I Just started getting into leather working and found many of the leather bike products can be done at home. So far I have done a leather side bag, some cable ties, am about to attempt a seat, am considering trying to make leather fork gaiters (If i can find someone with a lathe for the mold). Progress and updates on those projects can be seen here:
But by far one of the simplest thing I have done that is easy for anyone is leather grip wraps. I have seen some people wraping their grips in leather tennis racket and push bike grips, but i don't think that stay on very well and they definitely don't look as good.
Baisc leather working gear can be had pretty cheap from a store like Tandy, and a large part of my tools I got from the dollar store, things like rulers, mallet, clamps and so on.
I went with Biltwell Renegade TPV Grips. Reason being is they have a studded surface that grips onto the leather really well. Some testing after completion, I don't think there is any way they will slip even the slightest. The only down side of these grips is they are quite thick already and more importantly they have a slope to them. They bulge in the middle meaning that I had to cut a slight arch in the top and the bottom of the leather. This made the job much more time consuming.
I will also be using weighted bar ends so using a blade i cut out the grip ends.
Make sure to measure your grip after you have put them on the bars. They expand considerably once you stretch them on. Also keep in mind that the grips are different. My throttle grip was about 5mm thicker. So you cant just make one and use it as a template for the next one.
I just wrapped a scrap strip of leather around the grip and took the measurements that way. If like me you have a grip that bulges in the middle, oou will need both and inside and an outside measurement and divide the difference by two and factor that into your curve on each side.
1. Cut your leather out of the larger piece
2. Cut your rectangles to width
3. Cut them to length (if non flat grips) cut the arches into the top and bottom (you can see i used a bowed yard stick/ruler to get the arch a needed to make up the 4mm difference on each side)
4. Scratch in your punch hole guides (I used this cheap tool from tandy you can see in the photo)
5. Punch in your holes
6. Thread your holes (its really important to pull you thread nice and tight after each one)
7. Lock stitch the back.You just go back through every second loop you made until the end.
8. Tie the ends of the threads off, trim them and singe them with a lighter.
9. Using the method outlined in this video, lace them on:
Once i get my bar ends on and take some better photos ill post some updated pics.