Cinelli make some of the best bar tape around, I've been using their superb Gel tape for years, so perhaps they can be forgiven for this novelty glow in the dark tape.
Presumably the make up of the tape is dictated by the luminous component because this stuff is very firm. It feels like a dense foam and once wrapped a comparative squish test revealed it to be much harder than my usual tape. You can feel this on the road, it just doesn't have the same cushioning effect. The colour isn't all that appealing either, a sort of off-white with a hint of green. It certainly isn't a tape to enhance the looks of a classy machine. My wife took one look and said that it looked as if my bars had been replaced by maggots. Nice!
It took just one ride to get the tape dirty, which is the peril of any light coloured bar tape. You can use WD40, or similar, to clean tape but I tend to find that there are two types of people in the world, those who clean their bar tape and those who don't. I'm in the latter camp because frankly, life is too short. Anyway, the foam make up of this particular tape means that once grot and grime have got into the material, they don't like to come out. In fact, the life span of this tape is likely to be dictated by how long it takes to get unbearably dirty rather than by the time it takes to wear out.
But hey, enough of the dry chin-stroking, this stuff glows in the dark, right? How cool is that! Well, yes, I'm as much of a sucker for anything that glows as anyone so I was quite excited at first. Like most glow in the dark stuff it needs a few minutes under lights to charge up and then gradually runs down. It glows bright green, which is pretty striking, but soon fades and if you're riding under street lights, or with a decent head light, the effect is diminished. It doesn't really work as a safety measure, although the reflective end plugs are neat, and to be honest I'm racking my brain for a practical application, especially as this stuff is pretty expensive. Answers on a virtual postcard please...
Novelty value over function. The glow soon fades and it's not that great as a bar tape either.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cinelli Reflective Glow bar tape
Size tested: n/a
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?
Quoth Cinelli - "A tape with unique glowing characteristics.
The light is stored and gradually released in the darkness.
Equipped with light reflecting end plugs.
Always be safe."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's bar tape that glows in the dark.
It's a very firm tape with a slightly dry feel, more like a very dense foam.
Not great, it's too firm.
It's quite a firm tape and feels like it should last for ages, but being pale it gets grubby very quickly and dirty off-white tape is never a good look.
Not the most comfortable bar tape that you can get.
At £17 this is at the expensive end of the bar tape market and really you're just paying extra for the novelty value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Lumen tape provides much less cushioning compared to the Cinelli Gel tape that I normally use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It glows! In the dark! The reflective end plugs are a nice touch.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's too firm for my taste and the awful off-white colour looks even worse when it's dirty.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not much
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,