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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Leather Bar Tape

    I picked up a couple of Brooks saddles and thinking of getting leather bar tape. Nashbar has black for only $35, Brooks tape is around $57, Velo Orange tape is around $82 and Handlebra is the most expensive. I have a chance to make my Christmas wish list. Is the Handlebra tape worth the extra money. The cheap Nashbar tape gets good reviews. Some reviews seem less satisfied with the Brooks. One thought is to get the Nashbar black and Handlebra in brown and determine for future use if the expensive tape is worth it. I understand the Handlebar comes in a waterproof model. Not sure of the price for it. Thought I would ask what experience and recommendations folks have.
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  2. #2
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    I've used both the Brooks and Velo Orange tape. Both will last a life time.... My main complaint with leather tape is comfort...It doesn't provide much padding. It's not bad it's just not great.. If you are OK with that, try the Nashbar...

    I've gone back to perforated vinyl/synthetic tape. It looks like leather and is more comfortable IMHO...

    Edit: I only use black Brooks saddles...Honey or brown is much harder to color match with non-leather tape
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  3. #3
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    Leather Bar Tape was big back in the 80's.

    It is no longer the 80's.

    6 speed friction was big back in the 80's, also.
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  4. #4
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    I've only used the Brooks leather tape and it's on my track bike (used only on the track) and it's expensive but excellent. As Dave says, it should last a lifetime. And yes, it doesn't have any padding effect either but if I wanted that I'd tape it over some normal synthetic tape, or if the whole added thickness wasn't desired, I'd put a layer or two on top of the bars first.

    I have it but IMO it isn't worth its cost (it's not many times better than normal sub-$20 tape) and I wouldn't have it but I got it at cost from an ex N.Am importer.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Leather Bar Tape was big back in the 80's.

    It is no longer the 80's.

    6 speed friction was big back in the 80's, also.
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    Yep. I was there. And I nailed my cleats to the wooden soles on my shoes! I have a fixie with a brown Brooks saddle and a custom steel luged bike with a Brooks and thought leather would look good with each. I wear gloves and don't like thick tape. I have a Lynskey Helix that stay light, sleek and modern.
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  6. #6
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    Go with Fizik tape. The black and brown look like leather but cost $15.00, is more comfortable and lasts a lifetime. You can take this stuff off and re-wrap it again and again.

  7. #7
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    The solution to the lack of padding, and to the slipperiness I found from using leather bar tape, is to put a layer of Cinelli cork tape, Fizik or any other modern tape on top of it.
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  8. #8
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    disclaimer: I have nothing against leather tape except I can think of no use I have for it. I do know of alternatives that would look nice and have the benefits (if you happen to think them benefits) of contemporary tapes. Brown, leather look cork and foam (my favorite), just look around and I'll bet you find some that might have the look you want. Or just buy some nice leather, it will probably work great and look classy.

  9. #9
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    I would try the Cinelli leather bar tape. It is thicker than the others and certainly adds a classy touch.
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  10. #10
    Spokane, Washington
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    I've got 3 bikes with leather tape, all using HandleBra. One is going on its' 3rd season and it still looks good. Leather tape does last a long time. I like the look and feel of leather bar tape. I use an underwrap of cotton barwrap to increase the thickness and cushion which my big mitts like.

    It's hard to put a value on what anything is 'worth', some value things highly and others not so much. To each his own.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughts on Leather Bar Tape-mini-handlebra2.11.jpg   Thoughts on Leather Bar Tape-taylorbarwrap1.11.jpg   Thoughts on Leather Bar Tape-mini-bra2.1.jpg  
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  11. #11
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    Anyone else remember that early '80s wrap kit where you'd use wettened leather with a seam you'd stitch up with thick nylon thread that would then get tight when it dried out?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremerradkurier View Post
    Anyone else remember that early '80s wrap kit where you'd use wettened leather with a seam you'd stitch up with thick nylon thread that would then get tight when it dried out?
    yep, you can still get it from VO.

  13. #13
    Spokane, Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremerradkurier View Post
    Anyone else remember that early '80s wrap kit where you'd use wettened leather with a seam you'd stitch up with thick nylon thread that would then get tight when it dried out?
    Sure. Had it on my Tournesol a few years back. My first foray into leather handlbar covering.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughts on Leather Bar Tape-mini-tourn3.4.jpg  
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  14. #14
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    I've never been to a leather bar, but whatever floats your boat.
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    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

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