Have an even amount of tension on the wrap

How to do Handle Bar Tape

Sometimes it’s the small details that give a bike that ‘pro look’. Here’s how to do a neat job on your handlebar tape to make your bike look a million bucks…


How to do Handle Bar Tape

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1. Secure all of your cables with a tight wrap of electrical tape. If your handlebars have two cable groves and you are running a Shimano system (other than the new Dura-Ace), cut a short length of outer brake housing to act as a ‘dummy’ and fill the vacant handlebar groove.

A tight wrap of electrical tape


2. Roll back your brake lever hoods and apply two short lengths of handlebar tape around the back of the brake levers. Most kits come with two pre-cut pieces for this purpose, if not you will need to cut two 10cm lengths off the main roll. 

Roll back your brake lever hoods


3. A wrap of electrical tape will help to keep these strips in place; otherwise they tend to fall off somewhere midway through the taping process.
More eletrical tape

4. Push around 2cm of tape up inside the end of the handlebar and hold it in place with your thumb during the next few steps. Even with adhesive backing, it will probably fall out if you don’t hold it there.
2cm of tape inside the handle bar

5. While holding the end in place, wrap the tape around the end of the bar with a moderate amount of tension. Wrap it in towards the bike—that is anti-clockwise on the right side and clockwise on the left when looking from above and standing behind the bike.
Hold end in place and wrap the tape round the end of the bar

6. Pull the tape tight and overlap it slightly as you move up the bars. Some tapes have a paper strip over their adhesive backing that you will need to remove as you go. Aim to get a flat and even wrap from start to finish. Too much overlap and it will look uneven and bulky, too little and you will get gaps between the tape.
Pull the tape tight

7. The tape will begin to hold itself in place after you have progressed a little way up the bars—especially if it is adhesive backed. Now is a good time to fit the bar end plugs. Fold the tape inside the handlebar with one hand and push the plug in with the other.
The tape will begin to hold itself the further you progress.

8. Resume taping the bars and ensure that you place an even amount of tension on the wrap. The overlap won’t be even as you work your way around the tighter curves but you should aim to make it relatively consistent and don’t leave any gaps.
Have an even amount of tension on the wrap







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Spoke types vary greatly. From the top - bladed, double butted, butted & plain guage.

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