DiPell tape has a few key advantages compared to other leather bar tapes that makes it our favourite to work with.
Firstly, it is unseamed – each tape is made from one continuous piece of leather. Some other leather bar tapes are stitched together somewhere along their length, and if the stitching falls at an acute bend in the bars then you’re in trouble. You can normally retape to avoid this, but ultimately no matter where the join falls it is goign to be unsightly and potentially weaker.
Secondly, it is asymetrically chamfered with a long shallow chamfer on one side. This means that when you are wrapping the tape on your bars you never get two full-thickness layers on top of each other. This eliminates the lumpy finish some leather tape has once it’s on the bars.
Thirdly, there are 2 different thicknesses of tape available, both thinner than most leather tapes. This gives it a little spring and means that you can draw it tight while wrapping around corners to get even tension on the tape. This will help to stop it unraveling over time and with use.
Fourthly, it is available in 2 lengths – one long enough to wrap drop bars, and one long enough to wrap the grip area on swept-back bars, or other similar bars. That way you only have to buy what you need.
Finally, it is a very competitive price.
These five things are easily enough on their own to make it our leather tape of choice. It is a clear winner once you consider all the good features it shares with other tapes, such as a nice perforated finish, a range of colours designed to match leather saddles (as well as red white and blue), the naturally long-wearing properties of good leather itself, and the classic look. At the end of the day it’s just a really nice bonus that it’s made within a few km of our shop by people who are bike enthusiasts.
Huw has been using some of the black Competition tape on his Kenevans, Jed has been using brown Vintage tape on his Rawland and I have been using some of the honey Vintage bar tape on my randonneur and all of us are very happy with the tape. Mine has seen a few minor spills on gravel roads and daily contact with my workshop-dirty hands and though it looks worn-in it’s looking very nice – better than new to my mind, and I’m expecting years of use out of it.
Check out our webshop – Constructeur.com.au for more.