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Bar wrap circa 1960

Old 06-22-21, 11:07 PM
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RustyJames
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Bar wrap circa 1960

Friends - my recently acquired ~1960 Legnano doesnít have any wrap on the bars and I was thinking cotton would be what was used BITD but Iím open to suggestions and/or enlightenment. (Sorry if this is obvious to some. Iím a newb to this stuff.)
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Old 06-23-21, 01:04 AM
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cotton. or, woolly mammoth or sabre tooth hide. but, maybe that's too old....hehehe
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Old 06-23-21, 02:54 AM
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I have no idea how accurate this is, just randomly pulled from the web. https://lecycleur.com/style/the-righ...ntage-bicycle/
"Prior to 1975 there was hardly any noteworthy alternative to cotton bar tape. Synthetic imitations with interesting surface finishes were spreading on budget race bikes and randonneurs, but for high end bicycles cotton bar tape was still the standard."

I am, however, stubbornly biased toward one wrap of cotton and a couple good soakings of shellac.
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Old 06-23-21, 03:43 AM
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For a Legnano of this period, it would be Gaslo cotton handlebar wrap.
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Old 06-23-21, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
I have no idea how accurate this is, just randomly pulled from the web. https://lecycleur.com/style/the-righ...ntage-bicycle/
"Prior to 1975 there was hardly any noteworthy alternative to cotton bar tape. Synthetic imitations with interesting surface finishes were spreading on budget race bikes and randonneurs, but for high end bicycles cotton bar tape was still the standard."

I am, however, stubbornly biased toward one wrap of cotton and a couple good soakings of shellac.
I suspected I was going to be looking for some sort of non-synthetic material. Excepting grips, I canít imagine there was any synthetic material for hand to bar contact on a bike.

Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
For a Legnano of this period, it would be Gaslo cotton handlebar wrap.
Iím not familiar with Gaslo but Iíll do some looking and see what I uncover.
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Old 06-23-21, 08:11 AM
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Cotton tape is about it for a 60's bike but a possible alternative is to find a bar/stem/brake levers set with the "Pleather" bar wrap sleeve Motobecane introduced in 1978. This is what I did a few decades ago when I built up my 1st Grand Jubile from a bare frame. Their Catalog says "easy to replace", but the set I traded for already had its hood portion amputated (by someone who didn't agree) to allow for some Shimano 600 replacement levers with standard rubber hoods. My set has a French 22.0 Balleri stem, but somewhere in late 70's-early 80's Motoecane began phasing in non-French components too. These were produced in large #s and I still see bar sets at swap meets & on eBay so you might find one that fits a standard headset. Don

poor scan of 1978 Catalog

from eBay ad

Mid 70's Grand Jubile
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Old 06-23-21, 12:30 PM
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Cotton bar wrap would be just right and period correct for your Legnano. Looks great but the wrap I used was not Gaslo, Cat Eye probably but certainly satisfies my restorative needs. This tape or and other brands are readily available on Ebay for reasonable prices...


I will offer one warning, the cloth tape is hard to wrap. Particularly around the brake lever mounts. With this in mind, I learned to position my levers exactly where I want them then use PVC tape to hold them in place. It is also necessary to use silicone seal to secure the mounting nuts in place. I wedge a piece of foam in place to keep the nut in place while the silicone sets up. Once set-up, wrap away, starting from the handlebar end for Galso or from the middle for Velox caps...


This procedure would be just right for your Legnano and this set-up even has the Gaslo endcaps. The caps do not fit inside the handlebar, they fit on the outside. A wrap of cloth tape under the tabs helps hold them in place for the wrap job. Looks great but the wrap was not Gaslo, Cat Eye probably but certainly satisfies my restorative needs. Look for cloth tape on Ebay and choose what you want...


The Velox end caps are period correct and will not fall out...




Once done, mount your brake lever bodies (hoods are readily available on Ebay - even the cable adjuster hoodies). All in all, the end result looks pretty darn good. And one final tip, though it bugs me to share it - right now there is a set of NOS Gaslo Legnano embossed end caps for sale on Ebay. I cannot afford them so feel free to pay the price to snap them up, if you want,,,



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Old 06-23-21, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for the tips randyjawa. I have much cleaning to do on the bike and then start on refreshing/servicing pieces as needed. Your Torpado looks FABULOUS!
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Old 06-23-21, 03:16 PM
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Look at the bikes at Speedbicycles for the period you are interested in for a lot of the period-correct detail.
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Old 06-23-21, 04:10 PM
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While cotton would be the obvious choice, there were alternatives, BITD. These are Hein van Breenen's bars. Pictured during the '52 Tour de France. Definitely not cotton:


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Old 06-23-21, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Block View Post
Look at the bikes at Speedbicycles for the period you are interested in for a lot of the period-correct detail.
Holy cats - that list is amazing! Thx BB!
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Old 06-23-21, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
While cotton would be the obvious choice, there were alternatives, BITD. These are Hein van Breenen's bars. Pictured during the '52 Tour de France. Definitely not cotton:


Crazy. I donít have a clue whatís going on there.
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Old 06-23-21, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I will offer one warning, the cloth tape is hard to wrap.
Interesting; I always found it the easiest. Flexes laterally to follow contours, and does not slide around while you wrap.
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Old 06-23-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
While cotton would be the obvious choice, there were alternatives, BITD. These are Hein van Breenen's bars. Pictured during the '52 Tour de France. Definitely not cotton:
Possibly an experimental Michelin product?

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Old 06-23-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Crazy. I donít have a clue whatís going on there.
Many riders were using some sort of padding in those days. If you look closely at pictures from the fifties and early sixties you'll notice that the single layer of cotton wasn't very popular, especially in the drops.

TdF riders, 1951:



Jacques Anquetil, 1959 and 1961:




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Old 06-23-21, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Many riders were using some sort of padding in those days. If you look closely at pictures from the fifties and early sixties you'll notice that the single layer of cotton wasn't very popular, especially in the drops.

TdF riders, 1951:



Jacques Anquetil, 1959 and 1961:




Interesting. I wonder if that's just built up cotton wrap or they had some other material they used for the padding?
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Old 06-24-21, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Crazy. I don’t have a clue what’s going on there.
Includes a set of Shockstop 'honking' rubbers on the brake levers.
And there was wrapped cushioning around in 1952
Shockstop made some, and it is found on page 80 of the 1952 Brown Brothers catalogue

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Old 06-24-21, 07:25 AM
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I will be the first to admit that cloth handlebar wrap is not comfortable when compared to later cushion wrap. This stuff, I get from China for less that $2.50 a set shipping included. I buy a dozen sets at a time...


But it does little to impress the visuals of my vintage steeds, so I wear these padded gloves which do help offset the lack of cushion of my cloth wrapped bars. I should add that the pictured set got pitched last time I was in Jamaica. Bought a nice new set which are starting to wear out already...
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Old 06-24-21, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
While cotton would be the obvious choice, there were alternatives, BITD. These are Hein van Breenen's bars. Pictured during the '52 Tour de France. Definitely not cotton:


That's the most BA vintage bicycle number plating effort I've ever set eyes upon... from the wrapping of the number onto the bike's tubes, to the matching of the number profile from the top half to the bottom half. That's some rad C&V sh^t there.
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