Reader Rachel contacted us with yet another tip for repurposing old inner tubes - is there anything they can't do?! She used some old tubes for handlebar wrap and her story is below. Thanks Rachel!
I found this 1989 Schwinn Traveler sitting next to a dumpster outside the building where I work. It needs some minor things done to it to make it ridable, but the easiest thing to fix that makes a huge difference right away is new handlebar tape.
I saw a tutorial on YouTube (see below) and have been saving my holey tubes ever since to reuse them just for this purpose. The bike only had one bar end plug, which I removed when I took off the gross old tape, so I was thinking a cork of some sort jammed into the ends might work. I also save corks from wine bottles because I'm crafty and never know when an opportunity might come to reuse something I've saved from the trash, so I went digging in my junk drawer looking for one I could cut in half when I saw one stopper I had saved from a bottle of olive oil. Ah ha!
This would work perfectly because the cork part is attached to a plastic cap, and the cork just happens to be the right girth to fit into a bar end. I knew I had another one in that drawer, so I found that one, wrapped my bars, and stuffed the stoppers into the bar ends. I think they add a certain amount of charm to the handlebars now, and the cost for everything was free. Magnifico!
Here is the YouTube video referenced above: