Adarga Leather Handlebar Tape

Often I find that the human-machine interface is an area where investments pay dividends. Bar tape on a bicycle is one such example.

Global Cycling Supply claims that their Adarga Leather Handlebar Tape is “the finest leather handlebar tape on the planet.” It is my first leather handlebar tape, so while I cannot compare it to other offerings, I can say that I have been extremely happy with it over the past 10 months. It is an improvement over the discontinued synthetic Fizik tape I previously preferred.

Adarga Leather Handlebar Tape

The feel of the tape is very pleasant, both when riding with gloves and gloveless. It has held up well across all the seasons, on pavement and on dirt. It offers comfort, grip and purchase; whether conditions are hot, dry and dusty, or cool, grey and wet.

My primary concern when ordering it was the lack of padding. The synthetic tape I used previously was 3mm thick, while Adarga has no padding beyond the minimal thickness of the leather itself. I run the tape on Rene Herse Randonneur Handlebars. My experience so far has been that well designed bars, such as these, make the extra padding unnecessary. I like being able to feel the firmness of the aluminum below the leather, and have found no issues with comfort, even after long days in the saddle on rough roads.

Installing the tape was not too difficult. I was surprised at how tight I had to pull it to get a good wrap – much tighter than I could pull a synthetic tape without tearing it – but once I figured that out, the installation went smoothly. The backside of the tape does include a narrow adhesive strip that helps the tape stay in place during the wrapping process. I didn’t measure the length of the tape, but I ended up snipping off about 6 inches for my 440 mm bars.

Global Cycling Supply is the side-hustle of the owner of Law Tanning. I suspect the guy knows how to make leather and what characteristics are important in a handlebar tape. The Adarga leather formula is billed as being based on a process previously used for British military gloves. I ran the tape for about 6 months before applying a very light coat of Obenauf’s LP. I don’t know if this was necessary, but I end up applying LP to most of the leather things in my life, and it did darken the black tape an aesthetically pleasing amount.

With synthetic bar tape, I find that after 10 months of use the tape is still perfectly functional but has signs of wear. The Adarga leather tape still looks like new. I expect it will provide many years of service.


Link Log 2022-11-05


The Filing Cabinet

I Fought The PayPal And I Won

Kask puts MIPS on notice with new WG11 rotational impact test

How We Would Know When China Is Preparing to Invade Taiwan

War Memorial Opera House

Recent Chick Flicks

Kimi was described to me as Rear Window crossed with The Conversation. Both are great films. Kimi isn’t as great, but I still enjoyed it. It delivered on that description.

Watcher is another riff on the Rear Window thing. There were a couple times I found myself talking back to the screen because a character did something irrational, but overall I enjoyed it. The two main actors, playing the watcher and the watched, were great. The ending was great.

Emily the Criminal is a film full assholes. But likeable assholes.

A Good Woman Is Hard to Find starts out sort of meh, but then the main character makes an excellent life choice that really kicks off the plot. The score is by Makeup and Vanity Set, and you know how I feel about that.

Swallow shows us that all is not well in soulless bourgeois suburbia. This film was super weird and discomforting, but is exactly what I imagine the lifes of Goop customers to be like.

Catch the Fair One is a perfect film. 10/10. No notes.

I’m not much into boxing films, and this isn’t one, but there’s a sparring scene in the beginning in which I couldn’t identify much in the way of acting. I had to pause the film and lookup the actors who play the main character and her trainer. Either they should be winning Academy Awards or they are professional fighters. Turns out, they’re professional fighters.

Four of these films were scored by Nathan Halpern, who does excellent work.

On Mi Lan Xiang

Mi Lan Xiang is currently my favorite oolong, and probably my second favorite tea after Hojicha.

I’ve found that it doesn’t lend itself too well to the infuser-basket-in-mug method popular with most of us tea drinkers on this side of the Pacific Rim. A gaiwan is needed to get the full experience. Roughly 4 grams of leaf, 4 ounces of 190 degree Fahrenheit water, 30 seconds.

This past summer I frequently brewed it cold, leaving it to sit in a teapot in the fridge overnight and then decanting into a bottle in the morning to take on a bike ride. Since it is just sitting in cold water for multiple hours, I’m less picky about the ratio. I use 24 ounces of water, probably around 8 grams of leaf, left in the fridge for 8 hours or so.

