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Shops that wrap perfect bar tape?

siddy1972siddy1972 Posts: 160
edited December 2015 in Road general
I've almost got the build bits together for my road bike, but I'm pretty average at wrapping tape...anyone know of a shop in the East Midlands that wraps tape - and does a good job of it?
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  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    OK, so I know a question is not the answer you were looking for but why go through a self build, with all that satisfaction of riding a bike that has not only been specc'd by you but also personally built by you...just to have the bit you look at and hold done by someone else? I am not perfect at bar tape but I do an ok job...and anything too bad just gets rewrapped until it meets the grade. I get through bar tape every year so I don't fret too much about it.

    If you have a turbo, stick the bike on there or a bike stand, etc., to keep it steady, use insulation tape to hold cabling in place and then wrap out to in whilst keeping a smooth but strong tension. Sorted :-)
  • debelidebeli Posts: 583
    I agree with the above poster. You get better each time you do it. It is not a 'skill' in the way that adjusting bearings or setting brakes up might be described.

    If you start with the right amount of excess over the end of the bars and have the right 'angle of attack' to give you the thickness you want, then it is just a matter of keeping the tension roughly constant as you work your way along.

    I sometimes use more than the little off-cut around the levers, depending on what levers re on the bars.

    Cutting a nice, straight, angled end is just a matter of getting it to look right.

    As to tape, I always use electrician's tape and I go round a few times. The stuff that comes in the box is often slightly'temporary' and often too short for my liking.

    By all means go to a shop, but thinking back to when I showed my kids how to fix things on a bike, bar tape was the first thing, not the last. Almost every other task is harder.

    But if you really want to go to a shop, I imagine they are all jolly good at it or they wouldn't be in business. They are likely to have done it fourteen gazillion times.
  • Loads of videos on YouTube about this.
    I must admit on my recent bike build, I put this off right until the very end, and was nervous about doing it, but when I got the hang of which direction to wrap and the correct tension then it was fairly straightforward. And as mentioned, you can always unwrap any sections you're not completely happy with, which I found comforting as I had it in my head that once it was on then it had to stay on. The trickiest bit for me was the bar-ends and getting them looking neat.
    I would also recommend insulation tape instead of the generic stuff - it's cheap as chips so you can use as much as you like.

    Of course if you really want it done by a pro, then that's your choice, I'm sure any LBS will be able to do it blindfolded, and will be grateful of the income!
  • I take all your points, I can do a passable job, but this is one bike that I'd like to have the 'perfect' job doing on. Everything else, I'm happy with, but the tape- I dunno, I can never get it just so...
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,126
    For fairly convoluted reasons I ended up delegating this job to my LBS a few years ago. I assumed that from the owner's years of experience I would get a Rolls Royce job. Jesus wept, I have never seen such a half arsed efforet - huge gaps by the brifters and then wrapped all the way to the stem. Looked like it had been done by a drunk toddler.

    My trick is to wrap from the middle of the bars out - start the first wrap behind one of the cables and wrap it tight, you then get a perfect finsih with no need for tape. I usually cut the bit that goes behind the brifters in half so you can position it a bit more easily. I'm sure there are good reasons why you are supposed to wrap from the other end, but I have had no issue with any of my bikes wrapping tape like this and it looks very neat.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Yeah, I think this is an age thing, not calling you an old git though!

    If you wrap from the middle then you can use plain and unglued leather that will hold in place once finished without the need for insulation tape, just the cork out a wine bottle (probably consumed in the feed zone) stuffed into the bar end.

    If you look at the old retro bikes (the proper ones) they are invariably wrapped from the middle.

    Wrapping from the outside means the wrapping seems to get tighter with usage rather than slacker due to the way hands grip and move, which is why it is used now?...at least I think that is why, could be just that convention switched at some point?
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,785
    I've only just started wrapping from the midle. It just occured to me one day and now I don't know why I did it differently for 40 years!
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    I take the view that I care more that the job is done 100% right than any bike shop employee - it's my bike and I'll be looking at it!

    As has been said, there are plenty of on-line guides and you-tube videos to watch. Just practice until you're really slick at doing it.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • pirniepirnie Posts: 242
    If you get a bar tape that doesn't have very strong adhesive on the back you can have a go over and over again with the same roll of tape. Off the top of my head I've had the Bontrager Gel one on and off my bike at least 5 times (it has more of a grippy than sticky backing). That might be a good way to get your confidence up?
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    I always use a vernier calliper set to the overlap so it looks nice and even, looks great on the outside curves, I also use the same calliper to get the same distance from the stem to the cut off point. It sounds time consuming but it isn't and takes all the guesswork out.
    With some tapes you can use the emblems as overlap references, with the B on Bontrager tape working perfectly.

    The insulation tape looks pro if it doesn't touch the bars.

