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  1. #1
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Brooks Leather Bar Tape - Shellac

    Holy late post Batman.

    I said I would post up a pic of my leather tape post-shellacing. I did this to prevent the tape from drying out and because is was way too slippery.

    Success, 2 coats. Not the best picture, but here it is:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Looks very nice. How does it feel when you ride the bars?
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  3. #3
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Definite improvement, no sliding. Much nicer feel that shellac on cloth, and only two coats. We'll see how it feels in the summer.

  4. #4
    Ride heavy metal. Maddox's Avatar
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    I don't know why you'd put shellac, which isn't really intended to breathe, on leather - which is intended to naturally breathe and open up with age and accumulation of moisture. Especially when your tape was something like $80 a pop.

    I sincerely hope this test goes really well. I'd hate to see you lose the leather.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Brooks tape looks nice, and apparently looks even nicer with shellac.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I did this to prevent the tape from drying out and because is was way too slippery.
    Proofide works pretty well for that.

    I wouldn't shellac leather.
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  7. #7
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Well I think this was covered in another thread. For me the "breathing" means it dries out and looks like crap, or hand moisture, - or worse yet ..'proofhide' - gets into the leather and makes it's slippery and slimey to the touch.

    Getting it to NOT to act like leather is the whole point.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    Getting it to NOT to act like leather is the whole point.
    Oh.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    Getting it to NOT to act like leather is the whole point.
    So...why did you buy leather?
    Jesse

  10. #10
    Fair Weather Cyclist Transformer's Avatar
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    Maybe next you could get your Brooks saddle reupholstered with vinyl.

  11. #11
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    I did the same thing with my tires because they were so slippery. The shellac really made me stick to the road like I was riding rails. I just have to re-apply it every few miles, no biggie.
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  12. #12
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I don't get it. If you don't want it to act like leather, there are plenty of synthetic bar wraps out there. I think this is a waste of nice leather tape.
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  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    I did the same thing with my tires because they were so slippery. The shellac really made me stick to the road like I was riding rails. I just have to re-apply it every few miles, no biggie.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  14. #14
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddox View Post
    I don't know why you'd put shellac, which isn't really intended to breathe, on leather - which is intended to naturally breathe and open up with age and accumulation of moisture. Especially when your tape was something like $80 a pop.

    I sincerely hope this test goes really well. I'd hate to see you lose the leather.
    I could be wrong, but I thought that shellacing handlebars is traditional, at least in the UK.
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  15. #15
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    Tough crowd! I don't know what shellac will do long term to the leather, but if it works, why not? It looks amazing, and will undoubtably hold off the sweat and grime far better than a traditional treatments. Looking forward to the summer followups.
    The above comment is entirely my delusional ramblings, and not those of my family, friends, past and future employers, the Academy of Motion Pictures, or any of my other personalities.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I dunno FrenchFit, if you are trying to make your leather bar tape less slippery, I would certainly not use shellac on it as it will seal of the pores of the leather and might make it feel like it's encased in a plastic film. As for the leather drying out, I bet if you ride enough miles, just the oils from you hands will keep the leather from drying out.

    Chombi

  17. #17
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    looks good and fits your needs. i would say a success!

    time will tell on what affect shellac has on leather, but i would guess that it'll be just fine.

  18. #18
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Stupid question about the shellacing:

    Did you do it on your bike or did you take the bars off and put them on a vice? If you left it on your bike were you worried about shellac dripping on the bike if your brush got too much on it?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I've only ever done cloth, and I do cheap 3mil plastic wrap from Home Depot, over as much of the bike as you want. Heavy duty painters tape over the brake cables and hoods - if you leave them on during the application. Makes an easier cleanup too.

    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Stupid question about the shellacing:

    Did you do it on your bike or did you take the bars off and put them on a vice? If you left it on your bike were you worried about shellac dripping on the bike if your brush got too much on it?
    The above comment is entirely my delusional ramblings, and not those of my family, friends, past and future employers, the Academy of Motion Pictures, or any of my other personalities.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Stupid question about the shellacing:

    Did you do it on your bike or did you take the bars off and put them on a vice? If you left it on your bike were you worried about shellac dripping on the bike if your brush got too much on it?
    Shellac wipes right off with a little alcohol on a rag.

    The bars won't go through the clamp after they're wrapped.

  21. #21
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    Shellac wipes right off with a little alcohol on a rag.

    The bars won't go through the clamp after they're wrapped.
    Ah, good point. I was thinking in that case of someone lifting the whole stem out and clamping it in a bench vice over a drop cloth, but a drop cloth over the bike would achieve the same ends. In my case, it'll be using a stem with a removeable faceplate as I shellac cork, but will have cables running under the tape, so yeah, I'll probably want to have it on the bike.

    I do have to say I like the looks of the way that OP did it as it didn't cause the bars to mismatch the saddle in color, but I'd be afraid that the saddle will change in color and the bars won't.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  22. #22
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    I used to make some leather articles (billfolds, cases, purses, belts, etc.) that I applied a leather lacquer to (Fiebings), it was to give it that glossy, finished look. I like to use shellac on wood, but never tried it on leather. Think I'd have tried some assorted waxes (bee's, microcrystalline, carnuba) before I shellac'd my bar tape, but that's just me.

    Edit: can't believe I wrote that, but: once you WAX something, you can't SHELLAC it. Shellac is an "almost universal" finish, but the one thing it won't stick to is wax. If you want to use shellac you must completely remove any wax (with solvents bound to be pretty hard on leather).
    Last edited by unworthy1; 02-06-12 at 02:46 PM.

  23. #23
    self propelled lifer peter_d's Avatar
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    Theres a product called 303 Protectant thats made to rejuventate pretty much all rubber and plastic, it also works well on leather and fabric. It preserves and adds UV protection. I wouldnt use it on synthetic bar tape cause it can be a bit slippery but on leather tape i think it'd work well. By the way this stuff is great for softening up old rubber brake hoods and no i don't own the company

  24. #24
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    You're getting a real shellacking here Frenchfit. Say, how come you spell shellac without a "k" but shellacking with a "K"?
    Anyway, shellac, as we all know, is a dried secretion from some bugs. Cut with alcohol, it then dries to a pretty hard shell, so to speak. Not as hard as varnish or poly, certainly. I use it in my woodworking too. I love the stuff. My guess is that it will crack and flake off over time on a porous, semi-flexible material like leather. But what the heck, it's worth a try and you may be a pioneer and/or start a trend.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Drummerboy1975's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but, that looks just like the wrap that you can buy for your steering wheel.

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