Saturday, October 9, 2010
Vinyl Ribbon Handlebar Tape!! Don't Ignore it!!
Upon looking at these Raleighs and for example, this one that was just on display from Ebay, I think it is important to say if the buyer receives it, to not say, now I am going to "classicize" it even more and put on Elkhide, Brooks Leather or Shellacked cotton (handle) bar tape. There really is too much of a hurry to do away with the old.
Now in the case of your Hunt Wilde or Cello styled plastic handlebar or ribbon tape, perhaps it is not soft for the hands, that is a point but nothing really could look better than the ribbon tape on this Raleigh Grand Prix, leather? please! One might try it, I have one set of handlebars with bare tape and it may cause less hand and nerve pains than some others that are padded better.
All I'm saying is people owe it to themselves not to be that much in a hurry to make the handlebars look like something on a Randonneur pre-war bike to give it that "classy look." If I'm not mistaken a lot of Schwinns used tape like this as well.
I'm not sure if Raleigh strictly used Hunt Wilde ribbon, a company that still exists but they did use something similar.
Likewise, there is real no need to cut foam off of handlebars either and the rubber Hutchinson covers found on some Motobecanes? They sell those at auctions, I shellacked a pair of them and then covered them with some red handlebar tape and shellacked it again. Rather comfortable.
Those components are classic too and may merit being kept. Perhaps these new hand cushions could be placed underneath. Furthermore, the plastic ribbon can in all likelihood be taken off gently and used again.
Alternatives can always be had, there has to be a better way to track down this handlebar tape but if it is already on there, one might consider keeping it on there.
Foam would not really look that bad if ribbon tape can not be found. Foam is even available in colors now though who knows if it would be as comfortable as the traditional ones.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/handlebars/handlebar-tape.html Fair reference to see what is available. Tressostar Cotton Bar tape and just Cotton bar tape in general really, ever try hockey stick tape? Is very useful.