grips the hard way in nine basically easy steps...and a tandem note there at the bottom.

grips the hard way in nine basically easy steps...and a tandem note there at the bottom.

Make your grip purchases make sense, which means don't spend $15 for generic ones. if you want cork, then you have to spend $28 for them, and it's worth it because they'll last for years unless you crash them. It's hard to remove them without wrecking them (and when we put them on for you, you won't be able to).

But $28 for grips make by a Portuguese wine cork maker? Compared to what $28 will buy you in fast food or coffee or computer accessories, that's a deal, and it makes sense.

$40 Paddle grips with screw-clamps (we don't sell these, btw) are also worth it IF you switch handlebars a lot, like Roman does on his Rosco Bubbe.

Our $10 paddle grips make sense because paddles are unique in the grip world, and this is the cheapest way to get them--and isn't it right that you have something from the land of windmills and wooden shoes, the place where Van Gogh came from and they love bikes there?

The Dutch know their grips, and we've got them and for $10, oh my, you should have some just lying around, at least. They'll go onto something sometime. The pads go on the inside of the bar and are best angled up about 30-degrees.

I really the Hunt-Wilde (brand more than 100 years old) American-made finger-groove/air-event grips. We've had them, but no more, because the minimums are high and everybody associates them with cheap childhood bikes, and we can't put energy into changing THAT perception.

But they make sense, too, because the grooves are neat and you can wrap them with cloth and shellac them, and wow, they're great that way. But if you want to have genuine FUN with grips, here's a way to do that:

This is a CHOCOBAR, but it could be any. If you want the ballcock washers, put them on early.  Get them at Ace Hardware or any place that sells toilet supplies. The ballcock gives you an air-buffer between hand and brake lever and adds a comfy flange in front of your hand. There are no drawbacks, but you're not a fool not to do it, either.

Slight foamy paddy double-stick tape. I got this at Office max. Even doublestick Scotch tape will work. Or wrap automatically stick cork or cloth tape. The idea is to pad and shape and thicken just a bit. Fatness isn't necessary.

You're not going to be able to lay down wool felt unless you have it, and we have tons, but it's the kind of thing nobody would buy, it might be easier to use cork tape to build it up. Although, with the wool felt, you can just twine over it and ba-da-bing.

Wrap cloth tape over the padding, whatever it is. A good grip length is about 4 to 4.5 inches.

Then lay down a contrasting stripe, almost any color.


Get about 8 feet of twine, any twine. Double it (halve it) and start with the halfway point under the end of the bar. Wrap each end 2-4 times tightly, then move forward in a zig-zag pattern--or whatever pattern you like.

I was doing this for customer who liked the pattern on that cool CLEM 3-speed (on Monday Jan 29 will be down to $1,650). That's probably the day you're reading this. Tie it off using your knot of choice. This is a surgeon's knot (like a square knot with an extra wrap both times).

Done there, add a curve of tape in front of the forward ballcock. Pick a length. It's not bad to have some of your hand on bare bar. One member her of the Rivendell party doesn't even wrap his Noodle bars, hasn't for 21 years or more. Cold weather, rain, no matter, he just doesn't wrap them. The point is, grabbing some bare metal is fine.

Tie off the end of the mini-section. No padding needed here. You don't even have to wrap here, but it reminds you that you can grab the bar ahead of the brake levers.


Brush it with shellack. This was to layers of natural amber shellack. Paint and hardware stores have it.

Did the other side too! Different colors. You wouldn't know it, bu the base is lime green with amber shellac. Mark discoved that yields the most incredible golden olive. The top strip is teal.

The shellac mutes the shrieking sour colors and turns them luscious. The mini wrap is yellow, the on the other is orange..They both got amber shellack.

Thar she blows. New, it looks all "look-at-me" flashy, but give it a month of use and it gets muted some and looks even better and seems less weird. Does it have the ergonomics of a pad-L-grip? No, but it's still faultless. Is it worth the 45 minutes to maybe a whole hour?

Yes. The 45 minutes will stay in your grips for years.  Grips like this may give off the vibe of a spiritual desert-dwelling hippie, but that too wll wane with time...unless you don't want it to.


Here are two more, then I'm done--

This is the right side on a Clem L 45. Lime green with navy, amber shellac.

 There's the left. Right is an all-indexer (small hands, weak thumb). Left is a bar-end. I know I push aeymmetrical shifting slightly too much, but having a visual and tactile difference between front and rear derailers makes sense for anybody, but especialy a newish rider. This tape is lime green and copper, with amber shellac.

------------HHH Tandem Not News-----------

We have about 3 larges left, zero mediums, and 8 smalls. Smalls fit captains with PBH up to high-80s, even 91 will work. We sold two last week, and I expect we'll be out of them in two months if we sit here and do nothing, but we need the space in the warehouse, and so this is just a reminder. If you haven't heard of them, here's a short thing:

The HHH (HubbuHubbuH) is kind of like a double-CLEM. It's a fat-tire, du-it-all, trail-worthy, toury, towny tandem with all tha attributes you'd expect from a tandem we designed to be comfy, fun, practical, strong. It is the best-riding tandem I've been on, and the easiest to ride, the least stressy to captain, smooth as Kessler. The stoker can be (but doesn't have to be) a shrimp--like, a 9-year old. So it's a good bike for family riding, and about half have gone out for just that purpose.


Here it is with a 2.4 knobby. For street use, no need for that fat or that knobby, but a 2.1 combo tread always makes sense. All sizes use 650B wheels. The primary brakes are V-brakes. Super powerful, more powerful than discs. But on a tandem, on a long steep loaded downhill, you might want to scrub some speed with a disc brake, and so...

We have discs for this. You hook it up to a thumb shifter on the stoker bar. Slick, great way to do it. We have the wheels, all the parts. If you're local, Mark will build it for $300. If you're not local, get a shop to do it and expect them to charge about that.

It all comes back to grips. These are less  imaginative than the fancies up there, but what a luscious color, what a nice way to make a grip.


HHH frame/forks are $1800, and include seat posts, stoker stem, and a Seattle-made best in the world Bushnell eccentric. We have all the other parts, including wheels, to complete the bike, but you can and probably ought to buy some things locally, if you're having a shop build it. But get the cranks, bars, and wheels from us. We've got those figured out and maybe your local shop does too, but --- doubtful. No disrespect intended, it's just that we've done this all before.


There may be another tandem email in a week or so. We have no plans to ever do these again.







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