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Road bike bar wrap?
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Which way do you go?

Ive always been a bottom to top guy, but on my last build I switched teams and went top to bottom. Must say that I really like that look. I’ll see how it wears, but having no finishing tape is such a clean look. Love it so far.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Generally bottom to top, since the edges of the tapes can roll up from hand forces if it's wrapped the other way. It's not a problem with most super-thin bar tapes of ancient times - like cotton cloth, Benotto cello, or plastic tapes like Hunt Wilde - but it can be problematic on today's thicker and often stretchier tapes. If it works for you and you like the look, though, then go for it.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Classic, bottom to top. Park and Zinn have been my bible on such things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MzIiv7pewE

Finish with silicone rescue tape for a clean, non-sticky finish (switched from the classic Super33 as the finishing tape; never used the supplied tape strips).

Wrap now stops before the tops given the aero road bars on my roadie.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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I too have been bottom to top with figure 8 around the hoods. My go to is the Park Tools info most often to remind me the procedure. I just retaped my handle bars this past weekend.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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A long time ago I used to be top to bottom so I could stuff the tape in the end and secure it with the cap but now I'm bottom to top with a half wrap around the shifter.

Next wrap on the road bike I'm doing a harlequin. I did it on my tri bike last year and everyone liked it.


Last edited by: jaretj: Aug 11, 20 5:28
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [jaretj] [ In reply to ]
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jaretj wrote:
A long time ago I used to be top to bottom so I could stuff the tape in the end and secure it with the cap but now I'm bottom to top with a half wrap around the shifter.

Next wrap on the road bike I'm doing a harlequin. I did it on my tri bike last year and everyone liked it.


I used to do the harlequin pattern with Benotto tape, looked awesome. With modern tape I find it gets too thick and squishy for my tastes.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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It is thick :(
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [HTupolev] [ In reply to ]
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HTupolev wrote:
Generally bottom to top, since the edges of the tapes can roll up from hand forces if it's wrapped the other way. It's not a problem with most super-thin bar tapes of ancient times - like cotton cloth, Benotto cello, or plastic tapes like Hunt Wilde - but it can be problematic on today's thicker and often stretchier tapes. If it works for you and you like the look, though, then go for it.

I should mention that this is only on my outdoor / group ride / race bike, which will only really get used once a week or so. So I'm not overly fussed about the edges rolling up, since I'll probably be replacing the tape around when that starts to happen. The edges of the tape I'm using are feathered enough that my palms aren't grabbing the edge, so no big deal.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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The bike store I worked at, actually sent me to Schwinn School, back in the 70’s, and the factory wrap requirement was top to bottom. That’s how I’ve always done it since. Interestingly, the more expensive rubber type super grip tape is awful for edge curling with top to bottom. But the thick foamy stuff with feathered edges, doesn’t curl at all for me.

Athlinks / Strava
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Dean T wrote:
The bike store I worked at, actually sent me to Schwinn School, back in the 70’s, and the factory wrap requirement was top to bottom. That’s how I’ve always done it since. Interestingly, the more expensive rubber type super grip tape is awful for edge curling with top to bottom. But the thick foamy stuff with feathered edges, doesn’t curl at all for me.

I'm trying to recall how I did it when I first started working on my bike as a kid, would have been in the very early 80's. I don't recall electrical tape being something that I used, so it was probably top to bottom? Then at some point I switched, probably around the time I started using Cinelli cork tape.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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I don't remember ever seeing any bottom to top tape, until I got into cat racing in the early 80's. Then it became the style to use the Cinelli striped tape. I don't know how we ever did it back then, riding centuries and even double centuries, with unpadded flat plastic or cloth tape. Then someone came out with the one piece foam tubes. I never did give in to that fad.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Dean T wrote:
I don't remember ever seeing any bottom to top tape, until I got into cat racing in the early 80's. Then it became the style to use the Cinelli striped tape. I don't know how we ever did it back then, riding centuries and even double centuries, with unpadded flat plastic or cloth tape. Then someone came out with the one piece foam tubes. I never did give in to that fad.

Mesh back gloves and bruised palms.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Dean T wrote:
I don't remember ever seeing any bottom to top tape, until I got into cat racing in the early 80's. Then it became the style to use the Cinelli striped tape. I don't know how we ever did it back then, riding centuries and even double centuries, with unpadded flat plastic or cloth tape. Then someone came out with the one piece foam tubes. I never did give in to that fad.

i got bottom to top. i generally go 2 rolls of tape.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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I too have been bottom to top with figure 8 around the hoods. My go to is the Park Tools info most often to remind me the procedure. I just retaped my handle bars this past weekend.


Agreed - pretty much everyone, for good reason, says, for road handle bars go bottom of the the drops to top.

Many great videos of How To online, but I agree for many things do-it-your-self for bikes, the Park Tool vids are awesome!

I'm a big fan of the Fizik Microtex Bar tape. I always use white tape (to match my white saddle - you know The Rules!), and the Fizik tape always stays clean and white. It just needs a little bit of a wash down every now and then with Simple Green, and it can stay looking new - all season long.

I use the basic bottom to top technique, and what I do for customization, is where my hands rest some times - just behind the rubber boot of the shifter/brake unit, I do about 5 - 8 cm of a double rap underneath. This adds some extra padding and a slight bit of thickness.

Silca launched last year a line of bar tapes, that I'm interested in trying. They use a thin film of padding that is similar to the compound used in the Nike Vaporfly shoes - that is reported to add no bulk, but dramatically increase comfort to bar tape!

Contact points with the bike are key to comfort. And comfort is key to spending time on the bike. And spending time on the bike is a key to fitness.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
I too have been bottom to top with figure 8 around the hoods. My go to is the Park Tools info most often to remind me the procedure. I just retaped my handle bars this past weekend.


