I’ve been running bar tape for the last five years, mainly because I prefer the feel of it and there’s the option to either have thicker or thinner grips depending on your personal preference. I like to run a medium thickness, that way I don’t get sore hands when riding but I’m still able to have good feeling of the bar, which I find is often lost with thick grips.
I have tried a number of different bar tape brands and have run into a few problems with cheaper ones, which often have a glossy finish that is quite slippery, particularly when it gets wet, i.e. from rain or excessive sweating. The tape has also come loose after only two or three rides on some of the cheaper ones, which I believe was due to a lower quality glue.
Over the last month, I have been running the SRAM Red Bar Tape and have been very happy with it. The glue has been super sticky and I have had no problems with it coming loose, even after having ridden semi-finals in the rain, at the World Cup in France. The general feel of the bar tape is great as well – it’s soft but the finish still has loads of grip, which really impressed me. One pair allowed me to wrap the handlebars on my trials bike four times, so it should be possible to get something similar for a mountain bike but you would probably be pushing it for a road bike setup.
When it comes to value for money, my overall review of the SRAM Red Bar Tape is that it’s excellent. Currently only $32.99 at Pushys, it’s not a killer and its performance has met all my needs – ample grip in wet and dry conditions, a great, soft feel, and I have had several applications from one pair. I would definitely recommend this to anyone running bar tape or considering changing to it.
By Janine Jungfels – Pushys Sponsored Athlete
If you’ve never used bar tape before and want to give it a try, check out our article on how to wrap bar tape yourself.