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Thread: Tell me about good leather bar tape

  1. #1
    Saab2000's Avatar
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    Default Tell me about good leather bar tape

    My Zanconato currently has Fizik pleather tape. Hard as a rock. Leather would fit the character of the machine I think and it's getting to be time for some new stuff.

    When going around bends on the bars does leather tape bunch up? Does it slip? How does one deal with the levers when installing it? Is it slippery when wet?

    I'd love to hear from those who have installed and used the good stuff like that Handlebra and the Richard Sachs stuff.

    Thanks

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    zank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    i love fizik tape :-)
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Yimbo, use hockey tape under the wrap and it will stay put. I've installed about 30 sets of the good stuff (Handlebra and Rich's). This is good stuff and wraps almost as easily as good old Cinelli. My usual wrap method is a figure eight around the shifters, works great.

    The tape is not slippery when wet. I've had leather wrap on: commuter, road, CX for years now and no worries. I do use Obenauf's Leather Care heavy duty to treat all new tape regardless of any factory treatment because it creates a terrific slightly tacky surface.

    I'm with you wrt a solid wrap / connection to the bars.

    There is no downside other than cost.

    Do not fail to wipe down your bars with a drop of dawn/sponge/warm water now and than...but we do that anyway during a wash right?

    FWIIW I'm pretty agnostic about this. I started using leather tape because Ray wanted me to help with testing and I ended up with two bags of the stuff. Waste not want not!!! I'm very fond of Cinelli or Fizik and that hard to wrap Arundel Gecko cr@p...which feels amazing but good luck wrapping it ask-me-how-I-know thanks alot Brent ;)

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Handlebra works for me. Keeping consistent tension during the wind is key in my experience. On my third season with the same wrap. YMMV contingent on the usual suspects.
    I am not who I am.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    - Handlebra, goes on easier, seems to bunch less, best feel of any, durability is awesome, there is a dude out there that will re-cover any saddle with leather that matches handlebra dye lot (or close)

    - Brooks, goes on fine, color is rarely a perfect match with saddle, feel is good, durability is ok. The knockoff VO seems more durable and better feel.

    - All the Arundel tape is nice, with the exception of the cork which is a bit thick. good luck.
    Glenn Thompson
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    i love fizik tape :-)

    Gonna be hard to change with that kind of endorsement from the guy who made my bike....

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    zank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Gonna be hard to change with that kind of endorsement from the guy who made my bike....
    don't take my advice. i'm cheap...errrrr.....i mean frugal.
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    leather handlebar tape has no place on any bicycle made in the last 50 years.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

    I work at Seven Cycles

    I am also the person behind Gaulzetti Cicili

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    leather handlebar tape has no place on any bicycle made in the last 50 years.
    As always, truth.

    But since the Zank was made to aesthetically emulate more classic bikes I don't think it's a bad choice. After all, fake leather (pleather) seats in cars are reviled. We wear leather shoes and use leather gloves. I even use a leather covered Turbomatic saddle on the bike, but no horse saddle. That is where I draw the line. No horse chairs on the Zank.

    But I still might cover the bars with it.

    We still use tires that need to be glued to the rims decades after they nominally became obsolete.

    We'll see. Maybe just some Cinelli cork will do fine. At least I'm not asking about cotton tape and how to shellac it.

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    jr59 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Yimbo, use hockey tape under the wrap and it will stay put. I've installed about 30 sets of the good stuff (Handlebra and Rich's). This is good stuff and wraps almost as easily as good old Cinelli. My usual wrap method is a figure eight around the shifters, works great.

    The tape is not slippery when wet. I've had leather wrap on: commuter, road, CX for years now and no worries. I do use Obenauf's Leather Care heavy duty to treat all new tape regardless of any factory treatment because it creates a terrific slightly tacky surface.

    I'm with you wrt a solid wrap / connection to the bars.

    There is no downside other than cost.

    Do not fail to wipe down your bars with a drop of dawn/sponge/warm water now and than...but we do that anyway during a wash right?
    Not often do I agree with TT on stuff. But he is 100% spot on in this. I've been using leather on my bars for about 2 years, It wears like nothing I have ever used before.
    It feels as good today as it did the day I put it on. Looks as good too! Never been slippery when wet and has been wet plenty. Never slipped. Just good stuff.

    I have used Handlebra, and Brooks. Both work well, but I like the Handlebra stuff better. I think it wraps tighter, not saying the Brooks stuff doesn't, but it feels that way going on.
    I am waiting to build up my Sachs, so I have not tried Richards wrap yet. I have it, just not used it yet. Feels right and I would guess it works just like the handlebra!

    Try it you will like it!

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    As always, truth.
    don't confuse truth with opinion
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    leather handlebar tape has no place on any bicycle made in the last 50 years.
    Oh, neither do lugs. But the Zank has lugs. My next one won't.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    i love fizik tape :-)
    Fizik wrapped over tightly stretched cheap cork- not too thin, not too thick, good for me as I hate gloves in warm weather, and good for cross and gravel epicness. My bikes are not worthy of Ricardo Montelban praise.


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    coolberto hipsterdor is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    leather handlebar tape has no place on any bicycle made in the last 50 years.
    Thank you. Cutting up pieces of an animal to wrap around some aluminum bars is absurd when cheaper, lighter, and more durable synthetic materials exist (See fizik). If the normal fizik is too hard, which it is for some (not me), I would strongly suggest fizik soft touch or if ou really want comfort, cinelli cork. Granted, my leather bar tape experience is limited to the brooks my ex wanted on her bike, but it sucked to wrap and ended up looking shitty in the long run. Just IMHO

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    teleguy57 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Been pondering the same question about the next wrap on my Hampsten. Saab, I assume you've seen this thread Lionel started?

    I'm currently using Fizik white logo tape. I like the look and it's easy to keep clean. Experimented on and off this summer with gloves/no gloves, and found in hot sticky weather the Fizik to be a bit slippery at times. (Yeah, pretty sweaty hands...). The gloves/no gloves decisions is a whole 'nuther conversation; I like the feel of no gloves, but like gloves to wipe tires and I would think they would help if one hits the deck.

    I'm thinking white Handlebra with a double wrap of hockey tape might be the ticket for no gloves, and would probably also be a good choice with gloves. I may try some cork under the last roll of Fizik I have in the basement first.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    IMO, if the bike is going to get wet often, leather is the wrong choice.

    i dont know if all the fizik stuff is perforated, but i like the look and feel of perforated fizik tape. super durable, and looks good too IMO. leather may be nice too on a classy bike, but if you're after durable, i havent been able to kill the good fizik perf. stuff on my cross bike, and it sees some "conditions"


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    PGSmith is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Oh, neither do lugs.
    There are few builders of carbon bikes that might beg to differ.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    don't take my advice. i'm cheap...errrrr.....i mean frugal.
    For cheap stuff, I use Pro smart silicon. Around 12 bucks for a package, wraps easy, feels good, no adhesive to gum up the bars or make re-wrapping a pain, and has been plenty durable.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    Screen shot 2012-11-01 at 12.14.41 PM.jpg

    The legend of the leather man.

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    Default Re: Tell me about good leather bar tape

    I love Fizik tape except the white tape--the texture is different and not so nice as the black. Or I'm buying the wrong version.

    I'm sure leather is good but I like to refresh my bar wrap more than once a year.
    a one bike believer

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