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Brooks leather bar tape

Old 03-13-13, 12:37 PM
  #1  
Ground Hog
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Brooks leather bar tape

Has anyone seen the brooks leather bar tape in mandarin up close and personal? I'm trying to figure out how orange it is. In most of the photos I've seen it looks similar to brooks honey saddles, just slightly more orange.
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Old 03-13-13, 12:40 PM
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Looks orange.
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Old 03-13-13, 12:45 PM
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Have you seen it in person? Is it kind of a light orange that would get a nice patina?
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Old 03-13-13, 12:51 PM
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Are they less lumpy looking now than they used to be on a handlebar??
I had been holding off buying the Brooks tape as in most pics I see of them, the just don't look smooth enough on a handlebar....
As this pic from Harris Cyclery shows....
http://harriscyclery.net/product/bro...-tape-1877.htm
Why can't Brooks put in a better taper on the leather tape so it will lay down smoother like Cinelli cork tape does on a handlebar.
Is it an inherent limitation of leather as bar tape??

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Old 03-13-13, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ground Hog View Post
Have you seen it in person? Is it kind of a light orange that would get a nice patina?
It is normal orange in my mind. It will eventually end up mostly brown w/ dirt, so why not start there?
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Old 03-13-13, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Are they less lumpy looking now than they used to be on a handlebar??
I had been holding off buying the Brooks tape as in most pics I see of them, the just don't look smooth enough on a handlebar....
As this pic from Harris Cyclery shows....
http://harriscyclery.net/product/bro...-tape-1877.htm
Why can't Brooks put in a better taper on the leather tape so it will lay down smoother like Cinelli cork tape does on a handlebar.
Is it an inherent limitation of leather as bar tape??

Chombi
I felt the same way about the Brooks, and when I wanted leather on one of my bikes, I got the cheaper, smoother and IMO, better looking VeloOrange Elkskin..



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Old 03-13-13, 01:31 PM
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Why can't Brooks put in a better taper on the leather tape so it will lay down smoother like Cinelli cork tape does on a handlebar.
Is it an inherent limitation of leather as bar tape??
It's not elastic, for one thing, it only stretches, then maybe shrinks, when wetted, & it dries ..
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Old 03-13-13, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ground Hog View Post
Have you seen it in person? Is it kind of a light orange that would get a nice patina?
I've seen the mandarin B17 in person and mandarin is a good name for it. All their bar tape looks a little dull at first. You're supposed to give apply some Proofide and that darkens it up as does the oil from your hands. If you're an anal retentive, matchy-match guy you'll probably be disappointed. If you just want orange leather tape then buy it, it's nice stuff.
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Old 03-13-13, 02:42 PM
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I'd say it is very much Mandarin. With perhaps a hint of kumquat.
No. Maybe more like those little Clementine tangerines that come in the box,
with just a dash of Molteni. Or...

...I've never seen it.
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Old 03-13-13, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Are they less lumpy looking now than they used to be on a handlebar??
I had been holding off buying the Brooks tape as in most pics I see of them, the just don't look smooth enough on a handlebar....
As this pic from Harris Cyclery shows....
http://harriscyclery.net/product/bro...-tape-1877.htm
Why can't Brooks put in a better taper on the leather tape so it will lay down smoother like Cinelli cork tape does on a handlebar.
Is it an inherent limitation of leather as bar tape??

Chombi
I think getting a good looking leather wrapped bar depends on the application. It takes a fair bit of strength to get it on right. I wet the tape as i wrap with a light mist from one of those spritz bottles, then literally pull as hard as i can while wrapping and keeping the tension on. The water gives it a bit of elasticity and when the tape dries it tends to shrink so you get an even tighter fit. Then proofhide or treat with 303 protectant. I'm usually sweating by the time i'm done. I agree with cehoward that the elkhide looks and feels great, that sewing also provides a good lesson in patience.
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Old 03-13-13, 05:47 PM
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I guess the "natural" qualities of real leather wrap like the Brooks is just not as tolerant to tapering than synthetic materials like Cinelli's "cork" ribbon is. Maybe they cannot thin down the leather at the edges as much as the leather might just tear at natural weak points. I guess the only way fo finding out is giving the Brooks tape a try one day. I'm sure with some work, I could come up with a less lumpy looking installation than some of the one's Ive seen so far.
Peter, I'll keep your Brooks tape wrapping tips in mind when I eventually install one on one of my bikes. The Line Seeker seems to be a good candidate for that!
Thanks!

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Old 03-13-13, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Are they less lumpy looking now than they used to be on a handlebar??
I had been holding off buying the Brooks tape as in most pics I see of them, the just don't look smooth enough on a handlebar....
As this pic from Harris Cyclery shows....
http://harriscyclery.net/product/bro...-tape-1877.htm
Why can't Brooks put in a better taper on the leather tape so it will lay down smoother like Cinelli cork tape does on a handlebar.
Is it an inherent limitation of leather as bar tape??

Chombi
I don't know if this issue is impossible to solve with a leather wrap, but it's the main reason I did not like the brooks tape when I used it.
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Old 03-13-13, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Maybe they cannot thin down the leather at the edges as much as the leather might just tear at natural weak points.
Chombi
Right, Chombi. Having done some hair pulling recently, doing a fair bit of leather skiving, I can tell you they put the edges through a skiving machine. But you're right. You reach a point of diminishing returns quickly. They can only go so thin. A feather edge wouldn't hold up. It's like the old leather golf club handles. You can only get it so smooth given the materials.
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Old 03-13-13, 06:20 PM
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I might have have a solution for Brooks!.....but they might not like it....as in applying a very thin reinforcing membrane to the bottom edges of the tape to keep it from tearing....."Gyes" style......
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Old 03-13-13, 06:34 PM
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Great idea. And might work. Although skiving their leather down to a feather edge might even be beyond the capabilities of those who are making it.
But a good, sharp cutter on the right machine...then back it with micro thin kevlar stretch membrane. Or ....carbon ...
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Old 03-13-13, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Great idea. And might work. Although skiving their leather down to a feather edge might even be beyond the capabilities of those who are making it.
But a good, sharp cutter on the right machine...then back it with micro thin kevlar stretch membrane. Or ....carbon ...
Maybe "Morocco" leather- I may give it a try and see what sort of durability it has . But it would be quite thin for wrapping bars.
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