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  1. #1
    Charismatic Megafauna
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    Harlequin wrap: Doable with cork or gel?

    Went looking around or tutorials on the harlequin bar tape wrap. Most I saw were done in cotton. I'm wondering if this would be doable using something like Soma's Thick & Zesty or other gel.

    Considerations are:
    Will hand position on the bike on long rides using this wrap style cause the tape to unwrap? Will using cork or gel be too thick? I'm not keen on using cotton because I need some vibration damping. But, could it be done using a combination of the two?
    Another "hands up who's done it" question, I guess.
    BE...STIFF! -- Lene Lovich

  2. #2
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    I tried it once, wasn't terribly happy with the outcome, so I scrapped it. I occasionally get the bug to try it again with different tapes.

    One thing to remember is that it creates two layers in most spots, and effectively zero layers at the corners. If you use too thick a gel, the result is terribly lumpy looking (and feeling.) Also, the stretch in most gels makes it tough to make the pattern even, since the width varies with the stretch.

    Either a cheap synthetic cork tape or something like Fizik Microtex (decidedly not cheap) would probably work best. One of the two-color, leather-look 'stitched' tapes could make a very sharp pattern and could hold up. Remember you are getting two layers, so the amount of padding isn't as important.

    It definitely won't unwrap from use. However, it does expose the edges every which way, so moving hands around on the bars will tend to fray the edges of less sturdy tapes. Another strike for gel and cork tapes.

    Make sure that whatever you use does NOT have adhesive, and I'd recommend getting a couple of rolls of something cheap to practice with first. It's not hard, but it takes a little while to get the hang of it and fall into a rythym.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  3. #3
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    If you can find something without beveled edges and with high elasticity it's not too bad. But there aren't too many that I've found and it's a pain to slice the bevels off with a knife, which is what I did one time. Still didn't like it that much and scrapped it after a couple weeks.

  4. #4
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    Another possibility might be to wrap the bars with whatever, then do the harlequin with cotton over the top.

    Just thinking out loud. I have no idea if it would actually work.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  5. #5
    Charismatic Megafauna
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    Hmmm....maybe those gel things that Specialized makes? I've looked into the sets in the past and they only come with black bar tape. Thanks for the brainstorming -- I'll continue to think about this and other options.
    BE...STIFF! -- Lene Lovich

  6. #6
    n00bsauce
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    You can get the cushioning you want by wrapping the bar first with old innertube. Get the thickness you want with the tube (slice it down the middle, cut out the valve and wrap it like regular tape) and then use cloth tape for your final wrap. This is the way I used to always wrap my bars in the old days when cloth was de rigeur and I wanted more cushioning. I never used the diamond wrap but it would work just the same.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  7. #7
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    Did you ever shellac your cloth tape? I've seen that too and wondered about the pros and cons. Seems like whil it would keep things clean, it might make the bars slick.
    BE...STIFF! -- Lene Lovich

  8. #8
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    I tried this with the Fizik tape. I do not have a picture right now, but will try to get one. It was difficult to do at best. The problem was it, though not as much as gel or cork, is a thicker tape. So it seemed to bunch where they crossed underneath. This probably could be overcome with some practice. As I had a ride the next day I did not have time to practice. Thus I only ran this pattern on the tops and in the drops continued a regular wrap with one color. It has actually stayed up very well. I am thinking about trying it again as I really enjoy the look. Though it is holding up so well it might be a while before a re-wrap.

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