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laquered cloth bar tape

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laquered cloth bar tape

Old 07-15-07, 04:18 PM
  #1  
bfloyd
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laquered cloth bar tape

I have seen in a couple of threads that people are laquering their cloth bar tape after installed. Is this a classic effect of some sort? Another purpose maybe? How is the process done; just a spray can of laquer?
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Old 07-15-07, 04:24 PM
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Most people use natural shellac, which goes on as a transparent orange and makes funky looking candy style shades of orange to brown when you put it over colours like yellow, pink or red. It winds up looking like brooks leather tape but a richer colour. The procedure is super easy, just google "shellac bar tape" to get the details and some pics of what it looks like. It is definitely retro compared to gel tape, all the old bike builders used to do it.

I shellac cotton tape and i love it. It looks great, it's tough as nails---much more crashable than gel or cork tape---the texture is nice and grippy even when it's wet, and it stays clean easily.



Classic light shellac job



Darker shellac
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Old 07-15-07, 04:29 PM
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It's an old school thing, from back when cloth was pretty much the only bar tape and there was a need to make it more durable. I'm sure you could spray it, but the masking/overspray would be a pain. The classic way to do it is with liquid lacquer, which you whip up out of lacquer chips and alcohol. You can also dye the lacquer with anything from leather dye to whiskey to dirt. Undyed, the color effect is usually just something like what you'd get if you just wet the tape down, perhaps with a slight tan tint. You can lacquer modern plastic/foam tape if you really want, and cork grips should always be lacquered or somehow protected (the birkenstock sealer stuff might work). If a shop sells cloth tape, they may also be able to do it for you. It's not hard, but it's a lot of crap to buy to do one set.

Edit: mander kind of beat me to it, with pics to boot. Do you have any good recipes to get a nice brooks brown?
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Old 07-15-07, 04:32 PM
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A few coats of regular orange shellac over yellow makes a very convincing honey, like a brooks without proofide. More coats of orange over red makes a darker brown, like a heavily proofided honey saddle.

There's no fancy equipment either! I bought a 1/4 pound of shellac flakes for $8 or so, plus a bottle of rubbing alcohol. That's enough to do many sets of bars, and it's all you need. The shellac goes on easiest with a little rag but wear rubber gloves cuz it's a pain to get off your hands. You mask the edge of your tape with a bit of tape and go for it.

PS it's shellac, not lacquer!
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Old 07-15-07, 04:36 PM
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i did mine before but unfortunately had to take it off cuz the bars really didn't fit me well:

the shellac+cloth really makes a nice grip on the bars. it also looks very nice and the aroma from pre-mixed shellac makes the process very...how shall I say...levitative(if that's a word? but you get the drift). you can get cloth from ebay from ben's cycle (its cheaper than on his site) as this is how I did mine. Def something to try out and is a nice experience.
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Old 07-15-07, 04:45 PM
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Right, it is shellac. You could do it with lacquer, though -- gotta love a good MEK buzz

What kind of store sold chips in 1/4 lb? I've only found 1lb bags.
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Old 07-15-07, 10:08 PM
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Lee Valley! I dunno if they have that in the USA though.
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Old 07-15-07, 11:26 PM
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Isn't Lee Valley the cat's ass. Do you kids have retail stores on the west coast, or is it just catolouge shopping. And is shellac still made from beatles (sp.)?
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Old 07-15-07, 11:59 PM
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It's the cat's vagina. I have a retail outlet 5kms from my place, it rules. I use the cheapo lee valley vernier calipers all the time. Yeah shellac is excreted by an indian beetle. If it doesnt come from a bug it aint shellac.
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Old 07-16-07, 04:40 PM
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Velo-Orange sells shellac flakes in smaller quantities. Bullseye works fine though. You can get it pre-mixed in a can at any hardware store.
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Old 07-16-07, 08:54 PM
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In the most basic sense, 'lacquer' and 'shellac' are the same item, as both names originally derive from the Lac Beetle. However, in modern usage (especially in the US) 'lacquer' generally refers just to a
nitrocellulose product, while shellac is the 'real thing'-- the refined secretion from the beetle. When applied, lacquer will melt into the layer beneath, but shellac builds on top, and so gives a richer, deeper finish.

The VeloOrange blog has a pretty good instructable on how to shellac bars. On my bike I run Cinelli natural cork, and I coat it first with a very dilute solution of shellac and denatured alcohol (which helps to saturate the cork). I generally use the pre-tinted shellac, and put on 4-6 coats, depending upon how deep I want the color to be. It's grippy as hell, looks great, and matches my Brooks. Neat.
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