Handlebar tape adhesive

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Friday, July 14, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

It's 10 p.m. and it's time for me to re-wrap my handlebars. I tear the old stuff off, open up the Cinelli box, and dump the contents onto a table. Although I know better, I carelessly peel the backing from the adhesive. Naturally, the adhesive tape sticks to the backing as I remove it, not to the cork wrapper.

From past experience I know that this no-adhesive bar tape will last about a week at the most. Do I wrap the handlebar anyway then go back to the store this weekend for a replacement? Do I leave the handlebar bare so I have contents to return with the opened Cinelli box?

Such a dilemna. Help me out here.

700 Club Update: I should have know this, but Jonathan had previously mentioned the 700 Club visiting Portland and shooting some video for the bike story.

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I would not go back to the bike shop with an empty box. Even if you wrap the bars temporarily, you should return the tape. I remember a few awkward situtions with returns when I was working in a bike shop (worn out tires, shoes, shorts, etc). I am not saying they won't believe you, but it is best if you make it easy on them.

This situation is why you should have a big box of old tape in your garage. My wife thinks I am a bicycle packrat but I prefer to think of itas being prepared.
A lot of people install cork tape without the adhesive intentionally because it is easier to remove later. As long as you get the tape tensioned properly, it should hold in place on it's own pretty well.
Thanks, guys!
Try using a whip knot (I think that's what Jim over at Hiawatha Cyclery usually does when he's shellacing and using hemp twine). Basically, create a U loop of string and wrap the rest of the string over it and tie it off at the end (any boy scout should be able to show you a whip knot, or Google says it's used for fishing lures too). I did a ghetto version with some electronics hookup wire, which worked out pretty well. As Karl said, the main thing is to get the tension on the tape right to make sure it doesn't fall off.
I just posted up some pictures that should show what I'm blathering on about a bit better! Let me know if you need any more info.
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