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Leather Bar Wrap and Rain

Old 10-17-11, 04:42 AM
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Leather Bar Wrap and Rain

How does your leather bar wrap hold up to the elements, and what is your favorite leather warp?

I'm looking for some in dark brown, and want to know what to expect.....
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Old 10-17-11, 06:14 AM
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I've had my brown Brooks wrap soaked twice. Slippery when wet but dried out nicely and looks none the worse for wear. Was going to treat it with proofhide, but never got around to it....perhaps before the next ride in a rain storm?
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Old 10-17-11, 06:21 AM
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Mike, I just bought some from Handlebra.com .. A bit pricy compared to Brooks but it's really nice stuff. I haven't had it wet yet tho.

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Old 10-17-11, 06:31 AM
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My hand stitched leather wraps that I put on in 1982 have finally started to show their age. All the stitching is breaking down, I'm trying to decide if I want to re-stitch it or not. The first time I got a hell of a blister.
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Old 10-17-11, 06:40 AM
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I'll echo velognome here - it looks fine, but it's a PITA to ride them wet. I've also had issues where sweat makes them difficult and slippery and I'd avoid riding them w/o gloves.

I was not wild about the leather.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:11 AM
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good results with both the VO and the brooks in all conditions. I prefer it over anything else.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:15 AM
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I've not had this all that long, but it was pretty
dried out when I got it so I greased it down
pretty good with a high end leather dressing made
from beeeswax by H.S.Trask (which i cannot find any
more around here). This both darkens and waterproofs
it, and makes it reasonably pleasant to hold, but I
almost always ride with gloves so YMMV.
Attached Images
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Old 10-17-11, 10:21 AM
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I use the stuff from Nashbar--much cheaper than Brooks and looks nice. It's sort of light brown when it arrives, but a small amount of proofide darkens it to where it matches a Brooks saddle pretty well. I usually ride with gloves, and I avoid the rain if I can. That said, I have been caught out a few times and I have not noticed any issues with the leather once it dries.

This is Nashbar's leather tape in brown, with light proofide:
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Old 10-17-11, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post


a high end leather dressing made
from beeeswax by H.S.Trask (which i cannot find any
more around here).
I never used that brand, but Nikwax waterproofing is very easily found (REI for one) and says it's beeswax-based. I'd definitely use something on leather wrap that I expected to get wet. Yes, some leathers can take water and natural drying, but that cycle will shorten its life. My first choice would be Proofide, but I have some Nik products and other dressings I use on shoes that don't produce a greasy feel. Unlike on leather saddles, you don't have to worry about over-softening a weight-bearing piece.
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Old 10-17-11, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I use the stuff from Nashbar--much cheaper than Brooks and looks nice. It's sort of light brown when it arrives, but a small amount of proofide darkens it to where it matches a Brooks saddle pretty well. I usually ride with gloves, and I avoid the rain if I can. That said, I have been caught out a few times and I have not noticed any issues with the leather once it dries.

This is Nashbar's leather tape in brown, with light proofide:
+1 on Nashbar tape. I just order another set when it was on sale for about $25.

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Old 10-17-11, 12:16 PM
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I can't remember where I got this leather wrap (30 years ago!), but it has worn well. Gets wet, dries out, rub a little Proofide in - all good.

I had to restitch it last year - here's a link to some photos of the process.

https://picasaweb.google.com/shuncle/BarLeather

VeloOrange has some good looking elkhide wrap.https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ar-covers.html
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Old 10-17-11, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jebbesen View Post
My hand stitched leather wraps that I put on in 1982 have finally started to show their age. All the stitching is breaking down, I'm trying to decide if I want to re-stitch it or not. The first time I got a hell of a blister.
Originally Posted by Shuncle View Post
I can't remember where I got this leather wrap (30 years ago!), but it has worn well. Gets wet, dries out, rub a little Proofide in - all good.

