink tubing for splicing and terminating large wire. However most of the heat shrink tubing in the larger sizes has adhesive inside that oozes out around the edges when you apply the heat to shrink the tubing. However a quick stop by my local electrical supply house netted me a lifetime supply of heat shrink tubing ($10) that is adhesive free and large enough to make tidy endings to my bar wrappings. This "termination" will not slip if properly installed nor will it leave sticky adhesive on my hands on a warm day and a 100 miles from home.

    The details of this 3M product (FP-301) are in the pic below. The handle bar must be stripped. Cut two 1 1/4" wide strips of shrink tubing and slide them onto each side of the bar. Re install your brake handles and then wrap the bar as you would normally. Secure the end with electricians tape (wrapping in the same direction as the bartape) and trim away the excess bartape.

    Next apply a little soapy water (or saliva) around the electrical tape and then spin the shrink tubing in the
    same direction as the tape is wrapped while forcing the shrink tubing up and over the electrical tape. Next apply heat sparingly from a lighter (consider practicing on a loose piece of shrink tubing to see how much heat it can take before igniting) while being careful to keep the flame away from the bartape. Heat rises straight up so you may have to stand the bike on it's head to get the fllame to lick the shrink tubing at the right angle and cause it to shrink. Again a little practice might be in order.

    Note: Shink tubing will shrink to 1/2 its' original diameter.

    Ganzen

    PS: I have also included a pic of an alternate use for shrink tubing. Covering cable crimps to prevent damage to the finish of your bike.
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    Last edited by Ganzen; 01-29-09 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Latvietis Ablaut's Avatar
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    Comes out very clean & neat, genius idea Ganzen!

  3. #3
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Use a heat *** instead of open flame. Works great.
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  4. #4
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Now I've got another use for heat shrink tubing, cool. I've used heat shrink tubing to make a chainstay protector on a bike with a removeable dropout/hanger. Not just cable lock crimps, but you can use small heat shrink tubing on cable ends for a cleaner look than a crimp. You can get heat shrink tubing without adhesive but it can be a bit of a search for the larger diameters either way, and in more than one ratio of shrinkage, too.

    I use a heat *** rather than a lighter, what's the advantage to using a lighter?
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  5. #5
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    Excellent idea. What original diameter shrink tubing do you buy? Will a hair dryer do to shrink it? I think a lighter flame is a bit harsh on the bar tape.

    I've used small diameter shrink tubing to form ends on brake cables and shrink it with a butane lighter but I've never used it as the finishing "tape" for bar wrap.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jstraw97's Avatar
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    I'm with you on the slipping electrical tape. Next time I re-tape my bars I'm going to try your method.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannondaler's Avatar
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    Great idea dude!

  8. #8
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    Very nice, thank you!

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    That is a lot of trouble to go through. As an electrician and a cyclist for many many years I've never had any problems of my tape slipping and leaving adhesive on the bar tape.
    Scotch 33 is your friend.

  10. #10
    Fitness/Recreation Rider
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    You can often find non-adhesive shrink wrap tubing in various sizes in auto supply stores too.

  11. #11
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
    That is a lot of trouble to go through. As an electrician and a cyclist for many many years I've never had any problems of my tape slipping and leaving adhesive on the bar tape.
    ...
    But the point here is that Ganzen has found a way to elevate the art. Like getting a little blob of solder on the ends of your cable inners. Or just lining up the tire logos with the valve.

    It's why we're here.

  12. #12
    Free wheel Ganzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    Now I've got another use for heat shrink tubing, cool. I've used heat shrink tubing to make a chainstay protector on a bike with a removeable dropout/hanger. Not just cable lock crimps, but you can use small heat shrink tubing on cable ends for a cleaner look than a crimp. You can get heat shrink tubing without adhesive but it can be a bit of a search for the larger diameters either way, and in more than one ratio of shrinkage, too.

    I use a heat *** rather than a lighter, what's the advantage to using a lighter?
    Nice use of the clear tube for a chainstay protector! I only used a lighter because that's what I had at hand. If you have a heat *** definitely use it instead (much better control).

    Ganzen

  13. #13
    Free wheel Ganzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Excellent idea. What original diameter shrink tubing do you buy? Will a hair dryer do to shrink it? I think a lighter flame is a bit harsh on the bar tape.

    I've used small diameter shrink tubing to form ends on brake cables and shrink it with a butane lighter but I've never used it as the finishing "tape" for bar wrap.
    The original tubing size is 1". I would not want to use any hair dryer on my hair that would also get hot enough to shrink this tubing. It begins to shrink at a temp of around 100C (Thats 212 F!!!!!! LOL).

    Ganzen

  14. #14
    Get on your bikes & ride! xB_Nutt's Avatar
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    Good idea, but I wouldn't want to mess with removing brake levers. Maybe on a new build. Oh yea he said use a heat *** not a hair dryer. 2 different animals. Heat *** gets a lot hotter and makes it easy to evenly distribute the heat.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I like it!
    I never knew they made it in a size that large.

    I am using the BIke Ribbon Lock Rings on one of my bikes. The only downside is an issue shared with your method: The brifters and cables must be put on *after* the rings (or shrink-tubing). I wish they would make the rings in two pieces so they could be put on afterward. On the upside, the rings are very good at holding the cables in place while wrapping.

  16. #16
    Gear Hub fan
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    One internet source for shrink tubing in multiple typed and a wide variety of sizes, with and without internal glue, is smallparts.com. I just received their latest catalog.

  17. #17
    sucker for lugs
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    I wish I had read this thread a week ago, just because it requires re-installing bake cables and everything. On the other hand, this could work great for finishing the bar tape around bar-end shifters because it could just be slipped on the end after the shifter is installed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    A hair dryer will work if you partially restrict the air intake with your hand and cause it to overheat. I've shrunk a lot of tubing that way while installing car stereos. I use shrink tubing instead of crimps on the ends of my brake and shifter cables. I've also had to replace my wife's hair dryer a couple of times after I burned them out. One of these days I'm going to get a real heat ***.

  19. #19
    Junior Member zhadum's Avatar
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    Great idea
    I am going to do this on the new bars I just got.

  20. #20
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    if you buy quality 3M electrical tape, it won't give you that sticky and annoying adhesive residue.

    but the heat shrink works too.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  21. #21
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganzen View Post
    Nice use of the clear tube for a chainstay protector! I only used a lighter because that's what I had at hand. If you have a heat *** definitely use it instead (much better control).

    Ganzen
    Wish I could take credit for an original idea, but saw it on another bike forum. Only works with a very few bikes, though. Same thread recently had an additional idea for a chainstay protector, as the Nomad no longer has the removable hanger/dropout, some guy is trying using spray on EZ-Liner; looks pretty cool.

    An electrician without a heat ***? Don't you use shrink tubing on wiring bundles all the time?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I am using the BIke Ribbon Lock Rings on one of my bikes. The only downside is an issue shared with your method: The brifters and cables must be put on *after* the rings (or shrink-tubing). I wish they would make the rings in two pieces so they could be put on afterward. On the upside, the rings are very good at holding the cables in place while wrapping.
    I've installed the Bike Ribbon lockrings on two bikes now and even on oversized handlebars, the split in the rings allows you to snap the lockring over the handlebars. There is no need to remove the brifters to install them. It takes some force but the rings return to their original shape even after being spread quite far apart. I can take some pics to demonstrate if you'd like as I bought a few extra sets for any new bikes down the road.

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