How To Double-Wrap Handlebar Tape | Set Up Your Road Bike For Cobbles

How To Double-Wrap Handlebar Tape | Set Up Your Road Bike For Cobbles


– With the Cobbled Classic
season here upon us, we start to see some changes on the bikes of professional cyclists. One of the most common changes is in fact, double wrapping handlebar tape. The reason they do so is to
get a little bit more extra comfort when riding over cobblestones. However, it’s not just limited to cobbles. It can also be to give you
a little bit of extra grip. Sometimes you’ve got smaller hands or indeed you want just
an extra bit of comfort. So today let’s look at the process of how to double wrap your handlebars. (slow music) So preparation is obviously key here. And what are we going to do first? Well, ideally you’re gonna want to remove your handlebar tape and then do some inspection. One thing to check is
certainly the outer cable. So check to make sure there’s no cracks. There’s no rust forming, no corrosion, nothing like that. Also, where the cables
go into the shifters, that there’s no frayed ends
or splits starting to appear. If you’ve got carbon fiber handlebars, inspect them carefully for any cracks. Because even if you
were to drop your bike, it’s surprising how fragile carbon can be if hit in the wrong direction. Another thing is to make sure
that your brake lever clamps have got either grease
on them or locked tight to hold those bolts in. Also worth checking to that for corrosion. Now it’s just a case of
refitting your existing bar tape if it’s in good condition. If it’s not, then really
just buy some new tape to go on there. Now if are refitting
your current bar tape, make sure that it is nice and clean on the top of the surface, because you are going to be
wrapping that second layer on top, and if there’s any
grease or grime on there, the new tape is gonna
have a hard job sticking to the top of it. Also, a top tip from here is to actually start a few centimeters from the end here, and finish a few centimeters
from the end here too. You’ll see why shortly. (slow music) So what are we gonna need for the job? Well, you are gonna need
another roll of bar tape. There is a huge amount
of different varieties of bar tape available. You’ve got ones with gel in. You’ve got very thin ones. Cork bar tapes. I’m not gonna run them all through with you right now. But I’m sure everyone out there has got their personal favorite. Mine? I like to actually use
a nice thin bar tape. But I actually use two layers of it. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? You’re also gonna need a pair of scissors and a sharp knife. That’s obviously for cutting
and finishing off the tape. And finally, some electrical
tape or insulation tape. That’s to do the final
touches here of the bars. So I prefer to actually
unravel the roll of bar tape, so the second layer, and actually hang it over the top tube. Reason being, it makes it a
little bit easier to work with, because it’s not in a tight coil. So it’s a little tip there. (slow music) Now the next step is to
remove the handlebar end plug. So pop that out. And then you’re gonna wanna measure a few centimeters from the end of the bar or a couple of ravels here you can see. And then make a little mark on it perhaps. And that’s gonna be basically the way you’re gonna cut around the circumference of the handlebar and
remove that bit of tape. You also want to do that
the top of the handlebar too where you finish the taping. The reason being that will allow you to tape over the handlebars and be able to tuck it in
underneath the bar end plug. Of course, if you
followed my previous step where I said if you are retaping
with the original layer, then you won’t need to do that. However, if you are just going
over your existing bar tape, this is what you’re gonna need to do. Now the process of
wrapping the second layer is just like the first layer. So personally if I stood behind
the bike and looking at it, the left-hand bar tape I’m
going to start wrapping on the drop in an anticlockwise direction. And the right-hand side
in a clockwise direction. Why? Well, when you move your
hands on to the drops of the handlebars, normally you become a
more aggressive cyclist, and in turn you actually start to grip and tighten the bars in that direction. So essentially you want to continue to tighten the bar tape with
your hands whilst riding. Doing it the other way you run the risk of slightly loosening the handlebar tape. And that’s not ideal, because nobody likes loose handlebar tape. Peel back a bit of the backing tape of the handlebar tape and then start so that the sticky section is just on the edge of the handlebar and wrap that around. And then simply begin wrapping. Now you’re gonna soon
find out how much stretch the bar tape has got. And you can even practice
on a small section of the handlebar tape
before you start wrapping. (slow music) So once you actually
get to the lever hood, now it may or may not be
possible to do the figure of eight style pattern around there. That is gonna depend on
how thick your bar tape is, and also if the lever hoods themselves can actually cope with the
extra bulk of the bar tape. Now when you pass the lever hood, essentially then you won’t
start wrapping it towards you if you stood behind the bike. Reason being you can get some extra torque from your hands and you’re
not gonna be loosening the bar tape whilst you’re climbing or applying that extra pressure. Because generally we
tend to pull backwards on the handlebar tape a little bit when riding along on the tops. Continue wrapping until you pass the finish point of the first layer of handlebar tape. Have a quick look as well at the bar tape to make sure that there’s no horrible overlaps or any big
lumps, anything like that. And then pop back the hood
just to make sure it fits before finishing off the final
bit of the handlebar tape. Then the next step is just
to apply your electrical tape again in the same direction backwards. Give it a couple of rotations
so it’s nice and tight. So you’re not working against it. You’re always tightening it. And then try and cut it so it’s hidden
away then and there. Just try and keep it a little bit neater. Finishing touches. Yep, you’re gonna wanna tuck in the end of that handlebar tape into the end plug. Now if your end plugs
are a little bit loose, you can always wrap them in something like masking tape. Give it a few wraps and then whack it in. Don’t be afraid to hit it in quite hard, because ultimately you don’t
want them to actually fall out. (slow music) So there we are. That’s one side of the handlebar done. The other side is
exactly the same process. Important to remember though. Again, let’s recap. On the left-hand side of the bike, whilst looking at it from behind is to wrap in an anticlockwise
direction on the drops. And the right-hand side
in clockwise direction. Once you pass the actual lever hoods, you want to start wrapping
the bars towards you as you sit on the bike. Therefore when you start to
pull back on the handlebars, you’re actually tightening
and not loosening the tape potentially. Now I did actually see a recent study that showed that by using gloves on a bike doesn’t necessarily improve comfort as much as handlebar tape does. So there is some interesting
reading to be had, and the link to that is in
the description down below. Now remember as well to
leave me your comments on how you like to wrap
your handlebar tape. This one always sparks debate, and I’m gonna be keeping
a very close eye on it. Remember as well to like
and share this video with your friends. Maybe tagging a friend who is
terrible at taping handlebars. Remember as well to
check out the GCN shop. shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com. You can buy all sorts of things. Hoodies, T-shirts, workshop apron. You name it. Hopefully we’ve got it
for you or a loved one. And then finally to check out another great maintenance video, click just down here.