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  1. #1
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Anyone use Brooks leather handlebar tape?

    I noticed Brooks is making a leather handlebar tape now. It seems like it would make a nice addition to a touring bike with a Brooks Team Pro. I like the idea, but I am worried about it being hot and sweaty in the summer and slippery and getting ruined in the rain. It is quite expensive compared to standard tape so I would like some feedback before I buy. Any experiences to share?

  2. #2
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I don't have it but love the look (if not the expense). I would be curious to hear reviews as well.

  3. #3
    Dances a jig. Mchaz's Avatar
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    One idea might be to clear shallack it to protect it from the rain. Then the surface would be just like shallacked cloth tape. I don't know how the leather would react to a coating though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    I found this thread that gives some ideas, but I can't find any reports from people who have used the tape for a while

  5. #5
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    I saw lots of it at the NAHBS (North American Hand Built Show)...

  6. #6
    Minneapolis colinm's Avatar
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    Deerskin (Deer Hide) bar wrap

    One hour with scissors and leather stitcher type thing....I need to make them longer so I can wrap them fatter. Deer hides are cheap on Ebay, and come in colors! Woot!
    THREAD KILLER

  7. #7
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Last night I ordered a Brooks Team Professional and Brooks Leather Handlebar tape in Antique Brown. I will post impressions after I get everything set up.

  8. #8
    Semper Fidelis
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    back in the seventies I use to see leather tape on europeon type bikes, Bob jackson, vitus, and a few schwin paramonts most of it had a stitching all the way around, never asked about durability but the ones that had it liked it, back in those days it was a cool factor
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Stitched-on handlebar covering was firm and durable (until you crashed). I was happy when cork ribbon appeared but I haven't tried the Brooks tape.

  10. #10
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    I bought the Brooks leather tape a couple of months ago. It was a bit odd to put on because it has no stretch to it at all. The tape has gotten wet a few times so far. Rain just seems to run off. The tape is not bothered at all.

    Btw, the honey colored tape does not match the honey colored B17. Even accounting for the extra time I have had the B17, the tape is lighter in color. Over time it *may* darken to match the saddle, but probably not. Just a note for the OCP folks. The brown or black combinations would probably match much better.

    When applying the tape you have to take into account where the tape is stitched together. Each side is actually three different sections stitched end to end to end. Depending on how you start the wrap, you could have a "stitching section" on the top side of the bars, right under your hand. Not only will it be extremely visible, but you will also feel it all of the time, and you will cause extra wear on the stitching itself. I wrapped and re-wrapped a number of times in an effort to minimize the exposure of the stitching sections.

    I'll have to wait a bit to see how sweaty it gets. Can't be any worse than cork.

    The cost of the tape will be justified if it lasts three times as long as cork. Since I don't get much mileage out of normal tape, the Brooks tape will have to last maybe 1 or 1.5 years, max. Besides, it looks really nice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronsmithjunior
    I bought the Brooks leather tape a couple of months ago. It was a bit odd to put on because it has no stretch to it at all. The tape has gotten wet a few times so far. Rain just seems to run off. The tape is not bothered at all.
    Btw, I wrapped my bare bars with electrical friction tape (not regular electrical tape) to give the wrap something to stick to. Although the leather wrap does have adhesive, that goes away if you have to unwrap and rewrap. This kind of tape works really well.

    Speaking of tape, the finish tape Brooks provided was crap. When pulling on it to get a little tension it gave way. I tossed it and used something else. The finish plugs are crap also. They break really easily.

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