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Verdict: 
Comfortable and smart looking with neat bar plug & wide range of colours
Weight: 
130g
Contact: 
www.silverfish-uk.com
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape
8 10

When it comes to choosing new bar tape for your road bike, there is no shortage of choices. California-based Supacaz may not be the most well known name in this market but their Super Sticky Kush tape is an excellent performer with a really nice cushioned feel. The smart screw-in bar end plugs help justify the high price tag.

A look at the Supacaz website reveals an almost dizzying choice of colours, and lots of split colour schemes if you want a different colour on the drops compared to the tops, so loads opportunity for customising your bike if you find black or white, the two most popular bar tape colours, just too restrictive. I'm a bit of a fan of white bar tape (year-round) and so chose the all-white colour option.

Easy install

It's a nice shade of white and finished with a very faint pattern, you only really notice it up close. This pattern helps to line up the tape as you're wrapping it around the bars. It's easy to install, helped by the good degree of stretch available in the tape to pull it taut around the handlebars.

The backing is lined with a thin strip of sticker tape, a little unnecessary in my book as the tension of the tape is usually enough to secure it in place. Supercaz give you a generous length of tape too so there's no issue with coming up short on bigger handlebars. You don't get any of the extra little sections of tape usually supplied, to go around the brake lever clamp, but a figure of eight wrap sorts that out easily enough. You could always snip a bit of the end of the tape if you prefer the other method.

Star Plugs

Rather than have you press a cheap plastic bar plug into the end of the handlebars, Supacaz include their very neat Star Plugs. They're made from aluminium with an expanding wedge inside operated by a 3mm Allen key, with laser etched graphics. Simply push into the end of the handlebar, tighten the bolt and you're left with a very neat and tidy finish. This really sets the Supacaz bar tape apart, and certainly helps offset the rather high price.

The performance of the tape is top notch too. It's nicely padded, with just enough squish to provide good vibration damping and offers a little extra comfort. I've tested a lot of bar tape in my time and this is among the nicest I've used, with a satisfying feel in the hands that adds to the pleasure of riding a bicycle. The tape has a high level of grip too, and that makes riding without gloves easy as, even when sweaty, the tape is non-slip. Durability has been good so far too, and the white colour is easily cleaned.

Not all bar tape is created equal and the performance of the Supacaz tape puts it among the best available. Pricey, but the Star Plugs are a very nice feature

Verdict

Comfortable and smart looking with neat bar plug & wide range of colours

road.cc test report

Make and model: Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape

Size tested: Neon blue

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Supacaz produces the flashiest high end cycling accessories and apparel in the world. With one eye on performance, another on quality and a firm grasp on style, Supacaz perfectly blends the their elements to come up with a range of products that work as good as they look! Bar tape is the critical contact point between your hands and the bicycle. The patented Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Handlebar Tape is the most advanced bar tape ever made providing unparalleled comfort, control and longevity whilst simultaneously upgrading the look of your pride and joy.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Anti-slip for super grip

Shockproof silicone gel

No more gloves

Last 5 times longer than traditional bar tape

Bar plugs are powercoated and laser etched

Easy installation

Includes 2 x Star Plugz

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Really nice feel, grippy and cushioning.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Still early days but the tape is holding up well with daily abuse, and it's easy to keep clean.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Not as cushioning as the ESI grips I tested recently, but for thin bar tape, a decent amount of vibration absorption.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Pricey, but the smart bar end plugs really offer a lot of extra value.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

There's load of choice when in the market for new bar tape, making a decision really difficult, and the Supacaz bar tape is a top choice that performs well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable and feels good. Love the bar end plugs.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The sticky back lining; not entirely convinced it's necessary.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

15 comments

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John_the_Monkey [437 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

One for a long term test?

I've always found that the grippier the tape, the grubbier it gets over time...

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David Arthur @d... [698 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
John_the_Monkey wrote:

One for a long term test?

I've always found that the grippier the tape, the grubbier it gets over time...

Yes know what you mean. Well it's still on the bike and is still looking clean at the moment, after plenty of riding and racing in all weathers. The tape cleans up well when I'm washing the bike with a squirt of bike cleaner so that helps

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dodgy [201 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

No bar tape is worth £37.95. It's a consumable.

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Duncann [644 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
dodgy wrote:

No bar tape is worth £37.95. It's a consumable.

Absolutely. That's bonkers.

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andybwhite [250 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

quote: "The smart screw-in bar end plugs help justify the high price tag."

no it doesn't! David Arthur has lost touch with reality.  29

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edster99 [336 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

£37.95 ? Not for me. Maybe (maybe) the plugs could be priced at a tenner if they look really good - i mean, are they any more complex than a seatpost clamp ? Thats still another £28 for the tape...

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finbar [128 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

+1 on £37.95 for bartape being mind-bogglingly ridiculous.

I remember a few years ago road.cc reaming a Rapha silk scarf as being terrible value at £50 relative to a £13 buff. How times have changed.

http://road.cc/content/review/11830-rapha-silk-scarf

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notfastenough [3706 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Even Lizard skins is cheap compared to this...

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nowasps [453 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

That's the blackest white tape I've ever seen.

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DeanF316 [136 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Dave hasn't paid £37.95 its a freebie from the importer so he can write a review. Road cc relies on advertisers to pay their wages so they never bite the hand that feeds them.

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andyp [1460 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
dodgy wrote:

No bar tape is worth £37.95.

in your opinion, of course. I'm happy to pay that.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

i bought it, got it for £28

to be honest its amazing and the parts of my bike i want have the best quality parts are the ones my hands and arse go on.

full rrp is a bit strong but who ever actually pays rrp?

the plugs are great i hate push in plastic plugs which make your bike look scabby and inevitably fall out at some point

and once again you saw the item on the review list, you saw the price.

if you dont like the idea of buying, nobody is forcing you to buy it. stop moaning1

all the comments ever seem to be on here these days are from the 'hoooooooooooooooooooow much????aldi do bartape for 20p brigade'

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pistol13 [14 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

What are the free bars that come with it?

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Bar tape features: "No more gloves"

No more gloves? What the fecking actual fecking feck are these neon crazed loons on?

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fukawitribe [1814 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
russyparkin wrote:

i hate push in plastic plugs which make your bike look scabby and inevitably fall out at some point

The plugs are indeed lovely, however you could try fitting tape and plastic plugs properly which should address your second point  3