A sim­ple fix with a great ef­fect

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Nick Di Cristo­faro

Wrap your drop han­dle­bars like a pro

Out with the old Re­move the old tape and clean up any residue on the han­dle­bar. Some­times bits of the old tape may be left be­hind. You don’t want to wrap over the gunk as it might cre­ate bumps and bulges.

Cap­i­tal­ize on the clear view When you have the bar tape re­moved, it’s a good time to in­spect the ca­ble hous­ing and fer­rules where they en­ter the shifters. Make any needed re­place­ments. This is also a good time to re-po­si­tion the shifters on the bar if you need to as it is much harder to make these ad­just­ments when the bars are wrapped. Plan your route Us­ing elec­tri­cal tape, se­cure the ca­ble hous­ing to the han­dle bar evenly. Next, de­cide where you want the han­dle­bar wrap to end. If you have an aero bar with flat tops, the tape will likely stop soon af­ter the shifter. With a more tra­di­tional bar, bring the wrap closer to­ward the stem. Use elec­tri­cal tape to mark the end points and add some ex­tra se­cu­rity to the hous­ing. I like to use a pair of scis­sors to gauge an equal dis­tance from each side of the stem. Noth­ing throws off the look of a road bike like worn out, dirty bar tape. You can freshen up your ride by re­plac­ing the tape reg­u­larly to keep it from get­ting too worn or torn. Fresh tape just makes the bike look and feel great again. I have prob­a­bly wrapped thou­sands of han­dle­bars through­out the years. As with any skill, prac­tice makes perfect. A sim­ple task it may be, but for that pro look, follow these steps. Clamp down Take the two ex­tra pieces for cov­er­ing the shifter-lever clamps. Cut them to the ex­act length of the clamp be­fore­hand so they’re ready to go. You can also ex­tend each one a tiny bit past the clamp on cer­tain lever types to cover fer­rule junc­tions. Don’t ex­tend it so much that you cover brake hood lugs. Take your first roll of tape. If it has a pa­per back­ing, re­move it com­pletely to make the tape eas­ier to work with.

Get wrap­ping Start your wrap at the bar end. al­ways wrap from the in­side out­ward. On the right side, you’ll wrap clock­wise; on the left, counter-clock­wise. When you put the tape on this way, the wrap­ping job will re­sist the stresses from the rider’s hands in the drops, which tend to pull the tape in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. Po­si­tion the end of the tape so it ex­tends about half­way over the edge of the bar. Keep the tape taut while wrap­ping a cou­ple turns. At this point, in­stall your bar plug and give it a light tap with a mal­let if needed. Putting in the plug early al­lows you to go back to even things out at the bar end if nec­es­sary.

Start wrap­ping while keep­ing ten­sion on the tape, but don’t over­stretch it. Some han­dle­bar-tape ma­te­rial might need a bit more ten­sion than oth­ers to avoid wrin­kling. En­sure the wrap is even as you move along to­ward the lever.

“Putting in the plug early al­lows you to go back to even things out at the bar end if nec­es­sary.”

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