22 March, 2006

Wrapping Handlebars Alex Singer Style

I decided to wrap the handlebars of my new bike in the style I've seen on some Alex Singer bikes. I think his method differs from that used by Rene Herse, for those of you who follow such trivia. Both methods involve starting the wrap at the stem-end of the bar, thus eliminating the electrical tape or twine required to finish a wrap started outboard and leaving a cleaner looking bike. But Singer's method involves wrapping the top half of the bar from the center out, and the bottom half from the end in. "But why is this better and who cares?" you ask. Well, Singer's method not only looks better, but it prevents the rider's hands from 'curling' the tape as he pushes forward on the drops.

If using brifters or aero levers, I like to secure the cables with duct tape (the good metal foil type) rather than with black electrical tape which can show through light-colored cotton tape. The metal duct tape is also used to secure the ends of the cotton tape under the brake lever hoods.

Wrapping bar tape is not easy and it often takes me several tries to get it looking nice and even. It usually takes 3 rolls of tape for any, but very narrow, bars.

Wrapping from the center toward the brake lever. Note the lack of twine ;<)

Wrapping from the bar's end toward the brake lever.


Anonymous said...

YOu are wrapping incorrectly. My Singers do infact use two rolls per side, but this is done because on wide rando bars, it is impossible to use one roll of cloth tape to complete each side. I have a Singer race bike that does accomplish this, with 40cm bars. The "incorrect" part of your technique is at the top portion of the bars. The Singer, Herse, Masi, Merckx, (fill in the blank) methods that were done "back in the day" were to wrap so that when your hands are on the flats (top) of the bars, the tendence is to "pull" the tape towards yourself. In your illustration, you are wrapping "away" from the rider, and the tendency, over time, will be to loosen the tape.Hope this helps.

Velo Orange said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sure the method you describe was used on some Singer bikes, but I have seen, not one, but several bikes done the way I show. These have the original tape installed at the shop on Rue Victor Hugo.


Anonymous said...

Nice look, very clean. But it seems to me that the critical picture is omitted -- what do you do AT the brake lever, to keep both loose tape ends secured?

Velo Orange said...

All you do is tape both ends to the brake lever bodies with a bit of duct tape to finish the job, nothing to it.

Once the shellac has dried, you probably could remove the duct tape, though I don't.


tim said...

what's the best (and cleanest) way to start a new roll if your drops need more than one, but you use cross levers on the flats?