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Radial Cycles' Grippy bar tape gives you pretty much everything you might expect from a £20 bar tape for a tenner. It's great.
The tape itself is polyurethane, with a diamond-textured finish that gives excellent levels of grip in the wet and the dry. It's pretty stretchy, which makes it easy to apply, and the edges are tapered to give a smooth finish. Running along the back of the tape there's a generous gel strip, which also acts as the adhesive to keep the tape in place.
Once the tape is on it stays firmly put and the level of cushioning you get is excellent. I swapped some standard Deda cork tape out for the Radial tape and the difference is immediately noticeable. It's much plusher and grippier too. A 185cm roll was just enough for my 44cm wide bars; I was close wrapping around the shoulder to give a bit of extra comfort when you're on the hoods so if you were more sparing there you'd have plenty for even wider. You'll need to cut off a bit to cover the shifter band as the tape doesn't come with a strip for that. It does come with finishing tape to seal the wrap, but it's not as effective as normal insulating tape.
Overall, it's excellent. Standard cork tape will cost you eight quid and this stuff is miles better for hardly any more. It's as good as many tapes that cost twice as much. Providing you don't want a snazzy colour (black, white and grey are your options) it's definitely one to recommend.
Great bar tape that's easy to fit, comfortable and cheap
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Make and model: Radial Cycles Grippy bar tape
Size tested: Black/white , length 185cm, width 3cm
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?
Our Grippy bar tape is adapted to endure whatever the elements can throw at it. It has a PU base making it as water resistant as possible, combined with an all over textured surface ensuring a great grip even in wet conditions. This tape is perfect for every sort of cycling, from a summer spin through to those deep winter training slogs.
Benefiting from an additional layer of shock absorbing gel which helps reduce impacts and vibrations, this handlebar tape is perfect for when the road gets rough. The gel acts as an adhesive backing and the tape has tapered edges to ensure a flush, professional finish. Available in black, grey or white to suit your bike's style.
Supplied with 2 bar ends and 2 strips of finishing tape
Suitable for: All weathers
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to fit, really comfortable, grippy, cheap.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 42 Height: 189cm Weight: 91kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR
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, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.