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first drop bar tape attempt... how long to live with my ineptitude?!?

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first drop bar tape attempt... how long to live with my ineptitude?!?

Old 07-04-22, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
I've seen some people use a gauge to keep the wrap even.
Geez. I just count the number of times it goes around the bar on each section and figure that's close enough. Hadn't even thought of taking a caliper to it.
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Old 07-05-22, 01:01 AM
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Looks better than my wrap job. I would keep myself then just redo it with new tape in few months like everyone else said. I start from the drops because everyone said so. seems to be about 50/50 on which direction to wrap though ha-ha.

For the people that wrap handle bars at least 4x a year what's your favorite practical bar tape? more concerned about how it last etc vs you a bar tape that just looks/feels better.
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Old 07-05-22, 07:20 AM
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I *sorta* get starting from the top down, if finishing tape is that much anathema for you. However, I will never be able to wrap my head around the absolute absurdity and waste of time to start from the brake levers and wrap in either direction. I had never even heard of such a technique before I came here.
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Old 07-05-22, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Geez. I just count the number of times it goes around the bar on each section and figure that's close enough. Hadn't even thought of taking a caliper to it.
Ha, yes, a little anul, but I guess it worked for them. It was a thin plastic piece that looked like a large comb.
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Old 07-05-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
How? I just eyeball, but I would not mind if there was a tool for this.
Not sure if it was homemade or purchased.
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Old 07-05-22, 10:04 AM
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I’m not exactly sure why wrapping bars from the center (top down) would make the tape wear out quicker . Perhaps it was meant that the wrap job wouldn’t last as long. I have wrapped bars in both directions in the past and have found both methods resulting in issues. Depending on the type of bar tape used, to my eyes, starting at the center looks “cleaner” (I don’t like the look of the finishing tape required when taping from the bar ends) up top but again depending on the type of tape, can have an unsightly look at the bar ends. RE: the tendency for the tape to loosen and result in gaps, the direction of wrapping is key. Even if wrapping from the bar ends (bottom up), if wrapped in the wrong direction, the tendency described above will occur. IIRC, the accepted “best” method (bottom up) also includes changing wrap direction at the brake hoods. That concept might be the source of the mentioned method of starting at the brake hoods and working out.
This entire issue reminds me of the “moral conflict” in Gulliver’s Travels RE: which end of a soft boiled egg (small end vs large end) is opened when eating it .
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Old 07-05-22, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sovende
I’m not exactly sure why wrapping bars from the center (top down) would make the tape wear out quicker .
You can see in the second photo he posted, the edges of the tape on the drops are facing forward. This could allow those edges to be be curled back when in the drops.

Last edited by smd4; 07-05-22 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 07-07-22, 02:11 PM
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For years, I used to go top down for that clean look, but since I ride without gloves I found the edges to dig into my hands and also just wear out faster. Now I do it from the ends up and live with the electrical tape job on top.
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Old 07-07-22, 03:43 PM
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It doesn't look that bad to me. Next time reduce the aperture. I feel like I need new glasses looking at these photos.
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Old 07-08-22, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Looks fine to me but I agree with other folks. I always start from the bottom. Ride until it needs replacing. And $40 isnít too much except for the cheapskates among us (and they are legion on this site).
agree looks fine. $40 tape is a new one though, i normally don't bother with the tape unless it is getting really bad. i buy bikes used and just wash the tape as needed and generally looks ok.
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Old 07-08-22, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sovende
Iím not exactly sure why wrapping bars from the center (top down) would make the tape wear out quicker . Perhaps it was meant that the wrap job wouldnít last as long. I have wrapped bars in both directions in the past and have found both methods resulting in issues. .......
In my case I tend to be a "lazy" rider and put more weight on my hands. And due to the angle this means there's some forward push. So the direction that results in exposed edges facing forward is better for me. If the edges faced back my lazy habit would result in the tape stretching and curling over and pretty quickly fraying.

I did one set top down early on and learned my lesson when the tape was loose and fraying in only a couple of months due to how I ride.
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Old 07-08-22, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BCRider
In my case I tend to be a "lazy" rider and put more weight on my hands. And due to the angle this means there's some forward push. So the direction that results in exposed edges facing forward is better for me. If the edges faced back my lazy habit would result in the tape stretching and curling over and pretty quickly fraying.

