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Verdict: 
High quality bar tape with excellent finish and comfort, with a price tag to match
Weight: 
42g
Contact: 
Ritchey Race Bar Tape
7 10

Ritchey's WCS Race Bar Tape is a high quality offering, and it puts in a very good performance as well as looking exceptionally pretty. It's not quite as good in the wet as some I've tried, and it's expensive, but the comfort and grip it offers is very good.

This superlight PU tape isn't as stretchy as some, but that doesn't make it especially hard to fit and it's possible to get a nice tight wrap without too much hassle. The lack of stretchiness also means you can't spread it too thinly, like you can with expanded PU tape; that means you get good cushioning for all hand positions.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The overall look is very classy. I had the black tape and it looks great on the bar. A range of colours are available to match your saddle. You do do that, right? You get Ritchey finishing strips and silver plastic end plugs. The tape is perforated and embossed with the Ritchey logo.

Ritchey Race Bar Tape 2.jpg

Ritchey Race Bar Tape 2.jpg

The tape is very comfortable, offering good grip and padding. It's one of the most plush-feeling tapes I've tried, with the brushed finish giving it a luxurious feel. When it's wet it's not quite as grippy as something like Lizard Skins DSP, or the excellent Radial Cycles Grippy bar tape, but it's still good. It's nicer-looking than either of those two tapes, and for a Sunday-best build that might be a higher priority. If you're just looking for the tape to perform well then it does, no doubt.

> How to wrap handlebar tape

I'd be hard pressed to justify spending nearly three times as much as I would on the Radial tape, unless I needed it in a funky colour. It's a similar price to Lizard Skins and other colourful options such as Fizik Performance, although you're more likely to find those brands discounted online.

Overall the performance is very good, the value more of a question mark. If you won't miss the £30 and you want something classy to finish off a posh build, then it's well worth a look.

Verdict

High quality bar tape with excellent finish and comfort, with a price tag to match

road.cc test report

Make and model: Ritchey Race Bar Tape

Size tested: 1.8mm thick

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?

"When everything is on the line, questioning your handlebar wrap shouldn't be on your mind. Just the right amount of cushion and a grippy feel for enhanced hand to bar interaction. Available in an assortment of colors."

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

* Superlight PU with perforations, 1.8mm thick

* Embossed RITCHEY Logo

* Available in multiple colors

* Only 63g.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

It's very nice bar tape.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfort, good looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Expensive, not as good in the wet as some.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Good performance and looks; expensive considering the other options available though.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.