I’m a big fan of the way cork grips feel and look. Naturally, I wanted to use them to build up a Porteur bike. Not only are the grips comfy and inexpensive, but they also hold up very well to the elements. To get the classic look of a Porteur, inverse brake levers are always a good choice. Here’s how to make a cork grip compatible with inverse brake levers.
What you’ll need:
-Inverse Brake Levers
-Very sharp razor/box cutter
-Cleaning fluid or Hairspray (to get the grips on the bar if a tight fit)
BEFORE mounting the grip, you need to create a channel for the brake housing. Be very careful in this step not to cut all the way through the grip - cut slowly and deliberately. Cut the grip down its length at a 45 degree angle. Cut again at the opposite 45 degree angle. Take the sliver you just cut out of the grip and mount the grip on the handlebar. For tighter fitting bars, you may need Simple Green or hairspray to mount the grip. These items will evaporate and keep the grip stuck in place. Make sure the grip is as far as it will go on the bar for the next step.
Take your hammer and start smacking the end of the grip until it starts to develop a cut. Go around the end of the handlebar until you have a chuck of the grip end cut out. Hang onto the chunk for next couple of steps.
Mount the brake body, cable, and housing even with the line of the cut made earlier. The channel and housing should be facing the ground.
Grab your waxed thread and start wrapping the front of the grip (opposite from the lever body). Tie the end of the thread in a couple knots, push the thread together, and you’re done! Bonus points if you can get the cut ends under the wrapped thread.
Step 5 (optional):
Stick the grip chunk you saved and stick it in the end of the body if your lever needs a plug. You may need to cut a wedge off to make sure it doesn’t interfere or fall out during the actuation of the brake.