Leather covered foam grips How To

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by silverbear, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Being an older fellow with pre-arthritic hands and wrists that tire easily from riding my motorbikes, I appreciate comfortable hand grips that also look good to my eye. My friend Tinsmith also experiences some hand pain and asked in an email yesterday for some tips on how I make my grips.

    I sent Dan an email last evening which said:

    "Hey Dan,
    It's pretty easy really. Do you have some leather already? I don't think I have any pictures, but will look to see what I have in grips already started. I think I have a set of gold ones in process and will look tomorrow. The leather needs to be pliable enough that it has at least a little bit of give to it. You'll need some contact cement, scissors for cutting the leather, two glover's needles (they come to a triangular point) and either some sinew or something strong like carpet thread. Also a pair of needle nose pliers or similar. Cut a couple pieces of leather somewhat bigger than what you'll need. Not much bigger, but enough so that when you are getting close to done you can trim off excess. Get out your contact cement and apply a coating to half or two thirds or so of the leather and corresponding circumference of the foam grip... let them set up enough the cement is tacky. Press together the leather to the grip so they are glued together and have about a third of the foam grip not glued to the leather yet.

    I think I'll send the rest of this email tomorrow after I take some pictures Pictures make an explanation easy when words make it more complicated sounding than it really is. It would be like describing how to tie your shoe as opposed to showing how to do it. Until tomorrow then..."

    Today I looked through my stuff and found a pair of black ones half done and a single in gold, so took some pictures of them as a starting point in how I go about it. There is also a photo or two of old ones made the same way on my Elgin Velocipede which have fringe "streamers". They can be made that way with streamers or without streamers, but also closed off on the end. If you plan to use bar end mirrors they can also be made to have open ends. I'll post the photos I took for you to look over and then tomorrow when me little brain is rested up with a good night's sleep we can resume. I'll dig out some glovers needles and sinew and refresh myself on the stitching. I can't remember it well enough to remember just what the hands need to do, but my hands will remember if I pick up the needles and thread and start stitching. Funny how smart our hands can be.

    One last thing before I sign off tonight. I'm not saying this is how you should go about it; simply that this is how I go about it and what has worked for me. I like them well enough that they have become a kind of signature on my bikes. Most important is that my hands like them. I hope this little thread will be useful and will encourage you to make a pair.
    SB
     

    Attached Files:

  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,188
    Likes Received:
    10
    More pictures...
     

    Attached Files:

  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey there, Silverbear! Good to see you again.
     
  4. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hey Blue!
    SB
     
  5. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,787
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm keeping this in mind for later. In all the years I've had them, I've never grown to like the cheap Chinese rubber smell that my current grips leave on my hands. And it's never died down either. After six years I would swear they smell as bad as new.
     
  6. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hey Allen,
    Sorry for the delay. I discovered I don't have any glover's needles in my stuff here at the apartment in town so will pick up this thread after going out to the summer place where the needles & thread are.
    Yes, what is it about the Chinese rubber that is so stinky? Terrible.
    SB
     

Share This Page