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The Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape wraps well, offers a fair amount of protection on rough surfaces, looks good on the bars, and offers a decent amount of grip.
One of the first things you find out when testing bar tape is how easy it is to wrap. This offering from Brooks is, luckily, very simple, with the now standard sticky back protected by waxy paper.
I'm not the most proficient at taping bars, but I found I could get around my slightly awkwardly shaped handlebar pretty easily because, despite the tape having a fair amount of padding, it maintains a level of malleability, so I could get round corners and bends without causing folds and creases.
Once wrapped, the tape looks good – testament to how easy the tape is to wrap rather than my skills!
Brooks has included all the usual gubbins that modern bar tape comes, with bar ends that fit well, two additional strips for behind the levers, and a fabric finishing tape to put over the ends.
In use, I've found it comfortable over relatively long rides. It has a fair amount of padding, which takes the worst off the most jolting bumps, although you can get tapes that offer a little more.
It's grippy too; I used it in pretty much every condition and didn't have any issues with grip, even in torrential rain and while wearing full finger gloves.
I put the tape on my around town bike, which has meant it has been leant against walls, locked up outside, and generally thrown about a bit. After all of that there's no sign of particular wear, which suggests durability is going to be good.
It comes in a variety of colours too – you don't have to stick with black. Orange, blue and green are among the six others available.
For the quality of the tape and the decent finishing kit, the rrp of £30 seems reasonable. The Wolf Tooth Supple Lite Bar Tape that Neil looked tested in September is £1 less but doesn't have quite the same quality of bar end plug or texture for grip.
The Prime Comfort Handlebar Tape that Liam reviewed in July is £10 less and has a similar level of grip and cushioning, but not the finishing kit to match this.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Cambium Rubber tape. It's durable, grippy, and very simple to fit. It also looks good and Brooks has provided a high quality finishing kit with plugs that allow you to tuck the tape nicely, combined with finishing tape that looks great on the bar too.
Easy to wrap, comfortable and grippy tape
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape
Size tested: Thickness 3 mm, Length 215cm, Width 30mm
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?
Brooks says, "Cambium Rubber Bar Tape is suitable for cyclocross, gravel or road and comfortable for cycle touring with extra padding to reduce road buzz and provide a more comfortable grip over rough surfaces."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
All-surface absorption - Designed to absorb shocks and smooth out the ride.
Comfortable to the touch - The perfect material for a pleasing grip for natural comfort and complete control.
Hard-wearing - Made with wear and tear-resistant materials.
Really well made. I had it on my everyday bike so threw it around the city without any real noticeable wear and tear.
Grippy, durable, and comfortable over rough ground.
Worth noting that it's only seen a month of use, but in that time it's been leant up against walls, left outside, and generally abused, without any issues.
Comfortable, although if you're after a huge amount of padding you'd need to look elsewhere.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – it was simple to wrap and comfortable to use. It also provided a good amount of grip in wet and cold conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ease of wrapping – even I managed to make my bar look half decent.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Wolf Tooth Supple Lite Bar Tape that Neil tested in September is £1 less but doesn't have quite the same quality of bar end or texture for grip. The Prime Comfort Handlebar tape that Liam tested in July is £10 less and has a similar level of grip and cushioning, but not the finishing kit to match these.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good quality tape that is simple to fit, comfortable, and grippy. It also appears to be relatively durable, having survived being on my everyday bike in the winter without any sign of wear and tear. It's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.