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Wrap my own bars?

Fool

Turbo Monkey
Sep 10, 2001
1,921
551
Brooklyn
This is one of those things like wheel truing I usually leave to the pros, but, hey, hell, it's Covid and one less set of grubby mitts on my shit seems like a good idea.

Park video doesn't make it look too hard, other than spending too much time showing 3 bad ways to get past the drops and speeding past the one right way.

Any tips before I take on what essentially seems like a crafting project along the lines of woodburning "Live Laugh Love" into a piece of driftwood?
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
45,255
10,872
Sleazattle
Consider being environmentally conscious and go with a vegan lettuce wrap.


I have done it myself a few times but not enough to remember many tricks. I would just try it, and if it doesn't look or feel good try it again. The wrap I used wasn't adhesive backed so this was easy to do. I did use some double sided tape for the start and finish though. But I didn't add that to the end until I had it all figured out.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
10,249
689
NORCAL is the hizzle
It's not hard to do, but there is some art to doing it well and long-lasting.
Use electrical tape to secure your cables before you start taping.
I like to start from the bottom and work up.
Most tape is barely long enough, so you need to stretch it a bit as you go (and that also gives you a tighter wrap). But be careful not to tear it, especially if using cork.
Get a fair amount of overlap in the places you put your weight the most, or you'll get the dreaded gaps.
Once you get to the top, cut the tape off at an angle so the wrap finishes clean. You can try whatever finishing tape you get but I just use electrical tape.
 

Fool

Turbo Monkey
Sep 10, 2001
1,921
551
Brooklyn
Guys, I went with lizard skin because they were all out of baby pup seal skin. Sorry, overlords.

It's not hard to do, but there is some art to doing it well and long-lasting.
Use electrical tape to secure your cables before you start taping.
I like to start from the bottom and work up.
Most tape is barely long enough, so you need to stretch it a bit as you go (and that also gives you a tighter wrap). But be careful not to tear it, especially if using cork.
Get a fair amount of overlap in the places you put your weight the most, or you'll get the dreaded gaps.
Once you get to the top, cut the tape off at an angle so the wrap finishes clean. You can try whatever finishing tape you get but I just use electrical tape.
Thanks, this is in line with what I've heard -- also to take a piece of the tape and stretch it until it breaks, and then wrap your bars slightly less stretchily than that. Time for a beer for courage and then several more to help steady the hands when wrapping.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
9,307
6,127
It's not hard to do, but there is some art to doing it well and long-lasting.
Use electrical tape to secure your cables before you start taping.
I like to start from the bottom and work up.
Most tape is barely long enough, so you need to stretch it a bit as you go (and that also gives you a tighter wrap). But be careful not to tear it, especially if using cork.
Get a fair amount of overlap in the places you put your weight the most, or you'll get the dreaded gaps.
Once you get to the top, cut the tape off at an angle so the wrap finishes clean. You can try whatever finishing tape you get but I just use electrical tape.
This.
Focus on which way your wrap goes versus where your weight leans onto the bars
There's normally a little wider strip to help fill the gap behind your brifters.
Starting at the bar end you leave enough overlap and end to stuff it into the end and then secured with the plug.
 

jebfour

Turbo Monkey
Jun 19, 2003
1,316
156
CLT, NC
I recently wrapped a set of bars for the first time in 15 years so take anything I say with that in mind.

Until you get good at it, have a helper. Why? So while you try to hold things in place, they can rewind the Park tools video, which is on the iPad right next to you on the workbench, to see what he did. Don't forget to tell them they went "too far" or "not far enough!!". May (will) need to repeat several times. Doing this (with non-adhesive tape) it's a piece of cake. If it's too short, unwrap it and try it again - no harm, no foul.
 
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amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
1,223
363
Lancaster, PA
Couple of random tips:

Starting at the end of the drop, wrap the tape to the outside of the bar, so as you grip it while riding, it will tighten, rather than loosen, the tape. On the tops, the tape should wrap over the top of the bar towards the front, for the same reason.

Skip the short pieces of tape on the back of the levers and do the figure eight. It's not hard, and once you figure it out, is so much better.

Stretch it hard. (I hear Lizard Skins doesn't tolerate as much stretch though). The tape will better conform to the curves if stretched and won't get loose over time.

