Here’s my dirty little cycling secret. For a long time now, I’ve totally sucked at wrapping bar tape. I can wrap it up and make it look pretty, but after a hard 100km throw down I’d return home and with the tape looking like the ragged and torn clothes of a homeless meth addict searching for her next hit… (too much?)
Exquisitely wrapped bar tape is the mark of a true bike enthusiast. Over the years I’ve tried countless times to wrap the perfect tape. I’ve watched hours of YouTube videos, wrapped and re-wrapped bars till my hands hurt. Regular or figure-eight style, it didn’t matter. A couple of rides later and sure enough some part of the tape would move or unravel. Usually it would be the drops (where I spend most of my time) and almost always the right hand side.
At first I thought I was holding the bars differently or it was the brand of tape. Both untrue, I’ve got the same Lizard Skins 3.2mm DSP bar tape on my Focus CX bike. That was wrapped by a professional bike mechanic at Sigma Sports and now has over 20,000km on it. It hasn’t moved a millimetre.
Finally though, I think I’ve nailed my technique. It just came down to practice, patience and precision (and pulling a little tighter). I’ve finally achieved a near perfect wrap. Now they come running just as fast as they can, cause every girl’s crazy about a sharp-dressed man…
If you have any tips or tricks to wrapping bar tape, please leave them in the comments below! For anyone else with bar tape woes, the following videos helped me out.