Bicycle handlebars are not just important to control your bike. Leather handlebars add to both style and comfort. Do they beat man-made handlebar materials?
Man-made materials can be inexpensive and provide good value for what you pay. Yet at the same time, some bar grips come with their fair share of challenges. They may not be the most durable material that you can find on the market and it is surprising how many people ride with rough or torn tape on their handlebars.
What a difference leather handlebars make! It immediately looks amazing, particularly if you have a matching Brooks saddle and leather handlebars. It really shows that you have a special bike, and the durability is excellent but the higher cost of leather has restricted the market to purists.
Whether you want to use leather handlebars or not, that’s up to you of course. But most people will tell you that this is a very good option for serious touring riders.
Obviously there is a greater colour choice for your own choice of “bike bling” if you go for some of the modern materials such as polyurethane and other synthetics, particularly if you take the Mikrotex approach and have foam cushioning for a more comfortable ride, particularly when it is of longer duration.