How to wrap bar tape perfectly
"Messy bar tape is obvious to even the untrained eye. It screams unprofessional and unprepared. There is every chance it will unravel during a ride and leave you fumbling about, trying to keep it together rather than enjoy the climb." John Herety, Pro Team Manager.
If you want to be a pro bar tape wrapper, you must practise until you are totally comfortable with the feel of the tape and how it moves in your hands. If you do it for long enough, you'll be able to wrap with your eyes closed, and even adjust the thickness of the tape in certain sections or for certain rides.
The key points to remember are pretty easy: be precise and firm with the tape, use all the bar tape provided and keep it even. Begin by washing your hands so you don’t dirty your fresh tape before you’ve even begun the task .
Avoid wearing mechanics' latex gloves as you need to feel the tape in your fingers. Make sure that any brake or gear housing is taped firmly to the handlebar.
"Bar tape is hugely personal and can completely change your perception of a bike. It's not only the first thing you see when suffering like a dog - crawling up a climb looking down and trying to find some power - it's a contact point, without a doubt affecting performance in the saddle. I go for plain and old fashioned black cork tape; nothing fancy!" Tao Geoghegan-Hart, Team Sky (speaking in 2013)
"Clean, crisply wrapped bar tape is essential. I love rolling up to the start line of a race with my bike looking perfect, and it's the finer details like bar tape that makes you feel ready to race." - Kristian House, 2009 National Road Race Champion
For absolute precision you can use a measuring tape to achieve the same distance of where you want your bar tape to end. After you have decided where you want to cut your bar tape, use a razor blade or knife to mark your cut line. Unwrap the bar tape so you can cut the tape away from the bars. Cut along the line you have created with the knife. You should end up with a straight line perpendicular to the handlebars." Greg Needham, Senior Bike Fitter, Condor
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