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Fredly or trendy - handlebar grips. Any idea about the interest in such things?

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View Poll Results: How would you rate these grips
Pee Wee called and wants to place a order.
11.76%
Definitely Fred, but in an understated way.
8.82%
Cool, may look good on the right bike.
73.53%
Wow, got to get a pair
5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

Fredly or trendy - handlebar grips. Any idea about the interest in such things?

Old 03-14-16, 05:56 PM
  #1  
Moe Zhoost
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Fredly or trendy - handlebar grips. Any idea about the interest in such things?

So being old, I no longer have any inhibitions about what I ride or what it looks like . This freedom allows me to explore the joys of expression; however age has also brought a detachment that limits my ability to discriminate between Fredly affectation vs. trendy design. I was hoping that BF members could set me straight on these grips that I made for my commuting bike.

I had been doing a lot of ornamental rope work to dress up my yawl and thought that a bit of nautical flavor would look good on my bike. These ones are the prototype after 80-100 hours of all-weather use. Made with paracord over a thin aluminum tube with turned walnut end pieces. They are quite comfortable.



I've had a few people who seemed to be interested, but they could have just been humoring me. I had thought that I might augment retirement income by making them, but as there is a bit of labor, I doubt that it would be worth it. Anyhow - honest opinions please. Am I an old codger Fred or trendy artsy fartsy, or somewhere between. Thanks.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:05 PM
  #2  
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Looks like it has good grip, hows the bump absorption compared to generic kraton? All my flatbars eventually get the ends chewed up, worried that nice wood will split. Can you run barends? What happens when he line gets cut? Does it unravel?
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Old 03-14-16, 06:16 PM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Anyhow - honest opinions please. Am I an old codger Fred or trendy artsy fartsy, or somewhere between. Thanks.
You're way past trendy, this scores well into Hipster territory.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Looks like it has good grip, hows the bump absorption compared to generic kraton? All my flatbars eventually get the ends chewed up, worried that nice wood will split. Can you run barends? What happens when he line gets cut? Does it unravel?
The paracord does absorb vibrations fairly well, but probably not as well as an elastomeric grip. I like the firmness. The ends are varnished and they won't stay glossy for long because of scuffing. Not too difficult to refinish though. Perhaps an matte oiled finish would hold up better. I had thought about some sort of rubber or metal insert, too. I doubt that the wood would split without real trauma.

Bar-ends? Yeah, I think this could be done - the key would be to confine the end of the rope work.

I can't imagine how the line would get cut, but if it did you would have 2 half inch pieces adrift. These could be tucked in under existing strands or perhaps super glued back into place. The whole thing won't unravel
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Old 03-14-16, 06:30 PM
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That's nifty. Think of all the different things you could do with all the colors and sizes of climbing rope or pool-cue twine.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
The paracord does absorb vibrations fairly well, but probably not as well as an elastomeric grip. I like the firmness. The ends are varnished and they won't stay glossy for long because of scuffing. Not too difficult to refinish though. Perhaps an matte oiled finish would hold up better. I had thought about some sort of rubber or metal insert, too. I doubt that the wood would split without real trauma.

Bar-ends? Yeah, I think this could be done - the key would be to confine the end of the rope work.

I can't imagine how the line would get cut, but if it did you would have 2 half inch pieces adrift. These could be tucked in under existing strands or perhaps super glued back into place. The whole thing won't unravel
It doesnt take too much to split wood along the grain. For bar ends you will need to bore out the wood piece at the end, which will make it more fragile. Im thinking mountain biking would not be the best application for this grip, which would limit its marketability. Form follows function
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Old 03-14-16, 07:41 PM
  #7  
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Looks nice. Not everyone is hard on their stuff. I'm sure these would last quite a long time in my hands.
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Old 03-15-16, 09:23 AM
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They would look good on my Sirrus. I'd pay cash money for a pair made with the same colored cord, but darker (almost black) wood trim.


-Kedosto
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Old 03-15-16, 09:32 AM
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Now send it to a company that will make the molds to re create it in rubber, Taiwan has many.

Wooden ends are impractical , though obviously needed to hold the ends of the braided sleeves..

but yea its classic knot craft as done by sailors with a year or so of time underway on clipper and smaller square rigged ships.

yawl , sloop , however the sails are rigged..


