This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Relacing the leather

After having installed the new "cross levers" onto the handlebars,
I removed the fenders for the winter, 
gave the Hunq a sponge bath and added the Schwalbe Albert tires,
assuming we are going to have enough snow to warrant them.

Now the time has come for the real mind numbing experience,
relacing the leather bar wrap.  I was asked a couple of times this year about the leather grips I use.
I use the VO bar wrap on this and Byron, and Brooks leather tape on my TREK.
The real reason is the durability of leather .
I bought the Brooks tape at a closeout special price of $50 from someplace online,
at the time I thought it was the most indulgent and stupidly vain thing I could do.
I was wrong!

It is not only cool looking and feels great, the stuff wears like iron!
I was replacing cork grip on my roadie every year at $20 a pop,
The Brooks leather has been on the bike for over 7 years now and shows no wear.
I've even had to re-wrap it once and was able to without any problem, you just can't do that with cork!
That's what sold me on the leather, not the looks.
I have little or no patience for wrapping handlebars so the leather saves me some annual stress.
Lacing the handlebar covers on...well that is a true test.
One thing VO recommends is wrapping a layer of cloth tape on the bars first.
That can be a challenge, not because it's difficult,hell you don't have to worry about looks-it'll be covered!
Finding cotton adhesive tape can be a problem.  Among the 6 LBS in the county, there was one roll.
Strictly speaking you need two, but I wasn't worried about overlap or total coverage,
I just needed the layer to be fairly uniform to keep the covers from "crawling" around during use.
Last year I made the mistake of using cork, thinking the extra thickness would be nice, 
I was wrong, it crawled all over the place.
After putting the cloth tape on, it was a simple matter to sew on the new covers.
I won't bore you with the instructions, it's simple enough to make a double cross stitch in the perforated leather wrap.  The hard part is keeping your sanity while you do it.
I mean, how dumb do you want to feel?
It's like watching a Seinfeld re-run; once you start, you lose track of what is happening, how long you've been watching and when it's over you don't know what you did but are glad it's over.
This time I managed to keep the stitches on the side where they belong, and am happier with the result than the original installation.
A little experience helps huh?  I avoided the shifter cables entirely since I will be moving those to the top of the bar and was pretty happy with the result so far.
Now just a few more little things to do on this project.

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