17 December 2016

What Else Have We Here?

I haven't yet begun to work on my estate-sale find.  That probably won't begin until next week.  

Funny, though, how I'm thinking about the details, even though I haven't even started to build the wheels or assemble anything else on the bike.

At first, I thought I would wrap the bars--Velo Orange Porteurs with bar-end brake levers (the same setup I have on Vera and Helene, my Mercian mixtes)--in leather or the Deda faux leather tape, which comes in a shade that more or less mirrors a Brooks honey-colored B17 saddle darkened by  few of thousand miles and a couple of applications of Proofhide. (Yes, that's the saddle I plan to use--unless someone wants to trade me a black or blue one for it.)  I prefer the feel of actual leather, but the Deda is pretty nice and is more durable.  My only complaint about it is that it's full of Deda logos.

But, as I was trolling eBay, I chanced upon this:

Pardon the condition of my nails.  It's finals week!

Tressostar cloth tape.  Eight rolls:  four in blue, four in gray.  (No, this isn't a Civil War re-enactment!)  Best of all, the right shade of blue and the right shade of gray for the Trek:

Like much NOS (new old stock) bicycle equipment found on eBay, they came from a bike shop that closed.  

The seller was offering the tape at $10 for two rolls:  a pretty good price these days.  (Around the time  the world was discovering Bruce Springsteen, I paid $1 for two rolls of the same tape in red!)  He had four rolls of each color remaining and I offered to buy all of them.  He asked for $20.  Yes, for eight rolls.

I am thinking about wrapping the bars "barber pole" or "candy cane" style, using both colors.  I would wrap the entire bar, as I did on my Mercian mixtes, because I occasionally use the forward position.  Also, when bar-end levers are used, the cable sits against the bar, as it does with "aero" road levers.  That means they have to be taped or clamped against the bars.  If nothing else, covering them with whatever bar wrap I use will be more attractive than the electrical tape I use to fasten the cable housing to the bar.

Hmm...Now that I'm going to use cloth tape, maybe I should try something I've never done before...Shellac?


  1. Hey, that is exactly like my thumb!

  2. Gray and blue harlequin wrap with clear shellac perhaps? Just a thought.

  3. Phillip--The great minds think alike, don't they? I was thinking of exactly what you've described. I guess it would look OK with a honey saddle.

  4. +1 on clear shellac. About 4 thin coats should do it, and when dry the tape will have a nice sheen and stay clean looking.

  5. A fancy two-tone wrap will look nice! And, wow, good deal on that tape.

    I like the color of the honey-brown deda tape, too, and have played around with removing the logo. I've found that acetone, sparingly/lightly rubbed across the logo will take it off without wrecking the brown color. Any spots that don't rub off can usually be hidden in the overlap of the wrap. I wonder if denatured alcohol (which I recommend having on hand for the shellac, by the way) would work as well?


  6. Mike--Thanks for the advice.