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Old 02-15-12, 05:13 AM   #1
jyl
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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 05:16 AM.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:31 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-15-12, 07:09 AM   #3
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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.
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
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Old 02-15-12, 07:59 AM   #4
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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

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Old 02-15-12, 08:08 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-15-12, 09:32 AM   #6
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Some people use whipping instead of tape: http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com...andlebars.html
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Old 02-15-12, 09:43 AM   #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.
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Old 02-15-12, 09:52 AM   #8
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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:








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Old 02-15-12, 10:11 AM   #9
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Texans, Somebody has to Salmon every job.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:16 AM   #10
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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
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Old 02-15-12, 10:18 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:28 AM   #12
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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
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.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:56 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:59 AM   #14
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I do this only with thin cloth tape, which I then shellac.
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Old 02-15-12, 11:45 AM   #15
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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
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Old 02-15-12, 12:48 PM   #16
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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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Old 02-15-12, 01:03 PM   #17
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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-)
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Old 02-15-12, 01:47 PM   #18
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Even with cork it works fine.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:04 PM   #19
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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-)
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.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:48 PM   #20
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Do I sense the beginnings of a new OCD thread stirring?
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Old 02-15-12, 06:18 PM   #21
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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!
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Old 02-15-12, 09:57 PM   #22
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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.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg wrap.jpg (92.4 KB, 24 views)
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Old 02-15-12, 10:06 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:52 PM   #24
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Ok somebody, in fact, does, next topic..
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Old 02-16-12, 12:42 AM   #25
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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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