MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

TAPING BARS - INTRO

POSITION -  BARS/LEVERS

WRAPPING THE DROPS

WRAP AROUND LEVER

WRAPPING THE TOPS

 

WRAPPING THE HANDLEBAR DROPS

There are three distinct areas on the handlebar to be considered when installing handlebar tape - the drops, the brake levers and the tops.  Each area will present its own set of needs and understanding those needs will help make the job less frustrating and more rewarding once completed.

Drop bars can be wrapped from the inside out or the outside in.  I prefer to start at the outside and move towards the centerline, of the bicycle.  By doing this and wrapping in the correct direction, the pressure my hands place on the handlebars when riding will actually serve to tighten, rather than loosen the tape.

Start at one end of the handlebars and point the end of the tape towards the bicycle.  Place the start end on the underside of the bar and secure the bar tape end with a small piece of electrician's tape, if you wish.  It is also important that enough of the tape protrudes beyond the end of the handlebar.  This protruding portion of the tape will later be tucked into the bars and secured in place with one of the supplied end caps.

With the start position of the tape defined, give the tape a 360 degree wrap, allowing the edges to line up.  Ensure that about one third of the tape width protrudes beyond the handlebar end.  This protruding portion will be tucked into the end of the handlebar and held in place with the, usually supplied, bar end plugs.  Try to make this wrap very tight.  The unsupported portion of tape will actually seem to pull smaller than the diameter of the bars.  This is good and will help to keep everything secure later on.

Once the tape has a full wrap and the edges are lined up, squeeze or pinch the tape to hold it secure while you stretch the next all important wrap.  This is not the time to be extra careful with the stretch pressure.  Put as much as you dare!  You are trying to get the tape to secure itself and tight is important. If the tape happens to break, at least it will do so near the end, and the entire roll will not be ruined.  If the tape breaks in the middle, its back to the Local Bike Shop for another package.

Another good thing about breaking bar tape for the first time.  Once you get it over with, you will have a better idea of how hard to pull and, more importantly, how hard NOT to pull.

Once this the second wrap is complete, pinch it in place with your fingers and take a good look at your work.  Are the first wrap edges still pretty flush?  Have you angled the tape to define the amount of overlap?  Are there any gaps (wrinkles) in the leading edge of the tape?  Gaps, at the leading edge, indicates that the tape is not been stretched tightly enough.  Also, look at the end of the bar and the protruding tape.  Does it look as if the tape has shrunk over the end of the bar?  As mentioned already, that is good and suggests that you have, indeed, achieved some clamping pressure with the tape itself.

Now continue wrapping, one wrap after another, allowing for about one third of tape width as overlap.  Check each wrap carefully!  Ensure that the wraps are evenly spaced.  You will notice that the more overlap is necessary on the inside of the handlebar curves and there is nothing that can be done about this.  The outside radius of the bar curve is longer than the inside and adjusting the tape to fit is necessary.  Don't worry, this is something that will come naturally, as you stretch and wrap.

As you continue, always keep an eye on what you are doing.  Ensure that there are no gaps between the edges of the tape and the handlebar.  Ensure that the width of wraps are pretty much equal.  If something doesn't look right, unwrap that part and do it again.  This is where the non-adhesive backed tape is a forgiving product to work with.  Once satisfied that everything is going well, on the drop portion of the bars, it is time to prepare for the lever wraps.

NEXT - WRAPPING THE BRAKE LEVERS

 

 

 

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