About a year ago I tried to get a leather crafter I know to make some leather bar tape in Kangaroo, because its so thin and tough. Many people were interested, including myself, but the crafter in Australia deemed it too small of a job to do for me.
However, I've got someone about 20 minutes from my house to do it. Never overlook your crafty friends.
In the meantime I've developed a liking for sewn leather covers. Not that the strips aren't cool, but those sewn on covers.... I like 'em!
Today I saw my first sample of a sewn leather bar cover my friend made for me. Its perfect. I brought my friend a bar with cover to work with from another bike I own, and he determined that the leather used was goat, slightly stretched, glued and sewn on in 4 pieces.
The sample I saw today was about 4" of white cow hide for a particularly girly Italian bike of mine. Obviously not too many of you are going to want white, nor is it very practical, but other colors, such as Brooks colors may well be a more popular choice. Anyway, the sample fit neatly into the end of the bar for the plug, didn't slip and looked super.
My friend, Bruce would be willing to do this for other people. I'll see how nicely mine comes out and then offer it to the rest of you if it's as nice as I think it will be.
Bruce is not comfortable with the uniformity of handlebars at present, and actually likes having the bar in front of him to work with. I left my brake bands on the bar, but not levers and used a sharpie to outline the placement of the bands, since they slip around. Bruce figures if people send him bars with bands on them, he can make 'em nice covers. He hasn't decided on a price yet, but he is thinking around 75.00 - 100.00 depending on the leather, color and the contrasting thread.
Since Bruce would like to be a supplier of leather bar tape too, which is much easier and can be installed by the recipient, I need to give him an idea on width and length. Does anyone have any suggestions, without me unwinding a box of Cinelli bar tape and measuring it?
Bruce says my bar will be ready for prime time in about 2 days, once he finds the perfect contrasting blue thread to sew it with (yes, I'm bringing this girly bike to Cirque). I'll take pictures and send 'em out if your interested. Let me know!
owner of girly bikes