My name is Heath and I’m a double taper.
It all started when I saw an old timer (yep, I’m talking about you Larry) cover his bars with foam tubes (think 10 speeds of the 1980’s) and a layer of leather tape overtop. A secret layer of comfort, genius!
Over the years I have refined my system to produce a comfortable ride without making the bar diameter the size of a baseball bat. Here’s how to do it.
I’m going to start by assuming you are already familiar with taping handlebars with a single layer. If not, you can learn the basics on the back of any Planet Bike handlebar tape packaging or at your local bike shop.
1. First strip the bar clean of the old tape, or use it as the base layer like I did. Be sure to remove the area around the bar end. This will set you up to have a single layer of tape overhanging the end of the bar to secure the bar end plug. Two layers in this area will cause issues with your bar end plug.
Note, two layers of standard Planet Bike tape gets thick. Thick means more comfortable and better vibration dampening but it could prove too big of diameter for riders with smaller hands. For me, I have gorilla hands and I’m thinking of long gravel rides this spring so two standard layers is what I want. If you’re concerned about the larger diameter, get a set of the Planet Bike Noche Suave bar wrap to use as a base layer. It’s thinner than the standard tape and perfect to add that extra comfort without much increase in bar diameter.
2. Now that you have your base layer in place, wrap the bar as normal. I’m using the PB Road Wrap Tachyon tape for a little extra grip in wet weather. It also has a gel backing which is nice if you have to un-wrap and re-wrap a few times to get things right. No damage done. Take care around the brake levers/shifters. It is possible to get interference between the shift levers and tape on some shifters. Be sure to keep the tape snug and try not to run out of tape before you’ve covered the base layer.
For those of you with a gram scale next to you bike, this might not be for you. If you’re looking for a little extra comfort, and want to try make your rides a little longer this summer, this could be a helpful trick.