30 November, 2012

Care and Feeding for Your Elkhide

By Igor

Our Elkhide is very durable given the right diet and care. I wouldn't give little Stella soda pop and beef jerky. Like Stella, elkhide deserves good nutrition and care.

Here's the kit for keeping elk happy:
  • VO Saddle Care
  • Bag from a Grand Cru item (126mm hub in my case. Similar soft cloth will work, not paper towels.)
  • Riding gloves

In order to keep the covers smooth and supple, it requires oils.  Our saddle care is perfect. Apply generously onto the cloth and work into the cover, concentrating on where you keep your hands most. Don't forget about the nooks and crannies. 

As an experiment, I put two pieces of elkhide on my top tube as protectors, and did not feed them properly. The piece on the left was treated once and is already looking better; it just needs more time and treatment. 

The key to elkhide longevity is cycling gloves.  Not only do they protect your hand muscles from fatigue and pain, they also keeps your covers looking good by not stripping oils. 

What other uses does your new VO Saddle Care have (aside from treating your saddle)? You can use it on your leather boots, mudflaps (for the upcoming salty snowy season), and briefcases. 

Sidenote: Our saddles come with a micro-thin waterproof layer from the factory to protect the hide in transit.  Don't apply saddle care until after the first couple weeks of riding.

Here at VO World Headquarters, we've always been into the idea of patina. It's a beautiful thing. The combination of form, function, and personality meshes together so well. This type of bar cover is a perfect example. What are some other good examples of patina in the cycling world?


philcycles said...

Elk hide is also favored by motorcyclists.

Grego said...

Do you recommend the same treatment for your leather bar tape?

Chris @ Defiance said...

I have been experimenting with shellac on my VO elk hide wraps. As a part of my old commute I had to put my bike on the front of a bus for 30 miles each way, often in the rain. That bar wrap is about 3 1/3 years old now, and still looks and feels great.

Anonymous said...

VO leather bar tape responds beautifully to a small amount of dressing applied and spread with your fingertips (less waste.) Several hours later wipe off any excess with a clean cotton cloth.

Unknown said...

After applying and spreading the goop, you might want to hit it with a blow dryer or other heat source (but not too hot!). This will open the pores of the leather and allow better penetration.