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Brooks Bar Tape

Old 01-15-12, 12:04 AM
  #1  
dk2ck
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Brooks Bar Tape

I've been looking at buying some perforated Brooks bar tape and I'd love to see some examples of them on bikes. So if you use it, post some pictures, please!

Also, how well does the tape wear in? I've been looking around and it seems like older versions of the tape faded/turned into zombie-flesh... but it seems like newer versions of the tape seem to hold up pretty well. Can anyone confirm/deny?
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Old 01-15-12, 04:16 AM
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As you can see, it matches my Colt saddle. It has held up very well after one riding season. It has darkened some in the places where my hands rest the most. It is still nice and tight, and while I worried about loosing a plug, they have remained very secure.

I have HandleBra leather wrap on another bike, and it does not stay tight and needs rewrapping after a few hundred miles.
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Old 01-15-12, 02:31 PM
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That looks gorgeous! Thanks for the pictures. Is the leather quality similar between the Brooks tape and the Handlebra tape? Also, do you have any pictures of the aged tape? Thanks again.
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Old 01-15-12, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dk2ck View Post
That looks gorgeous! Thanks for the pictures. Is the leather quality similar between the Brooks tape and the Handlebra tape? Also, do you have any pictures of the aged tape? Thanks again.
The quality of the Brooks leather is far superior over the HandleBra, IMO. IIRC when I bought the Handlebra 3 years ago it was about $40 + shipping, so significantly less than Brooks. Now that it is $85, but does not come with end plugs nor finishing tape, and Brooks tape is in $60+ range, this is a no brainer, unless you want a color Brooks does not have.

I'm sorry, but I don't have a picture of the Brooks tape after a year of riding at this moment. I'll try to take one and post later.

Here is the HandleBra just installed. Looks good when it goes on new. But within a few miles the leather stretches and begins lifting at the edges. This lifting is rather slight, but annoying nonetheless. HandleBra does not have adhesive on the back, so it tends to move around. Makes reusing easy, but do you want to re-wrap your bars every 100 miles or so? You can see the blue hemp string I used to secure the wrap. Looks nice new but does not hold up very long.

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Old 01-15-12, 07:52 PM
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If it helps with the longevity issue my 1974 Paramount has Brooks tape on the that was put on the bike in 1978. The tape has some minor scrape issues but doesn't need replacement yet. If I have enough time I will dig the bike out and take some pictures tomorrow. Roger

Last edited by rhenning; 01-17-12 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 01-15-12, 07:56 PM
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Old 01-15-12, 10:30 PM
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Old 01-16-12, 09:43 AM
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I have had no trouble with handlebra at all.

I have over 10,000 miles with it and no re wraping at all.

I have had an old set of brooks wrap around and am just now putting it on a bike so I can't speak of it yet.
Give me 1 year or so.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:57 AM
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Brooks honey.



Velo Orange seamless black.

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Old 01-16-12, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
I have had no trouble with handlebra at all.

I have over 10,000 miles with it and no re wraping at all.
Maybe I'm not wrapping it correctly, but it's the only wrap I've had to redo. Or maybe it is my particular batch of HandleBra? Or it could be user error. Do you have any pictures of your bars with the wrap?

Here's a picture of the HandleBra wrap before I installed it.



Notice how the edges are sort of "wavy?" This is where I have trouble with the edges lifting up after a few hundred miles of riding.

I wish I had a comparable overhead picture of the Brooks tape before I installed it, but this is the best I can do.



The OP asked for a recent picture of the Brooks Violet tape and how it had slightly darkened over the summer/fall riding season. As you can see, not by much.



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Old 01-16-12, 11:42 AM
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I had Brooks honey tape on my touring bike when it was new. It wore well, but the color faded badly after only a year or so. It became more of a tan color than the rich brown.
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Old 01-16-12, 06:56 PM
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Gorgeous. Thanks, guys! Has anyone else had problems with the color of their Brooks tape fading?
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Old 01-16-12, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Maybe I'm not wrapping it correctly, but it's the only wrap I've had to redo. Or maybe it is my particular batch of HandleBra? Or it could be user error. Do you have any pictures of your bars with the wrap?

