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

Supacaz Kush Detail.JPG

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.

Supacaz Wrap Issues Di2.JPG

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.

Supacaz Kush Bar End.JPG

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:
 
3/10

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. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

17 comments

Avatar
Prosper0 [208 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

A shame, I quite fancied a set of these. 

 

A trend in fancy bar tape seems to be the bolt plug ends, but they must be relatively heavy compared to bog standard plastic ones. Not great.  

Avatar
fenix [1188 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

A slightly heavier bar end plug isn't going to slow you down.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3598 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes
fenix wrote:

A slightly heavier bar end plug isn't going to slow you down.

Heresy!

Avatar
Another_MAMIL [4 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

I’m going to have to disagree with the review.

I love my Supacaz bar tape and find it supremely comfy, grippy in the wet and durable. Plus there are loads of great colour options and Supacaz bar ends are superb.

Supacaz came top rated in one of the magazine tests, but perhaps all this shows is that bar tape’s quite a personal preference.

Avatar
Maneki Nico [2 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

Shame this wasn't published a week earlier as I just installed this tape on my bike. Definitely concur with the "difficult to wrap" assessment.

The Alu bar plugs weigh about 28 g a pair. Supacaz also sell plastic push-in plugs that weigh 5 g a pair. I may or may not have weighed these.  

Avatar
Butty [328 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Can't say I've had any issue with wrapping Supacaz tape, nor with its feel.

I also buy it for £20-£25, depending on pattern, so its a preety average price.

Lasts longer than Lizard tape which I always wear away the top layer.

Avatar
Linkan [16 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Not to take away from opinions here but the reviewed bar tape is not the same as the supacaz sticky kush (which is both awesome and durable). The reviewer is not knocking the brand, just the silicone gel tape. 

Avatar
Liam Cahill [167 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Linkan wrote:

Not to take away from opinions here but the reviewed bar tape is not the same as the supacaz sticky kush (which is both awesome and durable). The reviewer is not knocking the brand, just the silicone gel tape. 

Yea, I think this might have been unclear. The 'Silicone Gel' version of this tape seems to have zero stretch. Davey Arthur reviewed the standard Kush and really liked it. I'm guessing that Another_MAMIL has the standard stuff?
Oh and thanks for weighing the end caps Maneki Nico! They seem to be very good at staying in the bar, which can't be said of the Lizard Skins end caps.

Avatar
Joe Totale [158 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Maneki Nico wrote:

Shame this wasn't published a week earlier as I just installed this tape on my bike. Definitely concur with the "difficult to wrap" assessment.

The Alu bar plugs weigh about 28 g a pair. Supacaz also sell plastic push-in plugs that weigh 5 g a pair. I may or may not have weighed these.  

Despite being a weight weenie of sorts I've always vastly preferred metal bar end plugs with expander plugs. Plastic push in ones in my experience fall out after about 2 weeks. 

With regards to the Supercaz tape, it's decent stuff IMO, I didn't find it too tricky to wrap and it's nice to the touch. The range of colours is also appealing as well for those of us who can't stand black bartape. However,  I would say that Lizard Skins is still the gold standard in terms of touch, ease of wrapping and also how easy it is to reapply if you have to unwrap it. 

Avatar
StraelGuy [1689 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Just re-done one half of the bar on my Strael with this stuff (the non-silicon kush) and i don't like it at all. It has zero stretch so it rucks up won't lay flat around any obstructions or sticky out bits. I do all my own mechanicing and freely admit to being useless at bar wrapping but I don't like this stuff at all.

Avatar
jimt [36 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

+1 on the stretch/wrapping difficult. Almost impossable to get it looking tidy round bends. At the other end of the scale is something like Fabric silicone tape. so stretchy you can wrap it over itsself and it will just stay. no need for finishing tape! 

Avatar
The _Kaner [1191 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

I found no issues using the regular Kush tape.

I found it stretchy enough, pliant and very easy to wrap with.

 

Avatar
Liam Cahill [167 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
The _Kaner wrote:

I found no issues using the regular Kush tape.

I found it stretchy enough, pliant and very easy to wrap with.

 

Hold up.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate a top quality wrap? Extra points for the clean colour transfer, matching with the paintwork, and exquisite end-cap action!

Avatar
Plasterer's Radio [528 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Lifeline bar tape is just fine for me.

BTW. No one ever got dropped because their bar end plugs were too heavy!

Avatar
matthewn5 [1341 posts] 1 day ago
0 likes

What are those bars, Liam? (those in the photos, not the video).

Love the shape!

Avatar
Liam Cahill [167 posts] 1 day ago
1 like
matthewn5 wrote:

What are those bars, Liam? (those in the photos, not the video).

Love the shape!

Good old Zipp Service Course SL 88. Gives a nice flat run into the shifter and a properly flat end to the drops. Drop shape for sprinting isn't the best, but they're incredibly comfy for long rides.

Avatar
matthewn5 [1341 posts] 15 hours ago
0 likes
Liam Cahill wrote:
matthewn5 wrote:

What are those bars, Liam? (those in the photos, not the video).

Love the shape!

Good old Zipp Service Course SL 88. Gives a nice flat run into the shifter and a properly flat end to the drops. Drop shape for sprinting isn't the best, but they're incredibly comfy for long rides.

Cheers! Having grown up with GB bars in the 70s I've always had a hankering for a set that would work with STIs/ergopowers. Most of the old style have too-steep ramps for modern equipment.