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Wrapping handlebars

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Old 05-26-08, 04:47 PM
  #1  
adrien
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Wrapping handlebars

I know this isn't clyde-specific (though I do have thick fingers...), but I've noticed some heavy wear on mine 3,500 miles in and so i ordered some along with new bib shorts and some bar-end mirrors.

It looks like my bike had them wrapped bottom-up (from the tips to the stem). How hard is it? Is it like a tennis racquet (I can do that...)? Can I take a dry run before officially taping it?

BTW, is 3,500 miles on a set of tape before it begins to get ratty good? I'm trying to make sure I'm not putting too much pressure on my hands.

Mods -- feel free to move, but I've always found the clydes a friendly bunch...
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Old 05-26-08, 04:57 PM
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It's more or less like wrapping the handle of a tennis racket, yeah. There's a chrisscross pattern around the brakes, but other than that.....it's pretty easy.
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Old 05-26-08, 05:14 PM
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wayne pattee
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I watched this video before I taped mine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7BY4wKHTM
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Old 05-26-08, 05:50 PM
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I make sure to wrap in a direction so that when gripping the bars, it tightens the tape. If you wrap it the wrong direction, it unwraps and loosens it.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:33 PM
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Wogster
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
I know this isn't clyde-specific (though I do have thick fingers...), but I've noticed some heavy wear on mine 3,500 miles in and so i ordered some along with new bib shorts and some bar-end mirrors.

It looks like my bike had them wrapped bottom-up (from the tips to the stem). How hard is it? Is it like a tennis racquet (I can do that...)? Can I take a dry run before officially taping it?

BTW, is 3,500 miles on a set of tape before it begins to get ratty good? I'm trying to make sure I'm not putting too much pressure on my hands.

Mods -- feel free to move, but I've always found the clydes a friendly bunch...
Bar tape sometimes lasts a long time, sometimes lasts a very short time, it depends on two things, the quality of the tape, and the quality of the wrapping job. Thicker tapes like cork should last longer then the thin vinyl ones, which are little more then fancy looking electrical tape, with sometimes less glue.

Just thinkin' here, I wonder why we don't wrap MTB bars, especially those with bar ends, would look better then an ugly rubber grip that has been hacked to install the bar ends. a piece of bar tape could be put over the MTB bar end, then wrap starting at the end of the bar end, down to the bar, and along...... Makes me wonder if I should buy some bar tape, a few plugs and start a trend.... Just trying to figure put how to deal with the bar end - bar joint, anyone have any ideas.....
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Old 05-26-08, 06:40 PM
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Bartape on an mtb? Maybe a commuter but on actual offroad? I think it would unravel bigtime with the stress of the death grip. Not to mention the moisture of streams and if it hits the dirt, it's thrashed/scuffed.

The barends on my mtb are nicely trimmed with an X-acto blade, not hacked!
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Old 05-26-08, 09:27 PM
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My original bar tape only lasted about 500. 3500 is nice.

Bartape is cheap, so it's not a huge deal to replace.
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Old 05-26-08, 11:07 PM
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I have been using Arundel tape the last two times I wrapped bars and it seems to hold up pretty good it is much thicker and cushier than cork tape, and you can stretch it real tight when wrapping so it stays put better. I also started spraying my bars with 3M adhesive to keep it in place better.

Oh yeah, my mountain bike has taped drop bars. Cork tape will only last one crash.
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Old 05-26-08, 11:24 PM
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Sixty Fiver
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Cloth, shellack, and light string / cord to tie off the ends.





Waiting for her 3rd coat of shellack and tying off...





On an upright one could use a base layer of cork, cloth wrap, shellack, and cord.
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Old 05-27-08, 05:54 AM
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We have a few folks around here that use bar tape for MTB's. To me it looks unfinished and just plain wrong!

A lot of the new bar tape uses a self stick adhesive that helps to keep it in place. As Bar Tape goes, you need just the right amount of tension on it as you wrap it. It can take a few times to get that right.

The old style Schwinn Plastic wrap we used to start at the stem and work towards the ends where we would put the excess into the bar end and then use a cap to seal it.

