Cotton twill Cloth Handlebar Wrap / Bar Tape

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Finally riding a big boys bike
I recently inherited some rolls of herringbone twill cotton fabric tape.

I’m always experimenting with
Unique and frugal ways to wrap bars on the bikes I refurbish as riders without breaking the bank.

In the past I’ve used clothe baseball / hockey grip tape in various colors to tightly wrap right over old school black foam sleeves, used old leather belts finished with leather boot laces , clothes line and braided colored cords by the foot , etc

So today as soon as I got home I had to give this cotton tape a trial run. Just so happened I have Motobecane super mirage getting close to finished and in need of a fresh bar wrap.

The material is a slightly lighter weight than the bicycle specific type sold by NewBaums. It’s 3/4 in wide and thinner , so it can really be pulled tight and angle cuts easily with a scissors.

I normally wrap from bottom to top , but with this texture and with aero lever cables , I decided to go top down.

Since there’s no adhesive strips , I cut small stops of 3m double sided mounting tape as to anchor the first turn , the brake lever band and the last turn before the bar end plug .

To get the texture and thickness I wanted , having an unlimited length to work with allowed me to overlap as much as 75 percent each turn.

In the future for bikes without cables underneath the wrap , I want to do a thinner profile , wrapped like the look of vintage cellophane ish below wrap pattern.

I’m also going to try a version with underlayment fashioned from reused modern foam tape run lengthwise without overlap.

Can’t wait to see how this material looks with some custom mixed Rit dye colors , and with shellac.

I did not try to wash the twill first and apply damp, but I understand some folks find that method achieves a tighter and more shape able result.

I like the way it turned out for my first go. A bit hastily done , certainly not my best tape as far as uniformity. The main itch I had was to see how workable / tight turn friendly and manageable the material is , and the results were good from that perspective. It’s particularly good around the hood / lever clamp area. Lends itself well to the inside turns and changes of direction that can tend to bunch up and leave bare spots with conventional cork or fabric tape.

Turns out to be ideal to allow cable housing exit exit ramp in midstream , before the last turn at the stem. I like doing this to achieve a wider cable arc / avoid a tight 90 degree cable exit. Much better than cork or foam tapes which tend to be too thick , and too spongy to slide under the housing and still get an exit ramp with no gaps.

Hope to try this material out again on my next few bikes and to tryout some different variations on the style .












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'Lil Knee Scuffer
I've used that stuff, dyed some blue, it worked pretty much as you described. No adhesive is a bit of a bother. I wrap down and then back up, covering the top ends with a bit of innertube (this is not the dyed stuff:(



Finally riding a big boys bike
I like that pattern !

perfect solution to the circular debate that always comes up when you read about the pros and cons of bottom up / top down trade off / preference .. I'd bet it probably cuts down on edge roll over time a well.

Decided to try for a celeste -ish green mix for my first go at color dyeing.



Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Neubaum's is still out there for purchase.

A lot of people shellac their cloth tape - it makes it a tough composite underneath, and still feels like fabric on the surface.

If you're going to do it right, finish with twine wrap.


Finally riding a big boys bike
Great vid....

must have been your older post that had the same video link and shellac tips .... read that as some as i got home with the twill .... (and unloaded the truck)

great take away for me was the more natural properties of shallac .... i never thought about that ..... or what's been absorbing through my hands with all the chemicals i ve handled over the years ( without gloves ) ....that is until my finger tips started getting numb these last few years.

Thinking it might be cool to try the shellac technique on a Robin Hood Lenton Sports i have. I suspect the orig would have been also white cotton twill. Shallaced will be cool with this frame color.



Doesn't have cable routed under/ along bars , nor a stem band ledge, so i can go bottom up without obsessing about getting tight to the stem band ledge / without gap even where the cable exits . Imo, anythings better then the new age stuff put on the Lenton last!


Finally riding a big boys bike
Spray glue available at fabric and upholstery shops would work good on that stuff and would still be easy to remove it .
I bought some fabric handle bar wrap from France that was sticky it was really tough almost couldn't cut it with a sharp knife .


Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I use the French 'Tressorex' cotton bar tape from Velox. I use it with and without a shellac coating.
It comes in a wide range of colours.

You can buy the dewaxed shellac flakes from woodworking suppliers ( it's used to make 'French Polish').
It comes in various shades of brown, I use the blonde flakes which gives a nice light honey colour to the finished shellac varnish.

You mix the flakes with 'methylated spirits' ( I think you guys call it 'denatured ethanol' across the pond).
It dries very quickly when applied and I've been using 3 coats on tape wrapped bars.
It stores well in a sealed glass container.

It's also a traditional substance for gluing on tubular tyres.