Arundel Gecko Grip Bar Tape  £15.00

7/10

Marked improvement over traditional cork bar tape and just as easy to live with but the adhesive backing and finishing strips weren't much cop on our sample

Weight 72g   Contact  www.saddleback.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   January 21, 2012  

Arundel Gecko Grip - White

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Arundel Gecko Grip bar tape and I got off to a bad start thanks to our test sample's hit n' miss adhesive and ineffectual finishing strips. However, things improved and while it's not quite on par with my all time favourite Lizard Skins DSP it does have a similarly reptilian name. It also does much the same thing at a lower price and is easily rewound should you need to replace a control cable, add an interrupter brake lever or indeed change bars.

Measuring 3cm wide and a smidge shy of 3mm thick, there's plenty for dressing the widest of flared drops, allowing graceful double-ups at key contact points (especially the tops and lower drop sections) without resorting to the brake clamp strips. We all know the drill by now but Arundel inject a bit of humorous observation into their instructions for a quick chuckle.

Assuming you've stripped the bars of existing tape and wiped them down with solvent, it's a question of starting at the bottom and weaving upwards,overlapping by 5/10mm to suit. Achieving showroom perfect effect demands patience since the material isn't particularly malleable and requires firm tensioning to prevent it unravelling frustratingly at the crucial moment. I overcame this by holding everything in situ with the finishing strips before capturing the tops permanently using top-notch electrical stuff.

Purchase, comfort and control is vastly superior to traditional coverings, in gloved or bare hands, inspiring confidence whether hammering along sweeping singletrack, winding descents in the pouring rain or simply weaving through lines of stationary traffic. Shock absorbency across inclement or changeable surfaces matches cork without the natural fibre's remoteness, which bodes well for Audax and mixed terrain touring. Thankfully the black hides a multitude of sins and seems more tolerant of judicious brush cleaning compared with some polymer blends - so long as you stick with mild soapy water. However, there's white, blue, red or yellow should you prefer a more lively livery.

200 early-season miles in and longevity looks promising, although I've heard reports of the dimpled texture wearing smooth in key areas after six months daily service.

Verdict

Marked improvement over traditional cork bar tape and just as easy to live with but the adhesive backing and finishing strips weren't much cop on our sample.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Arundel Gecko Grip

Size tested: White and Black

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?

"Gecko grip is our goofy name for a new style of bar tape made from cushy EVA foam and ventilated polyurethane in a laminated, layered construction with a strip of adhesive on the back. Gecko grip has a rubbery feel and is 'grippy' compared to cork tape. It lays flat on the wrapped bars and has a slightly thinner feel than our cork tape. It doesn't absorb sweat as easily as cork tape and can be wiped off with a wet rag in seconds. Gecko grip is now our favourite spring and summer tape. This stuff is awesome. It even works in Cyclocross and is easier to clean up when muddy! At the time of this writing, it's just getting to be winter and our Gecko is working really good, so Gecko grip might become our all-time favourite!".

Generally does everything it promises on the packaging and at a very reasonable price too.

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

· Grippy tape

· EVA foam backed for comfort

· 5 great colours, black,white,blue,red,yellow

· 2x rolls enough for a standard drop bar

· Includes end plugs finishing tape and instructions

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Generally very hardy but the adhesive and sealing strips lacked bite, which is both blessing and curse.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Early impressions seem favourable. Only time will tell.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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

The Gecko is a remarkablly comfortable, easy to live with alternative to cork and conventional glossy types. Priced just right for every day riding and cyclo-cross, its tenacious all weather charm puts it hot on the heels of more expensive established polymer blends.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Excellent cushioning,tactile, grippy texture and relatively low maintenance.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Mine needed patience and good quality aftermarket electrical tape to acheive pleasing effect.

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: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Malleable.....it may well be maulable...if I tried winding it....!

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [514 posts]
22nd January 2012 - 18:46

3 Likes

Here it is in situ....

Arundel gecko bar wrap.jpg
Shaun Audane's picture

posted by Shaun Audane [758 posts]
23rd January 2012 - 14:27

5 Likes

You missed a bit. Tongue

Life behind bars.

Graham Howell's picture

posted by Graham Howell [55 posts]
26th January 2012 - 20:18

5 Likes

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