Agreed - pretty much everyone, for good reason, says, for road handle bars go bottom of the the drops to top.

Many great videos of How To online, but I agree for many things do-it-your-self for bikes, the Park Tool vids are awesome!

I'm a big fan of the Fizik Microtex Bar tape. I always use white tape (to match my white saddle - you know The Rules!), and the Fizik tape always stays clean and white. It just needs a little bit of a wash down every now and then with Simple Green, and it can stay looking new - all season long.

I use the basic bottom to top technique, and what I do for customization, is where my hands rest some times - just behind the rubber boot of the shifter/brake unit, I do about 5 - 8 cm of a double rap underneath. This adds some extra padding and a slight bit of thickness.

Silca launched last year a line of bar tapes, that I'm interested in trying. They use a thin film of padding that is similar to the compound used in the Nike Vaporfly shoes - that is reported to add no bulk, but dramatically increase comfort to bar tape!

Contact points with the bike are key to comfort. And comfort is key to spending time on the bike. And spending time on the bike is a key to fitness.

The only advantage that I’m aware of going bottom to top is that the edges are less likely to curl (on certain tapes, not all)

Going top to bottom eliminates that ugly finishing strip and (in theory) maintains more tension on the tape so it’s less likely to unravel itself if you use stuff that doesn’t have strong adhesive.

I’ll see how it holds up over the next few weeks.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Going top to bottom eliminates that ugly finishing strip and (in theory) maintains more tension on the tape so it’s less likely to unravel itself if you use stuff that doesn’t have strong adhesive.



A few rounds of black electrical tape seems to hold my tops well in place - if you cut the bar tape properly and use good quality electrical tape - it can look pretty clean and pro. I usually have to replace electrical tape ounce or twice in a season. But this is not a deal-breaker for me.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Going top to bottom eliminates that ugly finishing strip and (in theory) maintains more tension on the tape so it’s less likely to unravel itself if you use stuff that doesn’t have strong adhesive.



A few rounds of black electrical tape seems to hold my tops well in place - if you cut the bar tape properly and use good quality electrical tape - it can look pretty clean and pro. I usually have to replace electrical tape ounce or twice in a season. But this is not a deal-breaker for me.

I know how to do it, but electrical tape will never look as clean as not having it at all.

The last tape I tried before my current ones (fizik on one bike, MEC super grippy on the other) was some cork stuff with no adhesive. The only way to get it to not unravel going bottom to top was to have the electrical tape go off the end of the bar tape and onto the bar itself, which looked janky as hell.

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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Which way do you go?

Ive always been a bottom to top guy, but on my last build I switched teams and went top to bottom. Must say that I really like that look. I’ll see how it wears, but having no finishing tape is such a clean look. Love it so far.

On normal round bars (round all the way to the stem) I use the bottom-to-top method. On my 3T AeroNova bars with flattened tops, I go top-down.

The reason I do the latter on the aero road bars is that the tape stops just after the turn to the tops. I've found that having finishing tape of any kind there usually results in the tape moving and/or tape residue getting pushed around (on white tape, of course) due to the constant contact from my hands in those areas (something not experienced on round top bars where the tape ends closer to the stem). Starting the tape at the tops eliminates that problem, and is "cleaner" looking overall anyway.

http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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Tom A. wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
Which way do you go?

Ive always been a bottom to top guy, but on my last build I switched teams and went top to bottom. Must say that I really like that look. I’ll see how it wears, but having no finishing tape is such a clean look. Love it so far.

On normal round bars (round all the way to the stem) I use the bottom-to-top method. On my 3T AeroNova bars with flattened tops, I go top-down.

The reason I do the latter on the aero road bars is that the tape stops just after the turn to the tops. I've found that having finishing tape of any kind there usually results in the tape moving and/or tape residue getting pushed around (on white tape, of course) due to the constant contact from my hands in those areas (something not experienced on round top bars where the tape ends closer to the stem). Starting the tape at the tops eliminates that problem, and is "cleaner" looking overall anyway.

This^^
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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I have to do mine this weekend. Anyone use spray mount or any under tape adhesive to keep it in place for tape with no backing. Just did my son's tennis racquet with spray mount and it's worked well so far.
Thanks

Great things never come from comfort zones.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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Tom, can you post a photo of your wrap?
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [ In reply to ]
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A quick bump to ask what alternatives there are to using electrical tape to secure the cables? Just unwrapped a three-year old bar, and the goo was awful. I found some 1/2" Zefal cloth rim tape in my parts box from many years ago. Still sticky.

I noticed the Park video used filament strapping tape. Any other alternatives that are easy to procure (Home Depot, Walmart)? Cloth athletic tape?

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. C. S. Lewis
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [TMI] [ In reply to ]
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Some electrical tapes can get really gummy but certain particular tapes, like 3M Super 33+, won't give you an issue.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [TMI] [ In reply to ]
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I go with silicone rescue tape. You don't need a lot of strength in the tape, just need to hold the cables in place. The rescue tape is non-adhesive, it bonds to itself, not to the cables or bars so no residue.

Since rescue tape typically comes in 1" width, I cut it in half for cables, and use the full 1" for bar tape finishing.
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Re: Road bike bar wrap? [TMI] [ In reply to ]
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TMI wrote:
A quick bump to ask what alternatives there are to using electrical tape to secure the cables? Just unwrapped a three-year old bar, and the goo was awful. I found some 1/2" Zefal cloth rim tape in my parts box from many years ago. Still sticky.

I noticed the Park video used filament strapping tape. Any other alternatives that are easy to procure (Home Depot, Walmart)? Cloth athletic tape?

I’m going to use hockey tape next time, it peels off with very little residue

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