“Hope” is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops ... at all - Emily Dickenson

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Laced leather bars

These are for my Chris Kvale "gentleman's cruiser"  bicycle - custom frame made for me in 2011. Wood rims, wood fenders, custom leather trimmed bag by Ely Rodriguez.

Bicycle with previous "old" bars. 

I was never really happy with the old brake setup so I found a set of modern time trial brake levers on eBay about a year ago and I am getting around to reworking it. This required replacing the 7/8" diameter bars with 15/16" diameter. That doesn't sound like much, but in my opinion the bigger bars have much better hand feel. The brake cable routing is internal in the bars, keeping the whole set-up clean and uncluttered.

The leather was originally red which I dyed with a wine or burgundy aniline dye to match the Brooks Colt saddle which is on the bike. After I laced it up the original red shows in the holes, but I can live with that.    I think.

For anyone who might care that beautiful nickel plated stem was made for me by Vincent Dominguez with a faux front lug to match the frame. 

Next, strip the satin anodizing off the brake levers and buff them to a mirror polish. Then mount the bar assembly back on the bike.

Obsessively Yours,


George A said...

What kind of brake pads do you use on those wooden rims?

Gunnar Berg said...

Cork. I was told that I could just use "red" rubber pads. They were wrong. Our weekend home is on Lanesboro's "Church Hill". The first time I launched off down the hill (which is terrifying anyway) it melted the rubber. The cork doesn't really stop me, but it slows me down enough that I can make down if I take the longer back, less steep descent.

Coline said...

Why does my heart leap when I read your bike based blogs, great flicker pics by the way. The stem idea is so obvious especially for us older folk who are not so inclined to the long reach down. I have a somewhat similar setup on a Mercian and wish that the cables had been internal like that rather than under the lacing. I cannot help using brakes as little as possible, a lifetime of anticipation and fear of wasting energy.

You set the standards for us to aspire to... keep it up.

Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks for the Flickr comment. I am not an "arty" photographer, more just recording what I see.

Young riders tend to ask how many speeds the Kvale has, has if more gears makes it go faster. By choice it has six.

Mercian - nice ride. I have two Brit bikes; well, two Brit frames. The old Dawes has the old British quirkiness with three different fastener standards. The Ron Cooper mixte, made in about 1970, is all metric and could have been made in Europe or the States.