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BENOTTO CELO-CINTA: Got tips for wrapping transparent bar tape?

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BENOTTO CELO-CINTA: Got tips for wrapping transparent bar tape?

Old 12-02-19, 03:56 PM
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deux jambes 
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BENOTTO CELO-CINTA: Got tips for wrapping transparent bar tape?

I love my LBS for keeping this stuff on the shelves for so many years even though they tell me that absolutely no one had ever actually bought it...




Until today that is...





ó ó ó

Iíve ridden with it, so I know what to expect there, but Iíve never wrapped with it...

Typing the instrucciones into Google translator basically informs me to:

íWrap the bars tight. Heat the lead end (w/ flame), and apply pressure to adhere.í

Ok. Simple enough in concept, but for those of you who have dealt with this classic tape before, what tips can you share that might ensure a clean looking successful wrap job?

Iíd like to wrap from the bar ends up, and Iím hoping I can avoid having to tie the tape off. Should I expect the heat treatment be sufficient to hold the termination point? If not, I suppose a fine monofilament would work as an incognito finish.

And lastly, what should I be aware of in general in regards to wrapping celo-cinto?

The bike still needs to be built, but when the time finally comes to wrap these bars, I know Iíll greatly appreciate your shared experience here. Thanks all!

Last edited by deux jambes; 12-02-19 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:08 PM
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My advice is buy 2 sets of that tape .... just in case you mess up , even if you don't you will have more of it and it is beautiful. I have used the heat method , but to be honest as crazy as it sounds my mini glue gun worked wonders and clean up was easy just use it sparingly . I am interested to hear what others have done .
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Old 12-02-19, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kalker View Post
My advice is buy 2 sets of that tape .... just in case you mess up , even if you don't you will have more of it and it is beautiful. I have used the heat method , but to be honest as crazy as it sounds my mini glue gun worked wonders and clean up was easy just use it sparingly . I am interested to hear what others have done .
I remember not having access to heat as a kid (a lighter was a bit risky), and used cellophane tape to get it started.

If it doesn't work, you have ribbon for birthday gifts...
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Old 12-02-19, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kalker View Post
My advice is buy 2 sets of that tape .... just in case you mess up..,
Does that mean the tape isnít as forgiving as other types? I could easily imagine a certain amount of stretch or deformity takes place once itís wrapped tight. If so, it would seem that a ďre-doĒ might not come out very well.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:54 PM
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The way I used to do it when I worked in a bike shop was to wrap from the top down. (I'd cut a small length off to cover the brake-lever clamp first which would make the roll that much shorter). I'd put a small piece of scotch-type tape on the start end on top of the bar to keep it from sliding and wrap very tightly. Tuck what's left into the bar and cap it or plug it. (Looks like yours come with both?). I found that the smoother wraps like this one didn't have too much of a shingling-direction issue compared to cork tape, for example. Be careful, though; if you think you want to overlap a lot, give the brake-clamp snippet a miss - but it does look better if it is covered - in my opinion.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:51 PM
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I've wrapped it both ways: up and down. The melting the end thing does work, but you might want to reinforce it by wicking in a drop of superthin superglue. Don't get to vigorous with the flame or you will light the stuff. Scotch tape works fine, if you really need termination.

For my own bike BITD, I'd wrap this stuff top down. Most people did it that way during the great Benotto Cello tape craze, as that was still the common way to wrap. Bottom to top was a bit foreign and European or something...
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Old 12-02-19, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post

For my own bike BITD, I'd wrap this stuff top down. Most people did it that way during the great Benotto Cello tape craze...
And the celo tape held in place well?

Iíve wrapped from top down once, but that was with cotton tape. The thick overlapping edges tended to curl forward under weight.

I suppose that as thin as the celo tape is, this shouldnít be a worry as long as the wrap is good and tight?
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Old 12-02-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
And the celo tape held in place well?

Iíve wrapped from top down once, but that was with cotton tape. The thick overlapping edges tended to curl forward under weight.

