Applying bicycle handlebar tape helps give you a more comfortable grip on the handlebars and needs to be done with concern for many different factors. Apply handlebar tape to a bike with advice from an experienced bicycle mechanic in this free video on bike maintenance.
Hi, this is Tim from Camas Bike and Sport here in Camas, Washington and today I'm going to show you how to install handlebar and bicycle tape. The materials you'll need for this is, a new package of handlebar tape, which will come with your end plug and two pieces of tape to wrap around the tops of your handlebars, optional electric tape if you decide that they didn't give you enough tape, which I usually find is the case, and a pair of scissors to cut the tape at the end, and also to cut the electric tape to use that little piece at the beginning. First off, with this our customer has decided to go with a little gel softening material which you can install underneath the bar tape and it helps absorb all the kind of fine road vibrations that would normally chatter your teeth right out of your head. So, here we put the handlebar tape gel on and it goes on like this, it's really gummy, self-adhesive and you don't have to worry about getting it on just perfect. Because then, what we're going to do is install the bicycle tape. And sets like these are available in any bike shop. They come with both sides plus the little guys that go around the back of your break lever here. But since we're just re-wrapping this one, which you can do with bar tape, then all we're going to is install a little piece of electric tape here at the start. Now, when wrapping bars you want to think about grabbing them, the handlebars, how you're going to use them. Most people like to throttle on the handlebars and twist. And what we want to do is take that twisting and help it tighten the bar wrap, rather than loosening it. So, with turning this way, turning this way on the handlebars, we're actually going to go with that direction. Well, I would turn this way. Our client actually turns the other way which is with the other handlebar. So, what we're going to do is start wrapping around itself and you want to keep good tension on the tape the entire time. You don't ever want to let go of tape, keep it stretched, wrap it around itself and you want to overlap about half, a little under half. And what this does is just make sure that you'll get a good grip. You're not going to handlebar under the wrap and the wrap will remain in place, and keep this gel situated just like that. You want to continue to wrap, continue to keep the tension. Be careful, don't pull too hard because you can snap the tape right in half and then you have to buy new bar tape. Keep going, keep wrapping it around and you can always pull back if you feel like you haven't done it right; you can always go back and redo it. But, keep the tensions and keep wrapping. This is a transition period here where we want to think about how we're going to be using the top end of the handlebar. Now, obviously you're going to be twisting. So, you want that twisting effect to keep the handlebar tape tight rather than loosening it. So, we're going to flip it around the back and then turn the direction. Now it's going around the handlebar the opposite direction. And keeping it tight, make sure you get that gel under there just right, keeping it tight, keep wrapping; kind of like threading a needle, kind of like sewing anything else. Keep going, and then at this point you'll see that the, the bar padding wants to move. And that's where you can just hold on to it and make sure it stays underneath. For those of you who are not going to be using the gel, you can skip that step. Keep wrapping, keep wrapping, and you can re-wrap your bars as many times as you need. If you run white bar tape, you might want to clean your handlebar tape, periodically. And you can unwrap it and just re-wrap it. Just keep in mind that it may get a little more fragile the more you use it. So, you may end up breaking it. So, whenever you start to get to the end, it's time to finish it. You want to grab and make sure that you don't let go of this tape, grab a handy pair of scissors, and cut at an angle, kind of in the direction that you were wrapping, like this. And what you want to do is get your tape to look somewhat like that. So, when you wrap around that last little bit, the tape kind of ends at a line. And then you want to grab your trusty electric tape or the strips of tape provided with handlebar tape. And you can even unwrap it a little bit. Put a piece of tape on here and that line that you just cut and then keep it tight, just wrap it back around, and then continue to wrap with tape. And you want to wrap around that cut edge, wrap around the handlebar, make sure there's a good joint there, and just wrap a few extra wraps just to be safe. You can cut it with a pair of scissors or rip it like that. And then you just slide your hood back down, and now the more I twist on this tape the tighter it gets, same direction this way. And now you can install your end cap, make sure the label's facing the right way and then that's it. I'm Tim, and that's how to install handlebar tape.
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