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Installing bar-end shifters after bars are taped

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Installing bar-end shifters after bars are taped

Old 06-02-22, 12:00 PM
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Installing bar-end shifters after bars are taped

I recently decided to convert a just-rebuilt bike from downtube shifters to bar ends. I didn't want to strip off the freshly-wrapped bar tape (one of my better wrap jobs, as luck would have it) in order to wrap over the lower sections of shifter housing in the usual manner. The shifters work fine with the housing outside of the tape, but the housing is a bit "floppy." That isn't a problem functionally, but it bothers me a little

Does anyone have a clever method for overwrapping the bottom-most couple of inches of housing--the part closest to the shifters, that is--to secure it a little better? I suppose I could try some sort of Rivendell-esque band of twine, but I'm no doubt there are other approaches that would work as well or better. What have you got?
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Old 06-02-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I recently decided to convert a just-rebuilt bike from down-tube shifters to bar ends. I didn't want to strip off the freshly-wrapped bar tape (one of my better wrap jobs, as luck would have it) in order to wrap over the lower sections of shifter housing in the usual manner. The shifters work fine with the housing outside of the tape, but the housing is a bit "floppy." That isn't a problem functionally, but it bothers me just a bit. Does anyone have a clever method for overwrapping the bottom-most couple of inches of housing--the part closest to the shifters, that is--to secure it a little better? I suppose I could try some sort of Rivendell-esque band of twine, but I'm no doubt there are other approaches that would work as well or better. What have you got?
Ifn it was me, I would just wrap another layer over the whole thing.

I know it goes against the grain here but I double wrap most of my bars for extra cushion anyway and especially if the tape is ratty like on a new acquisition.

The last couple that I have done I just wrapped the upper half and called it good.

I also just reinforce the area at the brake lever with electrical tape if the hoods or tape start to come loose or breakdown.

My hands have always gone numb pretty easy and seem to be getting worse.
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Old 06-02-22, 12:37 PM
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It's a bit frustrating in the short term when you have to retape your bars quickly if you change out your stem or whatever, but it's worth it. Take a little pride.
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Old 06-02-22, 12:40 PM
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I guess if I had to think through this for a clean look, it would probably take these steps:

1) Remove shifters (I know, I know...)
2) Position housing end where it needs to be to fit properly against the shifter
3) Start tape with matching tape a few inches from the end, matching the original wrap's direction
4) Tuck tape into the bar end
5) Replace shifter

Mind you, I haven't done this, so I may be missing something simple that would thwart this, but this is where I'd start.
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Old 06-02-22, 12:54 PM
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I'm guessing that you wrapped from the bottom to the top, so there is no tape to work with at the bar end. If I am wrong you can ignore me now. If I am right you are sort of screwed for an elegant save; but with a deft touch you may be able to cut and add and dress it up.
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Old 06-02-22, 01:00 PM
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I would just slice the tape clean at the bar end, insert pod, then use super glue to secure the tape end (with some scotch tape to hold the end secure while the glue dries).
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Old 06-02-22, 01:54 PM
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What I've done is waxed thread a la Rivendell, with ~.5" right at the shifters and another wrapping about the same size by the bends. I've had a couple singlespeeds that grew derailleur hangers...
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Old 06-02-22, 02:43 PM
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Need a picture of your bars as is. Use cotton tape and wrap over the housing from the shifters to beginning of the bend so that the housing goes up just a bit and heads back down towards the housing stops on your DT. It won't take much tape. Contrasting color would be cool. Finish off the wrap with twine or normal electrical tape.
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Old 06-02-22, 03:10 PM
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Some bar end control bikes had the cable housing appear early - just beyond the straight return.

tape the housing on provisionally to double check the cable housing lengths and where you wish the cabling to exit and reward the bars. No kludge.
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Old 06-02-22, 03:12 PM
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Forgot - some Japanese brands used a section of clear vinyl tubing to slide on and protect the frame- the days of raw stainless housing
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Old 06-02-22, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
It's a bit frustrating in the short term when you have to retape your bars quickly if you change out your stem or whatever, but it's worth it. Take a little pride.
But... but..I have always prided myself on not using more bar tape than strictly necessary. I am at a stand.
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Old 06-02-22, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
But... but..I have always prided myself on not using more bar tape than strictly necessary. I am at a stand.
Looks good, easy, cheap.
Pick two.
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Old 06-02-22, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Ifn it was me, I would just wrap another layer over the whole thing.

I know it goes against the grain here but I double wrap most of my bars for extra cushion anyway and especially if the tape is ratty like on a new acquisition.

The last couple that I have done I just wrapped the upper half and called it good.

I also just reinforce the area at the brake lever with electrical tape if the hoods or tape start to come loose or breakdown.

