Chuck's Excellent Wrapping Tip                  

 

This wrapping style is so simple and practical that I'm surprised it's not more popular.  I had never heard of it before until a few months ago when Chuck Schmidt posted it on the CR list.  I made a mental note to use it the next time I wrapped a bar.


 

This wrapping style doesn't use up as much tape as the more common wrapping style, because it avoids having to wrap the tape around the brake lever hood body.  This makes the tape effectively longer, which is really great with cotton tapes which are often too short, especially for wide bars.  If I had not used this wrapping style, the tape would have been to short for this 40 cm. shallow drop bar (which  I don't consider particularly wide).


 

With this wrapping style you don't have to be a tape contortionist - you just keep wrapping in the same direction all the way.


 

Reminiscent of the leather wrapped bars that came with the lever mounting clamps pre-installed (like the Cinelli VIP sets), this wrapping style allows you to remove the entire brake lever assembly without having to unwrap the bar.

But without a doubt, the most important benefit of all is not having to pull your delicate gum hoods back to make room for the bar tape.  The gum hoods I have on this bike would definitely not have survived that procedure.  So this wrapping style not only made the tape long enough for my bar,  it also saved my gum hoods.  And when it comes time to replace them, I won't have to remove the bar tape. 

Thanks Chuck for this most excellent wrapping tip!  (For those of you who don't know, Chuck has a great site, Velo-Retro, with a great selection of T-Shirts with vintage cycling graphics for sale, and the invaluable Campy Timeline, among other things.  Check it out.)

PS - Don't forget to wet your cotton tape before wrapping:  it'll be more pliable and lay down and conform better to the shape of the bar; it'll be easier to pull and stretch; and it'll dry super-tight over the bar.  This works even for cotton tapes with adhesive background.