A trick steel frame demands certain details. A high-end group. A matching set of top-shelf bar, stem and seatpost. Tubulars or super-trick clinchers—none of this training-grade stuff. Tape is a tougher call. There’s no way I’m going back to celo-tape, no matter how old-school PRO it is, but honestly, foam tape looks a bit, well, wrong.
Richard Sachs has figured this out for us. Embossed leather tape. How he crossed paths with Australian Mick Peel of Busyman Cycles who crafted the tape is a story for another post, but let’s just say this was a marriage made in heaven. Peel is an extraordinarily gifted leather worker. You absolutely must check out his site to see examples of his other work. The saddles he has done are beyond trick.
Peel made an embossing tool featuring the Sachs logo and pressed it into exquisite leather. While it is available in a natural brown leather, the red and white versions are what caught my eye. And though the embossing looks soup bowl deep, Richard says that by the time you pull it tight, the RS logo smooths out some; a good wrap yields a more subtle appearance.
Peel didn’t make loads of this and Richard isn’t certain how long it will be before Peel relents to do another run of such repetitive work. Put another way, if you like it, act now. It’s not cheap, but it’s so cool it will look killer even on bikes that don’t bear the Sachs logo.
Years ago, a custom leather shop in Northampton, Massachusetts, recovered a Flite saddle I’d worn out. The leather and the glue they used were so superior to the original that the saddle stayed in use for another four years, until I finally crashed badly enough to bend both ti rails. I suspect this leather tape will enjoy and even longer life.
Admit it, this is the first bar tape you’ve ever coveted. It is for me.