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  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Does Anyone Wrap (Tape) Handlebars From The Center Outward?

    Does anyone start wrapping (taping) the handlebar at the inside point, nearest the stem, and going outward?

    Everyone I know starts at the bar end and works inward, so that the job needs to finish with sticky tape around the last wrap.

    Seems to me, if you do it the other way and use the bar end plug to secure the wrap, you can avoid the use of sticky tape. Okay, there's a bit to hold down the start of the wrap, but it is covered by the wrap.

    Am I the only one who finds the sticky tape a bit unsightly?
    Last edited by jyl; 02-15-12 at 04:16 AM.

  2. #2
    group W bench
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    When bar tape used to be flat ribbon or smooth vinyl style, this method worked quite well. The edges of the tape laid flat. With the newer cork and cork gel tape, the edges don't lay as flat. If you wrapped from the middle out, your hand would rub against the edges and peel them up (try running your hand backwards across the tape on your bar now). At the shop we use good quality electrical tape to finish the wrap. Don't tape the wrap to the bar but just cover the last bit of bar wrap. Let just a little hang over the edge and pull the tape fairly tight. The electrical tape will curl over the edge and give you a nice finished look.
    Light. Strong. Cheap. Pick two. --- Keith Bontrager http://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie3679.jpg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikejunkie View Post
    When bar tape used to be flat ribbon or smooth vinyl style, this method worked quite well. The edges of the tape laid flat. With the newer cork and cork gel tape, the edges don't lay as flat. If you wrapped from the middle out, your hand would rub against the edges and peel them up (try running your hand backwards across the tape on your bar now). At the shop we use good quality electrical tape to finish the wrap. Don't tape the wrap to the bar but just cover the last bit of bar wrap. Let just a little hang over the edge and pull the tape fairly tight. The electrical tape will curl over the edge and give you a nice finished look.
    i find that overhanging the edge of the tape will cause the tape to creep towards the stem(tape wants to return to its relaxed state). too much stretch will also cause it to creep. i stretch the first wrap then loose on the next 2 wraps. cut

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    jyl, With cork or padded tape starting the wrap at the plug prevents a bulge in the tape near the stem, starting the wrap at the plug creates a shingled effect and seems to hold up better to use, for me anyway.

    Using twine to cover the electrical tape is a classy way to finish a handle bar wrap.

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 02-15-12 at 06:59 AM. Reason: sp

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I couldn't find a reference to them right now but I've seen circular "clamps" that cover the bar tape at the stem to replace electrical tape and give a finished appearance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Some people use whipping instead of tape: http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com...andlebars.html

  7. #7
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    I have found that self-fusing tape does a great job of securing the end of the wrap. It adheres only to itself so can be removed easily without a gooey mess and will not creep like electrical tape. It is also available in colors to match or contrast your bike's color scheme. Here is one vendor: http://www.rescuetape.com/ It can also be used to hold cables, etc. in a neater fashion that zip ties.

  8. #8
    Just keep pedalling! big_heineken's Avatar
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    Wow! There is a lot of wrong in this thread.

    Yes, you can wrap top-down without any issues. There is no need for electrical tape to hold the cork tape down. It works fine with cork tape. This is now the only way that I wrap handlebars.

    Here are some examples:








    Hook 'em Horns!

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Texans, Somebody has to Salmon every job.

  10. #10
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    And no issues with peeling, big-heineken? I started out wrapping bars the same way as the OP, and for the same reasons, but they inevitably started to peel. Now that I wrap from the ends, everything is solid.

    - Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I have wrapped from the top down for 40 years. I don't use cork or gel tape and I don't have any problems.

    Now that I think about it, it's longer than that. I got my first drop bar bike in 1960.

  12. #12
    Just keep pedalling! big_heineken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    And no issues with peeling, big-heineken? I started out wrapping bars the same way as the OP, and for the same reasons, but they inevitably started to peel. Now that I wrap from the ends, everything is solid.

    - Scott
    No, I haven't had any issues with peeling at all. On this particular bike, I have ridden over a thousand miles on this bar-tape in the last year and it's as tight as it ever was:


    I also don't use tape with an adhesive back, I hate that stuff.
    Hook 'em Horns!

  13. #13
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    1. If you underlay your bar tape with double sided tape (sold
    as poster tape at office supply stores), you can cut down on
    peeling/shifting under use considerably...which ever way you go.

    2.I used to go top down. Now I go bottom up. Call me irresponsible.

    3. If you use vinyl electrical tape as your fastening tape near
    the stem at the top, you can seal the ends of it with a soldering
    pencil with a flat tip to melt the end into the final turn. Be
    careful, as it is easy to melt right through the tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  14. #14
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I do this only with thin cloth tape, which I then shellac.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hendricks97's Avatar
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    I double wrap my bars: First layer is from the cap up, second layer is stem down and I havent had any issues yet

  16. #16
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    I wrap the bar in two stages, from the brake levers down to the drops and so the ends; and from the brake levers on up to the stem. This way I get the overlaps going the right way for each position.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    1. I cut the end so that it forms a right triangle. This minimizes the starting bulge.
    2. I start at top and under - go front - up - over - and toward saddle - down - back under - toward front.
    3. Do the typical cross wrap at the levers...
    4. Wrap to 1/4-1/2 inch past end of bars...
    5. Fold the extra into the bars and hammer in the plugs.

    The entire time I'm applying considerable stretch throughout.

    Even after scrapes and other types of damage - my tape jobs seem to hold up and last quite awhile...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

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  18. #18
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Even with cork it works fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    1. I cut the end so that it forms a right triangle. This minimizes the starting bulge.
    2. I start at top and under - go front - up - over - and toward saddle - down - back under - toward front.
    3. Do the typical cross wrap at the levers...
    4. Wrap to 1/4-1/2 inch past end of bars...
    5. Fold the extra into the bars and hammer in the plugs.

    The entire time I'm applying considerable stretch throughout.

    Even after scrapes and other types of damage - my tape jobs seem to hold up and last quite awhile...

    =8-)
    I wrap opposite you (start under the bar nearest the stem and wrap back, up and over toward the front of the bike) but the rest is the same. No issues as long as it is put on snug.

  20. #20
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Do I sense the beginnings of a new OCD thread stirring?
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    So I was told the objective of wrapping the bar tape from the bottom up was to create a wrap such that your natural riding grip would tend to tighten the tape rather than loosen it.

    Probably more of an issue before adhesive backed tapes were introduced and leather, cotton and thin vinyl were the norm.

    Personally I also tend to stretch and overlap the tape more than most techs which suits me but some others feel a slight tear is more likely to expand that way. Can't win em all!

  22. #22
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I wrap from center to bar end works great never have had it get loose I use no tape or glue this tape has no stickey back as well.

    wrap.jpg
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post


    Even with cork it works fine.
    Great picture, which IMHO shows the benefit of starting the wrap at the top and wrapping down to the bar ends. Notice how the tape is held nicely in place at the starting points near the stem. I've been wrapping my bars this way for more than 30 years and never thought it was the "wrong" way to do it.

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ok somebody, in fact, does, next topic..

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    Do I sense the beginnings of a new OCD thread stirring?
    So... if you have branded tape, do you wrap it so you can read the label from the front, rear, left, or right? What if you bought a bike and the bars were wrapped wrong?

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