How to Tape Handlebars

The original tape on your bicycle handlebars will wear out with time and use. However, replacing the tape is a quick and easy project. You will just need to remove the old tape and any residue, wrap the tape neatly around the handlebars, and finish off the ends cleanly. Replacing the tape on your handlebars will allow you to maintain a firm grip on the bars, and it will keep your handlebars looking great.

EditCleaning Off the Handlebars
Flip back the brake lever hoods. Most handlebars that are taped have flexible covers that fold over the connection between the brake handles and the handlebar. Flip the end of these hoods back over themselves, towards the brake handle. The goal is to get the end off the bars so that the wrapping can go under them.[1]
The brake hood lies on top of the brake lever and provides a comfortable grip.

Remove the old tape. Using your fingers, start peeling off the existing tape starting at the center of the bars. There may be a piece of electrical tape holding the end in place, but this can be peeled off just like the bar tape can.[2]
If the old tape disintegrates or breaks apart, try using isopropyl alcohol to remove any adhesive without causing any damage.

Do not cut off the tape. You may scratch the metal on the bars or nick your cables if you use a razor blade or scissors to remove it.[3]

Pull out the bar plugs. There should be plugs in both ends of the handlebars that are holding some of the bar tape inside the end of the bars. These can typically be wiggled and pulled out with your fingers.[4]
However, if they are inside the bars securely, when you have peeled off the old tape, pulling the end out will loosen the plugs.

Clean the handlebars and let them dry completely. Remove any dirt and glue left behind on the bars by scrubbing them with a rag and de-greasing cleaner or soap. If everything doesn’t come off easily, you can go over the bars with rubbing alcohol to clean any stubborn spots.
Allow the handlebars to dry completely before rewrapping the handlebars.

Adjust the brake levers. Brake levers are located at the front of the curved part of the handlebars. They are depressed to bring the bicycle to a stop. To adjust them, unscrew the screw on the brake lever to be able to move it. Once unscrewed, move it up, down, or to the side of the handlebar if needed. Screw it back tightly into place once adjusted.[5]
The bottom of each handlebar on one side should be level with the bottom of each corresponding lever. Each brake lever should also be level with the side of its corresponding bar. Hold a ruler along the bottom to check if it’s level or not.

Having the brake levers in the correct position will help ensure that the handlebar tape can be wrapped around them and will not be disturbed by repositioning the levers. Set a level across the hoods to make sure they’re in an even position.

Wash your hands. Clean your hands with soap and water if any debris from the old wrap has gotten on them. This is especially important if you are applying white or light-colored tape.[6]
You may wear gloves to keep from getting the tape dirty.

EditApplying the Tape
Tape down the cables. Secure any cables that run along the handlebars with electrical tape. Some bikes feature cables that run along the handlebars to the brake pads. This cable system allows you to brake the bike with your hands instead of using the pedals to come to a stop.[7]
To cut the tape, have a pair of sharp scissors nearby.

Tape the brake lever. Detach the two short pieces of tape that typically come with a new roll of handlebar tape. Place each one of the strips over the back of each brake lever. Ring the tape up around the brake lever so that the inside of the curve of the handlebar is covered.[8]
Placing a piece of tape in this spot ahead of time will ensure that there is no gap in the tape as you wrap it.

Start your tape hanging over the end of the handlebar. Attach the beginning of the roll of tape to the bottom end of the handlebar so that half of its width is hanging off the end. This extra tape at the end of the bar will be secured later.
The end of the tape should still be stuck to the handlebar, as the adhesive on the tape is in the center.

Wrap the tape around the handlebar with overlapping layers. Overlap each pass by about a third as you continue taping. Make sure all spots are taped. Move up the curve and along the flat part of the bar towards the center of the handlebars.[9]
Wrap in a counter-clockwise direction on the right handle and a clockwise direction on the left handle.

