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HOW TO: wrap handlebars


Maximum Pace
Dec 31, 2009
1. Cut off a 3 inch piece of bartape from the roll. this will be used behind the brake hood. I also prepare by cutting a 9 inch and 3 inch piece of electrical tape and stick them to the stem for easy accesibility. have a scissors within reach as well. In my case I re-used the electrical tape from my last tape job. E tape is very reusable and durable. Also fold over the hood cover like in the picture.

2. Start rolling the tape as shown in picture 2. Overhang the tape so that half is on the bar and half is exposed so when you insert the bar plug it fits snug. Bar plugs are so you dont cork your knee. dont be "that guy" at the hill climb without them. They serve a purpose. Always start at the bottom of the drop.

3. Roll the tape uniformily to hood. I usually overlap the tape by about 3-4 cm and pull it tot when wrapping. do not pull too tight as it will rip. Get the tape so thet it meets the bottom of the hood perfectly.

4. Now take your 3 inch piece and place it so that it follows where the hood clamp wraps around the handlebar like in the photo. there will be some overhang that will be chopped off later.

5. Keep wrapping in the same direction until you get to wherever you dont hold onto the bar at. remember to save room for cycloputers if using.

6. Now cut the tape so like in the picture and use your small piece of tape to nail it down then the large one as a finisher. you can just use one piece of tape, but I have found having a little one makes it easyer to work with.

7. Now cut the 3 inch piece you places behind the hood as minimal as possible so that it stayes tucked under the hood cover when it is put in its original position, like in the picture.

8. Put the plug in and RIDE!

9. Now you can comment on my white tape on my cross bike. LOL
Hi ProRace,

What brakes are you using on your nice looking Ridley? Any thoughts on which brands / models provide the best performance?


Make sure your rims are clean! Use a graphite eraser to do this.

Also make sure that the break blocks leading edge is the first part to touch the rim, they should angle in by about 1mm at the front of the brake block.

If you brakes are touching the rim at the exact same time along the entire surface of the brake block you'll get brake squeal
Hi there - I noticed you seem to wrap the left bar CW and right bar CCW. I've always done it reversed cause when you are hard on the drops, rider will tend to roll their hands outward and this will tighten the tape rather than loosen it. Especially if you've had a scrape and the tape is damaged. Just curious about your way - especially as I've seen alot of Japanese shops do it like this, too. Also James' tip regarding use of double back tape under your bar tape is awesome - though I've seen some production tapes (Silca ??) that had a 'sticky' double back already to go. Thanks for the tips!!
I also spotted that GSAstuto.

The Pro way is to wrap both sides so when in the drops or on the bars you are tightening the tape.

The left should CCW and the right CW then when you reach the hoods you cross over so you are wrapping in the oppersite way, that way when on the tops you continue to tighten the tape.

Everyong has thier own methods, I do it this way as it was the way I was taught.
Yeah - that's how I learned, too. Also - I just use figure 8 which faciliates the cross over nicely and is faster to do. I did notice the double Fizik tape is not so figure 8 friendly, though, as the Silca or Cinelli - and I'm not that happy with it overall - its already (less than 2mo) separating layers and annoys me when I'm riding. I'm going back to the Silca..

The brakes on my bike are TRP.
They have some adjustments other cantis dont have so the initial setup is easyer to adjust, you shure do have to pay out the nose for them though!

I havent had a problem bith the tape slipping, I have always been lucky to have tape with adhesive on the back, though. the reason not doing a figure 8 is this makes it so there is no bulge behind / around the hood. Also, Just the way I was tought :)

I really think that if you are patient enough you can get any canti to work as well as a canti possibly can. I remember coming across a discussion in this forum for canti"s that could provide alot of input on the subject for you, after your done with that thread ask any questions and I will be sure to answer!

The TRP's on my bike have alot of different angles to work with as the brake shoe swivels, You can angle up down left right and anything in between its really interesting what they have come up with.
A small tip!

I've been doing my own bar-tape for about a year and a half, which still only translates to about 6 or seven times - And you DO get better with each attempt.
But whether you do your own bar-tape, or get your LBS to do it, sometimes the plugs can start working there way out. As we all know, this is remedied with a swift punt using the heel of your hand.
My advice is this: Do NOT try to bump the plug back in in this fashion while you are riding! And if you do, make sure none of your buddies are around to see it (and definitely don't let any of them film it, lest you find yourself on Youtube).:cool:
I've,... aaahhh,... never done it, myself,... of course:eek:uch:

Yeah, Probably better to do when stopped. Thats kind of reminds me of a good tip I got from professional rider Dirk Copeland, a finisher of the famed Paris Roubaix. He instructed while riding in the peloton to get accustomed to drinking water left handed so your right near your rear brake so that is you do have to grab a fistfull, your rear locks up not your front.

Also funny I saw a guy at the Fuji Hill Climb with no bar tape or plugs! I guess I shouldnt talk though because he was passing me! LOL
Weight loss technique...?

Also funny I saw a guy at the Fuji Hill Climb with no bar tape or plugs! I guess I shouldnt talk though because he was passing me! LOL

It wouldn't surprise me if it was simply to shed a few grams. I know a guy who takes the screws out of his spare drink-bottle-holder lugs, "becuase they add extra weight."

I believe the next step is to start drilling holes in the frame :eek:
I have a picture of Swiss climber Beat Breu of the 70s/80s climbing Alpe d'Huez without bar tape, presumably for the weight savings. Like the frame drillers, guess you had to be a bit nutty to be a weight weenie in the steel bike era.

Gotta love the Drillium~! I have practived on old derailleurs that where of no use but have never actually used anything I en- Lightened. I was thinking about doing it to my steel bike's levers, but I hold back whenever I get the itch. The bike has a green Brooks Ti rail sadd, Dura ace Friction 9 speed shifters and mavic tubulars with green pave tires. I also have a pantographed stem for her, but it only fits a Cinelli bar, that I dont currently havr in my size. The bike is SOMEC ( society of Mechanics ) Wikipedia the name for a great story on how this frambuilder in Italy made it possible for Bicycle mechanics to get a good rate for what they do.I was drawn to the frame from first sight and traded it for a carbon frame straight up, I had to have it! the other guy was stoked, but I was stoketer!!!! I know have a corn cob cassette on there, that one just doesnt fit the old school hard assness I search for when pushin this bad boy around.
Thanks for this PRM. I just did my bar tape for the first time. The first side is a bit dodgy, but the second one looks pretty good I think. I put a new bar on, so I might redo it in a few days when I see if the lever position needs to be adjusted.
Great post

It is always great to see how folks do things, even if the style varies slightl from your own. I am still trying to perfect as diamond wrap with fizik tape. This looks cool to me.
Using two colours of tape.... Did this years ago on my Concorde and it looks great if you get a good combo of colours. Blue and white or Black and White looks great. (Blue and Black on the Team Sky TT bikes would look the biz!)

Might do this on the SL-1 as she is in need of new tape for the season.

If I do I will post a how too again on my blog.
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