Instructables
Picture of DIY Leather Wrapped Bar
I recently got the commuter cycling bug and started commuting the 10 mile round trip (scenic route) while in school in Nashville. I made a list if all the things I saw on the Internet I wanted on my bike and then went to work on finding DIY for them. My personal challenge is to keep the cost at under a tenth of the retail version. First thing on my list: leather braided handlebar wraps. On a very popular site for french commuters these are $136! Hmm... $13 seems impossible. I got close, but the cost of tools took me over budget. If I can sell the extras, I'll be under.

Anyway, here's my new grips and how I pulled this off. Keep watching, I've got a long list of upgrades coming...
 
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Step 1: Leather for the cheap.

Picture of Leather for the cheap.
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I started with this mix of leather bought at Michael's for $8. Using the 40% coupon on the site and all of this was in one bag & cost under $5! I was able to cut 7 straps from this one bag.

Step 2: What you'll need: tools

Picture of What you'll need: tools
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Both of these tools were gotten from the local leather tannery. Most cities have a good Tandy Leather Factory, you can also order online. You could buy your leather there too but it's likely going to be more expensive.
The first pic is a "Safety Beveler"
Second is the "Craftool Strap Cutter"

The Tandy website has videos on how to use both of these so I won't go into it. I will say that use mg the strap cutter was super easy. I destroyed one piece of leather trying to use an exacto knife and ruler to cut my straps.

The Safety Beveler may not be needed but I wanted to thin out my leather so it would lay a tad flatter and be easier to wrap.
VentureScout2 months ago

would look cool on one of the wooden framed bikes. Good job

gumby_kevbo2 months ago
Finish wrap: Hemp twine whipping is traditional for cotton bar tape, it should work well on leather. I found hemp twine at JoAnn craft/fabric store, Micheals may have it (Micheals near me closed).

If you google, you can find a tutorial on how to do the whipping with both ends neatly tucked under. Shellac over the twine gives a wear and weather resistant finish.

southern haberdasher (author)  gumby_kevbo2 months ago
Thanks, I'm not minding the black electrical tape much it's what I've always use to finish the ends of my cork tape.
Snotflower2 months ago

This is so cool, I'm gonna try this for sure x

These look awesome!

mdamaso2 months ago

These look great and makes me want to start a new bicycle project!