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  1. #1
    god Judge_Posner's Avatar
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    handlebar tape to match brooks saddle

    I just got my Brooks b17 antique brown saddle in the mail. I want my handlebars to match the seat. Any suggestions? I'm trying to avoid buying the Brooks leather tape since it costs a ton.

    I've read some stuff on this forum about shellac+cloth tape. Has anyone been able to match a antique brown leather saddle with this technique? If so, what color/brand of tape/shelllac did you use? Any tips?

    Also, does anyone know of a good leather tape made by a brand that is cheaper than the Brooks stuff?

  2. #2
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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    I think it goes yellow tape with amber shellac, you'll need a few layers but remember brooks saddles get darker the more you use them ( from the proofhide)

  3. #3
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Yellow tape and amber shellac yield something close to honey brown. Antique brown is quite a bit darker.

  4. #4
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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    oh ok. would red tape with the amber do it then?

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    The carpet needs to match the drapes
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  6. #6
    moar wine!!! rodri9o's Avatar
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  7. #7
    god Judge_Posner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodri9o View Post
    thanks for the link. i may try the brown cloth tape with a clear shellac. if that doesnt turn out well, i may try the orange tape with amber shellac.

    any other suggestions?

  8. #8
    Platinum Edition covenant's Avatar
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    Velo Orange's Elkhide bar covers:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/elsebarco.html

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Not exactly bar tape, but it might match your brooks nicely

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Hand...d-shellac-cov/

  10. #10
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    by the time you've tested several tape + shellac configurations and have found something that is pretty close, but still most likely off, you could have just purchased the brooks wrap.

  11. #11
    Are we not men?
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    I was going to match the tape on my girlfriend's bike to her Brooks, but decided just to do white cloth tape. I made the right choice.

  12. #12
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shants View Post
    by the time you've tested several tape + shellac configurations and have found something that is pretty close, but still most likely off, you could have just purchased the brooks wrap.
    good point. I have the Brooks tape and it feels very very nice but do doing the matching is a fine time

  13. #13
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    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=16-114

    Maybe one of those colors would work?

  14. #14
    Steel Frame BrooklynRider's Avatar
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    I bought a Brooks B-17 Honey last March.

    I'm pretty light (74 kg, or 164 lbs) and the saddle was not breaking in quickly enough for me, so I soaked it in 3 tablespoons of neats-foot oil to speed it up. 2000 miles later it broke in. I have not messed with the tensioner bolt.

    This week I splurged and bought the Brooks Honey Leather Wrap. I have read that some folks got wrap that was sewn together. The 2 rolls I got (Harris Cycle) are single strips. No stitched patches.

    Since I darkened my Honey Saddle with a puddle of neats foot oil. I applied 3 coats of neats foot oil to my brand new Brooks wrap. I'll put a coat of Kiwi Neutral shoe polish on it before I install it. It's still a bit lighter than the oiled saddle. A side benefit was that the saddle and the tape now almost match the Armadillo Nimbus Maroon sidewall tires! Bonus!

    Here's some photos. I have a fitting next week so my bars are half naked and the bike is still on the trainer.

    I am a little miffed that the leather wrap is so short. = 80.5 inch or 204cm. I wanted to under-wrap it, but the length is too short to do so. I *might* be able to fit a cloth under-wrap, but I doubt it. 92" or ~220cm would have been perfectish.

    The following picture compares the out-of-box honey tape and my oiled tape. The glue on the leather tape has not been destroyed. Nor have I removed the wax-paper from the glue strip yet.







    Matches Nimbus Red sidewall!


    My embarrassing cockpit view.


    The Brooks tape wrap will need a coat of neutral shoe polish (Proofhide) to darken a tad more and coat the surface a bit before I install it. I wish it came with another 15-20cm length. I would really like to under wrap the upper bar with a round of cork before installing. Probably because I'm a fred, I guess!

    It is certainly possible to match the Honey saddle with the tape. But don't expect the colors to match without some risk. I'll update after it's all in place.

    I actually think it's smart that Brooks provide the honey tape this way. It's very easy to darken it. But you cannot lighten it. It's also cool that the stitching is gone. I have a single strip with no stitching.

    Best of luck!

    Hope these pictures are fun.

    Brooklyn Rider
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; 03-05-08 at 10:08 PM.

  15. #15
    god Judge_Posner's Avatar
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    nice bump!

    i hope the brooks tape works out well. since you revived this thread, i guess its worth mentioning that i ended up succeeding in my mission of matching my bars to my seat... temporarily. i used brown cloth tape from velo-orange, and after about 7-8 coats of amber shellac, that tape looked EXACTLY like my brown brooks saddle.

    SUCCESS.


    the color match lasted for about 2 weeks, at which point the saddle (as expected) naturally darkened and the tape/shellac (unexpected) lightened. now my saddle is dark brown and my tape is an ugly shade of brownish orange. i'm retaping it soon (white tape this time) and i wont be using shellac again. in the end, it was a fun, pointless project.

  16. #16
    Sauce
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    Well, I knew someone that found a thrift store leather jacket with around the same darkness as his saddle. He cut it up into strips and wolah.

  17. #17
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    Yellow tape+ shellac really is the way to go. You just keep adding layers until it matches and the colour looks nice for a long while. More pleasing than the brooks tape, i think... it has something to do with the fact that it is two layers of colour. I never got fussy about matching this set, i didn't want the front end to be that dark. But i do think it looks nice.


  18. #18
    Bike Honky bottom-bracket's Avatar
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    Tennis pro shops have interesting stuff as far as leather or fake leather grip goes
    FGG#1756and 5,964

  19. #19
    Type Onespeed
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    Velo Orange Expresso is the same as the Brooks ant. brown.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by TUT2222; 03-06-08 at 08:01 AM.

  20. #20
    partly metal, partly real sp00ki's Avatar
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    brooks is murder.
    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Road [racing] is one of the only sports where adult men can compete in a non-scholastic setting, so inevitably 8/10 racers are fiercely-competitive nobodies. It's fun as hell, but it's also the foremost refuge of defeated and aging jocks, turned middle-management types.

  21. #21
    Are we not men?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    brooks is murder.
    On my wallet.

  22. #22
    Are we not men?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TUT2222 View Post
    Velo Orange Expresso is the same as the Brooks ant. brown.
    But this is too much. It's a bike, not a cow.

  23. #23
    Type Onespeed
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    LOL, well he asked............

  24. #24
    liar JACQU3S's Avatar
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    2 turds

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