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Old 07-17-16, 12:22 PM   #1
tiras25
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Handlebar wrap for vintage bike

Hi guys,
Restoring an old vintage Schwinn road bike 60's
Which handlebar wrap would you recommend? Or is there any difference?

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-16, 12:59 PM   #2
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Black cotton, wrapped from the top to the bottom, would be a correct choice.
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Old 07-17-16, 01:11 PM   #3
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Depends on whether you care about being period "correct" or not. Cork tape is a better choice; cotton is more in keeping with the age of the bike. I use cotton tape on one bike (a 1960 olmo gran sport) but otherwise I avoid it. Taping the bike from bottom to top helps the tape hold up longer since your hands moving down the bars are less likely to unravel it.
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Old 07-17-16, 01:50 PM   #4
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What's bottom to top mean? It's just one hanldlebar.

Can you point me to the link for the cork tape to buy? ebay, etc. Thanks!!
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Old 07-17-16, 01:51 PM   #5
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Ribble UK has Selle Italia leather tape on clearance.

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Old 07-17-16, 01:51 PM   #6
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To be original on a Schwinn, cello tape would be the choice. That being said, tape is a consumable. Is this a rider or a display piece?
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Old 07-17-16, 02:01 PM   #7
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Scotch tape?? No way.
Ride occasionally but preserving the value same time.
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Old 07-17-16, 02:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
(...) Taping the bike from bottom to top helps the tape hold up longer since your hands moving down the bars are less likely to unravel it.
Don't know about the newfangled stuff, but with cotton the classic wrap is top to bottom, towards the rider. Gives a nice clean result and does not unravel.

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Old 07-17-16, 02:20 PM   #9
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No, not scotch tape! LOL. Cello tape like this:



Personally I don't like the way it feels, but it looks right on certain bikes.

The other period tape would be cotton tape like this:



Traditionally it'd usually be black, but you can get it in many colors these days from Newbaums.

Both these tapes are pretty thin. I use cotton on some bikes but I also wear gloves.

You could also do leather tape, that sometimes looks nice but it's expensive. Cork tape is cheap and almost never looks quite right, but it's comfortable.
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Old 07-17-16, 02:22 PM   #10
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"Top to bottom" means wrapping starting at the stem, down to the end of the bar.

"Bottom to top" would be the opposite: from the end of the bar up to the stem. In this case you need some kind of tape or something at the top to hold it in place.
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Old 07-17-16, 02:55 PM   #11
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Don't know about the newfangled stuff, but with cotton the classic wrap is top to bottom, towards the rider. Gives a nice clean result and does not unravel.

Wrapping from bottom to top makes more sense as the seams will not be exposed to the the general downward and outward pressure/friction from your hands, similar in a way, to how shingles on a roof works I used to wrap from top to bottom and had my tape seams opening up after some miles. When I switched to wrapping it from lever upwards my problem with tape seams opening up totally went away. Been doing so since the mid 80's Lay's with best results. The bottom halves of the handlebar I wrap from lever to tip, for the same reason, so my wrapping method is pretty much from levers out.....
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Old 07-17-16, 03:01 PM   #12
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No, not scotch tape! LOL. Cello tape like this:



Personally I don't like the way it feels, but it looks right on certain bikes.

The other period tape would be cotton tape like this:



Traditionally it'd usually be black, but you can get it in many colors these days from Newbaums.

Both these tapes are pretty thin. I use cotton on some bikes but I also wear gloves.

You could also do leather tape, that sometimes looks nice but it's expensive. Cork tape is cheap and almost never looks quite right, but it's comfortable.
Cello tape looks very nice, especially in white, but does not feel good at all on the smallest diameter drop bars, usually from France on which gives a really uncomfortable and in a way, wimpy feel to it......
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Old 07-17-16, 03:04 PM   #13
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Scotch tape?? No way.
Ride occasionally but preserving the value same time.
I'm sorry but this made me

Schwinn has catalogs dating way back just google Schwinn catalog and a year. You will see what was used.

Cloth tape will dirty easily unless you use Shellac or similar to help preserve and make for easier cleaning.

Cello tape is not padded but looks very cool. Hence the questions about riding a lot. I personally ride good distance with and am used to so it. But it should be a consideration for your comfort needs.
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Old 07-17-16, 03:34 PM   #14
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If you're restoring, it's gotta be whatever Schwinn used, which is that Benotto celo tape on a lot of bikes.

