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Bought a bike with bar tape all Wonky. Fix or replace?

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Bought a bike with bar tape all Wonky. Fix or replace?

Old 10-27-21, 07:19 PM
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RoadWearier
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Bought a bike with bar tape all Wonky. Fix or replace?



This was the way the bike came. The end was secured with a layer of electrical tape. Insert eye roll here.

So I tried to peel off the electrical tape and re-wrap it. There was some glue on the inside that while not dry didn't seem to be doing its job so I just retaped with electrical tape again. Is there a better glue to use? The wrap itself is ok just wasn't covering the part if the bars I need covered. Havent had a chance to see if it will work.
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Old 10-27-21, 07:25 PM
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"Splurge" and get new tape. You know some random stranger's sweaty hands have been all over that tape. Not to mention pee hands and snot hands....
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Old 10-27-21, 07:43 PM
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Ew.

And whoever was the previous owner started at the top & wrapped down. It's no wonder it sloughed off.

You start at the bottom of the drops, wrapping the tape inboard at the bottom & up/over/outboard at the top of the tube, wrapping round & round, then going up at the inboard side of the shifter over the top. If done properly, The tops are always wraping towards you so that as you roll your wrists back the tape is tightened.


If you see a video with Dan Lloyd, he starts wrong but finished right. So, there you go.
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Old 10-27-21, 07:57 PM
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Really?
Tim
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Old 10-28-21, 02:03 AM
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That stem also looks hideous and unsafe.
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Old 10-28-21, 04:58 AM
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What is your intention for the bike? To own and ride? Then there is no question.

To re-sell? Then do the buyer a favor and replace the tape tastefully. That means no splatter pattern. Choose a contrasting shade, light grey or yellow, maybe an aqua blue.

I agree on the stem comment. Yikes. Any why the interrupter levers with no standard levers? This set-up takes away the natural "on the hoods" hand position that so many riders enjoy. Anyway, my thoughts.
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Old 10-28-21, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
That stem also looks hideous and unsafe.
Can you explain? I'm new to cycling. I've ridden about 30 miles over the past couple days and it felt pretty solid to me. Why is it unsafe? I guess "hideous" is subjective.
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Old 10-28-21, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
What is your intention for the bike? To own and ride? Then there is no question.

To re-sell? Then do the buyer a favor and replace the tape tastefully. That means no splatter pattern. Choose a contrasting shade, light grey or yellow, maybe an aqua blue.

I agree on the stem comment. Yikes. Any why the interrupter levers with no standard levers? This set-up takes away the natural "on the hoods" hand position that so many riders enjoy. Anyway, my thoughts.
This is my first fixed gear bike. I am missing not riding on the hoods a bit but it's not a deal killer. I am thinking about buying flat bars though.
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Old 10-28-21, 05:21 AM
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I would suspect that bike was crashed. The fork looks a little bent. The stem appears to be the wrong size for the bar, you have no regular levers and yet the brakes themselves look like newer ones. I would buy new Tektro road levers and leave the cross levers on too if they are truly that type, and look for a stem that fits correctly, and then put new tape on. It would look like this:
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Old 10-28-21, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
"Splurge" and get new tape. You know some random stranger's sweaty hands have been all over that tape. Not to mention pee hands and snot hands....
Geez dude! Are you one of those guys who won't shake other people's hands because of germs? Who pees on their handlebars? Is that how cyclists greet each other?
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Old 10-28-21, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier View Post
Geez dude! Are you one of those guys who won't shake other people's hands because of germs? Who pees on their handlebars? Is that how cyclists greet each other?
Want to buy some used bibs? Ride awhile and you'll figure it out! Meanwhile, I agree the handlebar and stem are not correctly matched, bar is too fat. I wouldn't ride it like that.
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Old 10-28-21, 06:11 AM
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Nevermind the tape. It looks like you have a stem with a 24.5mm diameter handlebar clamp, but someone tried to use handlebars with a 31.8mm diameter. You need either a new stem, or a set of handlebars that are the right diameter for the existing stem. And you need a set of brake levers. No telling what else is going on with that bike - it looks like maybe a parts-bin Frankenbike by someone that didn't know what they were doing. But it's all fixable. Get the handlebars/stem/brake lever situation sorted out, then worry about tape.
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Old 10-28-21, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Nevermind the tape. It looks like you have a stem with a 24.5mm diameter handlebar clamp, but someone tried to use handlebars with a 31.8mm diameter. You need either a new stem, or a set of handlebars that are the right diameter for the existing stem. And you need a set of brake levers. No telling what else is going on with that bike - it looks like maybe a parts-bin Frankenbike by someone that didn't know what they were doing. But it's all fixable. Get the handlebars/stem/brake lever situation sorted out, then worry about tape.
It doesn't seem loose or anything. I'm pretty sure this is how it came stock from Nashbar. But of course you guys know a lot more than I do. I was thinking of getting flat bars for it anyway, could I just do that?