Alternate wrapping from the inside to the outside to create a “figure-8” pattern so you don’t need to use an extra piece of tape on the brake lever.[10]
Keep the tape tight as you wrap. Do not pull so hard that you wrinkle the tape or tear it but don’t let it be loose.

As you wrap up around the brake lever, make sure the extra piece of tape you added stays flat.

Secure the end of the wrapping with electrical tape. Wrap electrical tape around the end of the bike tape and the bar in order to secure it. Keep some tension on the electrical tape as you wrap it around the end of the handlebar tape. This will ensure that the electrical tape sticks to the bar.[11]
Try to use an electrical tape that is the same color as the handlebar tape. This will help it blend it.

Insert the bar plug. Place the remaining tape at the end of the curved part of the handlebar into the hole at the end of the bar. Insert the bar plug into the hole at the end of the bar.[12]
You may need to use quite a bit of pressure to get the plug in the end of the handlebars. If pressing with the heel of your hand doesn’t work, use a soft mallet to get it in.

Flip down the brake lever hoods and inspect your work. Make sure that all ends are secure. Also look over the whole surface to make sure that each wrap is overlapped and there are no areas of the handlebars visible between the wraps.[13]
The handlebars are now taped and you are ready to ride!

You can purchase handlebar tape at any bicycle shop or from online retailers.

EditThings You’ll Need
Handlebar tape

Electrical tape


Rubbing alcohol

A piece of cloth

Soap and water

Gloves (optional)

EditRelated wikiHows
Build a Bicycle Cargo Trailer

Take Your Bike on the Train

Buy a Bicycle

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Today in History for 6th May 2019

Historical Events

1909 – Indian nationalist Sri Aurobindo acquitted in the Alipore Bomb Case in Calcutta, India
1935 – Pulitzer prize awarded to Audrey Wurdemann (Bright Ambush)
1961 – 87th Kentucky Derby: John Sellers aboard Carry Back wins in 2:04
1986 – France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
1994 – Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait sets fire to the couch on Tonight Show
2013 – 10 people are killed and 26 people are injured after a wave of attacks across Iraq

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1501 – Marcellus II [Marcello Cervini], Italian humanist and Pope (1555, 22 days), born in Montefano, Marche, Papal States (d. 1555)
1895 – Fidél Pálffy, Hungarian Nazi (d. 1946)
1922 – Alan Ross, editor (London Magazine)
1926 – Gilles Grégoire, Quebec politician, co-founder of the Parti Québécois (d. 2006)
1939 – Anthony Blacker, master-general of Ordnance
1969 – Mark Thomas, NFL defensive end (Carolina Panthers, Packers, Bears)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1124 – Balak, Emir of Aleppo, murdered
1540 – Jean Luis Vives, Spanish theory/humanist/reformer, dies at 48
1814 – George Joseph Vogler, composer, dies at 64
1841 – John Thomson, composer, dies at 35
1994 – Moses Rosen, Chief Rabbi of Romania (1948-94), dies at 81
2014 – Jimmy Ellis, American boxer and WBA heavyweight champion, dies from dementia at 74

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Make Cat Eyes With Eyeliner

Cat eyes give you a dramatic, glamorous look that’s both classic and trendy. When you first start doing a cat eye, it’s easy to smudge your eyeliner or make it uneven, but you can master the technique with practice. If you’re ready to try out a cat eye, you have two options for drawing it on. You can use a makeup brush to help create an easy outline for your cat eye or use tape as a guide. For cat eyes, liquid eyeliner is queen, but you can try to layer pencil eyeliner if that’s all you have.

EditCreating an Outline with a Makeup Brush
Apply neutral or light eyeshadow from your lash line up to your crease. Dip your brush into a neutral, nude, or light eyeshadow, then brush it across your lid, working from your lashline to the crease. The eyeshadow will prime your lid and allow for a smoother application of eyeliner. It will also give the eyeliner something to cling to, so it will stay put and won’t smudge or rub off.[1]
Because cat eyes are so dramatic, darker eyeshadow colors can look overdone. Instead, consider using a color that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter.

