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Topic: DIY bicycle cork grips (detailed instructions)  (Read 8497 times)
Tags for this thread: bike , bicycle , cork , foam , handlebar  Add new tag
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« on: May 31, 2010 10:59:58 PM »

I recently got a twist shifter for my three speed. This is extremely awesome and I love shifting gears constantly now, but the vintage grip didnít quite match my newer one. Admittedly, it wasnít a huge difference, but I knew I could do something fabulous.

My custom grip shifter is made out of cork paper that is painted and hot glued on. For the other side I also used craft foam.

So you want to make your own now, right?

I wrapped my handlebar in craft foam so that the grip would be the same thickness as the twist shifter, and itís really nice having that extra padding. Choose a complimentary color foam because it will show on the edge of the grip. Cut the foam to the length you want for the grip, and wide enough to wrap around the bar once or twice, depending on your preference. Glue the foam to your handlebar by applying glue a few inches at a time until youíve completely circled the bar. Place the edge of the foam on the bottom of the handlebar.

Make sure that the end of the foam is flush with the end of the bar, and keep it tight while youíre wrapping.

Trace the circumference of the wrapped bar onto a piece of foam and cut it out. Glue this onto the end of the bar. You could also use a cool bottle cap if you like, but I didnít have any on hand that I was fond of.

Next itís time for the cork. Cut out a circle from the cork paper about 1″ larger in diameter than the foam end cap. When youíre cutting the foam use a sharp blade or scissors and be careful: the cork fibers can tear apart very easily. I recommend putting an awesome design on your endcap either with acrylic paint or even Sharpies. When youíre satisfied, glue the cork end onto the foam.

You will need to cut wedges out of the cork so that the edges will lay flat when they are glued down. Cut as close to the edge of the foam as possible without tearing or leaving any gaps! I cut 10 wedges, each about 1/4″ wide at the outside end. Glue the flaps down onto the foam, going a few at a time.

So that the outer layer of cork is smooth, you will need to add a base layer of cork. It should go from the edges of the endcap flaps to the end of the foam. Tightly wrap this around the grip and glue down.

Now youíre ready for the final layer of cork. I painted mine a solid color before gluing it on. You may also be able to paint any designs on it at this point, depending on what your design is (if you want a spiral you will have to wait until the cork is glued onto the handlebar so that the stripes will line up correctly). Apply a line of hot glue to the wrong (unpainted) side of the cork and attach this to the underside of the handlebar. Wrap the rest of the cork around the grip, gluing along the way, and securely glue the end.

The final step is to decorate!

For more info, visit my new website!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010 11:04:10 PM by julibooli » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010 11:35:27 PM »


"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains" - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"This book doesn't have any answers!" - The Simpsons Movie

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