Is the concern that the handlebars could loosen up? Break?


I just spoke to the guy I bought it from. He seems like a very normal middle aged gentleman. He ordered it directly from Nashbar when they were still in business. Maybe this bike is a little bit of a situation of a company that was trying to capitalize on the hipster fixed gear thing a while back. I'm a pretty good judge of character and I'm pretty sure this guy isn't flipping bikes from a parts bin in his basement. I don't even thinks he rides much. i only paid $125 for it so I think I'm just going to ride it and enjoy it. If the handlebars explode or whatever you think is going to happen you can say "I told you so,"

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Old 10-28-21, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Want to buy some used bibs? Ride awhile and you'll figure it out! Meanwhile, I agree the handlebar and stem are not correctly matched, bar is too fat. I wouldn't ride it like that.
When the bike spontaneously combusts, you can be the first person who says, "I told you so."

PS How much are the bibs? I wash my clothes and re-wear them all the time. Gross, huh?
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Old 10-28-21, 07:03 AM
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If it were my bike, I would follow the advice given. Add proper brake levers, replace either the stem or the bar so they are correct, and spend the insignificant money on fresh bar tape.

But apparently the OP wants to argue, not accept the advice that he asked for...
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Old 10-28-21, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier View Post


This was the way the bike came. The end was secured with a layer of electrical tape. Insert eye roll here.

So I tried to peel off the electrical tape and re-wrap it. There was some glue on the inside that while not dry didn't seem to be doing its job so I just retaped with electrical tape again. Is there a better glue to use? The wrap itself is ok just wasn't covering the part if the bars I need covered. Havent had a chance to see if it will work.
Iíd just replace the tape - itís cheap. Riding on someone elseís old bar tape is like wearing someone elseís sweaty T shirt. Iíd pass.
Nothing wrong with properly installed electrical tape - looks OK, does the job.
Iím echoing someone elseís concern about the stem. It looks to me like the bars are too wide for the bar clamp - not just because of the excessive amount of bolt thread showing, but the rear part of the clamp looks mismatched to the diameter of the bar. The bar looks jammed in there, and the bar is getting gouged up as a result. I wouldnít ride this setup for very long
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Old 10-28-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mprince View Post
If it were my bike, I would follow the advice given. Add proper brake levers, replace either the stem or the bar so they are correct, and spend the insignificant money on fresh bar tape.

But apparently the OP wants to argue, not accept the advice that he asked for...

​​​​I really just asked about the tape not about the brakes handlebars, stem or anything else but I respect the opinions of people who have been riding longer than I have. I might look around for flat bars as that seems to make the most sense. That way I could use the same brakes I guess.

I guess what I'm hearing is me asking a question about handlebar tape and the "experts" telling me my bike is a piece of **** that is going to...I don't know what...any minute now. But I appreciate the advice any way I guess.
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Old 10-28-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Iíd just replace the tape - itís cheap. Riding on someone elseís old bar tape is like wearing someone elseís sweaty T shirt. Iíd pass.
Nothing wrong with properly installed electrical tape - looks OK, does the job.
Iím echoing someone elseís concern about the stem. It looks to me like the bars are too wide for the bar clamp - not just because of the excessive amount of bolt thread showing, but the rear part of the clamp looks mismatched to the diameter of the bar. The bar looks jammed in there, and the bar is getting gouged up as a result. I wouldnít ride this setup for very long
Ok well that makes sense. So it's the width of the bars not the diameter? Maybe that's why Nashbar is out of business I guess. I'm still trying to figure out what is going to happen. Is the concern that the bars will come loose? Or that they will bend because they are too wide? I weigh 170 pounds and am 5'10" so not super skinny but not super heavy either
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Old 10-28-21, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier View Post
So it's the width of the bars not the diameter? Maybe that's why Nashbar is out of business I guess. I'm still trying to figure out what is going to happen. Is the concern that the bars will come loose? Or that they will bend because they are too wide? I weigh 170 pounds and am 5'10" so not super skinny but not super heavy either
No, the problem is the center diameter of the bars is larger than the stem clamp is designed to fit. That mismatch can gouge the bars and lead to eventual failure. This is not a trivial mis-match and you really don't want to have the bars snap while you are riding. . Either get the proper diameter bars or a stem with the correct bar clamp or, better yet, replace both.