If you're just fixing up the bike so it's a good rider for you, use whatever your hands and eyes like best.
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Old 07-17-16, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Wrapping from bottom to top makes more sense as the seams will not be exposed to the the general downward and outward pressure/friction from your hands, similar in a way, to how shingles on a roof works I used to wrap from top to bottom and had my tape seams opening up after some miles. When I switched to wrapping it from lever upwards my problem with tape seams opening up totally went away. Been doing so since the mid 80's Lay's with best results. The bottom halves of the handlebar I wrap from lever to tip, for the same reason, so my wrapping method is pretty much from levers out.....
With modern padded tapes bottom to top does indeed give better results, and is the way to go. However, I don't care for the finishing tape needed to secure the top.

On older bikes I always use tightly-wrapped Tressostar which gives a rock solid result. I haven't been able to unravel, curl or dislodge any of it yet.

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Old 07-17-16, 04:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Wrapping from bottom to top makes more sense as the seams will not be exposed to the the general downward and outward pressure/friction from your hands, similar in a way, to how shingles on a roof works I used to wrap from top to bottom and had my tape seams opening up after some miles. When I switched to wrapping it from lever upwards my problem with tape seams opening up totally went away. Been doing so since the mid 80's Lay's with best results. The bottom halves of the handlebar I wrap from lever to tip, for the same reason, so my wrapping method is pretty much from levers out.....
This wasn't an issue with fabric tape, if wrapped tightly. Doing it this way, you need no finishing tape on EITHER end. I still do this with plain black friction tape as a base layer before putting modern padded tape on top. Also, when doing bar-end shifters, I use the fabric tap to hold the cables down.
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Old 07-17-16, 04:58 PM   #17
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Old 07-17-16, 05:08 PM   #18
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I have tried most everything over the years and have now settled on Cork tape followed by several coats of amber shellac. this looks vintage, Is very long lasting and can be easily rejuvenated with a touch up or a few more coats of shellac. Even old, worn cork tape looks better after a few coats of amber shellac. Try some on some old worn out tape to see what I mean. I accidentally found that hot pink cork tape (usually available at a discounted price) produces a beautiful antique red after several coats of amber shellac. You can use clear shellac to preserve close to the original tape color.

A very big negative is that once shellac is applied, the resulting color does not photograph anywhere close to what the human eye sees. For example, the Zeus with yellow bar tape had clear shellac applied to produce a visually attractive yellow that is close to the original color without shellac, not so in the picture though.

The Bianchi bars photograph as a more garish orange than the original tape color, but visually the bars are a very close match to the warm brown of the old Brooks saddle. Same thing with the red produced by hot pink tape on my Expedition Touring. Pics just don't reproduce the true color. The only color that reproduced well in the pics is the amber color of the bars on my Torelli. That is the same yellow tape as on the Zeus but with amber instead of clear shellac. I'm not sure what causes this effect, maybe the glossy finish? I may try a light scrub with 0000 steel wool to dull things down and see if that helps. Don
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File Type: jpg BrakeLever.jpg (105.4 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg Z3.jpg (112.9 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg TorelliB.jpg (92.4 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg JDZeus3.jpg (96.3 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg Bianchi-Trofeo-9.jpg (101.0 KB, 145 views)

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Old 07-17-16, 05:30 PM   #19
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P.S. You can see a recent pic of the Zeus on Page 12 of the "Clunker Challenge" thread. That is still the same tape after 8 Summers of casual riding by my Son. Note how the color reproduces better in the shade. Don
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Old 07-17-16, 07:20 PM   #20
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I order my cork/rubber wrap through Ebay for about $2.50 a set, shipping included...

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Old 07-17-16, 08:03 PM   #21
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I think Schwinn 10-speed handlebar tape, even in the sixties, was made for them by Hunt-Wilde.

Like this:
Vintage Schwinn Approved Flexon Bar Tape Wrap Purple Violet Hunt Wilde | eBay

Is it comfortable... well, not for most riders, but I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you can find a fan of almost anything. But, if you wanted to be authentic, it's a choice you might want to consider.

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Old 07-17-16, 08:34 PM   #22
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Hunt-Wilde




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Old 07-17-16, 09:15 PM   #23
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Old 07-17-16, 11:09 PM   #24
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Schwinn, yeah, Hunt Wilde plastic tape, or cotton tape. Cotton tape was pretty much universal when I started riding. I have heard that plastic tape was also popular in the 60s and early 70s. The Benotto cello tape thing was a brief fad in the early 80s. Bike Ribbon was just as popular, and probably the most like 'modern' tape.

AFA starting from the top or the bottom, winding down from the top always worked better for me. I tend to squirm a lot and shift the tape either way, and when you start from the bottom, once the tape shifts it the now exposed tape edges tend to curl and it becomes really rough and uncomfortable. If the tape shifts when you've started from the top, it's no big deal. Plus it looks way better not to have the stupid tape at the top.
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Old 07-18-16, 04:22 AM   #25
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The Benotto look:
[IMG]P9161245 by superissimo_83, on Flickr[/IMG]
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