I did one set top down early on and learned my lesson when the tape was loose and fraying in only a couple of months due to how I ride.
yeah itís interesting; iíve been paying attention to where my hands are and 95% of the time iím on the hoods and only the heel of my palm is on the tape, pressing more or less straight down. the tops are good, iím quite sure. but on the drops, i am sometimes pulling ďbackĒ which might in theory be pulling the edges of the tape. time will tell. i see why the figure 8 is a thing, but thatís a lot of extra tape that i didnít have with the pitch i used. 150 miles in and no signs of wear. fingers crossed.
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Old 07-09-22, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BCRider
In my case I tend to be a "lazy" rider and put more weight on my hands. And due to the angle this means there's some forward push. So the direction that results in exposed edges facing forward is better for me. If the edges faced back my lazy habit would result in the tape stretching and curling over and pretty quickly fraying.

I did one set top down early on and learned my lesson when the tape was loose and fraying in only a couple of months due to how I ride.
Regardless of the direction of ďwrapĒ on my collection of bikes, I just donít seem to have a problem with bar tape fraying. I donít if ďlazyĒ applies to my riding style but I rarely ride ďin the dropsĒ. Mostly on the hoods or tops. I donít find myself putting an excessive degree of weight on the bar so maybe thatís a factor.
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Old 07-09-22, 09:01 AM
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I pretty much just use Cinelli cork tape any more, which some people might classify as "the cheap stuff" since it's less than $20, but it holds up better than any of the more expensive stuff that I've tried. I wasted too much money on Lizard Skins one year, retaping multiple bikes, only to discover it only lasts one season before it starts peeling. Cinelli holds up great, it's a lot cheaper, and is much easier to wrap since it's very stretchy. Look at the reviews on Amazon - most people really like it.
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Old 07-09-22, 09:55 AM
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Never liked the look or feel of the Cinelli tape. I have vinyl now which I like but will soon replace with leather when I can.
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Old 07-09-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I pretty much just use Cinelli cork tape any more, which some people might classify as "the cheap stuff" since it's less than $20, but it holds up better than any of the more expensive stuff that I've tried. I wasted too much money on Lizard Skins one year, retaping multiple bikes, only to discover it only lasts one season before it starts peeling. Cinelli holds up great, it's a lot cheaper, and is much easier to wrap since it's very stretchy. Look at the reviews on Amazon - most people really like it.
Which version? Gel cork or just cork?

Originally Posted by mschwett
... on the drops, i am sometimes pulling “back” which might in theory be pulling the edges of the tape.
Maybe the front of your handlebar is tilted too high so that the drops are at too steep an angle to the ground?

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 07-09-22 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 07-09-22, 10:15 AM
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[QUOTE=SoSmellyAir;22569015]Which version? Gel cork or just cork?
/QUOTE]

This is what I buy.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 07-09-22, 10:39 AM
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Wish there were more easily specs available on tape length. Have tried some tapes that I liked the feel of, but just not enough material to wrap to where I like.
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Old 07-09-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Wish there were more easily specs available on tape length. Have tried some tapes that I liked the feel of, but just not enough material to wrap to where I like.
Yeah, length should be listed. I think you just have to prioritize where your hands go. I start at the drops and wrap with less overlap per loop to leave sufficient length to (1) do the figure 8 at the STI levers and (2) wrap the tops with more overlap, since I use the drops, ramps, and tops more than the drops. But I am switch bars soon so I probably have to learn everything again.
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Old 07-09-22, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Wish there were more easily specs available on tape length. Have tried some tapes that I liked the feel of, but just not enough material to wrap to where I like.
While I agree that would be an easy spec to provide, Iíve never run out of tape. I always need to cut away excess tape.
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Old 07-09-22, 01:05 PM
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If you run short, back it off and then wrap it tighter. I can usually get about 5 extra inches on most tape.
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Old 09-17-22, 08:08 PM
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about 1,300 miles later, it looks pretty much the same as it did on day one. no worse for the wear (but also no better 😂&#128514

i like the slight thickened bit at the inside edge, my hand sits up against it when on the bar tops (which is virtually never)


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