BTW, Nashbar is not out of business. They were bought by Performance years ago and now are just a Performance clone. Both Performance and Nashbar closed their brick-and-mortar retail shops a few years ago and are now only on-line dealers.
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Old 10-28-21, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier View Post
Ok well that makes sense. So it's the width of the bars not the diameter? Maybe that's why Nashbar is out of business I guess. I'm still trying to figure out what is going to happen. Is the concern that the bars will come loose? Or that they will bend because they are too wide? I weigh 170 pounds and am 5'10" so not super skinny but not super heavy either
I think I have the same worries as some of the other posters have mentioned that the stem was made for a bar with a smaller diameter clamp area but hard to say for certain as the photo doesn't clearly show it. If it is you run a pretty good risk that the clamp of the stem will develop a crack from being bent and/or the handlebars will do the same from being distorted by the clamp. Aluminum doesn't like to be bent or gouged much before it starts to crack. Either way it's one of the most dangerous places to have your parts fail and could be without much notice. Others were just giving you wise advice, not slagging off on your bike.

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Old 10-28-21, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I would suspect that bike was crashed. The fork looks a little bent.
This didn't seem to get any traction amongst all the other fussing so lets see if I can bump it for a comment or two from the OP.

I too thought the view looking down the headtube to the fork ends a little odd. Maybe a profile pic of the bike will help.
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Old 10-28-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
I think I have the same worries as some of the other posters have mentioned that the stem was made for a bar with a smaller diameter clamp area but hard to say for certain as the photo doesn't clearly show it. If it is you run a pretty good risk that the clamp of the stem will develop a crack from being bent or the handlebars will do the same from being distorted by the clamp. Aluminum doesn't like to be bent or gouged much before it starts to crack. Either way it's one of the most dangerous places to have your parts fail and could be without much notice. Others were just giving you wise advice not slagging off on your bike.
Ok fair enough. Any suggestions on type of bars? Not sure I really need drops. I'll be using it for city riding and occasionally for slow (11mph) group rides of 30 miles. Some hills but no mountains. These are older folks getting brisk exercise not triathletes competing for prize money.

Also money is tight so I'd like to get something cheap but not dangerous. Also what size bar? Do you think flats? Bullhorns? The ones that look like figure 8's when viewed from above?

Sorry to be snippy. Guess I'm a little disappointed about the bars.
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Old 10-28-21, 09:03 AM
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I think the bars and stem are ok, to me it looks like the bolts for the bar mount were not evenly tightened. I bet the bottom has almost no gap. Steel stem is not common.
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Old 10-28-21, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier View Post
Ok well that makes sense. So it's the width of the bars not the diameter? Maybe that's why Nashbar is out of business I guess. I'm still trying to figure out what is going to happen. Is the concern that the bars will come loose? Or that they will bend because they are too wide? I weigh 170 pounds and am 5'10" so not super skinny but not super heavy either
sorry if I wasnít clear - bar diameter is the issue - itís too big for your stem clamp. It may be fine, but youíre setting up for eventual bar failure - bad because this would be a potentially life-changing failure, and when Al goes, it doesnít give much warning. Al straight bars are a viable option, and theyíre pretty cheap. If youíre not sure of the stem clamp diameter, get the narrowest diam bars you can - you can always build up the diam with a beer can shim if necessary. The trick is for the stem to clamp the bar evenly all the way around, not digging into isolated sections, which looks like the case at the moment
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Old 10-28-21, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I think the bars and stem are ok, to me it looks like the bolts for the bar mount were not evenly tightened. I bet the bottom has almost no gap. Steel stem is not common.
That may be the issue. I'm wondering if the seller had to partially assemble the bike (handlebars and wrap) and wasn't too mechanically inclined/didn't no what he was doing. I really don't think a company like Nashbar would stay in business long if they were putting incorrect handlebars on bikes and I REALLY don't believe this guy rode this bike to wreck it and then scrounge handlebars from another source. This guy seemed pretty well-to-do and I think if he wrecked the bike that badly it would be in the trash. Not saying all well-to-do business types are saints but...
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