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  1. #1
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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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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  2. #2
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    I was going to say... the hide of Elves is too thin to work with.

  3. #3
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    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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  4. #4
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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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

  5. #5
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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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.

    IMG_0289.JPG

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  6. #6
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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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?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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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,


  8. #8
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    I think elf hide is something Rivendell would sell, not VO.
    I have the right number of bikes, I just don't have all the right ones quite yet.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oldairhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    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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  10. #10
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post
    These have softer hides:



    I ONLY use Keebler elves for my Elf hides.

    Mkeller - BEST TYPO EVER!

  12. #12
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
    I think elf hide is something Rivendell would sell, not VO.


  13. #13
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    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).
    IMG_1873.JPG

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  14. #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.
    Last edited by tashi; 07-15-12 at 12:23 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Cattywompus's Avatar
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    I think MKeller needs to change his avatar to a picture of P.T. Barnum.

  16. #16
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Elf hide is a little like Mink oil. Makes you wonder who harvests the stuff.

  17. #17
    Get off the lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Of course now we know why this guy always looks so displeased?,,,,BD

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  19. #19
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashi View Post
    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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  20. #20
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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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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  21. #21
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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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?

  22. #22
    Senior Member WickedThump's Avatar
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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.

  23. #23
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Skin of Elf. Kevlar gloves. This thread is taking some strange turns. I like it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Mercian Rider's Avatar
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    You're on Santa's naughty list for sure now.
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  25. #25
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercian Rider View Post
    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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