Saturday, August 4, 2012

Re-taping handlebar and applying Shellac on the Sequoia

Handlebar Panda
Dirty bar tape
The handlebar set up on the Specialized Sequoia has been transferred intact from the Rawland cSogn, to the Rivendell Bleriot, and now to the Sequoia. As time went on and as cloth tapes got dirty and worn out, I simply added another layer of cloth tapes on top. I did re-tape the handlebar when I replaced the fork earlier in the year because I had to replace the cables and the housings as they were too short for the new set up. I didn't have any new tape at the time so I simply put the old tapes--all three layers of them in (dirty) brown, (dirty) yellow, and (dirty) orange--back on the handlebar. I also taped the outer-most layer in a way such that the cleaner sides of the tape (previously under the spiral of the tape) are now exposed. While that makes the tape look newer, the sticky adhesive residue on the tape also attracted dirt and grime quickly so the tapes turned black quickly.

Blue tape before shellac
Fresh blue tape, pre-shellac
I finally got sick of looking at the dirty, slightly torn, and worn out tape and decided to add a new layer on top. Multiple layers of tapes make the handlebar more comfortable to hold. The new color is blue--not navy, not sky blue, but a nice middle-of-the-road blue. It felt so clean and non-slimy. I like the color quite a bit. However, knowing that dirt, sunscreen, sweat, and other stuff will transfer quickly to the bare cloth tape from my hand and gloves, I decided to finally try shellacking the tape to keep them looking new longer.

The color difference
Color Comparison
Applying shellac on the cloth tape also have other benefits of creating a seal on the tape and allow them to last longer. When I wear the shellac out in the future, I can just apply another layer. I had a can of clear Shellac that I bought a while ago but never used, and I applied it generously to the tapes. The result is a darker and more glossy color. I applied two layers to let the seal last longer. I will report on how the shellacked tapes do in staying clean as after a few months.

Shellacking complete
Darker Color after 2 coat of clear Shellac
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