25 June, 2013

Rule #8 - Saddles, bars, and tires shall be carefully matched

by Igor

I was taking a refresher of The Rules and came to the realization that leather can be a difficult one to match. Leather is a natural material that (even when dyed) can range in color.

Quick recap: 
  • Espresso Perforated Tape and Espresso Elkhide Wrap matches our brown Saddles.
  • Macchiato Perforated Tape most closely matches our Honey Saddles. Macchiato Elkhide can be treated with Saddle Care or Neatsfoot Oil to get the desired shade.

I'm a real big fan of our newest batch of leather tape. It is softer and more supple than previous iterations meaning it is easier to wrap and is easier on the hands with or without gloves.

For tires, the Panaracers Tourguards and Col De La Vie match either Espresso or Macchiato well. The Dia-Compe Gran Compe tires match Espresso bits perfectly. 

If all else fails: black, is the new black.

Brown, espresso, macchiato, honey, black? What's your favorite?


Robert Piretti said...

Long term use - with saddle care applications, do they hold up to rain over time? Slippery when wet?


VeloOrange said...

@Robert Piretti,

Saddle care does repel a fair amount of water, but is not a water proofing solution. Saddles should still be covered with our cover (http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/components/saddles/aardvark-saddle-cover.html) during heavy rains. On the other hand, I have had my bike on the roof of my car without a cover during a few heavy storms and it has held up very well.

Tape can be left as is with a light application every now and then, as you see fit. Elkhide takes more care: http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2012/11/care-and-feeding-for-your-elkhide.html

It doesn't get terribly slippery when wet either. This are, in the end, animal hides. They hold up to outdoor weather pretty darn well.

Robert Piretti said...

They are in fact! Thanks guys.

philcycles said...

Na, too matchy matchy.
I've always thought that differing but complementing colors look best.
Phil Brown

Anonymous said...

My bike has VO bartape, and yes, we have a match!

See for yourself:


Cheers, Ruben

Scott Calhoun said...

This is an interesting counterpoint to the latest Rivendell blug where Grant Peterson argues against: "Total cohesiveness... and making your bike visually symmetrical."

Professionally, I'm a garden designer and writer, and I like to ride my bike to design appointments when I can. And for me, a certain degree of symmetry on my bicycle matters. I like integrity, cohesiveness, in my life and on my bike. There is nothing wrong with the look of curated neglect that Riv advocates, but it is not for me. It is weird enough to show up for a meeting on a bike, let alone one that on account of its ratty bar tape and zip-tied wald baskets looks to the casual observer like I stole if from a hobo. That said, I don't believe a bike shouldn't be too matchy matchy (and I do own a bike with zip-tied wald baskets and ratty tape, but I don't use it for work).

Unknown said...

Those 'rules' are so silly. There's a picture of Merckx at the top of the page, and his bikes never, ever had matching tape and saddle. This list also manages to condemn half of the VO inventory (as well shopping online in general), so the hell with it.

For the record, black saddle and black cloth tape because it makes me look faster. I use the VO waxed thread to finish the tape off and it looks awesome.

Unknown said...

I've gut a honey VO saddle with honey toe clip covers and two tone dark/light brown cloth handlebar wrap because when I did the handlebars VO didn't offer cloth tape, I think it looks great with my bamboo fenders and black frame...

Anonymous said...

It's going to depend on the bike, but I never worry about matching the tires. Tires should be black.

On several green bikes (an old Raleigh and a number of Bianchis) black saddle and tape worked very nicely; on my Rando, it's brown saddle and tape.

Never used leather tape in either situation, though.

Wiliam said...

Awesome post, very helpful and informative. Thanks. Always looking forward to reading more.