Eroica’s approaching fast now, just two months away. Everything I do on Major Tom at the moment is done with that ride firmly in mind, and today I replaced the bar tape. I had some foam tape on that felt nice and cushy but I didn’t make the best job of putting it on and it just didn’t look right. When I got the bike originally it had some rather faded cloth tape fitted, which I imagine must have been original. So I’ve swapped back to that.
With the rather limited facilities at my disposal this is the sort of job that can become rather fiddly, and my previous bar wraps have been hit-and-miss affairs. This time I decided to try it with the bars removed from the bike, and it was a much easier task. Having stripped the tape off the bars I lined the brake levers up, marked the position of the bracket with a whiteboard marker, took the levers fully off the bars and fastened the brackets in place. Then wrap, and put the levers back on:
Obviously, the next step is to put it back on the bike, and reinstall the brake cables.
You’ll note the bar ends aren’t anything fancy, just bits of cork. They actually started out as Brooks branded bar ends but the wooden outer bits fell off and they still worked fine, so I just left them on. Cork is nice and light – weight weenies take note! I’ve got a champagne cork with a nice logo at the bottom which would work if I chopped the top off, I just need to drink a second bottle of champagne so I’ve got a matching pair…
The feel of the bars is quite different now the cork tape’s gone. They’re much slimmer and with less padding, but the grip’s perfectly good so you don’t actually grip the bars as tightly and in terms of shock absorption I haven’t discerned any noticeable difference in hand comfort. Even if I had, I’d still have had to put up with it for the look!