My hands have always gone numb pretty easy and seem to be getting worse.
Beat me to it! I've been using double-thickness wrapping on all my drop bars for over 30 years, since undergoing surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage. If you've never tried it, you'd be amazed at the increase in comfort, as well as in protection of the sensitive nerves in your hands.
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Old 06-02-22, 04:20 PM
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Unwrap and rewrap with the same tape should be an option unless you want a perfect look
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Old 06-02-22, 04:38 PM
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Three obvious solutions being overlooked here. (1) Go with stem mounted shifters. (2) Convert the bike to a fixie. (3) Sell the bike and use the cash to buy one that already has barcons.

Okay, I didn't they they were good solutions.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:00 PM
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We are missing some details. Cloth tape? Bottom up or top down? I assume you would have said so if it was shellacked.
Anyway, assuming it’s cloth, you could trim the end flush, then wrap just the housing portion in the drops top-down, tuck the ends in and re-insert the shifters. Pretty simple and wouldn’t look as kludgy as wrapping with twine or whatever.
Alternatively, just pull the tape off and re-wrap. If you did it once you can do it again. I have had pretty good luck re-using cloth tape by wrapping it on a piece of fat dowel as I remove it. Obviously all bets are off if it’s shellacked.

Last edited by due ruote; 06-02-22 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Three obvious solutions being overlooked here. (1) Go with stem mounted shifters. (2) Convert the bike to a fixie. (3) Sell the bike and use the cash to buy one that already has barcons.

Okay, I didn't they they were good solutions.
Funny, but seriously, good stem shifters on a friction shifting bike is a solution that shouldn't be dismissed. If you ride on the hoods or tops almost exclusively it can be more convenient than bar ends. (Hope this statement doesn't cost me my vintage bike tourist certificate!)
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Old 06-02-22, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
But... but..I have always prided myself on not using more bar tape than strictly necessary. I am at a stand.
Reuse the tape.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
The obvious solution is being overlooked here. Buy another bike with barcons.

This is the correct solution
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Old 06-02-22, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
We are missing some details. Cloth tape? Bottom up or top down? I assume you would have said so if it was shellacked.
Anyway, assuming it’s cloth, you could trim the end flush, then wrap just the housing portion in the drops top-down, tuck the ends in and re-insert the shifters. Pretty simple and wouldn’t look as kludgy as wrapping with twine or whatever.
Alternatively, just pull the tape off and re-wrap. If you did it once you can do it again. I have had pretty good luck re-using cloth tape by wrapping it on a piece of fat dowel as I remove it. Obviously all bets are off if it’s shellacked.
It's cheapish "cork" tape, wrapped from the bottom, secured at the top with a strip of red electrical tape (tape is black, bike is red). I'll post a picture tomorrow. Barcons are already installed, so I'm not redoing the cabling at this point. That ship has sailed.

My experience with removing and rewrapping this brand of tape, which has an adhesive strip, is that it can be done, but only if you do so immediately--otherwise it rips instead of peeling cleanly away from the bars. This bike has only been ridden a couple of times, but the tape has been on there for a couple of years. No way could it be reused.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:54 PM
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This is the way the Mondia is wrapped with cables exiting like Aero brake cables
My Mondia is the only bike I have that uses bar end shifters. This is how they were done when the bike was new. I looked at a Bicycling Magazine review of the bike when it was new and copied it. This would require doing the bar tape over but no floppy cables, nice and tidy.
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Old 06-02-22, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
This is the way the Mondia is wrapped with cables exiting like Aero brake cables
My Mondia is the only bike I have that uses bar end shifters. This is how they were done when the bike was new. I looked at a Bicycling Magazine review of the bike when it was new and copied it. This would require doing the bar tape over but no floppy cables, nice and tidy.
Nice! I've seen that on a couple of older bikes. Does it add a lot of friction to the shifting effort? It would seem to add a lot of cable, housing, and a bunch of extra curves.
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Old 06-03-22, 02:37 AM
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I have nothing to compare it to but they work very well . There doesn’t seem to be any binding, of course the trick to setting up bar ends is getting just the right amount of friction. The first time I went out on a ride I didn’t have enough tension on them and I got some ghost shifting while climbing a hill and it wasn’t fun. My daughter has SunTour type that have a ratchet action that the Campy ones don’t have.

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Old 06-03-22, 09:01 AM
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Cut and remove the tape from the brakes down. The rewrap bottom up including the housing under it how you want it. Then finish with electrical tape covering both the top section at the brakes and the freshly wrapped bottom section.
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Old 06-03-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Nice! I've seen that on a couple of older bikes. Does it add a lot of friction to the shifting effort? It would seem to add a lot of cable, housing, and a bunch of extra curves.
I first set up Campagnolo barcons on my 71 Lygie wrapped along the bars like the Mondia above. I did not
like the feel so I switched it back to the original routing with one big curve from the bottom of the bar. It was a big improvement. I was using the original coiled housing but with a new liner. I also know tension on the barcon should be kept as light as possible.


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