Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How to Wrap Handlebars for Road Bikes


Calvin Jones here, Park Tool Company. In this video, we’re going to walk to the procedures of wrapping the drop style handlebars. There are many types of handlebar tapes available.
They all vary in strength. Before you begin wrapping, if you’re unfamiliar with the brand,
grab the end of the tape and pull to get a sense of the strength
so you don’t break it while wrapping. For the wrapping here, we’ll use the
synthetic cork tape without adhesive. Wrapping handlebars is a good time
to consider if you want to change your lever height or if you have used housing
and cables, replace it now. Prepare the work area by
getting everything close at hand. We have our scissors, a mallet to secure
the end plug, our handlebar tape, finishing pieces for behind the hoods, end plugs, finishing tape for the end, we have a sharp knife and a little bit of strapping tape to hold down the housing. We want the housing held secure to the bar so it doesn’t move around while we’re wrapping. Use the last piece to end
where we want the tape to end. On this bar that has a smooth transition, there’s no clear place to end. If you end way at the manufacturer’s logo, we really don’t have enough tape – you may want to ride up here. We’re gonna come about here –
just about where the transition begins. so after doing one end, we can use a simple measuring technique to come over here and we can duplicate both sides ending the same. This holds our housing down – it also
tells us where we’re going to stop. Also, pull back on the hoods now
so they’re ready when we get there. Take the time now to cut about 8 to 10 inches of
your finishing tape so they’re ready when we’re done. Find part of the bike such as the top tube that they can
hang on yet be close at hand when we want them. We want to start taping at the bottom
and come up to the top. we don’t want to start at the top
and work down. Starting at the top, such as on this handlebar, is going to leave this edge exposed to the load on the hand. It’s going to come unwrapped. It will pull back
and eventually wear itself out and expose the bar from just riding on the top. We’re going to start at the bottom
and go to the top to avoid that. The direction of wrap is also important. We want the direction of handlebar wrap to match the
direction of load as the hands rotate on the bars. Under load and stress, it’s common for
riders on the drops to rotate their wrists outward. Consequently, we want to match the left side with a counter-clockwise wrap from the rider’s point of view. On the right side, we want a clockwise wrap from the rider’s point of view but on top this reverses. On top when we’re riding, especially up the hill, people tend to twist their wrist back. So we want this to be the direction of wrap
and this to be the direction of wrap. It’s going to be the opposite of the
direction on the drops. The style of tape has no adhesion – so this one one relies on tension as we wrap. We begin at the bottom, and again here
we’re going to go in a clockwise direction. We start at the bottom and hold tight –
we come around, overlap maintaining tension we want to stop and install our plug. install fully and then proceed to wrap the bars. If you have the adhesive-type tape,
peel back a few inches to expose the adhesive. Remember the direction here –
we want this to go clockwise on the right side. We’re going to start at the bottom with the adhesive just on the bar hold it tight and pull it snug as you wrap around
and advance up the bar. Stop just 1 or 2 revolutions past – we’re going to
tuck in this tape and put the plug in now in case there’s a problem – we’ll know it. Plug goes inside – make sure it’s fully secure. If it needs a little extra help, use a mallet. Overlap and advance up the bar, but make sure that the adhesive is not laying on the tape you just put down but is on the unfinished clean handlebar,
advancing as you go. We always pull with tension, never relaxing,
overlapping approximately halfway as we go keeping our marks symmetrical. Once you get to the curve, we still maintain tension
and inspect both sides as you go. Back up before you proceed and make a mistake We don’t want to get all the way up to the bar and find out we have a gap way down below. We’ve continued the wrap, and now we’ve reached the lever body. There are a few different techniques to get us past this: The simplest way is simply to wrap close to the lever body, continue past it and go on your way. This is going to leave a slight gap showing once the rubber hoods roll back – we are going to have a slight gap. That bothers some people, so we can place an extra piece of tape underneath, and that’s going to cover that up. This technique is also not so good because it
does not reverse the direction of wrap and it puts the tape in a less advantageous direction on the tops. Another technique is called the “Figure 8”. If I back up the tape – notice I’m still maintaining tension there – we can peel the little adhesive off our covering tape, tape goes along the backside of the body here, we want to place it and double check that we’re not covering any lugs. This rubber hood has a small lug in it – it’s going to engage in the body we may end up covering that pocket, so here we’re going to trim a little bit So, the figure 8 goes around, and behind, and over, and then it repeats, and finally we’re back here. I don’t like this technique so much – it creates a very bulbous shape. A lot of the padded tapes end up being very bulky here. This is a technique from older days
when the tape was very thin. You could do a Figure 8 and have this much thinner. But with the padded tapes, it ends up being quite large here, so we’re going to not do that technique. What we are going to do is hold the covering piece in place, one more time to cover that, Instead we’re going to come up over and then continue, not do the Figure 8. Now, if we notice here, the tape is now in a good rotation for that stressful kind of load. Before you continue on, roll the hood back and inspect and see if there are any gaps or any issues that we missed. We can correct them now,
and then we can continue on our way. We’re approaching the end of where we decided our wrap should stop We’re not going to go around and around here,
which can leave a lump we’re actually going to maintain the same wrap angle we always have, and go past that mark. We’re going to use a sharp knife to mark along
the line where our tape should end. So we pass that line, we use the knife to make a mark. We’re only marking the tape here. Don’t go so hard you score the handlebars especially not good if it’s a carbon fiber bar. We now have a mark we can see in the tape.
