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Handlebar wrap tape question
I'm going to embark on a project in several weeks to adjust my stem higher, which will drag in the need to make my cable housing longer, which will also drag in the need to redo my handlebar wrap.

Good thing is, the handlebar wrap is slipping, and the cables/housing are over 2 years old with 4k miles - so they are due for replacement.

The handlebar wrap I have purchased for this project (Cinelli gel) says to "affix with adhesive tape" once you are near the stem after wrapping the rest of the bar.

What are preferred brands of tape and where do you get them at? I need black colored tape. Alex recommends electrical tape in the video/writeup on taping drop handlebars - is that what others have used? Electrical tape can really stretch.
it depends on the style bars and shifters you have.take a pic of your bar setup. if you have plugs in the end of your bars you do not need tape. start your wrap at the stem and work towards the endplugs, tuckit and pop in your plugs. assuming your new tape has a center strip of peel tape
pick your starting point near the stem and apply double sided tape and start wrapping
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
I've got drop bars, racing style. I have SRAM Rival shifters, along with the rubber skirt that grabs the bars.

The caps I have on now have a bolt. I think it'd be better if I start wrapping at the bottom and end up at the top stem area.

I'll post a photo of my on my bike in my profile momentarily.
(05-22-2011, 10:34 PM)AndrewB Wrote:  ...... I think it'd be better if I start wrapping at the bottom and end up at the top stem area. .......

Not recommended, start at the center and work to the ends.
The reason for starting from the bottom is that if you start wrapping the tape at the top, the overlaps and each wind of the tape covers the last face upwards on the bars. When your hands slide down the bars due to bumps, etc., it tends to peel the tape away from the bars. If you start at the bottom, the overlaps face down and don't suffer from this as much.

Either way will work fine, but I've found that starting at the bottom lasts longer. And yes, electrical tape is the industry standard for fixing the tape at the top. Much better than the little tape strips that come in a lot of bar tape packages. Stretch the tape fairly tight.
Cinelli tape used to come with it's own finishing tape.
I use electrical tape and you can get different colours to match if you want.
+1 as DaveM for starting at the bottom.
Here's Park Tool instructions as well:-

The difficult part is getting the bar tape past the brake levers neatly and the same on both bars if you are finicky.Smile
Ride hard or ride home alone!
CyclerUK, you are right. There were 3" strips of wrap and some ugly looking tape (Cinelli logo plus "Gel!" down the strip) at the back of the Cinelli tape box that I missed.

I am reporting success on my project. It involved:
- removing wrap, housing, cables, old computer (Cateye Cadence in the back)
- raising adjustable (temporary) stem from 10 deg to 20-25 deg
- cutting new housing
- threading brake cables on my SRAM Rivals - piece o' cake
- threading shifter cables on my SRAM Rivals - pain in the rear^(10^2)
- adjusting rear and front derailleurs
- wrapping
- using a new computer parts kit and using my Cateye Cadence (sans cadence) on the front

Threading the shifters was not easy due to fraying cables, the effort to thread cables, and the like. I also had to redo the front shifter cable because I accidentally put the cable between the bolt and ring rather than the ring and the arm such that when tightening the bolt, it frayed.

Wrapping the handlebars was easier than I thought. The Cinelli tape was sticky, rather than adhesive, which helped me when I realized I didn't go around the shifter perfectly. All in all, a decent job, and as decent as the shop did when I got the bike.

I did end up starting at the bottom with the wrap. Maybe next wrap, and after some careful consideration, I'll think about wrapping it from the center. I do see that if one does it that way, the end piece can be shoved into the tube with the cap. But I do agree that the against the grain edges could lead to a much shorter wrap life.

Plan is to ride with the stem up this high (upon recommendation from a professional bike fitting) to see how it feels. Maybe go back for a bike fitting follow up, and then shopping for a 1 3/8" 100nm 25 degree threadless stem.

While watching the Giro de Italia a few weeks ago, I noticed that some of the pros have some very long stems, and some have some very high stems. I don't feel so odd. Smile

Thanks to everyone for their advice. Very helpful.


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