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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Most appropriate bartape for a 1970's restoration

    I was wondering what the most common bartape was on 70's lightweights- I might soon be rebuilding one, and I'd like to get all the details right. It will be painted white, with blue lugs, and red bands in the middle of the tubes (Cambridge CC club colours), so I was thinking that white bartape and Campag brakes with white hoods would look rather smart. Presumably Specialized S-wrap wasn't around back then...

    Also, I've seen white Rolls saddles before, would you find them on a 70's bike? A white saddle would match quite well with the bartape, and look Euro-pro! And were cable housings all white in the 70's, or would red look OK? Finally, what sort of bottle cage would be most appropriate?

  2. #2
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    If it was a production bike, the bar tape was probably plastic. If bought as a frame and built up, could've been plastic or cloth. I don't recall white seats in the 70s, more 80s. Cable housing either matched the bike or picked up a secondary color from the graphics: red or blue; white or black; yellow was very popular. Bottle cage was a TA.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with Tressostar Cloth handlebar tape. If you had a nice bicycle, that would be on it. I remember the polypropylene plastic stuff. It would last a longish time, but nowhere as nice looking as the cloth tape. Or as nice to the touch/grip. Tressostar is still available. A coat of shellac will make it bomb-proof.

    Oh yeah - we always wrapped from the stem down. None of this new-age bottom-to-top electrical-tape nonsense.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member kbpfister's Avatar
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    why the hell do people do that anyway? I can see no advantage whatsoever to wrapping from the bottom up, when you go stem down you don't need the tape or anything it's super clean? I'm not even an old guy and I know that

  5. #5
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    What is the cloth tape like? I'm quite used to the S-wrap, which is quite squishy. Isn't a layer of cloth rather hard? Or does it not matter on a steel bike? When did cork tape appear?

    Also, what saddle would be appropriate, if not a Rolls? Was Brooks the only way? And finally, what is a TA bottle cage?

  6. #6
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Wrapping top to bottom leaves a leading edge exposed which can be prone to rolling up from hand pressure and friction, especially around the bends at the ends of the top of the bar and up near the brake hoods. Wrapping bottom to top helps solve this potential issue. Not everyone has this issue.

    With gel cork wrap I wrap bottom to top. With cloth or plastic I believe I'd wrap top to bottom for a cleaner look. Also a double wrap of cloth or plastic to start the top down approach doesn't build up as thick as doing that with the more modern gel cork wraps.

    If it were me trying to do a period correct rebuild or restoration I'd find some cloth tape. For color just do whatever floats your boat, or match what was offered at the time when new.

    All just my opinion, subject to change or coercion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
    What is the cloth tape like? I'm quite used to the S-wrap, which is quite squishy. Isn't a layer of cloth rather hard? Or does it not matter on a steel bike? When did cork tape appear?

    Also, what saddle would be appropriate, if not a Rolls? Was Brooks the only way? And finally, what is a TA bottle cage?
    Cloth provides a nice grip but really thin until you get 3 or 4 layers on there. Personally, I like the padded foam, and use it quite a bit, even on vintage bikes if I'm going to ride them a lot. Saddles were the Cinelli Unicanitors or Brooks/Ideale if it was a high-end bike. TA was the traditional chrome steel downtube mount cage of the 70s. Had a white plastic clamptype holder for the shoulder of the bottle. The Ale's are pretty similar, without the plastic.

  8. #8
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Padded foam was not available in the 1970's. Then they came out with that cell-foam two-part slide-on muck. But what do you expect from a decade that brought you Mood Rings, Earth Shoes, and Johnny Travolta?

    Here is Tressostar:

    http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=419
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  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 Back in the 70s, it was plastic tape on the bottom end bikes, and cloth tape on the better bikes. Neither one supplied any cushioning. They were mediocre materials then, and are mediocre now.

    I also used leather in the 70s (a little better) and the ugly but cushy black foam (Grab On).

  10. #10
    Senior Member ldmataya's Avatar
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    Tressostar provides no cushion, but it sure has fantastic grip. I really like it in hot weather, but I do recommend two layers unless you want to be periodic perfect.

  11. #11
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I grew up with no-padding plastic and cloth tapes. It was normal to me, so I didn't think about it. But then I tried the web-backed, leather-palmed gloves. And that's what I wore on my cloth-taped machine. Later I found Brook's leather-tape. Which I still use today. Always from the top down:

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  12. #12
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Both of my PX-10's have the priginal black plastic wrap. My '74 Paramouts getting black cloth.

