Fugitoshi's done it again. A real classy handlebar wrap that you can stitch yourself to cycling Zen. Genuine Toshi product - new for 2008. Comes in smooth Real Leather and Ecsaine leather, a man-made leather that feels like suede - also known as Ultra-Suede (see title). Each pack includes 2 lengths of leather w/perforated sides for stitching - enough wrap for 1 set of 24.0mm diameter drop bars, wax coated woven thread and threading needle (see lower pic for wrapped example). End plugs not included.
- I tried the wrap on a Nitto B123 38cm (lower pic) and used a straight (bar) lacing pattern that I learned from here but you can use almost any style of lacing you wish (some work better than others).
The initial wrapping came about an inch short of the handlebar clamp area, but with some serious coercion the wrap stretched to the clamp area. An adhesive strip at the top keeps the wrap from backing off. The finished end of the wrap is for the top of the bars and the unfinished for the end of the bars. I started at the end and worked my way to the top, but I am not sure how much it matters. One thing to mind is that different types of lacing uses more or less thread. This one side I wrapped twice; the first time I used a standard cross lace pattern and just barely ran out of thread at the end of the wrap (I could have pulled the lacing tighter) and the second time I tried the bar lacing pattern which left me with more than enough thread left over (but I was really paying attention to the tension of the thread stitch).
The real leather wrap has the Toshi logo stamped in, the Ecsaine does not. Because Toshi doesn't offer any installation directions with the wrap, I am trying to find more links about stitching wrap.
When I started the wrap I thought of it as if I were lacing shoes, keeping the laces as tight as I could as I went along. Worked pretty good, it took some real effort in order to move the wrap it was really snug on the bar. One could use a strip of 3m two sided adhesive to really make the tape stay in place.