We’re frequently asked about padding and cushioning options for our leather bicycle bar wraps and grips. Here, we answer your questions: 

I’m looking at your sew-on bar wraps. The question is, can I put a cork wrap on first? If not can I use something else, what do you recommend? Thank you for your time.

I prefer very thin grips while my fiance prefers a thicker and more padded style.  Which of your wraps is the thinnest and which would be the thickest? Thanks!


Padding underneath bar wraps and grips is a matter of personal preference. We’ve seen articles for and against it. To pad or cushion leather bar wraps, there are two basic options: the leather itself, and layering squishy cork or foam tape underneath the wraps, either in a coil or in straight sections. 

Walnut Studiolo carries four different styles of leather bar wraps and leather grips for bicycle handlebars. We’ll discuss the thickness and padding options under each one below.


braided bar wraps squareBullwhip Bar Wraps 

For the most padding with our leather handlebar wraps, we recommend our Bullwhip Bar Wraps, which are inherently more padded by overlapping layers of approximately 1mm thick leather. The braiding of the Bullwhip Bar Wraps ensures the thickest coverage with the most padding because the leather is braided onto itself, for a double thickness throughout. However, you can pad the Bullwhip Bar Wraps even more by wrapping them around a layer of foam or cork tape or other commercially-available padding. 

il_570xN.181604106-squareSew-on Bar Wraps

The Sew-on Bar Wrap leather is approximately 1mm thick. The Sew-on Bar Wraps are the most challenging wrap for those who would prefer to have more padding. They use the thinnest leather, so that they can stretch around curvy bars without wrinkling or creasing, and thus have the least inherent cushion. They are also the most sensitive to looks – bulky lines will most likely be visible through the leather, which some might consider unsightly. They are designed for a 1″ diameter bar with just enough stretch to fit one cable underneath(such as a brake or shifter cable). There is little space to stretch the wraps around anything bulky and still have the edges meet. If you don’t need to tuck a cable under the grips, you could get away with light padding by putting a straight line of cork or foam tape underneath (not a multi-thickness coiled wrap). If you really want something bulky underneath, you can, you will just have to cover the gap between the leather edges with extra thread in your stitches (some might consider this unsightly too, but it could be somewhat hidden on the underside of the bar).



City Grips and Bare Knuckle Grips

The City Grips and the Bare Knuckle Grips are the same except for the peek-a-boo cut-outs in the Bare Knuckle Grips. These grips use the thickest leather in the collection, but they are designed of course for short handlebars with no curves. The leather is approximately 2.5mm thick, and they are designed to fit a 7/8″ bar perfectly with nothing underneath. 


For more answers to Frequently Asked Questions about our Leather Bar Wraps, check out our handlebar wraps FAQ page: https://walnutstudiolo.com/pages/bicycle-bar-wraps

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About walnutstudiolo

Founded in 2009 by Geoffrey Franklin, Walnut combines thoughtful modern design with old-world craft. Everything we make is hand-built to work beautifully and age gracefully in our workshop on the gorgeous Oregon Coast. See our work at walnutstudiolo.com. Learn more about us with this short maker video: http://vimeo.com/cineastas/walnut


Bicycles, FAQ, How To


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