    I prefer padded cork wrap for my daily rider.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  13. #13
    dork delicious's Avatar
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    when did cinelli start making their cork tape?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by delicious View Post
    when did cinelli start making their cork tape?
    Certainly available 1984... got it on my '84 Cinelli.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Padded foam was not available in the 1970's.
    Didn't say it was available then, said that's what I like to use now on a vintage bike I'm going to ride...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Certainly available 1984... got it on my '84 Cinelli.
    Thanks.

  17. #17
    4.6692016090 retrofit's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, when did Benotto come out with its non-adhesive cello tape?

    stan

  18. #18
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by family_belly View Post
    Out of curiosity, when did Benotto come out with its non-adhesive cello tape?

    stan
    I was using it in 1982, so before then. Specifically, I would wrap Benotto on top of fresh Tressostar.
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  19. #19
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Anyone have any orange Tressostar cloth-tape? It's been discontinued. I have 2 rolls of the green - also discontinued - that I'd trade.

    Both the cork and Benotto -over-Tressostar sound intriguing. Might give that a shout for my next project.
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  20. #20
    4.6692016090 retrofit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Anyone have any orange Tressostar cloth-tape? It's been discontinued. I have 2 rolls of the green - also discontinued - that I'd trade.

    Both the cork and Benotto -over-Tressostar sound intriguing. Might give that a shout for my next project.
    Here is a source for orange Tressostar.

    I, too may try the Benotto-over-Tressostar (light blue over white) when I get to that point on my Bianchi.


    stan

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by family_belly View Post
    Here is a source for orange Tressostar.

    I, too may try the Benotto-over-Tressostar (light blue over white) when I get to that point on my Bianchi.


    stan
    Thank you! Been looking everywhere but there. I ordered 4 rolls.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    In the 70s used Tressostrar black cloth on single bike.
    Used black leather wrap on our tandem. The leather wrap had holes punched in it and had to use a large needle and sew the leather wrap onto the bar. Wet the leather first for a tighter fit when it dried on the bars.
    Held up for at least 40,000 miles.

  23. #23
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If anyone reading this is thinking of leather bar-tape (or any type of bar-tape), here is my way with it: I don't wet it, but I give it 2 wraps around the top of the bar - while pulling it tight. It will stretch a bit. Then I give it another 1/2 wrap and begin the journey down to the end of the bar, stuffing the excess into the bar-ends and cap them tightly. I use Velox bar-caps, the ones with the screw in the center, and twist them in in the same direction of travel as I wrapped.

    Then I apply Brook's Proofide to the tape generously and let it sit overnight/day. And remove excess with a soft towel as I buff them.

    I've never had a handlebar-tape unravel on me. And top-down was the way everyone wrapped bars. If someone were to show his bike with the bars wrapped bottom-top, people would have laughed at him and considered it a joke!

    I was curious as to how the trend of bottom-to-top taping came about. People directed me to an Italian racer demonstrating "how to wrap handlebars." It was a video. I guess people thought "This MUST be the right way! He wins races!" And it picked up steam and roared across the land. Now people expect it done - and finished with a gob of electrical (or something) tape.

    So the guy was a racer. He wins races. But what does he know about mechanics? If his other 'tips & tricks' are as good as his bar-taping, I wouldn't even let him change a tire on one of my machines.

    So there's a flashback to the 1970's. That's the way we did/do it. Please be aware this option has been existing longer than the bottom-to-top method.
    Last edited by Panthers007; 01-26-09 at 05:23 PM.
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  24. #24
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    When I built my first "serious" bike in 1985, I wrapped Tressostar from top down, as I had when I rode a Schwinn. Maybe it had something to do with wearing leather cycling gloves, but the more serious I got about putting miles on, the worse the bar looked from fraying and rolling down -- and I did wrap tightly. Since I started wrapping from bottom up (and from inside over the top and over to outside), I've been much happier with both the comfort of the bars, and it wears better too. I've started to finish the top end with hemp twine, (threads are here for that), which looks Old Skool, even if it is not.

    I'm going to try Cinelli tape on a 1980s build, but I really like the feel of the cotton. +1 on using more than one layer (or just wrapping a new layer over the old first layer) for a bit more cush.

    70s racers typically had white tape and black saddles -- cf. A Sunday in Hell. Was it Bernard Hinault who was the clean freak and liked new tape for every race/stage because he needed "a clean place to put my hands"?

  25. #25
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Cotton:


    Cotton:






    Benotto (forgive the gap):


    Suede (!):


    -Kurt

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