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  1. #1
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    Bar Tape Wrapping Direction

    When installing bar tape, do you wrap tape towards or away from bicycle?

    I wrapped away from bike but I am thinking towards bike since I mostly ride at or above hoods.
    Thanks in advance,
    RC

  2. #2
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    Left hand clockwise, right hand counter clockwise as viewed from the bar ends use friction tape on the drops/start to help start and hold the wraps. You get better every time you put a new tape on

  3. #3
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    I like this tutorial from Park Tools
    https://youtu.be/5MzIiv7pewE

  4. #4
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    There is some debate.

    What you see linked above is the American method. It is the opposite of the English method to start.

    Some argue away from the bike (American) is best, some argue towards the bike (English) is best, but both miss the point.

    For reference, here's the English technique:




    The answer is that the lower part doesn't matter, only the upper part does. The lower part does not unravel or come loose with either the American or the English. What people fail to mention is that the top does come unraveled if not wrapped towards the rider. Team Sky argues with me, they think the lower part comes unraveled just like the top, but it doesn't in my experience.

    You will see Calvin from Park skip the figure 8 when doing the American style. That's to make sure the tops are being wrapped towards the rider. An easy thing to remember is to come up the inside of the shifter, whether doing figure 8 or not.

    So how you start it doesn't matter, it's how you wrap the top section that matters. I personally have settled on the English method for myself. Not because I believe the Sky mechanic, but because I like it better.
    Last edited by MMsRepBike; 02-13-2017 at 07:34 AM.
    use a torque wrench

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    The answer is that the lower part doesn't matter, only the upper part does. The lower part does not unravel or come loose with either the American or the English.
    Not true. It really depends on both the bar and the tape, but with a smooth bar (CF or very smooth paint) the lower part can easily unwrap even when wrapped tightly. You may not have experienced this, but it does happen.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Not true. It really depends on both the bar and the tape, but with a smooth bar (CF or very smooth paint) the lower part can easily unwrap even when wrapped tightly. You may not have experienced this, but it does happen.
    Well both videos, both methods, say the same thing.

    They both say it comes unraveled and to stop it to use their method.

    So which is it?

    Does one method stop it and one not? Do both do it? Does it depend on the rider? Is one of the mechanics lying?

    In my experience both techniques work equally well for the drops, I haven't seen any issue really with either method. I routinely see the tops wrapped in the wrong direction though and that very often causes problems.

    My hunch is the wraps you've seen with the lowers coming undone is because the tops are done the wrong way.
    use a torque wrench

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Well both videos, both methods, say the same thing.

    They both say it comes unraveled and to stop it to use their method.

    So which is it?

    Does one method stop it and one not? Do both do it? Does it depend on the rider? Is one of the mechanics lying?

    In my experience both techniques work equally well for the drops, I haven't seen any issue really with either method. I routinely see the tops wrapped in the wrong direction though and that very often causes problems.

    My hunch is the wraps you've seen with the lowers coming undone is because the tops are done the wrong way.
    We must be talking about different things. How the top of the bar (between the brake levers and the stem) is wrapped doesn't affect whether the lower part of the bar (the drops) comes unraveled. The lower part of the bar tape can come loose if it slides over itself or if the tape slips where it is anchored (either with the bar plug or with tape).

  8. #8
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    I wish there were a tool to guide and finish the taping. It takes a certain degree of art/skill to do a good wrap and tape finish.

  9. #9
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    Towards the bike.

    Although......years ago, when bar tape was cloth, a lot of guys wrapped them the opposite way. If you did your wrap VERY tight, that way you wouldn't need any adhesive tape to finish. But, you had to be really tight so that the edges wouldn't roll up under your hands. If you wanted to be REALLY old-school, then you would put several coats of shellac over the tape.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  10. #10
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    start at the bar ends and wrap away from the bike so hand pressure tightens the tape.

    do a figure 8 around the lever, so you're still wrapping "away" on top of the bars.

    finish with narrow (10mm) electrical tape (colored or black) and/or embroidery thread.

    use fizik on most builds. cotton on some vintage ones.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  11. #11
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    Bar Tape Wrapping Direction

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    start at the bar ends and wrap away from the bike so hand pressure tightens the tape.

    do a figure 8 around the lever, so you're still wrapping "away" on top of the bars.

    finish with narrow (10mm) electrical tape (colored or black) and/or embroidery thread.

    use fizik on most builds. cotton on some vintage ones.
    If you watch the two videos, that is wrong. You want to wrap towards the bike on the tops. Personally, I don't think it matters as long as you do a tight wrap.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    If you watch the two videos, that is wrong.
    don't watch them.

    B^)
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  13. #13
    tjc
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    Like most things in cycling, it comes down to the individual. If you lean your weight on the tops of the bars (push) you want to wrap away from you, so your hands tighten the wrap as you ride and keeps from coming unraveling. If you pull on the tops, you want to wrap towards you, again so your hands pull in the direction of the wrap.

    My thoughts to keep tape from unwrapping, take the weight off your hands, relax your grip and either wrap direction will work.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjc View Post
    Like most things in cycling, it comes down to the individual. If you lean your weight on the tops of the bars (push) you want to wrap away from you, so your hands tighten the wrap as you ride and keeps from coming unraveling. If you pull on the tops, you want to wrap towards you, again so your hands pull in the direction of the wrap.
    This.

    Bottom line, find a method that works for you and do that. The guys that get snotty about bar wrapping need to ride more and judge less.

  15. #15
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    I do the weave, no problems with unwrapping, and comfy!
    BANNED

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjc View Post
    Like most things in cycling, it comes down to the individual. If you lean your weight on the tops of the bars (push) you want to wrap away from you, so your hands tighten the wrap as you ride and keeps from coming unraveling. If you pull on the tops, you want to wrap towards you, again so your hands pull in the direction of the wrap.

    My thoughts to keep tape from unwrapping, take the weight off your hands, relax your grip and either wrap direction will work.
    Actually, the deciding factor for myself is this; When riding with my hands on the shoulders of the bars (index finger and middle finger around the brake lever upright), having wrapped the tape TOWARDS the center keeps the edges of the tape from curling-up due to hand friction.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #17
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    A lot of riders tend to pull the tape towards towards themselves on long or steep climbs when on the top of the bar, if you have a lot of climbs wrap accordingly.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  18. #18
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    I subscribe to the left clockwise, right counter clockwise (towards the bike) method. I've never had a problem with tape unraveling this way. I use Fizik Microtex and a pull really hard.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    start at the bar ends and wrap away from the bike so hand pressure tightens the tape.

    do a figure 8 around the lever, so you're still wrapping "away" on top of the bars.

    finish with narrow (10mm) electrical tape (colored or black) and/or embroidery thread.

    use fizik on most builds. cotton on some vintage ones.
    This is the method that I use and I've never had any trouble with tape un-wrapping with Cinelli, Specialized's Roubaix wrap, or Fizik's superlight.

    However, based on the diversity of responses, I'd say they all work if you wrap sufficiently tightly.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  20. #20
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    I saw a method and used it once where the lowers were wrapped away from the bike, and then you went around the hoods in such a way that the upper part was wrapped towards the bike. This was supposed to be advantageous since your hands on the lowers tend to rotate outwards, whereas on the tops you're applying rotational force inwards.

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