Cord Wrapped Handlebars (aka Rambo Style)




Alright, if Rambo rocked a 10 speed this is how he'd do his bars. This is also how he'd wrap his bars if he was on one of his daily Home Depot runs and got sidetracked in the rope section. I got this idea from the old school way of cord wrapping the ends of bar tape with string so I thought I'd give it a shot. It might be too hard for some people but hey, it only costs about $2 for the cord and you could always add some padding I suppose. Also, you can buy just about any color of electrical tape you could want.

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

All you really need is cord of some sort, electrical tape, and something to cut cord with.

Step 2: Wrap the Bar With E-tape

Wrap the bars with electrical tape like a candy cane. Fold it over so that the sticky side is on both sides. This will hold the tape in place and keep the cord from slipping around on the bars.

Step 3: Start Wrapping the Bars

You'll have to make a loop at the beginning  so that the flapper goes up the bar and can be wrapped over, pull that loop nice and tight. Once you get a loop at the beginning you can begin wrapping evenly, make sure to keep some good tension on the cord and take your time to make it look pretty. Once you get to the end you'll want to do a similar loop and pull it as tight as you can. You can do a couple knots if you wish, then cut off the excess.

Step 4: Finish Off the Ends

Put a plug in the end of the bars so that you don't take a core sample of your leg in a wreck. Then wrap some take on the ends of the cord wrapping. Stretch the tape super tight and don't skimp on the tape so it'll hold tight. Trim it up nice and good and you are ready to rock and roll.

Step 5: The Finished Product

It probably won't look good on your $8k Cervelo but it might give your old beater a nice touch.

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    8 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love the look of these! Unfortunately for me, bar plugs and I have a tendency to separate.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    worked in bike shop. We used glue sticks (as in the kind you made collages in while in school) as an adhesive when we wrapped with handlebar tape. The glue stick adhesive is amazingly tenacious  and maintains a semi-gooey state.

    I never wrapped handlebars with cord,. It might be a good substitute for the reversed electrical tape, or it could just augment it.

    Interesting job. I like it.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea!  Im going to combine this with the "Bullhorn Your Bars" one I found today.  One question:

    For the bar ends in the first pic, did you plug the ends and then use white electrical tape to cover the cord?  Couldn't figure out how you got it so clean.  Thanks for the idea!

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You are correct, I tightened the cord as tight as I could pull then wrapped some electrical tape around it super tight as well. Then I put the bar plugs in (Bontrager anti-vibration bar thingys). Lastly, I tried to very neatly wrap the end in white electrical tape to make it look pretty. You can almost kinda see that I did the same thing on the stem side of the bar wrap as well (as shown on the bars with black e-tape)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome thanks for that.  I just realized, for some weird reason, that I must not have even clicked on step 5 where it shows it more clearly.  My fault!


    9 years ago on Step 5

    Nice! I was actually thinking of doing this but with twine. If it never smooths out, I could always just take it off. It's super cheap $7 for 900' at harbor freight.

    Here is a link from Rivendell on how to wrap using twine/rope.

    They use it as an alternative to electrical tape, so if you used their method you wouldn't need any tape or anything to finish it off. I tried it on some bamboo for the garden, and it hold nicely.

    fin saunders

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like it!

    For your 8K Cervelo, consider double constrictor knots to start/terminate the wraps.

    If you are using 100% cotton cord, if it's wet when you wrap, it will shrink when dry to further avoid loose wrapping.

    Wrapping  the electrical tape over the tucked under cord end at the start will hide the taping at the beginning of the wraps.  This will also keep the cord from slipping off of the end of the handlebars.

    I will definitely use this Instructible on my next handle-wrapping job.



    You could repeat the process with a finer white twine and whip the ends, leaving electrical tape out completely.

    Good idea, looks snazzy.