The new Thicker stuff we start at the ends with a bevel cut and electrical tape under the first wrap, and then go to the stem.
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Old 05-27-08, 05:56 AM
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The Park Tools website has easy to follow directions for wrapping.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
Just thinkin' here, I wonder why we don't wrap MTB bars, especially those with bar ends, would look better then an ugly rubber grip that has been hacked to install the bar ends. a piece of bar tape could be put over the MTB bar end, then wrap starting at the end of the bar end, down to the bar, and along...... Makes me wonder if I should buy some bar tape, a few plugs and start a trend.... Just trying to figure put how to deal with the bar end - bar joint, anyone have any ideas.....
I taped up the bar ends on my MTB. Its more of a commuter anyway. And the end result is more 'fred' than 'OCP'

I just started from the end of the extensions as I would on drops, and the right angle at the join is handled a little like the brake lever on a set of drops. You place a little extra tape over the join and do a little criss cross thing. (I'm sure my explanation makes no sense at all)

I wouldn't be investing in new tape for this, I'd just reuse old road bar tape. If you're like me, you'll wear out the road bar tape on the tops and not in the drops. You'll use less tape on the MTB. Remove the tape from the road bike, discard the worn out portion, and use the remainder to tape your MTB bars.
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Old 05-27-08, 05:12 PM
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I HATE the look of electrical tape on anything not electrical... always looks (to me) like an unfinished hack wrap.

So on my drop bars I wrap tape from the tops out to the ends, and hold it in place with a plug hammered (plastic, aluminum, or rubber mallet) into the end.

It takes a couple of tries, depending on the brand of tape, but once done it lasts well, doesn't unravel, and I don't have to look at electrical tape.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:08 AM
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I've had some problems with sore/numb hands, so I've spent time trying to come up with a method of softening my grip. I used to use Grabons - the black foam pieces that slid on over the bars. I think it helped, but the foam would break down in a year or so and become pretty worthless. The foam was still there but with little cushioning. I replaced the Grabons every year for many years.

Then, in my LBS, I saw some Aztek (sp?) gel foam pads. It looked like it might work so I tried it out. The Aztek is a set of red-orange pads that fit on your bars. It's even contoured to fit your fingers. I applied the red pads, then wrapped it with the foam bar tape tht comes in the package. It felt pretty good, but the foam bar tape wore out pretty quickly.

My next try was to use the Aztek pads, wrap it with the foam tape, then put a second wrap on with Voler cloth tape. That was pretty good. It made the bars pretty fat, but I have big hands, and the cloth tape was much tougher. It hasn't worn out after a couple of years.

When I bought a new bike I tried something else. This time I bought some Specialized gel pads. I wrapped those with Voler cloth tape, then put a second wrap of cloth tape over that. It's about as good as the previous attempt.

The bars on both my bikes are pretty fat (but, like I said, I have big hands) but they're comfortable. I think the current setup is more comfortable than my old Grabon method, and will last much longer.

Of course, "purists" who think you need to "feel the bars" probably think I'm an idiot. That's okay; many of my decisions would probably be probably be panned. Call me a comfortable idiot.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:48 PM
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Any feelings on North Road wrapping? I'm getting ready to put some on my bike and can't decide between grips or tape.

Brian

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Old 05-28-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wavy View Post
...on my drop bars I wrap tape from the tops out to the ends, and hold it in place with a plug hammered (plastic, aluminum, or rubber mallet) into the end.
I didn't know any better and did the same thing when taping my '77 & '78 Le Tours earlier this year. Bought 2 new road bikes a few months later and was surprised to see them done backwards (at least to my thinking). What is the advantage of wrapping from the ends in? Just seems sloppier to have to use tape.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:29 AM
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CACycling asked:
What is the advantage of wrapping from the ends in? Just seems sloppier to have to use tape.
Some very experienced wrenches -- whose opinions I respect-- have told me, "It HAS to be done that way or the tape will unravel from hand pressure."

As my method works fine I call shenanigans.
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