Introduction: How to Make Your Own DIY Leather Bicycle Grips (with Waste Materials)

Picture of How to Make Your Own DIY Leather Bicycle Grips (with Waste Materials)

I have been using these leather grips for a week now and I can honestly say that they are amazing. And they look awesome as well. It's weird having strangers tell you that I shouldn't invest on my beat up bicycle, by buying expensive parts! They wouldn't believe that these grips are homemade with straight out of the bin materials! I ‘ve never had proper bicycle grips in my life. All I had was worn out bicycle grips or new very cheap ones. My DIY leather grips are my first proper very expensive looking grips. And I got them for free. Check bellow how I did it.

I've only used:

- A pair of worn out lock-on grips (if you don't have, or you can't find in your friends' garage, you can buy them off ebay for around 3$)

- an (unusable) leather belt that you don't want/like (non-slip, tough, amazing feel, beautiful looks, your hands doesn't smell rubber after the ride, doesn't leave black spots on your hands.)

- razor / knife

- A good pair of scissors

- a piece of thick fish line (incredibly resilient to the elements, most of the times you can find it for free, looks great, amazingly strong). I found mine tangled around a stick in my city's port. I guess the stray animals will thank me!

- A Dremel

- Needle-nose pliers

Step 1: Strip Off the Worn Out Rubber

Picture of Strip Off the Worn Out Rubber

Firstly, strip off the worn out rubber using the razor. Remove most of the rubber without worrying too much about it. We need some leftovers so the leather parts don’t slide around.

Step 2: Cut the Belt

Picture of Cut the Belt

Then, find out how many pieces of leather fit in your grip. If they can't fit perfectly, make a thinner strip for each grip so they can cover the whole length. By wrapping the belt around the grip you can see where to cut it and then with your scissors trim it enough so the two ends almost touch each other (there should be a gap). When you have them ready, open some holes with the Dremel. Try to make the holes on each end of the leather strip isometric. The holes must be as tight as possible (maybe as small as the fishing line).

Step 3: Thread It

Picture of Thread It

Now, cut diagonally the end of the fishing line so it goes through the holes more easily. Using the needle nose pliers grab the end and make it go through the top hole and then the hole bellow (from the other side). Now, make it go through the same holes again but this time take the end and make it go through the next top hole. Don't make it tight yet.

Step 4: Squeeze the Leather and Tight the Line

Picture of Squeeze the Leather and Tight the Line

Using your pliers squeeze the space between the threading so the two ends snug to each other perfectly.

When you finish the first piece of leather, make all the threading tight (a used a fork). For the next strip make the line go through the next hole and keep doing what you did with the first.

Step 5: Melt the Knots

Picture of Melt the Knots

When you finish the threading, make it tight enough and then make two knots on each end. Hold the knot down as you pull the fishing line so it stays as close to the hole as possible. Using a lighter, make the end of the pliers very hot so you can melt and flatten the knot to prevent it from unbinding.

Step 6: They Look Nice, Don't They?

Picture of They Look Nice, Don't They?

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Comments

BikeJake (author)2016-11-03

Nice idea. Taking it further...If someone doesn't have an old belt: thrift stores have lots of options on the cheap. Alternatively, something like some old cowboy boots or potentially even a baseball glove could yield a single piece of leather to cover the whole grip.
On another note, when rawhide leather is being tooled for something like a the webbing for a traditional snowshoe it is worked wet. I don't have any experiance working with leather like this, but the fact that leather shrinks when it dries out, it might be worthwhile to soak the leather overnight then sew it onto the grips wet. It should shrink when dry and provide an even better hold :)

brucebruce (author)2015-03-29

diy is always a plus nice work .

agreen50 (author)2014-12-23

next time try carbon cleaner on removal. let sit for few minutes ..you'll be amazed!

bicyclosis (author)agreen502014-12-25

It should not be cleaned properly because the leftovers of the rubber prevent the leather stripes from twisting around!

SCHLEPIC (author)2014-10-03

Very well done! I love it. I'm going to have to try this out.

bicyclosis (author)SCHLEPIC2014-10-14

I'm glad you like it :) Please, try it and show me how it looks!

doodledoos (author)2014-08-22

I have a white mountain bike that has quite a "modern" image, and I don't think leather would really suit it and it's "image" :/ but idk

bicyclosis (author)doodledoos2014-08-26

A black leather belt would fit perfectly I think ;))

Questor (author)2014-08-23

My motorcycle hand grips need replacing about every two years. I'm going to go this route, next time, and see what happens.

bicyclosis (author)Questor2014-08-26

I haven't imagined that this could work on a motorcycle as well but why not! Please, try them and let me know what you think :)

doodledoos (author)2014-08-20

yay! I think it's perfect now, this is a really awesome idea, but they wouldn't suit my bike :(

bicyclosis (author)doodledoos2014-08-22

Why not??

LittleDane (author)2014-08-21

Hey pandoheas

That is so cool. Great idea ;-)

bicyclosis (author)LittleDane2014-08-22

Thank you little Dane! It's very easy, try it!

sniffydogs (author)2014-08-21

Very Nicely done!

bicyclosis (author)sniffydogs2014-08-22

Thank you! I'm waiting for your photos :))

doodledoos (author)2014-08-19

this is really cool, but it needs proof reading because I've spotted numerous places where words that sound the same but mean different things to what would be correct have been used eg "wee" instead of "we", "those" instead of "these" etc etc

bicyclosis (author)doodledoos2014-08-19

Thanks for your comment. I fixed some of the errors. I think it's better now.

iamunique127 (author)bicyclosis2014-08-22

It reads quite well now. Check "bellow". It should be "below".

bicyclosis (author)iamunique1272014-08-22

Thanks!Fixed!

vardamanj (author)2014-08-22

Great Job on the instructible !!

A tip: If the leather slips, trim it with a small gap (like you stated before), then wet the leather. tie it on securely and when the leather dries it will shrink, making it even tighter.

bicyclosis (author)vardamanj2014-08-22

Thanks for your tip! The great thing is that the rubbery leftovers along with the tight fish line make them really secure! I've been using them for almost 2 weeks now and they haven't moved a notch (actually is difficult to move even if you want them to)!

iamunique127 (author)2014-08-22

Great Instructible. I love the finished product. I've been looking at ideas for my motorcycle handlebars. These would work perfectly. Thanks.

PS I still hate my old belt though.

bicyclosis (author)iamunique1272014-08-22

Thanks man! They look very class, you will love them I'm sure! Although I don't know much about motorcycle grips, but I hope the same principles could be applied there as well

doodledoos (author)2014-08-19

yay! :) there is still a "those" where there should be a "these" in the first sentence though, sorry I'm a bit of a pedant :& :)

bicyclosis (author)doodledoos2014-08-19

hehe, thanks for your corrections! I do appreciate them!

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-08-19

These look so lovely, I bet they're really comfy too. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you :) yes, they are very comfy and non-slip! And your hands don't smell rubber after a ride!

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Bio: Crazy about bicycles, outdoors and diy projects
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