Once you have one side on and are satisfied with the results, count the number of wraps of tape to a certain point (i.e. up to the drop bend, after the corner on the tops). That way you don't have to figure it out again a second time.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
71,571
13,812
media blackout
as a former mechanic, wrapping bars is one thing i hated above all else (although i did get good at it from being taught by some very experienced mechanics).

for all the technological progress the bike industry has made, i can't believe road bars still have to be wrapped.
 

Fool

Turbo Monkey
Sep 10, 2001
1,921
551
Brooklyn
as a former mechanic, wrapping bars is one thing i hated above all else (although i did get good at it from being taught by some very experienced mechanics).

for all the technological progress the bike industry has made, i can't believe road bars still have to be wrapped.
...and capped off with electrical tape.

Haven't tackled this yet, but with amount of internet knowledge I've gleaned, I might as well be Sheldon fucking Brown.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
71,571
13,812
media blackout
...and capped off with electrical tape.

Haven't tackled this yet, but with amount of internet knowledge I've gleaned, I might as well be Sheldon fucking Brown.
its honestly not that difficult, just tedious and requires focus the entire time.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
14,846
5,744
In the cleavage of the Tetons
When your boss busts out the digital calipers to measure the overlap...good times. That’s how I was indoctrinated to wrapping bars when I was 17. Although he had regular old calipers.
 
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OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
10,249
689
NORCAL is the hizzle
Wow you are still sitting on this? Just jump in man, it's not that hard. Don't let the quest for perfection get in the way of good.

It's not like a customer asked you for a tri-color Benotto wrap or anything.
 

Fool

Turbo Monkey
Sep 10, 2001
1,921
551
Brooklyn
Lemme tell you a little something about procrastinating: Once I went out and bought and installed a sliding mirror closet door before sitting down to write a thing I had to write because I was worried how it was going to turn out. I mean, ultimately, it kicked ass, but still.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
18,177
2,323
01776
My suggestion would be to buy shitty wrap, do it a couple of times, then buy the good stuff. It takes practice and it's likely that you'll fuck up a few times. Unwrapping and re-wrapping, especially after stretching and riding, leaves your tape looking even shittier. I went out and bought high quality tape, then fucked up my wrap job, unfucked it but then it was all loose in the caboose. I just dealt with it because it still worked, but if I were a true roadie, I'd be embarrassed.

So, go grab some discounted garbage tape and do it a couple of times, then replace it at the end of the season or whatever when you get tired of looking at the gaps and flappy bits. Going around the brifters ain't too bad once you practice a few times following the park guidelines.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
9,307
6,127
Cinelli cork tape always allows me to fuck it up at least once during the process and unwind it all without issue (normally the going around the brifters section).
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
11,931
1,082
Hypernormality
I am quite good at this if I say so myself. I have done many wraps.

If you’re nervous — actually I often do this —first do a practice wrap without taking the backing tape off. I don’t think it generally matters which end you start as long as you don’t have/want to use the type of bar-end cap with a finishing grip in it. I personally like to start from the center anyway because of how the wraps lie. You don’t have to pull that tight but also don’t let the pressure off if you can help it, and back up a little if you do.Try to keep the size of every wrap, how much it overlaps the previous one, the same on the visible edge, and when you’re going round tight corners the longest outside edge. Take it slow.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,646
724
chez moi
Sheldon Brown referred to DH as "a form of motorcycling, since it isn't human-powered."

I was like "someone go tell Hermann Maier he's actually a snowmobiling champion!"

Not to speak ill of the dead or disparage the guy's level of cycle-geek knowledge, but it was funny how much the idea of downhill annoyed him. And I'm also back to a little DH-y riding now that I live in/near mountains and am loving it, whether on the full rigid or the little pocket DH Canfield Balance I built up.

I didn't wrap the bars tho.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
71,571
13,812
media blackout
Sheldon Brown referred to DH as "a form of motorcycling, since it isn't human-powered."

I was like "someone go tell Hermann Maier he's actually a snowmobiling champion!"

Not to speak ill of the dead or disparage the guy's level of cycle-geek knowledge, but it was funny how much the idea of downhill annoyed him. And I'm also back to a little DH-y riding now that I live in/near mountains and am loving it, whether on the full rigid or the little pocket DH Canfield Balance I built up.

I didn't wrap the bars tho.
he was knowledgeable for sure, and a bit cantankerous too