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Thread: Bar tape issues

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    Bar tape issues

    Replacing the bar tape on my Jamis I found what I had always suspected. The tape that came from the factory was at least 6 inches longer than the replacement tape I bought. The factory bar tape job was really nice. Why is almost everything in the bike industry not standardized across mfgs?

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    It stretches as you put it on.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Replacing the bar tape on my Jamis I found what I had always suspected. The tape that came from the factory was at least 6 inches longer than the replacement tape I bought. The factory bar tape job was really nice. Why is almost everything in the bike industry not standardized across mfgs?
    If your bike is a flying pigeon, then you can have standardized.....

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    Read the Park Tool website guide to installing handlebar tape. There are other guides that some prefer, but that one will get you through it with a decent looking job at the end.

    I also might suggest if you haven't taped bars before: buy some el-cheapo bar tape (I found some closeout at about $3) and do it with that first. Sometimes those tapes are ugly or just lower quality/feel, but they work fine, especially for practice. Plus, sometimes the "ugly" tape grows on you after you use it for a while. You'll find as the guy above mentioned that you need to stretch it on and it requires a little bit of a touch, but mostly just non-gorilla touch. The stretching is necessary to make it fit nice and snug so it doesn't move. Some tape has really sticky adhesive on it, some doesn't. I've found that if you stretch the tape as you're putting it on, it stays in place very well without any adhesive backing.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Another vote here for tape-stretching.
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    Stretches 6 inches? Think not. And I have built a dozen bikes and taped maybe 2 dozen bars so I know how to do it and make it look good with what they give you in a standard replacement roll. Guess the point is that when you get a replacement item it often is different from the factory stuff.

    I see there is a SOMA tape that is advertised to be extra long, at a premium price no doubt.

    Why is everyone cutting corners on everything these days is another way to put it.

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    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    #3 for stretching. If you put it on right, you can easily stretch out six inches.

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    #3 for stretching. If you put it on right, you can easily stretch out six inches.
    +1
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Combination of how much you stretch it (without it tearing on you at the levers), how you actually wrap it around the levers, and how much overlap you use. I have yet to ever get new tape of any brand that came up short, but I guess it's possible. I always end up having to cut some off at the end.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    The tape that came from the factory was at least 6 inches longer than the replacement tape I bought.
    So what brand replacement tape are you using? Six inches isn't a lot of stretch with some brands (like Bontrager). Cinelli, I'm thinking might not stretch 6" and it's easy to tear if you try to wrap it too tight.

    I'm thinking that tapeing handlebars is a job where experience counts. The more you do it the better you get at knowing how far to overlap and how tight to wrap.

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    Bar taping is easy especially if you have your bike and bars rigidly supported on a repair stand. Bar tapes are usually long enough to do the job unless you have very wide bars.
    Brooks bar tape, for instance, was difficult to wrap since they don't stretch as you pull and wrap.
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    I'm possibly the world's worst bar-taper.

    However, I recently put Fizik on two different bikes and it went very smoothly. Plenty of tape w/a little stretching.

    I've also heard good things about the Soma "extra long" bar tape referenced above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Replacing the bar tape on my Jamis I found what I had always suspected. The tape that came from the factory was at least 6 inches longer than the replacement tape I bought. The factory bar tape job was really nice. Why is almost everything in the bike industry not standardized across mfgs?
    This worked for me. I did it right the first time.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7BY4wKHTM

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    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    I guess I just thought I knew how to wrap my bars until I watched the youtube video posted by 10 Wheels. I have been going around the brakes a little differently than that.

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    Senior Member Rober's Avatar
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    The cork/foam tape is actually the easiest tape I've ever used. The "old" tape for "10 speeds" that I used to use in the '60s and '70's (the thin plastic quilted kind that came in used car lot flag colors) was harder - but it was so cheap you could afford to blow a few jobs. I used to re-tape my 10 speed monthly, because I hated grungy tape. Now, a job with the cork/foam tape usually lasts about a season, if I'm lucky. I've never found any roll of it to be too short for basic drop bars, and I do try to stretch it as much as I can without breaking it. The only tape I've found to be not as easy is Fizik smooth tape - the edges of the winds curled after a while and annoyed me, even though the tape itself was OK.

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    Guess I was looking for someone that agreed about cutting corners on everything but the majority seems to accept the fact that you get what you get.

    The tape I used on this bike was Profile Design brand but I would bet most brands come out of one factory in Taiwan. I don't spend for premium tape as I have found that the "good" stuff lasts no longer than stuff like Profile, BBB or other brands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Guess I was looking for someone that agreed about cutting corners on everything but the majority seems to accept the fact that you get what you get.

    The tape I used on this bike was Profile Design brand but I would bet most brands come out of one factory in Taiwan. I don't spend for premium tape as I have found that the "good" stuff lasts no longer than stuff like Profile, BBB or other brands.
    It takes some getting used to, but the amount of stretch - with experience - can be controlled in the process so you end up just at the right place. Six inches of tape or area left to cover - big difference.

    Be sure and wrap clockwise on the right and counter clockwise on the left starting from the drops.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
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    One interesting aspect about bar taping that I learned a few days ago: if you have bar-end shifters (i.e., barcons) and you have the shifter housings exit the bars conventionally at the front of the drops (rather than attempting to wrap them all the way up the bars which requires extra-long housings), you want to wrap from top to bottom rather than bottom to top. Otherwise, you'll end up with an ugly non-overlapping section at the exit point.

    - Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Guess I was looking for someone that agreed about cutting corners on everything but the majority seems to accept the fact that you get what you get.
    I got the gist of your second post. I was thinking that bar tape is about the only "hard" consumable on a bike where there could be corners cut.

    Although... I noticed that chains come in various lengths (determined by number of links) these days, so you need to be careful you have enough to cover the big-big options on the gears.

    I suppose you could be short-changed on lubricants that have more solvent than slippery stuff mixed in. You could say that people are losing out on lower-spoke counts with wheels, too.

    But the one significant area that seems rife to cheating is weights. The weightweenies website shows this as much as anything else apart from kitchen scales.

    As to bar tape... I bought some Easton tape to go on some Easton EC70 bars with the flat flats, and just as well there was some stretch in it -- it took me three goes each side to get the tape anywhere near the right spot near the stem. And I am still not happy.

    Incidentally, someone asked me quite a long time ago why I start taping from the bar-end rather than at the stem. It had me perplexed for a while, until one day I was riding along with my bullhorn-equipped FG (which had been wrapped from stem out) and saw the tape was oriented so my hands, as they pushed forward, were lifting the edges of the tape and bunching it. Answer right there.
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