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  1. #1
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    Replacing bar tape

    Hello,

    A little background, I am the type of person that gets very nervous quickly. I am doing a two day event tomorrow benefiting cancer research and I wanted to try to add gel pads to my handle bars. I have watched the videos but given the fact I am a nervous person to begin with, is this something I can do myself? Which bar tape replacement would you suggest? I was looking at the fizik gel and microtex tape.

    Sincerely
    Still a very nervous newbie

  2. #2
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Bartape wrapping is pretty easy as long as you aren't a perfectionist.

    If you are really worried get the shop to do it and maybe ask to watch.
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    The more important question is what color are you using?

  4. #4
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    ahsposo shop told me they are busy today, my fault I didn't decide sooner I guess.
    kenji, bike is white, saddle is black, currently have white but thinking to change to black tape.

  5. #5
    RT
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    Black tape vote here. One of my cycling pet-peeves is adhesive-backed tape. It is unnecessary. If you don't yet have gel pads, just go on down to your local Walgreens and get some thin shoe insoles/inserts. Use scissors to cut appropriately shaped pieces and place under the tape as you get to that point. Use electrical tape to secure the ends, start at the bottom of the drop. To minimize frustration, cut a few 4"-5" pieces of tape prior to wrapping so you don't have to do it at the end.

    Or just do what I do and use an old tube. It looks pretty cool in a shabby-chic kind of way.

    Last edited by RT; 07-05-13 at 09:01 AM.

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    or you can wrap an old tube before adding the new bar tape.
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  7. #7
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    or you can wrap an old tube before adding the new bar tape.
    You beat me to my edit. Also a good solution.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    or you can wrap an old tube before adding the new bar tape.
    I don't understand.
    do you mean practice on an old tube?

  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nassa View Post
    I don't understand.
    do you mean practice on an old tube?
    Wrap the bars with an old tube, then cover with bar tape.

    Good for soaking up the vibrations of rough roads.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nassa View Post
    currently have white but thinking to change to black tape.
    Good call, cause everyone knows you can't keep white bar tape clean.

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    He means to use an old tube as the extra padding that the gel inserts would provide.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Wrap the bars with an old tube, then cover with bar tape.

    Good for soaking up the vibrations of rough roads.
    Never heard that tip before.
    So is the replacing the tape easy enough or I should just wait?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Slaninar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nassa View Post
    Hello,

    A little background, I am the type of person that gets very nervous quickly. I am doing a two day event tomorrow benefiting cancer research and I wanted to try to add gel pads to my handle bars. I have watched the videos but given the fact I am a nervous person to begin with, is this something I can do myself? Which bar tape replacement would you suggest? I was looking at the fizik gel and microtex tape.

    Sincerely
    Still a very nervous newbie
    Relax, take it easy.



    Changing bar tape is easy.
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  14. #14
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Unwrap one side slowly, paying attention to how it was done, esp around the brake hoods. Stop and take a picture or two if you need to jog your memory. Wrapping is one of the easier bike maintenance tasks, but it does take a bit of practice to get a feel for how tight to stretch the wrap, how to deal with the brake hoods and how to finish.

    You could even practice wrapping your bars with the old tape first. The Park Tool site is one of the best tutorials on bar wrapping. You can do it.
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  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Unwrap one side slowly, paying attention to how it was done, esp around the brake hoods. Stop and take a picture or two if you need to jog your memory. Wrapping is one of the easier bike maintenance tasks, but it does take a bit of practice to get a feel for how tight to stretch the wrap, how to deal with the brake hoods and how to finish.

    You could even practice wrapping your bars with the old tape first. The Park Tool site is one of the best tutorials on bar wrapping. You can do it.
    qft.

    wrapping bar tape is not super easy for the recreational cyclist. heck, i think adjusting fd and rd are easier than wrapping tape. how much stretch you put on the tape, how much overlap on the straight versus the curved sections of the drops versus on the straight top, which way you decide to go around the hoods--all not immediately intuitive.

    to echo what others have said,
    practice with your old tape.
    remember the tape on the inside of a curve will automatically overlap more, and the tape on the outside of a curve will automatically overlap less. if you aren't careful with the overlap, you will have an area of bare bar. that is calamity to OCD'ers (OCPD'ers).
    consider a bottom layer of nonstick tape underneath the bar tape to minimize slippage. nothing more annoying than bar tape unraveling toward your bar plugs.
    if you don't have a soldering iron to melt your bar tape in place near your stem, wrap multiple times with electical tape and PULL to stretch the electrical tape. electrical tape sticks a lot better when it is on stretch...that's the way it was designed.

    but using old tubes as bar tape is ingenious. do you slice it open for a single layer, or just smush it flat?

  17. #17
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Or you could try something like this, the double wrap technique shown here with Lizardskin tape is very cushy and comfortable.

  18. #18
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    Just go to youtube and search for handlebar tape - you'll find lots of video examples. It's not hard.

    J.

  19. #19
    Senior Member 99Klein's Avatar
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    First: LOVE the tube liner idea.
    Second: YouTube
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  20. #20
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    What can possibly be difficult about wrapping bar tape?
    It's only slightly harder than applying butter to toast.

  21. #21
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    If you want padding, I suggest not bothering witht the gel and to just use the Bontrager gel tape. It is so thick and squishy that after I put a new wrap on my bars, I can barely get my fingers around it!
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Fiery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqroot3 View Post
    consider a bottom layer of nonstick tape underneath the bar tape to minimize slippage. nothing more annoying than bar tape unraveling toward your bar plugs.
    if you don't have a soldering iron to melt your bar tape in place near your stem, wrap multiple times with electical tape and PULL to stretch the electrical tape. electrical tape sticks a lot better when it is on stretch...that's the way it was designed.
    I've never had bar tape unravel toward the plugs or any other way, and I finish it off with two to three wraps of electrical tape, only one of which is stretched in order to cover the edge of the bar tape. None of that soldering iron mess either. If you find yourself pulling and twisting the bar tops enough to break the finishing tape adhesive, you need to learn to relax your grip a bit.

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