View Full Version : Calfskin Bar Tape by Fujitoshi

06-22-2005, 06:51 PM
I prefer cotton and shellac'd cotton bar tape but recently took a turn with Fujitoshi's calfskin bar tape (available from Jitensha Studio). Some folks may have seen this before but I tell you, it looks great in person and it wraps easy, easy. I'm including here a coupla' pictures of the blue Richard Sachs, which you'll also notice has undergone a few revisions: Campag 9spd downtube shifters, Mavic brake levers, Campy SL pedals and Campag clips with Cinelli straps. Just thought folks might like to see.


p.s. Couldn't upload the pictures...sorry!!

06-22-2005, 06:57 PM
Well try again, we want to see it. And what about that Jitensha road bike that you mentioned was incoming a bit ago. Where are the pictures?

06-22-2005, 06:59 PM
Everytime I try to upload pictures I get a "Picture only partially uploaded" error...and it's not like I've not done this before..a tad frustrating. Pictures of the second Ebisu, the Road model, incoming!


Okay, this isn't calf's skin tape but it IS Jaco Pastorius. I'm hoping ROUND looks in here gets the idea: GGM in Jaco scheme, mostly pink...oooyeah.

Still trying on the regular jpgs...sorry

06-22-2005, 10:11 PM
Here's a link to jitensha's picture:


Wow, $45 for a bike's worth, not a bargain.....

06-22-2005, 10:23 PM
from bare nekkid handlebars all the way up to fine calf skin. Taste and budget. Mine don't allow me to sweat like pig on fine calf skin. A part of me would be more inclined to cotton and shellac (which I have not done) but seems to have quite happy hands and aesthetics from gloves mixed with my favorite Deda faux cork, plastic stuff.

Don't let that stop anybody from bringing cool stuff to our attention.

06-22-2005, 10:24 PM
typewriter ribbon?

06-22-2005, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the link. The tape is expensive, about 4x the cost of Cinelli cork. I'd rate it about 400x nicer but that's just one fella's opinion. My experience so far is that it holds up quite well and I've twice gotten it wet (on the yellow Ebisu). Just to add, the sueded Fujitoshi leather straps are DARN nice too, waaay nicer than the Bindas, even the Extras. When the Japanese set their minds on bike bits the results are extraordinary, to wit, Honjo fenders, Nitto bars and stems, Fujitoshi, MKS pedals, Grand Mighty Sugino cranks, gosh, the list goes on. Not so many people seem to care about this stuff but it spins my wheels way, way more than modern carbon doo-dads.


06-22-2005, 11:16 PM
I don't know about this Douglas.

IMO it's kind of like veal. It might taste good, but knowing where it comes from kind of spoils things. I like to imagine that all of the leather products I buy are from cattle that lived out their full lifetimes on ranches where they grazed in peace until they died of old age...


06-23-2005, 09:41 AM
Yeah, I'm not so good about where it comes from (I actually see some of the cruelty of the rearing process) but it's not like the rare hide of a Musk Ox nor is it Lemur paws or something. Much the same might be said ethicially (or more) about the destructive environmental impact of mining titanium (brought up by GP in one of the famous Bstone catalogues of yore, see Sheldon's archive site for this piece). I suppose in my dotage I am content not to eat bovines but neither will I espouse any sense of ethical (or human nutritional) superiority for doing so--- and never, ever would I suppose to impose my own conscience or feelings on others. Having each our own opinions and conscience strikes me as a plan for greater diversity with less moral indignation. If I looked at the newspaper everyday with the rage and moral indignation I feel about so many things (say, America's politics), I'd move to the Yukon. Heck, I would LOVE to move to the Yukon but the cycling season is even shorter there than in western NY!! As I see it we have plenty of that righteousness coming from nearly every direction (up and down, right and left, you name it). These comments are also NOT directed towards Louis but are my own reflection on his question about ethical issues. Let me put it more bluntly, this stuff has to go somewhere and on my handlebars is not causing me a crisis of conscience since I think demand for $45 calfskin bar wrap is not much contributing to the larger issues at hand. Rationalization comes in all sorts of forms and I'm no less liable.


