Wrapping handle bars!
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  1. #1
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    Wrapping handle bars!

    So far I've done the prerequisite search on google and RBR for this topic...

    By and large, most of the articles tend to start the wrapping from the end of the handlebar...

    However this article recommends the opposite...

    http://members.aol.com/biketune/griptape.htm

    Wrapping from the stem first...I like this better... BUT... If you start from the stem the exposed edge of the wrap (at the drops) is facing toward the rear... This would make disengaging your hands from the bar easier but would not hold you hands in place .... I'm torn between having the edge of the tape facing forward (starting the wrap at the handle bar end) , or having the edge of the wrap facing rearward (starting the wrap at the stem)???


    The park article:
    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/bartape.shtml

    recommends starting from the end too, but INITIALLY recommends wrapping the tape in one direction and then later in the article (advanced section ) recommends just the opposite...

    I believe the tape on the left handel should be going counter clockwise and the right handel should be clockwise...


    I believe the tape should be wrapped away from you (when sitting on the bike so your natural hand placement will put stress that will tighten the wrap and not unloosen the wrap... this also achieves the correct direction at the handle bar ends...

    I like the figure eight wrapping for the brake levers.... and in one article (don't remember where) one of the pro riders actually had strips (2) of tires, under each brake lever and the wrap (where you put your hands) to give it a fuller feel...

    Other article:
    http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/tapebars.htm

    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/rr_handlebar.html

    My questions are:
    Where do you start the wrap?
    What direction do you start the wrap?
    Do you like the figure 8 for the brake handles?
    How do you end your wrap?
    Do you uses any extra padding under the wrap?
    Do you double wrap?
    Last edited by pr0230; 10-05-2004 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    I read something somewhere a buncha years ago that I still use: Start at the ends of the bars and wrap towards the bike.

    The rest is asthetics.

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  3. #3
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    Either way you alway wrap TOWARD the bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by MShaw
    I read something somewhere a buncha years ago that I still use: Start at the ends of the bars and wrap towards the bike.

    The rest is asthetics.

    M
    The question is when facing the front tire... for the left handle (clock wise or counter clockwise) ... and the same question for the right handle...

  4. #4
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    1. Where do you start the wrap?
    2. What direction do you start the wrap?
    3. Do you like the figure 8 for the brake handles?
    4. How do you end your wrap?
    5. Do you uses any extra padding under the wrap?
    6. Do you double wrap?

    1. From the end working toward the stem. You usually slide your hands outward, from the stem towards the drop. Therefore, to wrap from the stem outward leaves the INSIDE edges exposed, causing the wrap to wear out more quickly as the edges lift and roll each time your hands move over it. (Think about how a roof is shingled; the l lower shingles are put on on top of the row above, so that their top edge is tucked underneath, so water cannot get in). When you wrap from the ends, the OUTSIDE edge is exposed because the inside edge is always covered by the next wrap. It also feels better (I've done both; hated stem-to-handle).

    2. End of the handle, wrapping so that when I get to the top of the handlebars, I am coming under, towards the seat, and then back over the top (looking from the RIGHT of the bike the tape is moving clockwise across the top).

    3. No opinion.

    4. I cut the stem end at a 45 degree angle, starting at the inside edge near the stem, cutting about 3 inches off towards the handlebar edge. This makes a tapered edge, which leaves less overlap at the end of the wrap. Then I secure it with electrical tape, then the fancy end tape that comes with the wrap.

    5. No, never. However, the is a new product called Aztec Vibe Bar (http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...309&brand=1102) that is designed exactly for this purpose for around $30 (mentioned in November 2004 Bicycling Magazine, p. 68).

    6. No, once is enough for a wrap. If you want thicker wrap, then get Phat Wrap.

  5. #5
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    Forgot something

    For tape that does NOT have an adhesive backing, I apply some Glue Stick (the type kids use to stick pictures onto paper, available at CVS, etc.) on the curves of the drops so that the tape does not slip down.

    I just looked at the Park site. I disagree. The top of the handlebars need to be taped so that the tape goes OVER, not under. If it goes under (counter clockwise when viewed from the right), then the tape ends up coming at you. When your hands are on the bar, they tend to rest on top and push AWAY from you, which would tend to push the end of the tape back where it came from, which will loosen it.

    I don't know why they did it that way, but I cannot see doing it that way.
    Last edited by CoachRob; 10-05-2004 at 11:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachRob
    For tape that does NOT have an adhesive backing, I apply some Glue Stick (the type kids use to stick pictures onto paper, available at CVS, etc.) on the curves of the drops so that the tape does not slip down.

    I just looked at the Park site. I disagree. The top of the handlebars need to be taped so that the tape goes OVER, not under. If it goes under (counter clockwise when viewed from the right), then the tape ends up coming at you. When your hands are on the bar, they tend to rest on top and push AWAY from you, which would tend to push the end of the tape back where it came from, which will loosen it.

    I don't know why they did it that way, but I cannot see doing it that way.
    THANK YOU COACH ROB....
    I agree with everything you wrote.... AND WHY Park published their description and pictures of wrapping it the wrong way , I'll never know...

    So in summary,
    I will start from the end(s)...
    For the left grip I will start counter clock wise...
    For the right I will start clock wise...

    I am going to do the figure eight on the break lever....

    And end the wrap as you suggested....

    Its amazing on how many way this can be done, but with your help there should be no doubt on "How to wrap a handlebar"...

