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PNW's Coast Bar Tape is thick and colourful, absorbs vibrations and grips wet hands well. The thick-edged looks may not be to your liking, mind.
In the plastic-free packaging you get the tape, two rubbery finishing strips and some laser-etched black alloy bar plugs. There are no short strips pre-cut for doing the clamp area, though – you need to cut those to length yourself.
You get two one-metre lengths of 30mm-wide tape. It's pretty stiff - meaning not that stretchy – so you need to put in a fair bit of effort to get a good tight wrap without any lifting as you round the drops. The sticky strip underneath is just right though, and it's easy enough to re-wrap without ripping or detaching the adhesive if you get it wrong. The plugs tighten up easily and firmly to hold the start in place.
The rubbery finishing strips look good and haven't moved, but I still went for a layer of electrical tape underneath because old habits die hard.
At 2.4mm thick in the middle there's plenty of cushioning, and your hands will indeed thank you over buzzy surfaces. The grip is good dry or wet, with no tacky feeling. This light green colour does get grubby over time, but will wipe clean with isopropyl alcohol and so far shows no signs of degrading.
The main feature – or drawback, depending on your view – is the 1.2mm-thick edge. Most bartape tapers to a fine edge and so sits flat once wrapped, but not the Coast tape. There's a definite lip that gives a chunky look, and it's one that will divide opinion. There's been no hint of the edges curling under use, at least, and PNW offers a lifetime warranty on its products – how that works with bartape, though, I'm not sure.
PNW list the price as £20, but it actually ends up costing £33 to get it to the UK, so shop around for a local reseller – you can find it listed for £25, and it's still under £30 with postage. That's a better deal in my view than the £29.99 for PRO's Gravel Comfort tape, which definitely doesn't last that long in its grey version.
George rated the Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape recently at £30, but noted that it's 'not reusable.' The PNW tape is so tough, I could see it coming off and back on several times at least if you need to do cables and so on, though I haven't actually tested this. Laser-etched alloy expander plugs at this price are good, though.
This is sharp-looking tape available in bright colours, and it feels well-cushioned and strong enough to last a fair while.
Strong tape in bright colours with nice alloy end plugs, though chunky looks may not be for everyone
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PNW Components Coast Bar Tape
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?
It's for people wanting to add colour to their bikes along with good padded grip.
PNW says: "All the grip and none of the chatter. Meet our all new Coast Bar Tape. Coated in seven different color options and garnished with a set of matte black anodized bar end plugs, it's the perfect compliment to your drop bar digs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Anti-Slip, PNW-Embossed Surface
Matte Black Anodized Bar End Plugs Included
Keep your vibes high and your vibration low while riding through even the roughest terrain.
DON'T GET CAUGHT SLIPPIN'
Rain, snow or shine, you can rely on this bar tape to keep your hands in all the right places.
Never fear the elements with this long lasting tape. Your bar will stay looking good and feeling great ride after ride for days on end.
Embossed PNW pattern
Matte black anodized bar end plugs included
6mm wide, double-sided adhesive strip underneath
Height at Middle: 2.4mm
Height at Edges: 1.2mm
The Coast Bar Tape ships in compostable and biodegradable packaging, and like all PNW Components branded products, the Coast Bar Tape is covered by their Lifetime Warranty. PNW is committed to covering any failure due to a manufacturing defect and will repair or replace without charge to the original owner.
Looks and feels strong and well-made.
Could be stretchier for easy wrapping, but otherwise great.
Appears robust, doesn't tear easily.
Nicely cushioned for buzz killing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Can't fault it - grippy and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The plugs. Laser-etched!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of stretch when wrapping.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pricing is good compared to other premium brand tapes, like the PRO Gravel or Brooks Cambium.
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
If it came with the little bits for behind the levers, and was a bit stretchier in general, it could score higher. I don't mind the raised edges though some might, but they cause no issue with comfort so really that's a style decision.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.