Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Silicone Gel

6
£34.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Grippy, but difficult to wrap and not that comfortable – and it's expensive too
Weight: 
97g
Contact: 

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One of the priciest tapes on the market, Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Silicone Gel bar tape doesn't really perform well enough to justify it, in my opinion. The grip is very good, especially in the wet, but the 'Kush' isn't as nice on the hands as others and it's difficult to wrap.

  • Pros: Grippy in the wet
  • Cons: Price, not easy to wrap, wears quite quickly

Supacaz certainly has a distinctive style and offers possibly the widest selection of colours and finishes, including some amazingly shiny hologram effects. This Super Sticky Kush tape is designed for high performance and elimination of all vibrations.

I'm a big fan of evenly wrapped bar tape. It finishes the bike well and ensures that the tape will grip the bar properly. Good tape makes this a five-minute job.

Annoyingly, the lack of stretch in this tape makes fitting it a bit challenging. It's certainly much easier to achieve a consistent wrap with a cork tape like Pro's Bar Tape (£10) or Lizard Skins DSP (£34), both of which I've bought a few times over the years.

The lack of stretch also leaves raised edges all the way up the bar. This is despite me putting maximum effort into stretching the tape to get it as flat as possible. It's not a tidy finish.

My bike also has Di2 sprint shifters which presented a real challenge to get right. This hasn't been an issue with previous tapes and, again, the issue is the lack of stretch.

The finishing tape is by far the best that I've come across, though electrical tape still does the job just fine. The aluminium bar end caps are well made and, thanks to the expander plug inside, they're easy to install. Once fitted the plugs are very secure, one thing that I've never found with the Lizard Skins DSP tape.

Once installed and out on the road, the feel of the tape is firm in the hands. The low-profile tape is constructed with a 'Kush foam' in the middle, which is designed to maximise damping via a nano amount of foam. This didn't feel as plush as my go-to Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm tape and my hands were feeling a bit more of the road than usual.

I wouldn't say the tape was uncomfortable to use, but if you're looking for something to soak up road buzz there are better options out there. Elimination of all vibrations? Unfortunately not.

Grip, on the other hand, is very good and remains that way when the rain begins to fall. The 'super sticky PU' upper layer stays that way in the wet, providing confidence and requiring less effort to grip the bars.

This grip is most notable when down in the drops giving it the beans in a sprint. The tape is also pretty good at staying put under sprinting pressure. I've been using this for racing over a two-month period and the tape hasn't budged.

> Read more road.cc reviews of bar tape and grips here

That upper layer has started to show some signs of wear, though. It's most visible where the shifter hoods meet the tape, and while it's only visible when I'm on the bike, it's a faster wear rate than I'd expect of such an expensive tape.

Thankfully, you can re-wrap it as the backing won't peel and the tape comes off very cleanly.

Price is the biggest sticking point for me. There is plenty of bar tape out there for around a tenner that'll do a perfectly good job. If you want better grip in the wet then, yes, you might need to pay a bit more. But seeing as the Supacaz and my usual Lizard Skins DSP tape go for roughly the same price, I'll be sticking with the DSP.

Yes, you get fabulous wet weather grip, but the difficulty in wrapping, the harshness of the ride, wear, and untidy finish outweigh it for me.

Verdict

Grippy, but difficult to wrap and not that comfortable – and it's expensive too

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Silicone Gel

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?

From Supacaz: "Super Sticky Kush is the bar tape of choice for 3x World Champion Peter Sagan. Fusing performance and style, Supacaz delivers the only bar tape worth dreaming about. We boldly claim that Super Sticky Kush is the best bar tape ever. Silicone Gel dampens and eliminates all vibrations for the smoothest ride."

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

From Supacaz:

1 Set includes:

2- Super Sticky Kush Silicone Gel tape rolls

2- Aluminum Laser Etched Star Plugz (Powder Coated or Anodized)

2- High End Rubberized Finish Tapes

Super Sticky PU (top layer): Superior supple hand feel with long lasting performance. Extremely advanced polyurethane that remains tacky in wet conditions. Highly resistant to UV rays, climate, and sweat.

Kush Foam (middle layer): Exclusive compound that maximizes dampening via a nano amount of foam. Shock absorbing qualities that drastically improve bike handling in the corners, downhill, and in rough conditions.

Silicone Gel: This backing provides additional comfort and vibration dampening.

Emboss: The tape is completed with the embossment of the beloved Supacaz pattern. The embossment creates the unique Supacaz look and wicks away moisture which maximizes grip.

Star Plugz:

Aluminum Bar Plugs

Screw&Expand (3mm)

Anodized or Powder Coated

Laser Etched logo

Finish Tape:

High-End Rubberized Tape (Multi-Use)

Supacaz Pattern Frost Print

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The top layer is great in terms of performance. But after two months, it has begun to wear. The tape needs more stretch to make it easier to wrap and make the finish cleaner.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Grip in the wet is great; damping vibration not so great.

Rate the product for durability:
 
4/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
5/10

It's not as effective at damping vibration as I'd expected from Supacaz's claims.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

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

Its main attribute is that it provides high levels of grip in wet weather.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The wet weather grip is really good and beats my usual Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm tape.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Wrapping this was a nightmare. And to get it done and then realise out on the road that the comfort claims aren't supported is very disappointing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

About the same as the other high-end tapes.

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's expensive, hard to wrap and doesn't provide a huge amount of cushioning, but it is very grippy in wet weather.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.