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Old 07-15-12, 04:57 AM   #1
mkeller234
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Velo Orange Elf Hide - any tips?

Edit: Whoops... Elk hide, not Elf!

I have a new set of black elkhide grips ready to be installed. The Velo-Orange instructions look pretty good. I thought there might be extra advice from those who have suffered this installation before me.
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Old 07-15-12, 05:02 AM   #2
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I was going to say... the hide of Elves is too thin to work with.
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Old 07-15-12, 05:17 AM   #3
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I was going to say... the hide of Elves is too thin to work with.

They might be able to sell it for 2x as much though.... I mean how many elves do you see around? I'd guess that skinning an Elf does not happen everyday.
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Old 07-15-12, 05:24 AM   #4
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I wouldn't want to be the guy that tried it.

I have no direct experience sewing elk hide onto handlebars Matt, but a bit of experience with leather. My only tip, FWIW, would be to not pull the stitches too tight. Elk and deer is soft stuff and will stretch. Nice even tension.

Say, can you post a pic or two of the product before you stitch it on, please? I'm curious what shape they cut it in. Thanks
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Old 07-15-12, 05:47 AM   #5
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I've done it on a couple of bikes and really like the result. One challenge, besides the boredom of double cross stitching anything by hand, is making sure the seam is where you want it. Make sure all the levers and accessories are "dialed" in exactly where you like, and tape the bar first with cloth tape(it will keep the leather from "crawling around.") Patiently using the holes that are prepunched is really important and don't miss any holes with either needle. That will create a nice, even seam, hopefully opposite your hand positions on the bar.



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Old 07-15-12, 05:52 AM   #6
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If I may, that sounds like a great tip Marc. Do you completely wrap the bars with cloth? Looks like in the pic you applied some strips on the tops of the bars?
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Old 07-15-12, 06:56 AM   #7
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I did not wrap mine with cloth first. The adhesive strip on the inside keeps the cover from creeping.

I tape the brake clamps in the proper place and cut a small hole in the cover for the bolt to poke through when I get to that point. That way the cover stays smooth around the levers.

I tie off the cover at the end of the bar, put some glue between the cover and the bar end, tuck the cover and insert plugs deep enough to hold it. The next day I pull the plug and run an Exacto knife around the inside of the bar to remove the excess leather and reinsert the plugs. I've done the same with Barcons. It looks neater than leaving the cut edge of the leather showing. At the top, you can hide the edge by starting the cover up aganst the sleeve if there is one,

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Old 07-15-12, 08:10 AM   #8
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I think elf hide is something Rivendell would sell, not VO.
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Old 07-15-12, 10:48 AM   #9
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and tape the bar first with cloth tape(it will keep the leather from "crawling around.")
+1 on wrapping the bar in cloth tape first. The adhesive backing will prevent your work from moving around while you wrap it but the elkhide will not fit snugly and will move around on the bar afterwards.
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Old 07-15-12, 11:12 AM   #10
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Say what?
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Old 07-15-12, 11:18 AM   #11
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Say what?
These have softer hides:



I ONLY use Keebler elves for my Elf hides.

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Old 07-15-12, 11:18 AM   #12
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I think elf hide is something Rivendell would sell, not VO.

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Old 07-15-12, 11:47 AM   #13
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If I may, that sounds like a great tip Marc. Do you completely wrap the bars with cloth? Looks like in the pic you applied some strips on the tops of the bars?
On that particular job, I learned that wrapping the bars was a good idea. This is what I meant and it does help a lot. Cork is too slippery and the leather will crawl around on it a great deal (something to do with Elves and immortality I think).


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Old 07-15-12, 12:19 PM   #14
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I have had good luck using Marc's techniques - I tried once without taping first and the covers immediately got loose on my first ride. I use hockey tape as it's cheaper than cloth handlebar tape.



Also: You can also get coloured waxed cord at craft stores - I used some blue recently to match the decals on my celeste Bianchi.

edit: +1 to greatest typo ever. Particularly for a guy who has an elf for an avatar.

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Old 07-15-12, 12:51 PM   #15
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I think MKeller needs to change his avatar to a picture of P.T. Barnum.
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Old 07-15-12, 12:56 PM   #16
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Elf hide is a little like Mink oil. Makes you wonder who harvests the stuff.
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Old 07-15-12, 01:47 PM   #17
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Old 07-15-12, 01:53 PM   #18
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Of course now we know why this guy always looks so displeased?,,,,BD

http://www.fanzone50.com/Hugo/Elr/Elrond1_sm-b24.jpg
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Old 07-15-12, 04:46 PM   #19
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Particularly for a guy who has an elf for an avatar.

Wait one minute... What!?! No way, that is a Brownie. The Cleveland Browns REAL mascot, not that dog that some people seemed to have adopted. Are you from Canada? If so, you get an pass in NFL knowledge.
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Old 07-15-12, 04:48 PM   #20
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Sorry I haven't been able to keep up with the thread, but thanks for all of the suggestions. I read an old thread where Robatsu wiped his bare bars with shellac, then put Toshi leather directly on top.

With the cloth, can you see that wrapped look? I'm hoping to keep it smooth looking if possible.
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Old 07-15-12, 04:55 PM   #21
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Looks like you wrap the bars with cloth Matt, but don't overlap the cloth tape. Just wrap it side by side so you don't get bumps. I think the shellac idea sounds great. Just enough tack to keep the leather from slipping, I would think.

And, what's the difference between a Brownie and an Elf? You don't see any pro teams named the Elves, do you?
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Old 07-15-12, 05:08 PM   #22
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The guy who wrapped the bars on my Centurion said the laces cut his hands pretty good. For his wife's bike, he got some kevlar gloves to do the lacing.
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Old 07-15-12, 05:54 PM   #23
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Skin of Elf. Kevlar gloves. This thread is taking some strange turns. I like it.
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Old 07-15-12, 08:00 PM   #24
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You're on Santa's naughty list for sure now.
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Old 07-16-12, 12:41 AM   #25
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You're on Santa's naughty list for sure now.
That's ok. The older I get, the less his list means for me anyhow. If I have nothing to lose, I might as well grab an Elf or five.
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