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What is the best way to wrap a handlebar?

Specifically:

  1. Should I start near the stem or at the bar ends?

  2. wrap clockwise or counter-clockwise?

  3. How to wrap (e.g. how many times) around where the brake hoods are?

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Use hockey tape. Standard bar tape works so poorly I've never figured out why anyone uses it. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 28 at 20:21
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Park Tools has a great description with a video, pictures, and instructions.

Expanding the Park link a little:

1 - you can start at either end, conventionally start at the bar ends because that way the overlap on the wraps has the lower side out so smooths as you slide your hands down the bar. That way it lasts longer and looks nicer.

2 - wrap up the outside on both sides. So the answer to your question is "yes".

3 - this is where most of the variation in styling occurs. Tape that is more flexible or stretchy can have fewer wraps around the brake levers, although you can often do a single skip around the back of the lever even with quite unyeilding tape. I prefer to go once around the levers to get 3 strips of tape behind them. Experiment to see what works for you.

If you're wrapping bars for the first time I suggest buying the cheapest tape you can find to experiment with, as well as the stuff you actually want. It's something that's not too hard but you will probably make mistakes the first time.

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what do you mean by going around the lever once? how does this get 3 strips? – will May 23 '12 at 14:09
    
I don't go around the levers. I do a dry run to observe the size of gap behind the levers, then cut one or two 10-12cm (4-5in) pieces of tape to cover that spot. Then you can just concentrate on wrapping cleanly and evenly. The one or two cover pieces use less tape than going around the levers. Usually only one piece is needed. – andy256 Aug 4 '14 at 13:47
    
Park also like to rearrange their site, breaking all incoming links. So you will probably have to use search to find it. – MÒŽ Jan 28 at 20:22

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