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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-04-09, 05:51 PM   #1
Gobo
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Alternatives to Brooks Leather Bar Tape?

Hey,
I would really like some Brooks leather bar tape for my bike, but I would not like to pay close to $100 for it.
Does anyone know of any other alternative makers of leather bar tape?
Or is the Brooks stuff actually worth the money?
Thanks.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:03 PM   #2
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I'm sorry, but I do not think any bar tape is "worth" $100 (actually $80ish). Does the Brooks tape look nice? Yes. Is it comfortable? More than likely. However, my $7 Deda cork tape is comfortable, looks pretty nice, and costs a lot less.

Unless you have unlimited funds for your bike, I would suggest using the $80 towards a performance upgrade. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:05 PM   #3
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the brooks tape is awesome. it breaks in really nicely.
velo-orange makes a knock off version that is probably nicer, and perforated.




they also have sew-on covers, which i think look better.
never used either though.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:08 PM   #4
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http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...th=188_408_764

Scroll to the bottom, they have black and brown Toshi leather bar tape, $44.99, as well as velo-orange style leather wrap, $49.99.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:10 PM   #5
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A cheap alternative is to make your own, start out with an old leather coat from a thrift store and go from there. Czech out this blog: http://busymanbicycles.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-04-09, 06:15 PM   #6
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Dunno if its actually leather but TORELLI has some for $17:
http://www.torelli.com/parts/Tipounoparts.html


Theres also non leather brown tape like:
Salsa Gel Cork in Brown
SOMA Cork in Brown

Also found these from a Canadian Company called OCTTO:
Gel Cork


Microfiber tape:


And Check it FAUX WOOD foam!!!


http://www.octto.com
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Old 01-04-09, 06:18 PM   #7
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dude, you can get real wood grips from rivendell
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Old 01-04-09, 06:25 PM   #8
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Those octto grips look really nice.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:27 PM   #9
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you guys are my heroes, thanks for saving me cash.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkowa092 View Post
I'm sorry, but I do not think any bar tape is "worth" $100 (actually $80ish). Does the Brooks tape look nice? Yes. Is it comfortable? More than likely. However, my $7 Deda cork tape is comfortable, looks pretty nice, and costs a lot less.

Unless you have unlimited funds for your bike, I would suggest using the $80 towards a performance upgrade. Just my 2 cents.
leather is far more durable and lasting than cork. I have toshi tape that I purchased a few years ago. other than the honey color turning a dark brown from years of dirt/sweat/grease/proofide, they are holding up well. I can see them lasting 20+ years.

I prefer to spend more at first and have an item that will last years, rather than spend cheap and dispose of the item a few months later.
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Old 01-04-09, 06:51 PM   #11
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Here is a pic of the elkhide covers from Velo Orange. I show it because I think they are a great company and have great products. I enjoy leather wrap over cork but it's all personal preference.



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Old 01-04-09, 08:29 PM   #12
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I eBayed my green Brooks tape for only $65. A fair price imo.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:34 PM   #13
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Toshi leather wrap looks a thousand times better than Brooks if you ask me. Much less $$ than Brooks. Keep in mind I do NOT like Brooks wrap, love their saddles though.

Chris

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Old 01-04-09, 08:46 PM   #14
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Another vote for toshi. I have it on 2 of my bikes.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:57 PM   #15
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is the toshi stitched together?
that is to say, not one continuous piece of leather?
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Old 01-04-09, 10:25 PM   #16
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it is stitched, there is only one seam though.
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Old 01-04-09, 10:54 PM   #17
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+1 on toshi wrap
that's what I use.
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Old 01-04-09, 10:57 PM   #18
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yep... also i always thought the sew on covers make handlebars look like weird sausages.
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Old 01-04-09, 11:10 PM   #19
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...or something that belongs on a harley-davidson or a leather dungeon master.

I do like the perforated VO tape - that would like nice in black.
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Old 01-05-09, 02:30 PM   #20
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Leather tape is whack for the rain.
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Old 01-05-09, 02:36 PM   #21
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what leather did you use?

the tape I have works just as fine as any other tape when wet. I use proofide, though, so maybe that helps repel the water.
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Old 01-24-09, 04:59 PM   #22
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can anyone post photos of the bike with the toshi in brown please?
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Old 01-24-09, 05:07 PM   #23
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Not leather but a possible cheap alternative. Matches the honey brown quite well I think.



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Old 01-24-09, 09:33 PM   #24
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Cinelli natural cork bar tap looks pretty nice and only costs about $15. Personally I prefer the feel of cork tape over anything else I have tried.
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Old 02-22-10, 01:38 PM   #25
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I have the Torelli Leatherette and it looks great after about a year on a daily commute, and lots of urban rides.
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