Introduction- Taping Handlebars with Bar End Shifters
Perhaps you have not really thought about taping the handlebar of your bike. Even if you do not exude much sweat from the palms that would make your handlebar slippery, taping is still recommended in some situations.
For instance, if you are riding on a downhill bike trail, it would be rather unwise to put a non-optimum bike up to the challenge.
Wrapping up the handlebar is one of the steps you can take to improve your grip. However, bike handlebars with bar end shifters may require a little more attention to detail when taping.
Bar end shifters are a gear-changing lever installed at the end of the bike handlebars. They exist in different forms and sizes depending on the type that fits best with your bicycle.
If you have a bike with bar end shifters and want to wrap them, follow the instructions below.
How to Tape Handlebars with Bar End Shifters
Levers and Cables Inspection:
Before proceeding, you must ensure that the brake and shift levers are properly installed and active. You can find the brake levers along the upper section of your bike’s handlebar just under the tape. Some shifters run the cables through the back of the handlebar. When inspecting, you must make sure that the cables are tightly fixed to shift away after installing a tape or applying brakes.
The cables from regular brake-lever shifters obstruct the handlebar bag because they exit towards the front of the handlebar. This is why bar end shifters are preferred since their cables exit beneath the handlebar.
Taping the handlebar:
There are many materials that you can use to tape your handlebar. It is usually based on the user preference as they provide certain characteristics like comfort, appearance, maintenance, etc. No matter the handlebar tape you choose, wind it starting at the ends of the bars all through the middle for appropriate overlapping.
Now, from the square end at the bottom of the bar, pull out the loose end. You can then tape the handlebar by overlapping its end and pinching the end inside the end plug. If the bar end shifter doesn’t allow the pinching, wrap some black (insulation) tapes around the first turn to keep it firm, then apply your handlebar tape over it.
This video shows how you can tape your bike’s handlebars, even if they have bar end shifters (Credit to RJ The Bike Guy):
Considerations While/ After Taping
- If you are using modern tape, try to keep the overlap as constant as possible to avoid lumpiness due to the relative thickness.
- While passing the tape across your brake lever, make sure it leaps ahead, so the clamp is slightly uncovered – the shifter cannot be replaced without retaping since the clamp is crucial with the shifter.
- Confirm that the tape extends far enough towards the middle of the handlebar to enable your hand to rest completely over the tape.
- You may use twine to provide a more secure tape that you attach at the top of your handlebar, especially where you use a cloth tape.