Stuff We Like: Twine

I like twine. Some people think it’s snooty (whatever), but I just think it’s fun to work with and more attractive than electrical tape. If you’ve wanted to give it a try but haven’t yet, here are a couple of how-to’s…

Rivendell [PDF] →
Epicurean Cyclist [YouTube] →

14 Responses to “Stuff We Like: Twine”

  • Tamia Nelson says:

    Spoken like a true mariner or fly tier, Alan. I love twine as well, and find uses for it in all sorts of ways. Sometime you should try covering handlebars with a fancy plait.

  • Alan says:


    Boy, you called that one, Tamia… did you know I used to be a professional fly tyer and tying instructor before I changed careers? That was before my eyes went bad at 40… LOL. Of course the 8/0 thread we used didn’t really qualify as “twine”… ;-)

    I’ll have to try a plait sometime, just for fun…

    All the best-

  • Steve Fuller says:

    I rewrapped the handlebars on my LHT last spring and finished them off with twine and a few coats of clear varnish. Looked quite a bit better than the black tape. I also took the time and wrapped the chainstay in twine as well since the leather chainstay cover I bought had turned from a lovely brown to a dark gray. It took a long time, but it turned out looking fairly good too. That said, there are bike/accessory combos that twine works well for, and others where it’s probably out of place.

  • Croupier says:

    I used twine on my last bike but decided to try an alternate wrapping method on my new build which allowed not to have to used anything at all. The cleanliness of that is appealing to me but if you’re going to use twine, try hemp. It has unlimited household uses as well.

  • Tim says:

    I use twine or, oddly enough, black hockey tape. Electrical tape eventually gets all gooey and falls off. Hockey Tape is enough like cloth bar tape that it almost “sinks” into the bartape. For looks, I definitely prefer twine.

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    I twined the rear rack connector and gear shifter on one of my bikes. Safe to say I like twine.

  • Bob Baxter says:

    Ah, shades of my early days as an aircraft mechanic. It’s called “whipping” and we did it with waxed (bee’s wax I think) cord. It had a myriad of uses on the older airplanes, we whipped the control wheels on DC3s among them.

  • Rick says:

    Don’t forget there’s so many things you can do with the leftover twine…I use mine to truss birds for roasting! Lol!

  • Andrew says:

    Hahah, the ’60s Italian roadbike I spent this winter fixing up definitely had cloth bar wrap. First order of busines in converting it to something I’d actually want to ride was aero levers (for mechanical advantage) and cork tape (for comfort). Finished off with electrical tape. Call me a Luddite, I guess.

  • Sharper says:

    I wrapped my road bike’s bars entirely in unshellaced cotton twine as a test. Probably the most wonderful feeling and sharpest looking wrap I’ve ever seen in real life.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t give enough cushioning to survive rides longer than 10 miles, but I do miss that distinctive closely packed spiral…

  • Alan says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I think it’s us cloth tape/twine geeks who are the Luddites… ;-)


  • Tom says:

    Try wrapping bars from the top down. Very clean look and no tape or twine needed. The tape wears out sooner and may curl on some edges giving an excuse to wrap again and try new colors or whatever.

  • kww says:

    Twine snooty? It costs pennies per foot!

  • Kim says:

    I use a method that doesn’t require any tape or twine to finish off the bar tape. Simply work from both ends toward the brake hood, and tuck the bitter ends of bar tape under the hood. Voila! Clean and simple. I have never had any unravelling problem using cloth bar tape. The method is described with illustrations at a Velo Orange blog entry.

© 2011 EcoVelo™