At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.What the road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
Cannondale's KnurlTack Bar Tape gives plenty of grip whatever the weather and stays looking like new for a long time. The adhesive isn't that sticky, though, which means the tape has to be pulled really tight for it to remain in situ. Whether it's the best bar tape for you will depend on your needs, but it's certainly pleasant to use thanks to its 3mm thickness, which gives cushioning without being over the top and muting feedback from the bike. And because of its slightly tacky nature, even bare hands can grip well in the wet and dry.
Fitting is simple enough as it has a decent amount of stretch, so you can make it conform to tight bends and when wrapping it around the brake levers.
At a metre in length for each roll there is also plenty to go around. You won't find yourself trying to stretch it out to reach the central section even on the widest of road bars.
It's handy that it is long, though, as the back of the tape isn't that sticky, so you will need to wrap it tightly with a fair amount of overlap from start to finish, otherwise it can easily slip while you are riding, causing gaps.
I didn't allow for this on my first pass, so when trying to rectify it and adding more overlap after a couple of weeks of riding, the tape ended up too short. Hence why in the photos you can see that it is fitted to my daughter's Islabike. That is one advantage – the tape is reusable.
Being fitted to a nine-year-old's bike means it has seen plenty of abuse, like when the bike gets crashed (lightly, so far) or gets dumped on the handlebar as her attention span diminshes and she runs off to play with whatever else shiny has caught her eye.
The KnurlTack tape has stood up to its countless interactions with the ground admirably, with no signs of scuffs or wear.
So, to recap – concentrate on your fitting, getting plenty of overlap, and you won't be disappointed.
Comfort-wise, it's great, with an impressive amount of grip, though I'm not sure it's worth £25.
Prime's Comfort bar tape was highly rated by Liam in his review, and as I use the gravel version on my gravel bike, I second his findings. It's the same thickness as the KnurlTack and offers great grip levels, plus it doesn't move once fitted. It costs £19.99.
Saying that, though, most bar tapes aren't exactly what I'd call value for money these days with many costing north of 30 quid.
Ergon's Road bar tape is £29.99, and while Suvi in her review found it comfortable, grippy and durable, it is thinner than the Cannondale at 2mm. There is no stretch to the Ergon either, so it's harder to fit.
Overall, if you get the fit right then there is little to fault the KnurlTack tape as I was impressed with the comfort on offer and the grip. There are cheaper options out there that do a great job, though.
Get the fitting right and you are in for a comfortable ride with plenty of grip
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cannondale KnurlTack Bar Tape
Size tested: OS
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?
"More comfort, more control.
Advanced three-part construction is used to create a supple, durable tape with excellent vibration damping properties and a tacky all-weather finish.
Where it thrives
The open road, up and down hills
What it's built for
I agree - it gives a comfortable ride with plenty of grip.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight EVA foam with a QuellGel silicone gel-layer provides an effective barrier against road-buzz for extra comfort
Thin polyurethane upper and knurled pattern provide grip in all weather / Includes: 2x tape rolls, lever strips, bar end-plugs, and finishing strips
Thickness: 3mm, length: 200cm, weight: 112g
Cannondale says it weighs 112g; we weighed it at 70g.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A comfortable and grippy handlebar tape.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Plenty of grip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It can move on the bar.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not overly priced when you look at the majority of the bar tapes we've recently tested, most of which are £30 and over. There is some steep competition out there, though, like the offering from Prime mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Apart from the backing allowing it to move around on the handlebar there is little to find fault with here. Wrap it tightly enough that it doesn't move and it's a good choice.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!