How To Wrap Bar Tape Like A Team Sky Pro Mechanic

(intense sound effects) – The subject of taping handlebars, always always lights up the comment section down below and today, we're gonna go meet a man who is more obsessed about handlebar tape than even I am Top or bottom? Inside or outside? Let's go find out exactly how you should be doing it

(swoosh) Alright so I'm joined by Ian of Team Sky, and I'm gonna ask you the first question, Top or bottom? Where are we gonna start? – (laughs) You're talking about bars right? – I am, yeah – Okay (laughs) As far as I know, I've never met a pro tour or pro mechanic that wraps from the top down So, as far as I know, and I've always done from the from the bottom of the handlebar up to the top Use bar plugs finished with, in this case, matching electrical tape or I've been on teams who use a contrasting color or something with a little splash to add a little personality to the bike Bottom to top

Without question – Why wouldn't you start at the top because there's so many people out there who think you should start at the top Now, personally, I would never start at the top What's your reason for not starting at the top? – Well, for our reason on teams the way these guys kinda use these bikes so intensely its, the way its, the tape is overlap means that your hand is going like this it's kinda going with the flow of the overlapping, and if you went the other way, actually the guys would be like kinda pushing into the overlapping and it'll start to curl up And that's one of those differences of a guy rides five or six hours a day and it's more important that everything works the best, first of all and looks are secondary, as suppose to maybe a recreational cyclist who rides one hour or two on the week and for them, they're never gonna kinda put the same miles or intensity on a bike and for them maybe they like the look of not having electrical tape, at the top

– I don't mind electrical tape myself but – Oh, I've – That's alright in it? – Yeah, I've worked with teams where we've done like little logos right we've done with the little reflective strips – Okay – So, when photographers took pictures with flash, you get a little like pop there I did one team where we actually had national flags, – Nice – Little national flags on there if you find old pictures of a team I work for, you'll find different nationalities of the flags on there So, I always thought it's a place where you can add a little flare You know, you get blue on red one side, red on the other

You could do both, you know, yellow? I mean something but just sometimes an opportunity provide a little personality to a bike, as well – Now, what about direction then? Right, we're gonna start at the bottom of the bars we agreed on that – Yep – Which is always great, what direction are you gonna start wrapping in? – Of course, both sides you always do them like a mirror image First of all, when I always wrap, actually, I have to think about it Because I've probably wrapped 10,974 bars – (laughs) – so at some point, you actually not thinking anymore

But I wrap to the inside, which then means at the top, you're wrapping towards the rider And a word I kind of use for that is of to combat throttling Which is guys riding or climbing or twisting their hands, and like one place you'll get to the discrepancy some people sort of think, that guys will throttle on the bottoms of the bars to the outside, so they'll wrap inside to outside, and I generally see guys kind of throttle more on the tops, so this way basically they'll pulling the tape tighter towards them as they are climbing or doing this as suppose to if it were the other way you're doing this, you actually opening up the wrapping and that's a, I don't know, as far as I can tell that's about 50/50 between team mechanics of if you wrap to the inside or wrap to the outside – That's interesting – But I would say, like some guy would say oh, but when they are on their drops, they do this or I think it seems to me more on the tops they do that

But I think that's kinda sick someone have doesn't have another – Yeah, I think the bottom bit, personally, is a bit kind of well, it depends really how much you ride on the jobs, from the top always I've always done is backwards, because you tend to just, yeah when you suffering – Yeah, you're doing this and like pulling yourself, and you're doing that and usually like sprinting your climb it gets, seems like kind of a more positive grip and you're going more like that wards, you sit on the top and guys keep throttling back towards them But, I would say, I mean the true testers if the bar tape doesn't come off I mean, which for us which obviously would never happen But, I'd say if it works for you, going inside outside or outside inside, – It doesn't really matter – Doesn't really matter

– What about then, the little when we get the extra strips of tape in the packet, when you say wrap around Do you ever use them or not? – No – Just do the figure of eight – Yep, figure of eight, you just pay attention to it but no, that'a another thing, I think its, I mean everything we do is sort of based on obviously like kind of working as well as possible but at some point, when you have 10 bikes to do or 20 bikes to do, efficiency, I can do a job five minutes faster and I've got 10 bikes to wrap, that's, I'm done work, you know, faster

So rest if you can do a figure eight smartly, you've just saved yourself that like cutting and like, holding on and going around and all of that You just boom boom boom, and we throw that stuff out – And we spoke, just now off camera, and I wish we were recording actually, it was – That was the choicest moments were right there, this is like the blandest stuff we've ever said – This is like the bar tape geeks like encyclopedia – Exactly, yes! – You were saying when you you used to work with people sometimes, you would check to see if they cut the equal amount of tape – The remainder pieces, cause obviously you have more bar tape than you need so you cut off your little pieces, that I always say, the best bar wrapping job Both of those pieces should be equal length at the end

So, but that's just a little silly thing I work in a bike shop for a few years and would torture guys with that Cause I've wrapped, even at that point I've wrapped handlebars you could like, whip through it And you get the new guy who's like one side was like this thick with court tape, and the other side is like super thin cause he's got like, I don't know, one T-rex arm and one not strong arm And he'll be like dude, come on, like they gotta match when you cut your little remainder pieces off But that's, that's just like a silly-ness

– Yeah, I love it, bar tape I could talk about it all day – Yeah, yeah, yeah all kinds of other stuff yeah The length of your scissors, should be the circumference of your handlebar That way you can cut the end

– I never knew that – That way you can cut the end piece in one snip instead of having to do several snips So

– That's the one bit I don't like doing Is the angled cut – Well, that's why you over wrap it, you hold it straight, you have this long scissors and then you just side perpendicular to the handlebar if you have like long shears you can boom, ideally do it just like one cut and it's harder now that bars aren't round anymore

But when it used to be smaller bars, if you got a good like dressmaker shears that meant you can do it in one cut And you didn't have to fiddle around with like snipping through – That's why I never thought that I've learned something – So that's why I hate short scissors

That's why I always like to keep really long scissors, and boom one cut once again, I just saved five seconds, boom you know there's 10,974 bars if I save five seconds each, there you go – I can't do the maths for that – I can't do math either – I could do gears, bar tape – That's why I'm a bike mechanic – (laughs) So there we are, it doesn't really matter that much, which is possibly, music to many of your ears out there So what does matter, really, is how often you ride and whether or not you throttle or not Let me know though as ever, how you wrap your bars down there in the comments section and also don't forget to like and share this video with your friend, share it with someone who absolutely hates changing bar tape

Don't forget to check out the GCN shop at shopglobalcyclingnetworkcom I'm me, well, I'm just gonna go wrap some bars just for the hell of it

Source: Youtube