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handlebar tape question

Zelda_K2010-12-12 06:59:40 +0000 #1
I would like to replace the tape on the handlebar of my road bike.

How long would it take an experienced bike mechanic to do this?

And how long would a totally clueless person need?
OakLeaf2010-12-12 07:03:02 +0000 #2
Speaking as someone totally clueless ...

it takes some time and a LOT of patience. Be prepared to spend a couple of hours the first few times you try it, and be careful with it because you'll probably wind up unwinding and re-wrapping several times. Starting the plug end so it doesn't make a big lump is the hardest part and I still haven't got that down. Straighter bars are easier than ergo bars - the more bumps, bends and curves, the harder it will be.

There are some good online guides to wrapping bars - I want to say I used the one on the Park Tool: parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=71 site.

It's a useful skill to have, so I do plan to do it myself again when my current tape needs to be replaced (probably this summer), but so far it looks a lot nicer when I let the bike shop do it.

If you don't have the time or patience, it shouldn't cost much - I've never paid them to do that job alone, it's only been in conjunction with replacing shifters, etc.
Zelda_K2010-12-12 07:19:46 +0000 #3
thanks for this
Pedal Wench2010-12-12 08:08:45 +0000 #4
I botched my first attempt, but it can be done in about 15 minutes. It's a great start at doing your own stuff on the bike, and lets you change up your bike's appearance in just a few minutes.
ny biker2010-12-12 07:51:42 +0000 #5
It takes a few minutes when the manager of my LBS does it for me. Since I'm buying the tape from him, he doesn't charge for the labor.
kmehrzad2010-12-12 08:32:40 +0000 #6
NY Biker, what LBS do you frequent where the manager will personally wrap your bars for free? They deserve my business.
Becky2010-12-12 07:31:56 +0000 #7
If it's good tape, 15 minutes sounds about right. If it's a re-wrap with existing tape (like you unwrapped part-way to move a shifter), or inflexible, non-stretchy tape, it takes me longer.

For me, the hardest part is wrapping around the shifter on the left side. I'm right handed, so I have an easier time in general with the right side.

Give it a shot....it might not be perfect, but you really can't break anything
withm2010-12-12 10:12:17 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by kmehrzad

NY Biker, what LBS do you frequent where the manager will personally wrap your bars for free? They deserve my business.

I have never paid the LBS to install bar tape. I guess it depends on the relationship you have with the shop. It probably helps that I have bought 5 bikes in 10 years, and take them home-made cookies from time to time.

To be fair, I don't have 2 of those bikes anymore, but the shop has been great to deal with over the years.

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