How to shellac your bars on the way home from grocery shopping

After work I made a run to the co-op for some provisions. My panniers were full up and I still needed to stop at the hardware store for some shellac to finish the knotty pine walls in the new basement rec room my dad and I built last week. What to do with no SUV?

He may not have invented the idea, but I think Grant Peterson of Bridgestone/Rivendell Bicycles can be credited with the handlebar shellac revival.  Since then, everybody from Out Your Back Door, to Bike Villa to Lovely Bicycle has given it a try and handed out DIY advice on what I consider to be a modification of dubious benefit.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge beetle fan. Afterall, beetles are arthropods and so the most abundant animals on the planet. And shellac is made from beetle secretions (to be polite) and denatured alcohol. Who doesn’t like the beetles and alcohol? 

No SUV? I got yer shellac right here...

I love shellac for all kinds of things.  Well, mostly for finishing wood.  OK, just for finishing wood if you don’t count Steve Albini’s band.  If you count that, I like listening to Shellac when I am feeling like rocking out while getting creeped out at the same time. Albini is a disturbed musical genius, sensitive listeners would be advised to stay away. As far as shellac on handlebars goes, it makes grippy cork grips slippery when wet and turns softish bar tape hard.  Those are all no nos in most books on almost every kind of vehicle/human steering interface.  But you can’t go wrong with shellac for finishing your rec room walls.


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Equipment, How to, Rides and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How to shellac your bars on the way home from grocery shopping

  1. Tim says:

    This may be the first blog ever to reference bike panniers, beetle secretions and Steve Albini in the same post. Nice work.

  2. Russell says:

    Puhls Hardware – folks can keep their Home Despot, there’s nothing better then a locally-owned hardware store.

  3. Jason says:

    I second Russel’s sentiment, although I noticed that Candy Raisins are no longer in stock at Puhl’s 😦
    Dave, Did you take Oma up the 68th St hill?

    • daveschlabowske says:

      No, the steeper hill behind Outpost. Loaded with groceries it was a bit of a struggle for Oma, but with typical Dutch reserve, she did not complain.

  4. Jim Tarantino says:

    Grant Peterson and Steve Albini in one post, impressive in print though I imagine excessive personality should they meet in person.

  5. arlen says:

    you are lucky the pot handles stayed connected to the 1 gallon pots

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