I suppose that as thin as the celo tape is, this shouldnít be a worry as long as the wrap is good and tight?
I used the stuff religiously bitd, and wrapped from the top down, affixed with cellophane tape and reinforced with electrical tape as finishing tape. Yes, the edges on the upper part of the bend will curl over time if you use the top/bottom method, but guess what? If you wrap bottom/top, the tape will curl from use on the bottom part of the bar. I guess it all depends where you want the curling to occur

As far as the heat thing, I never bothered - I just wrapped it about 1/2" longer at the end of the bar, folded it inside and installed the bar end caps. Works like a charm. Stretch it a bit when mounting.

Here's what my recent use of Benotto tape looked like after completion:



DD
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Old 12-02-19, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
I guess it all depends where you want the curling to occur

Bella Bianchi!

Ok. Good tips. Hadnít thought about curling at the bends. Being that I ride 95% in the hoods, Iím good with the plan to wrap from the top. It seems a simpler approach anyway.
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Old 12-02-19, 07:41 PM
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Try placing one end of the tape on the right side bar top, with the rest of the tape roll pointing forward and to the left at an angle. Use scotch tape to tape that end to the bar. Then fold the tape over the part you just taped down, so the tape roll is now pointing forward and to the right. Now wrap. The taped end is hidden under the rest of the tape.
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Old 12-02-19, 07:42 PM
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I always wrapped bottom up in the olden days, and lit a match to stick the end. The hot glue is probably a good solution.
Wrapped some 44 width Noodles recently and barely had enough length - and thatís with minimal overlap. I did that wrap top down and used Velox plugs.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
I used the stuff religiously bitd, and wrapped from the top down, affixed with cellophane tape and reinforced with electrical tape as finishing tape. Yes, the edges on the upper part of the bend will curl over time if you use the top/bottom method, but guess what? If you wrap bottom/top, the tape will curl from use on the bottom part of the bar. I guess it all depends where you want the curling to occur

As far as the heat thing, I never bothered - I just wrapped it about 1/2" longer at the end of the bar, folded it inside and installed the bar end caps. Works like a charm. Stretch it a bit when mounting.

Here's what my recent use of Benotto tape looked like after completion:



DD
Just need to say, nice bike. Very nice. Blue tape is the correct color for celeste Bianchis, especially light to medium blue. Few seem to understand. White is the only other option. Celeste - no thank you.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:41 PM
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Do you use Benotto only for a period correct vintage 70s (edit: 80s?) bike?

Anyone using Benotto tape on a more modern bike, e.g. a retro roadie or a all-neu ride?

Last edited by jyl; 12-03-19 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
And the celo tape held in place well?

I’ve wrapped from top down once, but that was with cotton tape. The thick overlapping edges tended to curl forward under weight.

I suppose that as thin as the celo tape is, this shouldn’t be a worry as long as the wrap is good and tight?
As I recall it held OK. Honestly I haven't done it since I was maybe 16, so the memory is a little fuzzy.

Top down works better for me, but I'm not on the hoods all the time either. IIRC cello tape doesn't have much tendency to curl. BITD I was racing juniors, which sort of combined raw aggression with poor judgement, and the tape would usually get crashed out before wearing out.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 12-03-19 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 12-03-19, 02:17 AM
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About 20% of my collection has Benotto tape and I also do top-down without any weird curling. As others have said, stretch it a bit or it'll scoot around. The only real tip I can give to anyone working with this stuff is that you can somewhat control the shade you end up with by painting the bars before you wrap. This probably won't affect you since you're doing dark blue, but lighter colors like yellow and white tend to come out a bit dingy since the darker bar material shows through a bit. I just did a set yellow a few days ago and with a coat of yellow paint on the bars it turned out quite a bit brighter than my initial 6" test wrap did. What I look for is color variation between the single-layer areas and the overlapped areas - if the overlaps are a different color and that's the color you want, find some paint.


Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Do you use Benotto only for a period correct vintage 70s bike?

Anyone using Benotto tape on a more modern bike, e.g. a retro roadie or a all-neu ride?
I was under the impression that Benotto was more of an early-'80s phenomenon and that most people rode cotton in the '70s, but I'd be happy to be corrected.
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Old 12-03-19, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cinco View Post
I was under the impression that Benotto was more of an early-'80s phenomenon and that most people rode cotton in the '70s, but I'd be happy to be corrected.
That is correct. Benotto tape craze happened suddenly, and very quickly everyone was using it. I think it was 1981. My reference area is/was norcal and central cal, but I'd guess that's where the trend started, at least in the US. Prior to that, most used cotton, though there were other alternatives. Cello tape had been around for a few years it's true, just not really used. I guess they were using it already in Europe before it caught on in the US.

