There is something about the classic look of a a Brooks saddle and matching Brooks leather tape. Earlier this season Brooks put a twist to it with a lot of new colors, click to view them all.
What is so special about leather tape? It last forever, it gets tacky when wet and it has a unique feel to it that can’t be matched by a man made version.
A few months ago when I was trying to inspire myself to get back on the road bike, I changed out some parts on the Raleigh Clubman I had received for review. I made it a bit more “women’s fit” and classed it up with Velo Orange Leather Bar Tape. I’ve always loved the look and feel of the Brooks leather bar tape but it was a crazy price to try out a new type of bar wrap.
Details of the Velo Orange Leather Bar Tape
MSRP : $45-55 from VO (currently they have it on sale for $45!)
Colors : Honey Brown or Black
Initial Preview & Installation of the VO Leather Bar Tape
When I received the leather bar tape I was hesitant to install, to be honest it sat in my parts bin for a couple months after receiving due to be run over by a car and the lack of will to ride. Slowly I realized the bar tape, among other things, is what I needed. I needed to find beauty in road cycling again.
Installing the bar tape is much tougher than installing normal cork style bar tape. There is next to no give and the bar tape in the bend of the bar wants to crease. I had to try two or three times to get it right and have enough to end properly on my 42cm bar. This may be due to liking more padding and overlapping half of the wrap as I went around, but I don’t know how it would wrap a 46cm bar and not be super thin. Or, quite possibly my upper body strength isn’t what it should be to wrap leather bar wrap?
Riding with Leather Bar Wrap
The words I can put in this paragraph won’t sum up how nice the leather feels in your hands. It reminds me of a well loved baseball glove, or settling into an expensive car with the glamorous baseball glove leather seats. Grabbing on to the bars, and the soft feel that the bar wrap gives back is like a nice hug back from your bike. The padding is another story. I have to wear gloves when riding this bike, and padded gloves are not something I normally wear.
If you look closely at the pictures there are two where the bar wrap was stitched together half way through the roll.
White leather would be hot.
If I had a carbon fiber 14lb road or cyclocross bike, I wouldn’t use this bar wrap. For a nice classic steel ride, this will be my staple bar wrap. No question. And the $55 is well worth it as it will last 5x more than the cork wrap. When installing it again, I may find one of my strapping muscle clad friends to help man handle the leather, but its good to know the bar tape will be able to take it!
Find online at Velo Orange
This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing. I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.