Bicycle Leather Handlebar Grips - The "City Grips"
Before purchasing I had two concerns:
1) The grips wouldn't provide enough padding to adequately absorb shock.
2) I couldn't find any information on how long to submerge the leather to mold it without ruining the leather.
The first concern turned out to be a non-issue. Full disclosure: I have a cromoly fork so your mileage may vary, but I found he streamlined feel to be very ergonomic and pleasant. I have no issues riding over ridges or hitting potholes. No sprained wrists to date!
2) This one's a bit more nuanced. I did some independent research and learned about the difference between temperatures and length of time soaking he leather. The hotter the water, the more malleable the leather will be, but it will shrink more and become harder upon drying. I went for a middle-ground. I soaked them in as hot of water as I could stand for about 30s - 1m. They formed easily, and didn't shrink or harden more than the acceptable threshold. In retrospect, I wish I would've left about 1-2mm hanging off the edge of the handlebars but the little bit of exposed bar underneath isn't a deal-breaker for me.
The issue I did encounter was that the adhesive strip on he underside prevented one of the grips from completely absorbing water, and it dried with what looked like a big sweat stain prominently on the front of the grip. It made my OCD itch. My bike was left out in the rain overnight about a week later and the "stain" faded to look more like grain patterns. It is beautiful and adds character.
I did a baseball stitch and found the process to be fun and approachable for someone with no prior experience. It looks very uniform and adds the perfect accent to accompany my Brooks B17! I would give it 5 stars but I'm docking one for the lack of guidance on how to make soaking decisions on the part of Walnut. A blog post or video could've saved me a lot of time.
I would buy and install these again without hesitation. Length of ownership: 1month.
Beautiful and fun to sew on!
Great quality workmanship and color. I bought pulls for every cabinet in my house. Love it!
These handlebar grips look great and were a lot of fun to stitch together. They helped make my bike restoration project feel that much more personal.