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  1. #1
    Senior Member roseskunk's Avatar
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    brooks leather bar tape

    hi folks- what do you guys use for protecting your brooks leather bar tape? mine is starting to lose its color. do any of you use the brooks proofide? thanks!

  2. #2
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Buy more tape.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    Buy more tape.
    This is what I did for my Rivendell, and let me tell you, it wasn't more Brooks tape. Either black or brown (I think) tape would have looked ok, but the honey tape just faded and looked like crap. Once it was on long enough to have paid for itself I took it off and replaced it with Fizik tape, which an extra under layer of cork on the upper part of the bars.

  4. #4
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    I've been using the Toshi leather bar wrap for the last 4 or 5 months and have nothing but good things to say about it. seems more durable and doesnt say brooksbrooksbrooksbrooks all over it

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
    I've been using the Toshi leather bar wrap for the last 4 or 5 months and have nothing but good things to say about it. seems more durable and doesnt say brooksbrooksbrooksbrooks all over it
    Cool Carlton, I have a couple I working on now; about a 62 Franco Suisse and a 60s Flyer.

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    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    thanks, its currently being turned into a 3 speed/generator hub/mustache bar/cross tire clad path racer, since i dont really need 3 fixed gear bikes.

    i actually have a second carlton i haven't taken any photos of, a fully nickle plated/nervex lugged 10 speed touring bike. it was all campy when i got it but ive upgraded the bar end shifters and derailleurs to stuff that works a bit more reliably.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I have antique brown Brooks tape on my Nishiki, and it has definitely faded. It doesn't bother me, but I could see how it may annoy others, and I imagine the honey fades to an even lighter color. Overall I like it, but I doubt I'd buy anymore.




    On the drops you can see the original color, as I rarely use the drops:


  8. #8
    Leather and Canvas Fetish
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
    I have antique brown Brooks tape on my Nishiki, and it has definitely faded. It doesn't bother me, but I could see how it may annoy others, and I imagine the honey fades to an even lighter color. Overall I like it, but I doubt I'd buy anymore.

    On the drops you can see the original color, as I rarely use the drops:

    That's interesting...I'm wondering if sweat or oil on the hands has something to do with it? (Come to think of it, saddles get copious amounts of butt sweat rubbed into it, but don't fade. )

    So why does a honey colored Brooks saddle eventually develop a nice dark patina and not the tape? If I leave a piece of natural undyed leather in the sun, it'll "tan" and turn a shade darker in only a day.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=onetwentyeight;5780760]thanks, its currently being turned into a 3 speed/generator hub/mustache bar/cross tire clad path racer, since i dont really need 3 fixed gear bikes.

    I'd love to see this when it's finished.
    Haven't yet justified the leather tape yet. My bikes don't usually cost that much.

  10. #10
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Theres some stuff called Mink Oil. Its a leather treatment gel. My dad used to put it
    all over his leather hiking boots before they made waterproof synthetics. It would protect it
    against moisture, but I'm not sure if it would be too slippery after the application.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronzorini View Post
    That's interesting...I'm wondering if sweat or oil on the hands has something to do with it? (Come to think of it, saddles get copious amounts of butt sweat rubbed into it, but don't fade. )

    So why does a honey colored Brooks saddle eventually develop a nice dark patina and not the tape? If I leave a piece of natural undyed leather in the sun, it'll "tan" and turn a shade darker in only a day.
    I don't know what the difference is, but of course the saddles are much thicker leather and they are very smooth. The tape is much more rough, almost sticky. In the right light it almost looks gray now, and I bet the honey tape would be nearly white. It must have something to do with bare hands touching it constantly, as I recall someone in the commuting forum said his looks fine and he wears gloves while riding.

  12. #12
    Senior Member roseskunk's Avatar
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    i'm gonna try the stuff that i use for my boots. actually i've put it on my saddles as well. i think it's like neatsfoot or mink oil. works for my boots, why not the tape? besides , my honey-colored stuff is turing lighter. the guy at the lbs has some spray that he uses, i'll ask him...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
    thanks, its currently being turned into a 3 speed/generator hub/mustache bar/cross tire clad path racer, since i dont really need 3 fixed gear bikes.

    i actually have a second carlton i haven't taken any photos of, a fully nickle plated/nervex lugged 10 speed touring bike. it was all campy when i got it but ive upgraded the bar end shifters and derailleurs to stuff that works a bit more reliably.

    I hope its not mine, which was stolen in SF 1984. The headbadge is a sticker on a beer can, cut to shape, held on with sheet metal screws! Serial number starts K9, cyclo dropouts, front fork was a Italian replacement with round holes in the side of the crown. Braze on cable guides, Record front with the stop, high flange hubs on Super Champion clinchers! Braze on shiftlevers, with odd, soda bottle cap looking thumbscrews. Post some pics, I'm looking for the police report! Pic is me on that bike circa 1975.
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    Last edited by dbakl; 12-10-07 at 06:54 PM.

  14. #14
    gentleman cyclist mrmatta's Avatar
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    The honey Brooks tape is crap. It fades and looks horrible. Get something else like this:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/elsebarco.html
    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    I think cycling clothes -- and shoes --are cool as long as you are actually touching a bicycle. If you lose contact at all, even millimeters, you immediately look like a stupid dork from another planet where any sense of style, color or personal pride is not part of your universe.

    Touch the bike again and you become a finely tuned machine, at one with your steed; fast, smooth, aerodynamic and approaching godhood.

  15. #15
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmatta View Post
    The honey Brooks tape is crap. It fades and looks horrible. Get something else like this:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/elsebarco.html
    Ha, I just bought some of the honey tape from a BF member about 5 minutes ago. Well, it matches my saddle and it was a good price.

    At any rate, I did search BF and saw a few disparaging comments about it, but somehow I missed this thread. Has anyone tried the above mentioned neatsfoot oil to darken them back up?

  16. #16
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I have the brown Brooks tape but it looked more like a Cardovan color when new. When new, I put a light coat of a saddle treatment I use (similar to proofide but with more beeswax, less tallow). It has faded a bit but still looks good to me. I always wear gloves and if mine fades enough to need help, I may try some shoe dye before I put more leather preservative on.
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    Last edited by ollo_ollo; 12-11-07 at 08:23 AM. Reason: add pic & grammar correction
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Which bike should I ride? bullwinkle's Avatar
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    My Brooks honey tape has faded too. I use Kiwi shoe wax (brown) on it when it starts looking particularly bad, and that helps for a while. Not sure what I'm gonna do when the tape needs to be replaced.

  18. #18
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    Neatsfoot oil WILL darken the leather, just be sure to use pure Neatsfoot oil and use small amounts otherwise it will feel a bit tacky for awhile.

    Also, leather is leather. Anything you use to treat and preserve your saddle with can also be used on the bar tape ... Proofide, Lexol spray Conditioner, Mink Oil, ect. Since your bar tape has already faded, I would use Neatsfoot on it now to darken it, then later use something cheaper than Proofide, like Lexol spray to treat/condition it.

    BTW, Lexol spray Conditioner is a great product for treating leather. It will actually take the small crowsfeet wrinkles out of your leather car seats, particularly if you stay on top of it by treating them regularly. Lexol and pure Neatsfoot can be found at feed stores and Saddle/Leather Tack stores.
    Last edited by McDave; 12-11-07 at 09:11 AM.

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