Your Marina's Dock Carts have that kind of grip treatment?

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Old 03-15-16, 09:41 AM
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I think they are very attractive. But the market is probably classic and vintage bike more than new bikes. I could well be wrong. Do some market research if you can. I think the high labor may kill it as a money maker, depends on what you can wholesale them at.
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Old 03-15-16, 09:44 AM
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They look pretty nice. That said, I don't think the wood part would be durable long term.

It would make an excellent master to cast a mold from to make grips out of a more grippy material.
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Old 03-15-16, 10:21 AM
  #12  
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Not really something I personally have a use for, but handmade craftsman quality goods are as cool as it gets. Well done
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Old 03-15-16, 10:25 AM
  #13  
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Brooks leather handlebar grips retail at about $80.00 or $90.00 and don't look nearly as good as yours. Portland design markets some very nice looking leather hand grips for $45.00 and I've bought knock offs of the Portland product for around $20.00 or $30.00.

It looks to me like there's a market for this stuff but, if you have very much time invested, you aren't going to get rich.
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Old 03-15-16, 10:26 AM
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If you lived in Portland, on the left coast, you could have your own booth at the Saturday Market! Handmade, quality craft goodness. You'd fit right in.
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Old 03-15-16, 10:56 AM
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You are seeking approval on HANDGRIPS???
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Old 03-15-16, 10:59 AM
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Comfort and cruiser market. Patent them.
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Old 03-15-16, 05:12 PM
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They'd look great on a Rivendell.
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Old 03-16-16, 05:55 AM
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I appreciate the artistry/craftsmanship, but woven nylon gets very hard. It won't do much to dampen vibration. Nylon will also absorb water. Cool, but not for me.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:15 AM
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I think they look great, and would be the perfect accent for certain bikes.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:44 PM
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Thanks to all for your opinions. These grips were an experiment and are still imperfect in a few ways. For instance, they are a friction fit which, although quite close and stable, occasionally shifts. I am working on a way to fix them to the bar more securely. I understand the concern about wood, but it's a matter of selecting the right species. The oil-finished osage orange stropped blocks on my boat have been beating around for 20 years with nary a complaint. The varnish finish is not standing up to my use, though, so I have been thinking about turning the ends from hard rubber (from old bowling balls). I've messed with it before and if you can turn it without it burning, you can get an amazing glossy finish.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That's nifty. Think of all the different things you could do with all the colors and sizes of climbing rope or pool-cue twine.
I think the next ones will have a pineapple knot with chevrons in a contrasting color. See http://i.imgur.com/1tPnGN6.jpg for an example.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
yawl , sloop , however the sails are rigged..
I think you're mizzen something!

Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I appreciate the artistry/craftsmanship, but woven nylon gets very hard. It won't do much to dampen vibration. Nylon will also absorb water. Cool, but not for me.
Yes, the knot is darn firm. They are comfortable to me and have a feel somewhere between cloth bar tape and cork. I am pondering adding a thin cushion under the knot but I am worried that it will increase the diameter too much. I ride in all weather and have not noticed a lot of water absorption. Like I said, the weave is very tight, so there is not much of a sponge effect.


Thanks to all. I am encouraged to start on a few more experimental versions.
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Old 03-16-16, 09:11 PM
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look nice~
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Old 03-17-16, 02:47 PM
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It does look nice! Have you considered monkey fists instead of bar-ends?
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Old 03-17-16, 05:45 PM
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Maybe it would help the guy who posted about his chafing problem...
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Old 03-17-16, 05:57 PM
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I voted " cool, may ...." because it was closest to my true sentiment.

You should have had an option "cool, looks nice, but not interested for myself".

Many of us can appreciate something nicely done, and these clearly qualified, without any desire to own one. I see plenty of nice or cool bikes that I think are great, but rarely one that I'd want.

BTW - IMO what makes them cool is partly their uniqueness. I have a real appreciation of well executed craft of all kinds, so like these because thy were obviously home made. Whether or not I liked them, being a production item, would undermine their cool factor.

If you ever want to make more, do so in a very limited way, and give or sell them only to people that met some sort of personal criteria, ie. family, friends, or people with an otherwise cool bike.
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