Don’t use a cream eyeshadow. The eyeliner won’t stick to it, and both the liner and eyeshadow could easily wipe off.[2]

Angle a brush from your nose to your outer brow to find your end point. Hold a slim makeup brush against the side of your nose and angle it until it points to the end of your eyebrow—this is the line you want your wing to follow.[3] You want your wings to be as identical as possible—different lengths, widths, and angles will look off.[4]
If your eyelids are hooded, make the angle less upward and more horizontally straight. This will extend your lash line and open up your eyes.[5]

Use eyeliner to make a dot just above your crease to mark the tip of your wing. The higher you make your dot, the thicker and more dramatic your cat eye will be. Make sure the dots are at the same angle and height on both eyes before moving on.[6] It’s much easier to erase a dot and move it than to erase an entire wing.For cat eyes, it’s best to use liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner for best results. If you use pencil eyeliner, you’ll need to draw on several layers to make a cat eye, and the final result won’t look as smooth.

If you aren’t happy with the placement of your dot, use a cotton swab dipped in eye makeup remover, primer, or moisturizer to wipe it away. Then, lightly dab your foundation onto the clean spot and try again.

Draw a line connecting the dot to the outer corner of your eye. Don’t pull on your skin while drawing the wing. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze so that you can see your lash line. This will help you see what you’re doing as you create your cat eyes.[7]Although pulling your skin taut may make it easier to draw your line, when you release the skin, your wing will change shape and it may look sloppy.

Draw a line connecting the dot to the middle of your upper lash line. Gently pull your eyeliner from the corner of your eye to the middle of your lid. Position your line as high as you want your cat eye to go. It’s okay if you have eyeshadow peeking out below the line, as you will fill it in later.[8]If you have a round eye, try a thicker wing and line. For instance, you might make your line about 2-3 mm thick.[9]
If you want to extend your lash line and make your eyes look bigger, draw a curved line instead of a straight one. Make sure that the line is curving downwards.[10]

Fill in the outline you have made, if necessary. Depending on how you angled your initial lines, and how thick you drew them, you may or may not need to fill the outline in. Use your eyeliner to fill in any areas where eyeshadow is peeking through.[11]If you drew your top line right at your lash line, then you may not need to add any filler.

If you’re using pencil eyeliner, make several layers to fill in your cat eye.

Clean up any mistakes with a pointed cotton swab. The pointed tip will allow you to get into corners and clean along lines without accidentally smudging the eyeliner.[12] You can also dip the cotton swab in primer or eye cream and use that to gently remove any excess eyeliner. Avoid using makeup remover. It might do the job too well and remove any eyeshadow that you put on earlier.[13]

Draw a line to connect the inner corner of your eye with your cat eye. Position your eyeliner at the corner of your eye, then slowly pull the liner toward the cat eye. Continue across your eye until you reach the outer corner of your lid. This will make the top of your cat eye look even.[14]Try your best to do this in a single, fluid motion. Otherwise, the line may look jerky and uneven.[15]
Again, avoid pulling on your eyelid. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze so that you can see your lash line.

You can try tightlining your eyelid, which means you get the liner between your lashes and up against your waterline, but this can be difficult to do and may irritate your eye.

Thicken the line as it gets closer toward the outer corner of your eye. Try resting your pinkie on your cheekbone while you do this. It will stabilize your hand and make it easier to get a smooth, straight line instead of a shaky one.[16]If you are using a felt-tip liner, hold it closer to the middle of the tube so you have more control.[17]

Finish with mascara. First, apply 1 layer of mascara to your bottom lashes. Then, make several sweeps across your top lashes with your mascara wand.[18]For a glamorous, evening look, consider curling your lashes or popping on a pair of false lashes.

EditUsing Tape as a Guide
Sweep neutral or light eyeshadow from your lash line up to your crease. Use an eyeshadow brush to apply a neutral, nude, or light shade of eyeshadow across your entire lid. The powder will smooth out your lid and help the eyeliner go on smoother. Because cat eyes are so dramatic, consider using a color that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter instead of a darker color, which can look overdone. Avoid using a cream-based eyeshadow. The eyeliner won’t stick to that very well, so it could slide right off.

