Cotton bar tape question

dirttorpedo

Senior Retro Guru
Hi all. I'm about to apply some cotton Newbaum's bar tape to my Ellis Briggs and wonder on what people are doing. I've read that some people double wrap for extra cushioning or install gel inserts under the cotton for even more hand comfort. Others are shellacking their tape when installed and I've seen some very nice looking twine and cork finishes at the bar ends as well.

BITD I just wrapped with cotton tape and stuck in some plastic bar plugs.
 

Midlife

Retro Wizard
Yep, wrap and bar plugs. Personal choice which way you wrap. I wrap from the plugs up so there is no edge of tape to roll on the bends. Wear fingerless mitts for extra padding lol.

Shellac had stopped being used by my time which was the 70's
 

3wheeler7

rBotM Winner
Hi, this is the only one I've used shellac on, I wrapped once from the top down then gave it 3 coats of shellac to darken the tape to match the frame. The tape itself was lime green to start with. Shellac has a short shelf life once opened so ideally you need to get all your coats done within a few hours. If the shelf life expires it will never properly dry and stays sticky. I don't think I'll use it again.

rra 39 6.jpg
 

Frankenorange

Orange 🍊 Fan
I use the tressostar tape. I find the glue really lasts and the tape stays put. For more comfort i just keep layering up.
My first rolls gave a single layer wrap. When that got a bit tired looking i wrapped over that first wrap with new rolls. I changed bars, a while back, and decided the 2nd lot of tape was looking tired so now the original tape goes from the stem to the lever and back to the stem, the 2nd goes from bar end to the lever and back to the bar end and a brand new tape wraps the lot from stem to bar end. 3 layers is very soft and comfy plus the extra thickness makes the bar fit my hands better.
I haven't tried it myself but some people wrap the bars with old butyl inner tubes, first, and then thier tape of choice over the top of the rubber. The new kid on the block, Grepp, is a fabric tape that can be washed and re-used. They advise doing the inner tube thing under thier tape. The tape is organic, as eco as possible and re-using old butyl tubes is better than just biffing them out.
 

non-fixie

Retro Guru
I prefer to wrap from top to bottom for a clean look. Add another layer if and when necessary. These are two layers:

1k0.jpg
 

doctor-bond

Feature Bike
I think this question has loads of differently-flavoured answers - a bit like ‘what’s the best way to make a cheese sandwich’?

For me, it’s the Rivendell bikes method (on YouTube) but with added Champagne corks. Newbaums. Twine. One layer. Some Varnish. Endless hours of fun 🙂

62AAE384-852E-4BB2-8D39-1479676E9427.jpeg
 

dirttorpedo

Senior Retro Guru
Hi, this is the only one I've used shellac on, I wrapped once from the top down then gave it 3 coats of shellac to darken the tape to match the frame. The tape itself was lime green to start with. Shellac has a short shelf life once opened so ideally you need to get all your coats done within a few hours. If the shelf life expires it will never properly dry and stays sticky. I don't think I'll use it again.
That looks lovely. Why won't you do it again?
 

3wheeler7

rBotM Winner
Mainly because of the cost and that over half of the bottle goes to waste if you only have one bike to do within the max 6 months shelf life.
I might try several coats of thinned polyurethane varnish if I have a similar job to do.
 

Big Block

Retro Guru
I also use shellac. I use the dry flakes and mix when I am ready to apply. Sometimes I use clear so as to not change the colour, sometimes the amber, sometimes I mix the two.
I use a number of thin coats. Mainly it is to stabilise the wrap and be subtle in appearance.
I buy the cotton tape by the metre from a haberdashery store (they call it curtain header tape). That way I choose the overlap I want. I also apply a few strips of double-sided tape to the handlebars before taping.
I dampen the tape with water and set it aside for a few minutes before applying. Applying the tape damp allows for it to stretch when damp and then tighten up as it dries.
I start from the top and tuck in at the end plugs.
Then when fully dry it is time for the shellac.
On Bob's Vinco, I wanted to darken the colour of the tape, but have the finish clean so as not to disturb the former owner's disdain of shellac.
It passed the test.
Vinco front 20160225.jpg

The build thread on Bob's Vinco
 
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