I had to restitch it last year - here's a link to some photos of the process.

https://picasaweb.google.com/shuncle/BarLeather
Same wrap I wast talking about - I was afraid the leather wouldn't hold up to restitching. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
good results with both the VO and the brooks in all conditions. I prefer it over anything else.
Holiday,

How much rain riding have you done with leather tape? I'm considering it for my commuter, but that means 6 months of rain just about every day here in Portland. Not an odd soak here or there.
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Old 10-17-11, 01:00 PM
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I just received the Nashbar wrap that lostarchitect mentions. I'll try it soon. Or eventually.
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Old 10-17-11, 02:20 PM
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Timely thread for me, because I just wrapped my bars yesterday with a leather wrap.

Purchased it on the bay from Taiwan by a company called MHL. Never heard of them, but the quality is excellent IMHO. I went with it because of the black/white/black combination, which is pretty unique. The drops are black, then it goes white for the curve and then back to black at the top of the bars. It looks really good on my pearl white Miyata with black saddle, black cables and black stem. Even my wife said, "wow, nice"!
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Old 10-17-11, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Timely thread for me, because I just wrapped my bars yesterday with a leather wrap.
Sounds nice, got a picture?
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Old 10-17-11, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I just received the Nashbar wrap that lostarchitect mentions. I'll try it soon. Or eventually.
Hope you wrap it in the right direction, unlike Lost
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Old 10-17-11, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
Hope you wrap it in the right direction, unlike Lost
You can do it how you want, I do it how I want. I do NOT wrap from the top down because that causes the edge of the tape to be exposed upward, which I find uncomfortable, especially when moving from the hoods to the drops. If you look at most bikes, it seems most people agree with me.

Edit: Or do you mean that I wrapped from inside to outside? That's an experiment, I've never tried it that way, I wanted to see how it feels. The drops are inside to outside, the tops are opposite. That seems to make sense based on my hand position, but I'll find out.
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Old 10-17-11, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Sounds nice, got a picture?
I don't have a pic of the tape on my bike yet, but here is the e-bay picture. I really love the two color look of this tape. The black and white is actually stitched together on an angle and it was pretty easy to install. I was worried that the two sides might not come out equal, but they did. It does come in other two tone colors also. $18.00, free shipping -

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Old 10-17-11, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
You can do it how you want, I do it how I want. I do NOT wrap from the top down because that causes the edge of the tape to be exposed upward, which I find uncomfortable, especially when moving from the hoods to the drops. If you look at most bikes, it seems most people agree with me.

Edit: Or do you mean that I wrapped from inside to outside? That's an experiment, I've never tried it that way, I wanted to see how it feels. The drops are inside to outside, the tops are opposite. That seems to make sense based on my hand position, but I'll find out.
you did it the right way.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by delicious View Post
Holiday,

How much rain riding have you done with leather tape? I'm considering it for my commuter, but that means 6 months of rain just about every day here in Portland. Not an odd soak here or there.
a good amount. It was change color some. It might move around a little but depending how well you wrapped it. I don't hesitate using it in rain.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:47 PM
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Honestly, I don't think I would use leather in a climate where my bike got soaked more than occasionally.

If you do go with leather, it is important to wrap it tight, which may mean a little pre stretching or wrapping a couple of times. With the next batch, I'm going to try wetting it before I wrap. Also, a thin layer of hockey tape creates a tacky surface to help place the leather and hold it as you wrap.
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Old 10-18-11, 05:42 AM
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I once had leather tape for two years. it was nice and felt great, but all the sweat/grease/body oils/dirt/grime made the tape very sticky and gross. I'd clean it with water (or soap & water), but after awhile it was beyond cleaning. I consider bar tape to be a temporary thing and I dont like to hold onto sticky nasty tape -- I like fresh tape once a year or so, so I'm back to cloth tape (newbaums) and modern synthetic tape (fizik or deda) -- I dont feel bad when I replace the tape. Since an animal was killed to provide the leather and other animal products, I'd like the leather to last a long time (like a leather saddle or as trim on bike luggage) otherwise it just seems like a waste and superfluous. perhaps others have been able to use leather tape for longer, but it my experience of daily riding/commuting through full seasons, it didnt last long (or as long as I thought it would).

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