[CR]Bar tape and more

(Example: Production Builders:LeJeune)

From: "Earle Young" <earle.young@tds.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 19:42:53 -0500
Subject: [CR]Bar tape and more

Since I was a shop mechanic for the last decade of on-topic bikes, I think I'm qualified to weigh in.

1. We did not scrimp on tape. You start the job with four boxes of tape in hand. Wrap from the bar end to the lever with a decent amount of overlap, using about 2/3 of a roll of tape. The end of that strip of tape is then stretched a little sideways to cover the outside of the brake lever clamp. Start the next roll in such a way as to cover the inside of the brake lever clamp, and again wrap with generous overlap. Finish at the center of the bar with a full turn of tape. 2. Remember that NOS tape has old glue on it. In the day, we were using tape with new glue. It would stick the ends down without using electrical tape. Tape was wrapped on the bar so that the end was always coming toward the outside of the bar as it came over the top, so the rider's gripping motion on the bars tightened it. 3. We did not scrimp on tape. If it wasn't sticking to the bar any more, it got replaced. 4. The Coppi story is probably true. One of the great psychological edges for a racer is to know that his or her bike is clean and freshly tuned. Nothing gives a better indication of that than fresh, white tape. On the 1984 RAAM, I used 2 or 3 cases of white Tressostar, for one rider. Dirty tape was unacceptable.

I like Charles Andrew's idea of demonstrations of the old skills. Let me throw the challenge out to other practitioners. I will give a wheel-building seminar in the shade of Peter Koskinen's PRK Bikes truck on Friday afternoon. The wheel I build will be part of a set going to the Charity Auction. I will donate the spokes and labor, and if another generous soul or two comes up with the parts, we can generate a good donation to Operation Smile.

Earle Young, Madison, Wisc. Offering expert wheelbuilding service for classic and modern bikes. http://www.earleyoung.com