Biker Bracelets: Leather or Metal?

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Biker bracelets look pretty awesome and are on the radar of even those who have nothing to do with motorcycle communities. The secret of their fascination is original designs and symbols steeped in mystery. Today, we’d like to talk about the phenomenon called biker bracelets. But before we jump into it, let’s learn why men wear bracelets in the first place. 

The History of Men’s Bracelets

Bracelets occurred when our ancestors still lived in caves. For primitive people, they carried a function of an amulet or distinctive sign. In addition, thick and wide leather strips protected the wrists of warriors and hunters from cuts and other kinds of damage. Bracelets tightly hugging the wrist helped reduce the risk of sprains during throwing a spear or lifting weights (such as carcasses of prey).

In Scandinavia, a wide leather bracelet handed by a leader considered to be the highest military promotion. Besides, a dense strip of leather protected the wrist from pricks with poisoned needles if an enemy contrived assassination through a handshake.

Due to the complexity of bracelet craft, they were available primarily to military leaders and chieftains. Gradually, wrist ornaments, especially those made of leather and metal, started playing the role of an indicator of a person’s status in society.

During the Middle Ages and several centuries afterward, men’s bracelets carried exclusively aesthetic functions. Bracelets adorned with precious stones and gold inserts were the privilege of the nobility and riches.

In the second half of the 20 century, bracelets became a hallmark of people belonging to subcultures – punks, rockers, bikers, Goths, etc. These were pretty hefty and formidable pieces designed to engage attention and express the individuality of their owners. Gradually, they revived the interest in bracelets among regular individuals, which significantly faded during the industrial revolution and the post-war period. Bracelets became thinner and more exquisite to cater to every sharp dresser. 

Types of Biker Bracelets

The very first biker bracelets were crafted from leather. Pretty wide and resembling a belt, they protected the wrist from the strain of holding onto hand grips for hours on end. Over time, biker bracelets lost their protective function. While wide leather bracelets are still relevant albeit only as a decorative means, many more models came on the scene. One of the most popular designs involves thin braided strips of leather woven into a pretty impressive piece of wrist jewelry. Sometimes, such bracelets feature charms made of metal, stones, or bones. 

Another distinct biker bracelet design features beads. Some models are made of beads entirely, they are a kind of nod to catholic rosaries. Other models combine beads with leather or metal chains. 

The most popular, however, are metal bracelets. Made of sterling silver, stainless steel, or brass, they provide durability and resilience appreciated by every motorcycle rider. When it comes to metal bracelets, the most common are thick and heavy chain models. The undisputable leaders in this category are Cuban or Curb link chain designs that mirror the look of hefty biker necklaces. At the same time, because individuality is one of the fundamental principles of the biker subculture, every rider wants to stand out. That’s why chain bracelets are available in many fancy styles. Instead of regular links, they feature bones and skulls, pistons and motorcycle chains, royal lilies and tribal patterns, and many others. 

Along with chain designs, men riding motorcycles choose cuffs and bangles. These heavy and typically wide body ornaments carry symbols common to the motorcycle subculture (flames, eagles, chopper images, skulls, and many others), gemstone inlays, or enamel. One of the benefits of such models is that they are easily adjustable to fit a wrist of any size.

One more awesome alternative to chain bracelets and bangles is ID bracelets. Basically, they have the features of both: the ID plate is wide and rigid akin to bangles, and it is attached to a chain. The beauty of ID bracelets is that you can give them individuality by carving something special on the plate. 

Pros and Cons of Leather and Metal Biker Bracelets

The most prominent benefit of biker leather bracelets is their versatility. If you opt for braided leather designs, you have a chance to wear them with business suits, casuals, sporty outfits, let alone motorcycle attire. Another argument for leather models is that they are suitable for men of any age, although they look the best with young and edgy.

Today, the trend for naturalness, environmental friendliness, and sustainability is on the rise. This means that your leather bracelet is going to be more relevant and up-to-date than other materials. Besides, leather is an excellent choice for those who live in concrete jungles. It retains the heat of the human body and reinforces the connection with nature.

The most obvious shortcoming of leather bracelets is their relatively short life. They don’t tolerate the elements and constant contact with sweat and skin secretions quickly destroy their appearance. If you require a bracelet for many seasons of your life, leather models are the way to go. Although, you will have to get used to the constant jingling, and the price of large and heavy bracelets made of noble metals can be quite exorbitant.

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