In the past, almost all of the modifications we’ve made to our bikes have been pretty strictly utilitarian – or at the very least, they have notably added utility to the bike, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. But, since it was Christmas, and gifts are a good time to ask for some frivolity, I decided to ask for these gorgeous dark leather grips from Portland Design Works.
The grips are made of vegetable-tanned Italian leather, conditioned with natural oils and wax, and I then put some Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Protectant on them, which is also beeswax based, with natural oils, as my bike stays outside all the time, through the rainy winter.
The grips were very easy to install – the front end of the grips is a lock-ring, which just tightens on the handle-bar tube to keep the grips from rotating or slipping, and then the back end is just a cap which tightens similarly. So, the grip just slides onto the bar, and then you tighten the lock-ring.
Getting the old grips off was a bit more challenging, but with the help of a hair-dryer to soften the plastic/rubber, some WD-40 to break up any crusty stuff under there, and a thin knife to pry up the grips to get the WD-40 underneath them, I managed to get them off with a lot of twisting back and forth. The palms of my hands are a bit tender today from the twisting :)
Anyway, I’ve only used them for a day so far, though they seem to work quite well, and are comfortable to ride with. I’ll update as I use them more, and as they sit out in the rain – we’ll see how well they hold up and how well they continue to work out for riding with.
They’re a very nice aesthetic addition to the bike, and I’m glad to have been able to get them from a local company, rather than Brooks, which has a similar style of grip.
Did any of you all get anything bike-related over the holidays?