    Doing one side is incredibly easy, getting both sides to match is the difficult part, with the same number of wraps up to the shifter and then to the stem. OCD I know, but it looks bloody good if done right.
  • Now you're talking! How do I finish the ends without touching the bar? Not clear how to use the veniers around the bends, how's that done? If you've any pics or links you can mail me, I'd be very grateful :-)
  • ElfedElfed Posts: 459
    Now you're talking! How do I finish the ends without touching the bar? Not clear how to use the veniers around the bends, how's that done? If you've any pics or links you can mail me, I'd be very grateful :-)

    It doesn't have to be Vernier callipers, could be a piece of wood/plastic/card cut to the right size, or even a block of 3/4" ply/mdf, think I had it at 18mm or 15mm which would work with sheet material thickness, then just use it as a spacer whilst wrapping.

    With the bends, you can only get the correct spacing on the outside, the inside will be much closer.

    As for the insulation tape, it's dependent on getting the taper on the end the correct length/angle, then the insulation tape would form a loop sitting flush with the bar tape end.
    Have a look at bikes from the pro peloton to see what I mean, they also use the finishing tape supplied with the bar tape, but I've never had much luck with that, more practice needed!

    There are loads of videos on YouTube about wrapping tape. It can be a very frustrating thing to try and do, but worth it when done right.
  • Thanks for the info- the taped end off the bar does look very pro as you say. I've got some old tape in the garage to practice with, I'll give it a bash!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    I use the contour of the tape to judge spacing. I must say that Cinelli are very generous with the amount of tape given so you can pre cut a strip off so that you have one on each side of the levers. You can cut the 2 extra strips in half (I don't know if other brands provide them as I have used Cinelli for donkey's) and then you have 4 for each side of both levers once you get a bit more confident.
    I never use insulation tape to finish the start point (in the middle) - I just give one full 1 and a half rotation starting at the 6 o'clock position so it's not too bulky, before winding on.
    Allow for at least 2" overlap at the end as the end stopper does push some extra bar tape in.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    As an aside, why did people stop starting the wrap from the middle to the ends?

    Starting at the middle is neater, no insulting tape needed.....

    Any ideas?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    edited November 2015
    As an aside, why did people stop starting the wrap from the middle to the ends?

    Starting at the middle is neater, no insulting tape needed.....

    Any ideas?

    It must be the influence of Feng shui.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • olake92olake92 Posts: 182
    Sod the LBS. Check out the team Katusha Facebook page for a video of their mechanic rewrapping some bars in less than 2 mins. Beautifully done. Just watch that and copy him!
    I'm on Twitter! Follow @olake92 for updates on my racing, my team's performance and some generic tweets.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    As an aside, why did people stop starting the wrap from the middle to the ends?

    Starting at the middle is neater, no insulting tape needed.....

    Any ideas?

    Who stopped? :D

    DSC03952.jpg
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    Showing off your bike again T47?

    (Don't blame you).
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,203
    As an aside, why did people stop starting the wrap from the middle to the ends?

    Starting at the middle is neater, no insulting tape needed.....

    Any ideas?

    As a guess? the switch to "brifters" with bigger hoods and wider bars?

    Those little plastic brake levers of old wouldnt have been half so hard to get looking neat...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    As an aside, why did people stop starting the wrap from the middle to the ends?

    Starting at the middle is neater, no insulting tape needed.....

    Any ideas?

    Who stopped? :D

    DSC03952.jpg

    More bare bar to one side of the stem than the other - please re-do immediately! :lol:
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Nah, it's just my poor photo, I can't beleive you made me get the vernier scale out to check it though, it was spot on (39.6mm either side) I can now sleep well tonight :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    Nah, it's just my poor photo, I can't beleive you made me get the vernier scale out to check it though, it was spot on (39.6mm either side) I can now sleep well tonight :D

    I noticed that you have the rear brake lever on the right hand. Are you a leftie or are you slow so it's immaterial?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Nah, it's just my poor photo, I can't beleive you made me get the vernier scale out to check it though, it was spot on (39.6mm either side) I can now sleep well tonight :D

    That may be true but the tussles on your rug are all over the place. Disgraceful
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Pinno wrote:
    team47b[/url]"]Nah, it's just my poor photo, I can't beleive you made me get the vernier scale out to check it though, it was spot on (39.6mm either side) I can now sleep well tonight :D

    I noticed that you have the rear brake lever on the right hand. Are you a leftie or are you slow so it's immaterial?

    Front brake on left is standard outside uk, something to do with us ferners driving on the wrong side of the road, and I do have to cycle slowly 'cos all that chrome and sunshine means I have to wear welding goggles :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Nah, it's just my poor photo, I can't beleive you made me get the vernier scale out to check it though, it was spot on (39.6mm either side) I can now sleep well tonight :D

    That may be true but the tussles on your rug are all over the place. Disgraceful

    Culprits...

    DSC03930.jpg
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    Have they ^ just taken a break from a fight to pose for a picture?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Have they ^ just taken a break from a fight to pose for a picture?

    Next photo in sequence :D

    DSC03931.jpg

    Ironic posting a photo of a couple of pussies to mr Bass :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,717
    Cool as a cucumber - brother(?) in a headlock.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    That's Marmite's mate, he just invites himself in, makes himself at home :)
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
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