    Thanks again Rob!

  7. #7
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    Try Spectrum's web site...

    They have a somewhat unique way of wrapping bars with farily detailed directions. It comes out looking a bit better than a 'standard' wrap as detailed in countless books and other places.

    I think its www.spectrumcycles.com - if not a google search will find it.

  8. #8
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    Follow Your Fingers

    Quote Originally Posted by pr0230
    My questions are:
    1- Where do you start the wrap?
    2- What direction do you start the wrap?
    3- Do you like the figure 8 for the brake handles?
    4- How do you end your wrap?
    5- Do you uses any extra padding under the wrap?
    6- Do you double wrap?
    1 - At the bar end.

    2- The direction your fingers point. This way as you grip the bar your hands will tighten the tape rather than loosen it. Sit on the seat, grab the bar in the drops. The fingers on your left hand would indicate counterclockwise wrapping while the fingers on your right hand would indicate clockwise wrapping. When you get past the hoods the tape should go over the top and towards the front of the bike, once again the direction your fingers are pointing when riding on the top.

    3- No. Figure eight used to be helpful a long time ago when tape was thin and brake hoods were equally thin. Now with thicker tapes it just gets bulky and messy and really does not give you a lot of benefit from an ergonomic standpoint. Just use the 2 inch piece they put in box under the bar, over the clamping band of the levers or cut an extra piece off your roll.

    4- I wrap a little past the point I want. Then I wrap black electrical tape around the place I want to finish the wrap. When wrapping the electrical tape go forward (follow your fingers). Do not stretch it especially on the last wrap otherwise it will creap back later. Rather than stretching and tearing use scissors to cut it so the end is at the bottom of the bar. Now take a sharp knife and trim the bar wrap clear around the bar and you have a neatly finished end. Cover the black electrical tape with the fancy little piece of finish tape in the box.

    5 & 6 - No. I find Cinelli cork tape gives me plenty of padding and I only wear gloves when racing. If you are not getting enough padding from your current tape consider different brand of tape or gloves. Also review your bike position as you may have too much weight on your hands.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince
    They have a somewhat unique way of wrapping bars with farily detailed directions. It comes out looking a bit better than a 'standard' wrap as detailed in countless books and other places.

    I think its www.spectrumcycles.com - if not a google search will find it.
    http://www.spectrum-cycles.com/63.htm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keeping up with Junior
    4- I wrap a little past the point I want. Then I wrap black electrical tape around the place I want to finish the wrap. When wrapping the electrical tape go forward (follow your fingers). Do not stretch it especially on the last wrap otherwise it will creap back later. Rather than stretching and tearing use scissors to cut it so the end is at the bottom of the bar. Now take a sharp knife and trim the bar wrap clear around the bar and you have a neatly finished end. Cover the black electrical tape with the fancy little piece of finish tape in the box.
    To seal the electrical tape, you can heat the end of a paper clip with a lighter (or other pointed metal object) and touch the hot metal to the end of the piece of tape. It singes it sealed (learned that from an electrician). Never had tape unwrap since learning this (saved me a couple of bucks since I don't have to buy tape as often).

    Regarding the Park article. Reading carefully, they state Generally, it is the habit of cyclists to pull back on their hands when riding on the top section of the bars. By noting this, you can wrap so this habit will be self-tightening on the tape.

    If that is the case (which it certainly is not with me; my hands push forward) then they have wrapped it in the correct manner, as it will self tighten if your hands move back in that direction and the tape is wrapped so that it comes AT you across the top of the bar. But I don't agree with them that hands pull back; most push forward. (You should check your own hands and determome what they prefer to do before making the wrap. Who knows; your hands MIGHT pull back. If so, wrap the right bar counter-clockwise and the left bar clockwise.)

    And you're welcome pr0230!
    Last edited by CoachRob; 10-06-2004 at 07:08 AM.

  11. #11
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    In the thousands of handlebars I wrapped as a mechanic at the LBS, I always started at the end and wrapped from the inside out (over the top side of the drops). Never a complaint.

  12. #12
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    I think...

    I think that if the bar is wrapped properly, no matter which way, and is secured correctly, then it shouldn't unwrap. If it does, you're probably grabbing the handlebar WAY too tight and probably are much too tense throughout your whole upper body. A tight rider is a bad rider.

    So, I think this is fun to discuss, but in reality, probably it doesn't make a HUGE difference.

    Just a thought...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachRob
    For tape that does NOT have an adhesive backing, I apply some Glue Stick (the type kids use to stick pictures onto paper, available at CVS, etc.) on the curves of the drops so that the tape does not slip down.
    I'd rather not have any glue/sticky on my tape. I'm a cheap bastard, so when one side of my tape is dirty, I flip it over and use the other side. That way you get two wraps out of one package of bar tape.

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MShaw
    I'd rather not have any glue/sticky on my tape. I'm a cheap bastard, so when one side of my tape is dirty, I flip it over and use the other side. That way you get two wraps out of one package of bar tape.

    M
    My gosh, you ARE a cheap bastard!!

    Get black as I do; no problems with dirt. Another trick is to prewrap the drops with electrical tape (one layer is enough) under the bar tape. The electrical tape protects the bars from scratching during a fall/scrape (it protected my handlebars when my tape got torn off when I fell and broke my hip after being "run off the road" by an angry driver).

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