18 December, 2017

"650b For Your Hands"

by Igor

Way back, when we first brought in the Constructeur Grips, we sent over a care package to famed constructeur, Peter Weigle. At the next Philly Bike Expo, he told us about how comfortable they were on the drops of his road bike. Jokingly, he said it was like "650b for his hands".

Having ridden his Raleigh 650b conversion at this past French Fender Day I can attest to how cushy it really is. It smooths out a lot of the road noise that you otherwise might feel when you're in the drops - especially if you have little in the way of padding besides a thin layer of cloth tape.

Now, this setup isn't new. I've seen it on French Randonneurs and British Path Racers of the 40s and 50s, but the style has all but disappeared from mainstream favor. Sometimes dirt drop riders use these style grips for the same reasons, with the additional benefit of a chunkier grip for leverage during punchy climbs.

This installation is easier to do on handlebars with long drops such as our Rando or Course Bars. With modern ergo models, the grip may bunch up on the acute curves of the bars.

So off we go!

First, you'll need to unwrap your bars since you won't be able to slide the grip over your existing wrap. Next, use rubbing alcohol and slide the grip all the way up the drop. Where the grip ends is where you'll start your wrap.

I cut a diagonal in the bar tape to make the first wrap since it was close to the hook and I wanted it to be as flat as possible.

This step is optional, but Peter said that knocking down the ridges made for a more comfortable shape. I ultimately decided not to do it since I found it comfortable as is, but will probably take some time over the winter break to reduce the end ridges a bit. You could use sandpaper, but a bench-grinder would be a better tool to use.

Finish up your wrap, and that's it!


E Williamson said...

Dorky, but useful, like so many things on my bikes!

Andy said...

Can you make the front end of the grip roll back on itself temporarily, or is the rubber too stiff? It would be neat to hide the first wrap of tape under the grip.

VeloOrange said...

@Andy, you could totally do that. Nice suggestion!

eflayer said...

I wonder if they might look "smoother" if the knob at the back end was cut off and replaced with a typical bar end plug?

Unknown said...

I use bar end shifters. What do I do to these to get them to work???

John Hawrylak
Woodstown NJ

VeloOrange said...

You would cut off the last section. I did a blog post here describing the process (I did it on a Porteur bar, but same idea): http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2015/06/igors-how-to.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of the blue ones on my flat-bar commuter bike. The ridges are hard and un-yielding, so they aren't really so cushy as the headline implies.