Manubro 4 Manubri

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.





, , ,


  1. Pingback: the bro for the bri atmo -

  2. armybikerider

    I’ll pass on the tape….but the saddles that Peel has covered are quite another story.

    I’ve got a Flite on my Lynskey now that was re-covered by a Mennonite horse saddle maker in Southern Kentucky. The materials and especially the craftsmanship and attention to detail are really what set it apart from the rest….same holds true for this tape. The saddles that Peel crafts remind me of a picture I saw recently of a “Texas” San Marco Regal covered with crocodile belly by the Luchesse Boot Co.

  3. randomactsofcycling

    This is cool and I’m glad Busyman is getting a gig and some recognition from someone of the esteem of RS. I’ve been following his blog for a couple of years and his work is consistently interesting.
    He’ll be doing the saddle, tape and toe straps on my bike when it’s ready. Can’t wait.

  4. velomonkey

    Mad points for the fox-laden turbomatic, anyone who rolls up with that would get mad points no matter their speed.

  5. thom barry

    P- Thanks for the facts. They are still around but now over in Westfield – it might be a winter project to make it over. (What color?!)

    As for Northampton – in the summer it is very heaven – so I’ll take your ‘lucky’ (which, of course means double coming from someone in southern california), but for seven months robot and I consider it epic just to make our way to work in the dark…

    But the loop to Greylock, the D2R2… these are rides worth living for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *