Found: Tite Ends Shrink Wrap Bar “Tape”

Tite Ends 3M Shrink Wrap bar tape

Longtime cyclist and coach (and current IT guy) Tom Schwoegler has invented a heat shrink bar tape that closes off the upper end of your handlebar wrap without resorting to electrical tape, colored or otherwise.

He worked with 3M to create a polyolefin based material that’s thick enough to hold everything in place but remain pliable and comfortable. The other benefit of the material is that it only shrinks radially and not lengthwise. There’s no adhesive on the back, so he puts one small piece of tape to hold everything in place, then heats from the bottom to shrink it down enough to finalize the position. Once you get it right here you want it, put the heat gun on the top and it’ll shrink down to a very tight, clean looking finish.

Schwoegler says you can use a hair dryer but it won’t shrink down quite as tight.

Tite Ends 3M Shrink Wrap bar tape

Tite Ends is patent pending and will likely retail for about $7.95 per pack. Red, white and black for now, other colors may come available based on demand.

Comments

b - 07/24/12 - 5:23pm

This is definitely a neat idea, but an extra $8 every time you change your tape AND you have to own a heat gun to use it properly? That’s a limited market to be sure.

mat - 07/24/12 - 5:25pm

Not that i don’t like the idea but i always think a well mitred tape and cleanly wrapped electrical tape looks tidy.

This looks 3-4 times wider and less tidy.

Cw - 07/24/12 - 5:35pm

That looks amateur as hell that wide. I would cut each piece in half and get two uses out of a pack

brian - 07/24/12 - 5:40pm

I was thinking the same thing, that is crazy wide. I usually cut electrical tape in half

Hmmm - 07/24/12 - 5:43pm

And you have to take your levers and cables off to slip it all together it seems? Maybe OK for a fresh build, but a hassle when all your cables are already fitted.

I”ll stick to good old Nitto electrical tape i think.

Brett - 07/24/12 - 5:43pm

where can u get it?

Tom - 07/24/12 - 5:55pm

Product seems like the installation is more hassle than its worth, having to route cables through it and all. Electrical tape FTW. And you don’t even have to stick it to the bars. Just wrap it around the tape tightly and it will hold without leaving sticky crap on your bars for the next re-tape.

Bob - 07/24/12 - 6:03pm

It is perfect for the pro look. Electrical tape looks cheap and is sticky. They have it on their website for $5.00 plus a buck for shipping.

RockT - 07/24/12 - 6:36pm

3m Super 88 !

Jim - 07/24/12 - 6:49pm

Hockey stick blade tape. Thinner than cotton, more pro looking than electrical tape, doesn’t migrate, lots of colors and designs available.

Tim - 07/24/12 - 7:17pm

Great idea! I wish the guy well. I’m sure it’s trimable…I found his website. http://www.tite-ends.com
I’ve seen many bad tape jobs on handlebars over the years. Electrical tape slowly releases.
Kinda of a crime to rock a expensive bike, and have HB tape end with electrical tape. This is the
perfect solution. I’m buying!

timbo - 07/24/12 - 8:14pm

I’ve been using 1-inch dia. x 1/2-inch wide shrink tubing on the other end to hold the plugs in for years. You never use a plug and it looks very professional.

DaleC - 07/24/12 - 8:46pm

Heat shrink tubing, which is what this appears to be, is available at electronic supply shops like Fry’s or tons of places on the web.

It is also a hell of a lot cheaper than $ 8 for a few pieces. Expect about $ 2-3 for a four foot piece.

CMAC - 07/24/12 - 9:00pm

Yeah this seems more economical.

http://www.cableorganizer.com/heat-shrink/heat-shrink2.htm

saupak - 07/24/12 - 9:31pm

And for carbon bars? I’m not sure I want to take a heat gun to $300+ of carbon.

matt - 07/24/12 - 9:48pm

I will say it is a hassle, but, as a bike shop mechanic who builds quite a few custom specced road bikes each year, its a neat little touch that will look really good as a finished install on a bike that is assembled from the frame up. It may not be reasonable to put on every single time, but considering people spend $300 on carbon bars as another person noted, what’s $8 to not have electrical, hockey, cotton, or whatever other tape finishing off a nice (or really any) bike.

MattL - 07/25/12 - 1:36am

I think using super glue like the sky mechanics do is the cleanest look

pete - 07/25/12 - 1:52am

you guys are splitting hairs on bar tape… f***ing roadies…

IJBCape - 07/25/12 - 3:54am

haha obsessive roadies rule. Quality electrical looks good because it doesn’t wrinkle. I would check the hockey tape tho, good tip. I like little extras like this and would probably try it. We used to put this type of shrink wrap (like for tool handles) on our bmx levers.

Louis - 07/25/12 - 11:02am

It costs $8? I’ve got to run cables under it every time I install bar tape? And it still looks too wide and as amateur as the first time I wrapped my bars?

Yeah, sign me up. Electrical tape at the end of wrapping your bars is an art.

uglyyeti - 07/25/12 - 8:41pm

I just found pink Hello Kitty duct tape at Target. That’ll work.

bk - 07/29/12 - 1:40am

I’ve found that using antelope foreskin works best. Apply while still fresh from the donor (within 36 hours of removal) using very gentle pressure whilst wrapping and let dry in the sun. After 24 hours of dry time, apply a very light coat of baby oil every 2 weeks to ensure the skin remains supple. It should last a minimum of 1 season and cost next to nothing to acquire.

J - 07/30/12 - 8:07am

This would be fine for track bikes with no brake levers, but it needs to be trimmed down. It still looks really amateur. On a related note, I think I’m just going to buy some 3M Super 88 electrical tape in bulk and just put a sticker over the package that says “Professional Bicycle Handlebar Finishing Tape.” It’s basically the same idea as this…take an existing electrical product and and market it for the cycling industry to try and make money. The other issue with this is that if you don’t use a heat gun you run the risk of not getting it tight enough and the lip of the heat shrink will roll up over time. I really would be hesitant using this with carbon bars. I’m sure that I could do it fine, but then again factor in some idiot will have a 1000 degree heat gun and not know wtf he or she is doing and damage the carbon. Rather than market this, it should just be advertised as a free hack (i.e. go buy a 4′ piece of heat shrink for $2-3 and try this on your fixie if you think this looks cool). I see this in no way being profitable. You would never catch me using anything remotely like this, it just looks cheap. I would tie off my bars with the junky brand logo tape that comes stock with bar tape before I’d use this. There is zero problem with using 3M Super 88 Tape. I have been using it for years and it doesn’t wrinkle and is easy to replace should something happen.

Nice of BikeRumor to put a promotional plug in for their IT guy but this is a stupid and pointless product in my honest opinion

Ralph - 07/31/12 - 12:08am

Thanks for the plug.

Minnesota Mining & Maunfacturing Co. (3M)

Rodney - 08/12/12 - 6:36pm

Absolutely stupid and pointless. I found self-fusing silicone tape works great. No adhesive to dis-bond or leave residue like ordinary electrical tape. Silicone tape sticks/fuses only to itself, it will not unwrap. It must be cut off when you change the bar tape, but unlike Tite-Ends you don’t have the arduous task of removing the controls and routing the cables. BTW 3M makes some too. ;)

Aaron - 12/24/12 - 4:09pm

Wrap top to bottom–as opposed to the typical bottom to top–and all you need is the bar-end plug to hold it all together. Been doing it for years, and never had anything come unwrapped.

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