Avoid putting on under-eye concealer just yet because the tape will take it off. Also, the tape may remove any eyeshadow in that area.[19]

Take a short piece of clear tape and tap it onto your hand. Stick it to your hand and pull it up several times to remove some of the adhesive. This will make the tape less tacky and gentler on the delicate skin around your eye.[20]Tapping the tape on the back of your hand before applying it to your skin will also make it less likely to cause discomfort when you remove it.

Position the tape along the outer corner of your eye. Place the tape just beneath your lower lashes, and angle the top towards your temple. Then, use the pad of your finger to lightly tap it down so that your eyeliner doesn’t bleed under the tape.[21]For a more dramatic look, angle the tape towards the end of your eyebrow instead. This will result in a thicker line.

If your eyelids are hooded, position the tape at less of an upward angle and closer to a horizontally straight line.[22]

Draw a line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Apply your liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner as you normally would, but make the line thicker as it goes towards the outer corner of your eye. However, don’t draw past the corner or onto the tape just yet.[23]If you are having trouble applying the eyeliner smoothly, don’t tug on the outer corner of your eye. Instead, tilt your head back slightly and lower your gaze to see your lash line. Alternatively, rest your pinkie finger against your cheek to steady your hand as you draw.

When you’re doing cat eyes, it’s best to use liquid, felt tip, or gel eyeliner. If you only have pencil eyeliner, you can layer it to create a similar result, but it won’t look as smooth.

Use the tape as a guide to extend the line past the corner of your eye. Slowly pull your eyeliner across your skin just above the tape. As you reach the end of the tape, taper the line to a thin point. Follow the tape line as smoothly as possible, and don’t worry if you get some eyeliner onto the tape.[24]You can make the “flick” of your cat eye as long or as short as you want. The longer it is, the more dramatic your cat eye will be. When you first start doing a cat eye, it’s easiest to make a very short flick by extending your eyeliner slightly past your eye, over your crease.

Remove the tape carefully and make any touch-ups, if necessary. Grasp the tape by the lower edge, then slowly and gently peel it off of your skin. When you pull the tape off, you will see a nice, crisp line.[25]If the tape removed any eyeshadow, carefully patch it up with more eyeshadow.

If you usually apply any under eye concealer, you can do so now.

If you used a pencil eyeliner, you may need to do several layers of eyeliner to get a cat eye look.

Finish off with mascara or false lashes. Apply a few coats on your upper lashes and a single coat on your bottom lashes. For a more glamorous, evening look, curl your lashes or pop on a pair of false lashes.
The thicker you make your wing, the more retro it will look.

Experiment with the length and the angle of the wing to figure out what looks best on you.

If you struggle to apply liquid eyeliner, felt-tip and gel eyeliners are a great option. Felt tip eyeliners work just like a pen or marker, so they’re easy to use and offer a great amount of control. Similarly, gel eyeliners are available in pencils, making them easy to use.

If you’re using a pencil liner, try to get it as sharp as possible. Also, you may need to layer it in order to get that dark look.

If you have not yet styled your hair, consider pinning it back. This will keep your face clear of any stray hairs. If you have already styled your hair, consider lightly clipping it back instead.

If you’re having troubles making a straight line, try using a credit card or business card. For a curved line, try using a spoon.[26]
EditThings You’ll Need
EditCreating an Outline with a Makeup Brush

Eyeshadow brush

Eyeliner (liquid is recommended)

A mirror


EditUsing Tape as a Guide

Eyeshadow brush

Clear tape

Eyeliner (liquid is recommended)

A mirror


EditRelated wikiHows
Make Your Eyes the Spotlight

Look Bright Eyed

Make Your Eye Makeup Perfect

Apply Cake Mascara

EditQuick Summary
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