This happened at almost the same time as skin shorts. Early skin shorts were very shiny compared to modern shorts. Everyone and their bikes were shiny for a couple years.
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Old 12-03-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
As I recall it held OK.

...I was racing juniors, which sort of combined raw aggression with poor judgement, and the tape would usually get crashed out before wearing out.


Right on!

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Old 12-03-19, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cinco View Post
As others have said, stretch it a bit or it'll scoot around.
Great tips about color control. Thanks!

Now when you and others suggest stretching the tape, I take it you mean to give it a few extra tight pulls in between individual wraps?
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Old 12-03-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
Does that mean the tape isn’t as forgiving as other types? I could easily imagine a certain amount of stretch or deformity takes place once it’s wrapped tight. If so, it would seem that a “re-do” might not come out very well.
Top down, as it doesn't "roll" like cloth, and it is very forgiving of re-use/ re-dos in my experience even though you are right about the stretch / deformation. It just stretches / deforms to fit again, even 20+ years later. Totally amazing. As long as you don't mind the lack of cushioning,and like the way it looks, it's great to wrap.

As for stretching, doing it by feel worked fine for me like cotton and "cork" tape, and it stays in place surprisingly well. You can fool around with it a bit without problems, until you are satisfied.

Last edited by Last ride 76; 12-03-19 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 12-03-19, 11:27 AM
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Top down is the only way for this tape or any thin one layer tape IMO.
Oh- and like the above, polish bars to a high shine or paint them.

Last edited by FBOATSB; 12-03-19 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 12-03-19, 11:44 AM
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It is translucent. Clean up the handlebars a bit before wrapping. You could go all the way to a high polish as FBOATSB suggests, but at least get them clean and uniform.
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Old 12-03-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
I love my LBS for keeping this stuff on the shelves for so many years even though they tell me that absolutely no one had ever actually bought it...




Until today that is...
How much did they charge, and what colors do they have...(or alternatively, what is the name of the "local" shop?)
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Old 12-03-19, 12:03 PM
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In my experience, Benotto (and similar tapes) don't play nice with aero cable routing. If you try to move the cable into a specific position(usually up the bars), the tape loosens. It is the ultimate in cleanliness and durability though. Grippy in my perpetually sweaty hands.
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Old 12-03-19, 12:50 PM
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Your tape looks well preserved. Install w/o heat.
If you find it brittle, well, IME, heat or flame will not help.
If you still wish to use brittle tape, then you could tape the ends as I did on this stiff vinyl 'tape'. The vinyl required a wide strip to hold in place securely, with ribbon yours could be more elegant. Black hockey stick tape.

pic to follow.


Last edited by Wildwood; 12-03-19 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 12-03-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by deux jambes View Post
Great tips about color control. Thanks!

Now when you and others suggest stretching the tape, I take it you mean to give it a few extra tight pulls in between individual wraps?
Yep, I wrap it under tension with about 6" of tape stretched between my hand and the bar. Since you don't have any old stuff to play with it may be a bit tough to get a feel for it, but it actually takes quite a bit of force to tear... unless there's a nick in it somewhere (in which case it seems to split lengthwise rather than across the width). I recently taught someone how to wrap with Benotto and the first thing I did was give them an old section and have them stretch it until it broke. Takes a surprising amount of force, but you get weird width variations before that so it's hard to do by accident. The great thing about the stuff is that if you get it wrong and it starts to shift during riding you can usually just rewrap it a bit tighter instead of having to replace it.

Also, for anyone thinking of trying to do a harlequin pattern with Benotto, give up now and save yourself some time. I spent over two hours trying to do a red/yellow pattern last week and would have gotten a better result if I'd just punched myself in the face for the same amount of time. It might be possible with some spray adhesive on the bars, but that seems like the recipe for another type of disaster altogether.
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