06-23-2005, 10:23 AM
if the calf was primarily slaughtered for the meat?

I'd really like to see those pictures, so please keep trying! It looks like it comes in brown and black only. Do you have a picture of the brown, and if so, could you try to e-mail it as an attachment? I promise I won't eat veal for a month if I buy it!

Grant McLean
06-23-2005, 11:06 AM
Louis wrote: Any ethical issues here?
I don't know about this Douglas.
IMO it's kind of like veal. It might taste good, but knowing where it comes from kind of spoils things.

Hi Louis,
But what about killing all those cork trees? Is that just as unfair to the trees as it is for the baby cows?

haiku for trees:

cork tree falls for tape
hear the sound of one hand clap
across the finish line


06-23-2005, 11:10 AM

I realize you were only poking fun- BUT- Cork trees (Oaks) are not killed during harvest- the bark is stripped- but the tree stays alive to regenerate more cork for later. I know- I am being a dirt dork again



Grant McLean
06-23-2005, 11:20 AM

Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I can go back to sipping my Super-Tuscans* guilt-free, but having your bark stripped off sounds painful ! (unless you are into that sort of thing.)


(*look it up if you need to)

06-23-2005, 11:24 AM
Just here to help

Super Tuscan (http://www.cellartastings.com/en/wine-feature-super-tuscans.html)


06-23-2005, 11:36 AM

06-23-2005, 01:04 PM
dbrk states:

<the destructive environmental impact of mining titanium (brought up by GP in one of the famous Bstone catalogues of yore, see Sheldon's archive site for this piece)>

I think that piece is nothing but spin from Grant Petersen (GP) in an effort to stem the titanium craze of the early to mid 1990s. Let's face it, Bridgestone sold steel frame bikes, not titanium. (although I believe there was at least one Bridgestone ti bike made, not sure if it was made by litespeed or TST for bridgestone or actually build in Japan).

In contrast to GP's position, here's what Gary Helfrich, one of the founders of Merlin and arguably *the* expert on titanium, says about where titanium:

As one of those responsible for the titanium rush, perhaps I can shed some
light on where the titanium used in bikes comes from.

Most of the titanium used in bikes comes from Australia. Yup, the deserts
of western Australia are the source for most of the titanium ore used in the
world today. Titanium ore is an abundant resource (titanium is the fifth
most abundant metallic element on our planet), and white sand is the best
place to find it.

Most of this material never is never processed into metal. Over 90% is
refined into titanium dioxide, a common white pigment used in paint.

The most common destination for the sand used in making metallic titanium is
China. The Chinese produce a very high quality titanium sponge that is used
worldwide to produce primary mill products all over the world. The United
States, France, Russia, and Ukraine all produce sponge as well. Most US
producers of primary mill products use a significant amount of Chinese
produced titanium sponge.

In most cases, virgin material is mixed 1:4 with scrap material making
titanium one of the most recycled metals. This is where the Russian or
Ukraine material comes in. Most scrap from the former Soviet states is
contaminated, and cannot be used to produce ingot for tube production.
Material with high levels of chemical contamination can be used for low
quality castings, and finds its' way into golf club head, valve bodies, etc.

About the only titanium tube that you will find that contains significant
amounts of Russian material is tube from Russia. There is not a great
economic advantage in using poor quality scrap from Russia, when high
grade domestic scrap is available in the United States.

Litespeed uses material from Ancotech and Haynes International. The sponge used to produce the raw material for these tubes is from either China or Henderson (Nevada) depending on the price. Orement/Wah Chang or Timet produce 100% of all the starting billets used by the big three companies in the United States (Ancotech, Haynes International, and Sandvik Special Metals).

Oremet (Albany Oregon) has broken and recycled an entire pressure hull from
an Alpha attack sub. None of the material was used to produce ingot for
tube production, but this may be a source for much of the Urban Mythology
surrounding bikes made from radioactive Russian titanium. Most of the
recovered material became golf driver heads.

Gary Helfrich
Arctos Machine

06-24-2005, 05:31 PM
Jaco paint scheme ,pink and black ,sounds great !!!!!!!!!!!!