We’re going to match that angle with our scissors. We’re going to continue consistently and it will match the end. This one goes past, so we’re going to trim so it finishes at the bottom. That’s what we want to see. We now take a piece of our finishing tape,
wrapping starting at the bottom. We’re going to go in the same direction, we’re going to pull snug and lay that down as we come around. Two times at least. Keeping it flat and tidy. We’d like to end, if possible, under. We start at the bottom and end at the bottom. That is a wrap on the wrap, now let’s look at some additional techniques. If the handlebar end plug is the type that secures in with a bolt, it can be installed first. We don’t want to just start our tape square,
it’s going to end up with a lump on the bottom. We can actually start with our angle of our wrap,
much like we did at the top. We are going to finish and cut this crease right here
– it is marking the angle that I want to trim. I’m coming across this angle with the scissors,
and that’s going to give us our starting angle. It’s going to make a much cleaner start. Again, always at the bottom. I come around here – and now I advance. Here, a much cleaner finish. A technique that’s useful, especially for the competitive cyclist, where crashing can happen: The crashing occurs, it’s typically this side of the bar that gets ripped. so what you can do is take some plain old electrician’s tape, PVC tape and here I’m actually starting it backwards, or inside-out. This is the sticky side,
the non-sticky side is against the bar. So, I’m pulling snug and overlapping as I go What we’re going to do is provide a sticky surface that’s going to hold the tape from the inside. If there is a bad rip, there is a crash, the bar tape’s not going to come completely unraveled. This is going to act, effectively, like flypaper. You don’t need the whole bar covered, just this lower section. Again, what we’re saying is if there were to be a crash, the tape is sticking to it, it’s not going to completely come undone.
It’s a bit of a safety precaution should that get ripped. White tape can be especially tricky. Be sure and keep it clean as you can, sometimes wearing gloves. Here, we’ve wrapped it and then we’ve also made our final cut where we like it. We don’t want to put the trim tape on just yet, because we’re going to have a little edge of whiteness there. We’re going to back that off, take a permanent marker and run across the inside edge We’re going to have a black edge that now shows and no one will know that that’s actually just the edge of the tape. We start with our finish tape on the bottom We come around pulling it snug, making a second pass, and on that inside edge, all we see is our marker. It looks clean and consistent. Although we’ve placed the seam of our finishing tape right on the bottom, with time and use these can come loose. So we’re going to take a spoke and a lighter we’re going to tack weld, just a small tack weld to help seal that. So, we’re going to heat up the spoke… come in here once, twice is all we need to seal that shut, cauterize that finish tape, and we’re done A good way to finish our ending tape is to take a contrasting color of electrician’s tape and make some pinstriping. What we want to do is use a sharp edge – we’re going to use a knife held firmly to the work table we’ll take our tape, place it down
and hold it firmly and then rotate it. We’re going to push with some force into that blade
and rotate this around. Again, firmly and evenly:
don’t pick up on the knife, don’t pick up on the tape. That’s going to leave a nice mark, and that’s going to be the edge of our pinstriping. We peel back a section – that should probably do us Put the pinstriping right on the edge, starting and stopping again at the bottom, and a nice highlight. And that was a walkthrough of wrapping the drop-style handlebars. Thank you.

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