Here's a picture of the HandleBra wrap before I installed it.



Notice how the edges are sort of "wavy?" This is where I have trouble with the edges lifting up after a few hundred miles of riding.

I wish I had a comparable overhead picture of the Brooks tape before I installed it, but this is the best I can do.



The OP asked for a recent picture of the Brooks Violet tape and how it had slightly darkened over the summer/fall riding season. As you can see, not by much.



Sorry pastor bob,
No pics right now! Broken camera.

That's the way mine looked when I got it.
All I did was pre-wrap my bars with athletic tape then wrap the bars, pulling it tightly as I went!

I have handle bra on another bike as well but it has only been on a short while. About 1000 miles or so.
So that's no test.

The spectrum has almost 10,000 or so miles, and still no slip or wear. It's a little faded, but not to much.

I think I have a pic of it when it was new;
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Old 01-16-12, 10:26 PM
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My girlfriend has the older, non-perforated Brooks tape on her bike. 4 years of riding and some rain and it's pretty hideous. Not tattered or torn but very discolored.

Her Team Pro S looks just as good as new though!
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Old 01-16-12, 10:41 PM
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I have a dull brown Brooks tape. It's darkened a bit from my hands but that's about it. This is from the spring, the patina on the top part of the bars is now has a warm waxed look to it. Too late for pictures tonight, if your totally interested I'll take some in the morning.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:32 AM
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Poor man's leather wrap:




Don't know how it'll hold up yet, since I just put it on last week. Someday I'll get me some real Brooks leather wrap. And someday I'll be a reeeeal boy.
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Old 01-17-12, 04:00 AM
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I haven't had good luck with Brooks bar tape; slippery in cool weather, drys out and fades in the summer. I recently shellaced some antique brown bars, came out well and now they have some tack. If I get a chance tomorrow I'll throw up a pic.

My verdict, not worth the cost and hassles. Leather may be superior for seats, not so for bars.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:13 AM
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I haven't had good luck with Brooks bar tape; slippery in cool weather, drys out and fades in the summer.
I've had the opposite experience, very pleasurable when the temps drop, seems to stay cool in the summer but very slippery in the rain ( dangerously so!!). An additonal bonus is that it holds up well in a minor crash!! Ah Frenchfit, your on the left coast and I'm on the right coast...that must explain it? I do have to say I prefer cloth over leather in the end.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:52 AM
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I've had it on my Mclean for a few years now, it has held up fine and feels solid, not much of a padded feel that some other tapes have. It did darken up where my hands gripped it more.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:53 AM
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I'm looking to get some Honey Brooks tape soon. Question - should it be given Proofide, as the saddles do? If so, might this explain some of the "slipperiness/dryness" comments?
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Old 01-17-12, 11:06 AM
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I recommend Handlebra over Brooks leather tape. Higher quality, lays nicer, doesnt fade.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by jar351 View Post
Poor man's leather wrap:
I did that too, with a Schwinn Prelude that I traded to brockd15.



In terms of "zombie-flesh", I hope the OP wasn't talking about the cork tape I shellacked to match my honey brown Brooks- new:


Worn in:
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Old 01-17-12, 12:04 PM
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My honey tape has faded slightly, but not too bad:



Still pretty much the same tone as the saddle, same age:
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Old 01-17-12, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
In terms of "zombie-flesh", I hope the OP wasn't talking about the cork tape I shellacked to match my honey brown Brooks
This is the zombie flesh I was talking about:

From here: https://russroca.blogspot.com/2007/06...-dead-cow.html
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Old 01-17-12, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I did that too, with a Schwinn Prelude that I traded to brockd15.



In terms of "zombie-flesh", I hope the OP wasn't talking about the cork tape I shellacked to match my honey brown Brooks- new:


Worn in:
Is that fixable with a fresh coat of shellac? I got some natural cork tape from nashbar that I plan on shellacking to match a b67 clone I have coming in the mail for a build I'm doing now. Just wondering about the life expectancy of that.
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