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Making handle bar grips from a bowling ball containing Vulcanite Plastic or from other materials

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New Mexico Brant

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Umm hmmm. Next, I suppose you'll be telling me Dodo birds and Unicorns are extinct too.
Who needs grips anymore, they are so old fashioned. This is what the cool kids are doing.
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OldMarine

On Training Wheels

Hardrider

Look Ma, No Hands!
superb article by Mike Cates, adding to our knowledge of the history of the bicycle in America. In my experience I have a box of broken, original grips which could not sustain the fall most high wheelers enounter, as the material is brittle and subject to any impact. Recently I acquired a high wheeler with bowling ball material substitute grips. On its first outing it fell and cracked the grip. this is why I always make the replacements with hard wood, painted or varnished to look like the originals. They can take the impact, usually with a small mark or scuff. Many of the English imported high wheelers used hard wood for the grips, although some tried the ivory or horn material in that pre TOC era.
 

mike cates

I live for the CABE
I agree with Hardrider that using a tougher grip if you are actually using the bicycle that will eventually have an encounter with the road via falling, crashing, etc.
VICTORS (Overman Wheel Company Boston and Chicopee, Mass) originally used hardwood grips that were painted black on their high wheel and hard tire safety bicycles.
Another note is on COLUMBIA bicycles concerning their DOUBLE GRIPS offered on their high wheel bicycles. They were made of Vulcanite Plastic. There is a dedicated right side and left side grip and they had the name DOUBLE GRIP and Patent dates cast into the grip which was rotationally molded leaving the grip hollow inside and also very brittle upon impact. If you have an original pair of COLUMBIA DOUBLE GRIPS, check on the underside near the metal ferrule for this cast in script information if you didn't know this already.
COLUMBIA spade grip handles were also rotationally molded and were hollow inside as well leading to cracking easily upon impact.
Mike Cates, CA.
 
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Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
A favorite bicycle reconstruction blog of mine talks about finding old Lignum Vitae lawn bowling balls as grip material- a very hard and very tough wood that emphatically won't shatter on impact. Old materials are out there if you get smart and crafty!
 
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