- Mulger bill
- Super Mod
- Posts: 28314
- Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
- Location: Sunbury Vic
Anyway, sat down and read a couple books for advice, hmmm...
Top down or bottom up? Which is the best way to wrap a bar, Can I reuse the factory tape, (gel insert)? If I have to go new, brands, materials,
colours, what else have I missed?
- Posts: 7333
- Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
- Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears
Before retaping your bars, think about the brake levers - would you like a bit of extra around there? Maybe there's a hollow you'd like to fill in (my problem). Maybe you'd like a bit of padding just 'there'. Think about it now because you put that extra padding under your bar tape.
You can reuse the stuff quite often (don't ask me how I know, I just promised the siamese I wouldn't swear on the forum again ... tonight), but like everything, it reaches a point where you'd like some new stuff.
My take on it? Buy new when you feel the need. It's like a new pair of shoes - old and comfy is really nice but when it starts to get tatty or fall to bits, maybe you need some new stuff.
When you put it on, start at the bar end, get plenty inside the bar end and ram in the stopper - this is a part I get wrong all the time and I was gratified (though pithed off) to note that the mechanic at the lbs is worse at it than me.
Try to wind it as evenly as you can, but as you go around curves, this becomes an interesting compromise.
Pull it TIGHT. Tightness is your friend. This ensures an even finish provided you lay it evenly and ensures that it stays where you put it. Do it too loose and it'll move. Stretch the stuff - it takes a lot of stretching and loves it. Seal the top end with electrical tape - don't bother with the miniscule bit of sticky backed something the manufacturers provide you with, go buy some black electrical tape and use it liberally (interestingly, bar tape is the only thing in the known universe that electrical tape sticks too )
Putting on bar tape is an art form, so treat it as such. You aren't going to whack on a roll of bar tape and have it perfect the first time ... or if you do manage it, the second attempt will disappoint. So accept that before hand. There's nothing magical about the stuff, not even the stuff with an adhesive strip. You can put it on again and a again, until you get it right. And if you screw it up, just go buy another packet and have another go.
It's a skill that comes with practice, and is a skill that can make or mess the image of your bike. Take the time and money to practice now, redo it as you feel fit, and you'll wind up being the local guru on bar tape. It's actually one of the most satisfying skills in bike maintenance and hence worth putting a bit of effort into (much better than learning how to clean the flamin' thing).
- Super Mod
- Posts: 17060
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- Location: Tempe, Sydney
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- Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:25 pm
- Location: Riding a real steel bike - somewhere!
"Seal the top end with electrical tape - don't bother with the miniscule bit of sticky backed something the manufacturers provide you with, go buy some black electrical tape and use it liberally (interestingly, bar tape is the only thing in the known universe that electrical tape sticks too )"
Ah good old electrical tape, along with zip cable ties, some of the handiest products known to cyclists.
I use electrical tape to tape the bars on my track bikes, and on my fixie, the rear brake cable is attached to the top tube by electrical tape.
No Gel bar tape on my bikes, if it's not electrical tape, then it's cloth tape(Cateye), Benotto plastic tape or on my latter model bikes Bike Ribbon or an imitaion thereof.
If the frame does not have top of top tube brake cable eyelets, 3 cable ties or 3 evenly spaced winds of electrical tape do the trick.
Other uses for electrical tape on the bike:
As a 'under' Rim tape on which the real rim strip lies over on single wall rims.
As a frame paint protector under anything clamped to the frame.
Other uses for zip cable ties:
Attaching bidon cages if no brazeons.
Attaching just about anything else that you want to stay put.
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