Gevenalle CX Shifters

Gevenalle CX Shifters are the best change I’ve ever made to my bike. I don’t understand how STI brifters have any market share in the world where Gevenalle exist.

When all is ready, I throw this switch

The left Gevenalle shifter is friction only. Shifting the front chain ring with friction is objectively superior to indexed. It allows me to make minute trim adjustments based on where I am in the rear cassette. This is especially useful with a triple crank (which I still run, because why wouldn’t I want more gears). With indexed shifting on a triple, you often end up with some gear combinations that cause rubbing front or rear if your cable tension is not perfectly dialed. Not so with friction. Just give it a slight nudge.

The right Gevenalle shifter can switch between indexed and friction shifting. I started out using it in indexed mode. After a few weeks of that I decided to give friction mode a whirl. I had never used friction shifting before. 9 months later, I’m still in friction mode. I do still think there is a place for indexed shifting in the rear, but I enjoy friction and have no current desire to switch back. (I haven’t even thought about cable tension all year!) I do, however, value the ability to switch between the two.

The real magic of the Gevenalle system is being able to jump the cassette between multiple gears with a single movement. An STI shifter may allow you to jump between 3 or 4 gears at once. With Gevenalle, you can dump the entire cassette in one smooth movement. That’s not something I do often, but I absolutely do dump or load about half the cassette at once. They market this as a feature for cyclocross racers, but it applies just as much to anyone who rides with other traffic.

This video is what helped sell me on the shifters when I was considering the purchase. It demonstrates the big cassette movements possible, as well as the ergonomics of using the system. Whether I push or pull the shift levers depends on where they are in relation to the brake lever. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but quickly becomes intuitive. As someone who spends most of the time on the hoods, I found that I didn’t need to change my hand position to actuate the shifters. Shifting from down in the drops is difficult or impossible, but if I’m down there it’s usually because I’m cruising down hill, already at mach 3, and not intending to shift anytime soon.

The Gevenalle shifters can be praised for their functionality. They are lightweight, simple, durable, and rebuildable. They don’t care if they’re caked in mud or bathed in the blood of your enemies or whatever. But they’re also just really fun. I shift a lot more frequently with these than I ever did with STI. They inspire a closer connection to the vehicle, perhaps similar to manually shifting an automobile. Having both visual and haptic feedback on where you are in your gears and how much move movement you have in either direction is fantastic. I refer to the front shifter as my hyperdrive switch. Anytime the rear shifter is moved all the way outboard and I flick the front all the way to the right I know shit is about to get real.

Many of the strengths of the Gevenalle shifters could also be claimed by bar-end or downtube setups, but Gevenalle allows you to keep all your in-flight controls in one place. I value being able to shift, brake, and flick my ding-ding all without moving my hands. I think this is especially important for city riding, when everything else on the road is actively trying to kill you. (And I still like using my bar-ends for mirrors, too.)

With Gevenalle, the brake cables run under the tape. Shift cables shoot out the side, like STI shifters of yore. When I installed them I made sure to cut my cables and housing long enough so that I had enough space to move the cables aside and shove my rando bag or bikepacking harness between them. It hasn’t been an issue. Back when STI shifters had this kind of cable routing, I used v-brake noodles to open up space for a bag. I haven’t found that necessary with Gevenalle shifters.

Rando Ready

I’m not sure that I’d ever want to use a non-Gevenalle shift setup on a drop bar bike again.

Link Log 2022-10-25

Haas Ausruestungen: Flightgear for Collectors

GervVetUSA: Veterinary Surgical Instruments

Retro Digital Dashboards by Daniel Lazo

Law Enforcement Guide To Satanic Cults

The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle

The secondary market in gift cards

Baghdad by the Bay

Link Log 2022-09-19

Life After Lifestyle

Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?

“Life Goes On” With Stewart Brand

Yeti Coolers Are Luxury Goods for Bros

Facebook Has No Idea What Data It Has

The Golden Gate

Link Log 2022-08-31

On being a “Gray” man

Mediocrity Goes Electronic

Scientists Grow Plants in Lunar Soil

Nancy Pelosi, China and the Slow Decline of the U.S. Military

Fish Eyes in your Kettle: Chinese Water Temperature Methods

Now Detroit is Selling $75K Pickup Trucks for the Cappuccino Run

Bicycle Tea