Polish framebuilder Piotr Lisiecki shows us how to wrap handlebar tape using the reverse method.
The reverse bar wrap method starts at the top of the bars near the stem. This means you don’t need to use finishing tape at the end and gives a clean look at the top of the handlebars.
1. Clean and Secure the bike
Remove the old tape and use some alcohol rub to clean the bars. Use a strap around the wheel and downtube to stop the bike moving around while you are doing the work. (Thanks Jon W for this tip!)
2. Cover the brake clamps
Pull back the brake hoods to expose the clamp, then use the butterfly shaped brake clamp cover supplied by Silca. Wrap it all around the lever and then make cuts using a blade where the rubber parts of the hood fit into the body of the lever.
3. Start wrapping the tape from the stem
The Silca Nastro Piloti tape has a smart feature. One half of the tape is standard grip and the other side is extra grippy. Depending on the side of the tape you start, and the direction you wrap – dictates which side is exposed. Pay attention to this when you start wrapping. We opted for the extra grippy side.
Starting by the stem, make the first loop parallel with the stem, then once the end corner is covered, start wrapping away from the stem at an angle.
Use the centre line of the Nastro Piloti to try and keep an even distance between passes.
4. Wrap around the hood
There are various ways to go around the hood such as ‘figure of 8’ etc, but with the brake clamp well covered by the butterfly tape – there isn’t much need to. Just make one turn around the hood and then underneath to continue the wrapping. Stop and pause after the turn and have a good look around the hood to make sure no parts are exposed. You can also quickly put the hood back to double check.
5. Tuck the tape into the end and plug it
Once you get to the end of the bars, cut any excess tape off, leave a few centimetres to tuck into the bar end. Place the Silca bar end cap in and push, so that it evenly takes the excess tape with it. It might need some adjustments and wiggling to make the angle good.
Once it is in place start tightening it with a hex key and this will pull it further into the bars and secure it in place. Don’t over tighten it.
6. Sit back and admire your new tape