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Wrapping a handle bar with cotton tape?

Old 07-18-19, 04:32 PM
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robertj298 
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Wrapping a handle bar with cotton tape?

I've watched some videos on this and several say you can wrap cloth tape from the middle of the bars down. So do you wrap around the brake hoods the same way you would coming from the opposite direction? I also noticed when they wrap this way they don't use any tape at the beginning of the bar in the center. Will the bar tape hold there by itself? Thanks
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Old 07-18-19, 04:49 PM
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Begin with the tape straight, then begin angling as you complete the first wrap. I always cut a couple inches off first to go around the brake hoods. Newbaumís Tape makes this easy as itís a longer roll.
I was taught to wrap dry, and thatís generally how I do it, but some folks suggest soaking the roll in warm water before wrapping. I have done it a few times that way and it is noticeably easier to do tight curved sections. The downside is the adhesive loses its effectiveness when wet. Itís fine once it dries, but the trade off is itís harder to manage the roll when itís all trying to unravel.
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Old 07-18-19, 04:55 PM
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I never heard of soaking the cotton tape on water first. You learn something everyday. I also started from the center and worked my way to the end with a cut piece of tape for the brake area. At the the end, just fold the tape inside the tube and put in the bar end.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:07 PM
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This is how I wrap handlebar tape, be it cloth or rubberized cork. For cloth tape, which is a little harder to work with, I start in the middle and wrap towards the ends, allowing the end caps to secure the wrap. These days, I always use this style of end cap. They never come loose and look very vintage, in my opinion...



I make darn sure that the brake levers are exactly where I want them to be BEFORE wrapping. This means, bike built and and road worthy. Ride it and adjust lever position, up down tilt in out or what ever. When satisfied, using clear packing tape or something similar, temporarily tape the lever clamps into position, doing your best to ensure that they do not move once wrapping starts...



Start your wrap at the middle, working towards the ends. The ribbon end faces forward to begin (this will help prevent loosening when in use during rides). Start with one full cover wrap then begin to angle the ribbon to achieve partial coverage each wrap. Look at what you are doing. Compare each wrap, focusing on "is it about the same width exposed as the preceding one". Move the ribbon, which is ALWAYS under considerable tension, until things do look even and ensure that you eliminate any loose edges or wrinkles before moving on to the next wrap. Keep going always with tension and always comparing the present wrap to the one before.


Maintaining tension, considerable tension on the tape, continue but be forewarned. When you get into curves the wraps will not be as uniform looking. Again, seek pleasing appearance, making each wrap as similar as possible to the one before it. It is in the curves where wrinkles and gaps could be an issue. Be patient, try different tensions and positions until all looks good. Go on to the next wrap.

This is a forgiving task that can be backed up on, time and again, as one attempts to get it right. Give it a try. It is not as difficult as one might think. All that said...

I am always a bit fatigues after wrapping bars. Just keeping the tension strong can be tiring. And tension is the key to nicely wrapped bars. My opinion, of course...
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Old 07-18-19, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I also noticed when they wrap this way they don't use any tape at the beginning of the bar in the center. Will the bar tape hold there by itself? Thanks
Is that where they fold the end so it's kind of 'captured' by the wrap? I've never done it this way, but it's a tried and true method, so I don't think you'll have any problems.

Personally I like the twine finish:



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Old 07-18-19, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
This is how I wrap handlebar tape, be it cloth or rubberized cork. For cloth tape, which is a little harder to work with, I start in the middle and wrap towards the ends, allowing the end caps to secure the wrap. These days, I always use this style of end cap. They never come loose and look very vintage, in my opinion...



I make darn sure that the brake levers are exactly where I want them to be BEFORE wrapping. This means, bike built and and road worthy. Ride it and adjust lever position, up down tilt in out or what ever. When satisfied, using clear packing tape or something similar, temporarily tape the lever clamps into position, doing your best to ensure that they do not move once wrapping starts...



Start your wrap at the middle, working towards the ends. The ribbon end faces forward to begin (this will help prevent loosening when in use during rides). Start with one full cover wrap then begin to angle the ribbon to achieve partial coverage each wrap. Look at what you are doing. Compare each wrap, focusing on "is it about the same width exposed as the preceding one". Move the ribbon, which is ALWAYS under considerable tension, until things do look even and ensure that you eliminate any loose edges or wrinkles before moving on to the next wrap. Keep going always with tension and always comparing the present wrap to the one before.


Maintaining tension, considerable tension on the tape, continue but be forewarned. When you get into curves the wraps will not be as uniform looking. Again, seek pleasing appearance, making each wrap as similar as possible to the one before it. It is in the curves where wrinkles and gaps could be an issue. Be patient, try different tensions and positions until all looks good. Go on to the next wrap.

This is a forgiving task that can be backed up on, time and again, as one attempts to get it right. Give it a try. It is not as difficult as one might think. All that said...

I am always a bit fatigues after wrapping bars. Just keeping the tension strong can be tiring. And tension is the key to nicely wrapped bars. My opinion, of course...
Good post, some real good advice in it.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Is that where they fold the end so it's kind of 'captured' by the wrap? I've never done it this way, but it's a tried and true method, so I don't think you'll have any problems.

Personally I like the twine finish:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO8DcaOJzrA
From what I could tell they started in the middle and wrapped 2 times straight around then just angled from there. What I am wondering is if you need to do anything to the start to keep it from unraveling?
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Old 07-18-19, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
From what I could tell they started in the middle and wrapped 2 times straight around then just angled from there. What I am wondering is if you need to do anything to the start to keep it from unraveling?
The adhesive on the tape will hold it to prevent unraveling.
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Old 07-18-19, 10:12 PM
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I've never tried the wrapping from the levers out method, but if you are wrapping the top section upward, yeah, you will need to secure the end with tape or twine. You can use superglue if you want to be stealthier.

Seems like a lot of trouble for not much benefit, but if it works for people, more power to 'em. I prefer to wrap cotton from the top down, the old school way. No tape or twine required. Being fidgety, I tend to shred tape quickly regardless, and it makes little to no difference which way I wrap. If anything top down holds up a bit better for me.
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Old 07-19-19, 01:46 AM
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The middle-out wrap can work with thin tape -- cloth or old style cello -- because the "wrong-way" edges don't peel up as easily. Some folks varnish the cloth wrap so it's even less likely to snag.

I've tried the middle-out wrap with foam tape and it doesn't work as well unless the thicker tape has beveled or skived edges, so they lay flat. I wrapped some thick Arundel Synth Gecko that way a month or so ago. It almost worked, but I didn't have the right bar end plugs to hold it properly without cutting the tape against the bare metal edges. But it looked better -- no need for tape.
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Old 07-19-19, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
From what I could tell they started in the middle and wrapped 2 times straight around then just angled from there. What I am wondering is if you need to do anything to the start to keep it from unraveling?
I've done it this way for almost 50 years and never had one unravel.

I'll put my two cents in here, because there are pros and cons of wrapping in either direction. Wrapping from the bar-end is more complicated, but the wrap lays down nicer. Wrapping from the middle is clean and easy, but the trailing edge of the wrap is left exposed. Its not covered over by the next wrap, so Its easier (albeit slightly) to snag or roll it over with your hands. Either way, tape is cheap, and replaceable. Eventually everyone finds out how they like it.
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