PRO Gravel Comfort Tape

7
£29.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Thicker and longer than most, wraps easily and cleans up well – it's comfy too, but pricey
Thicker and longer means more cushioning
Easily rewraps if needed
Cleans up well
Expensive
Only two colour options
Weight: 
120g

PRO Gravel Comfort Tape is made thicker and longer, for a bigger overlap and more cushioning when bashing about gravel roads and tracks. It's effective, grippy and, thanks to a silicone gripper-like construction, easy to rewrap. It only comes in two colours, though – and it's top of the range for price.

Addressing the elephant in the room, PRO has not created this by slapping 'Gravel' on a regular box and boosting the price. This is a new tape formed to deal with rougher, muddier surfaces and typically wider, more widely flared bars that logically require more tape to cover them.

> Find your nearest dealer here

So to cover all this – with more overlap for more padding – PRO has added 30cm to the standard 2m length. The tape is also 3mm thick instead of the usual 2.5mm. That may not sound much but, when wrapped close, it certainly does add up to a chunkier area to grip.

On my Genetic Driser 440mm bar I went for a more traditional overlap on the drops to retain good bar feel, then went pretty close over the tops – and still had some 30cm left at the end. In hindsight I could have gone quite a bit closer/thicker all over and used the whole length.

2020 PRO Gravel Comfort Tape

The 'smart silicone backing' is not unlike the silicone grip strip found on many jerseys, in that it has an amount of tackiness but isn't actually sticky. I did a few re-wraps to simulate changing of setups/replacing cables, and every time it unwrapped from itself and the bar underneath without any goo or tendency to rip, as can be the case with cheaper, cork-based adhesive tapes.

The black endcaps are the basic push-in type and do the job. The PRO-logoed finishing tape is – as always, across all brands – next to useless, not really being wide or stretchy enough to transition from thick tape to the narrower bar, so use good electrical tape (I recommend 3M 33+) for that pro look. Why the entire cycling industry has failed to create a decent finishing tape is beyond me, but I digress.

2020 PRO Gravel Comfort Tape fitted 3.jpg

Battering about rocky tracks and washboard gravel roads, the Gravel Comfort Tape does the business of providing grip with comfort. Riding without gloves is fine, as the tape is neither slippery nor sticky under sweaty hands. It has a faux-fabric texture for reliable traction.

PRO Gravel Comfort Tape is available in two colours: black with subtle grey hexagons, or a grey camo that's bang on trend with everything else gravel. The greys are fairly neutral so should go with most bikes (it even worked on my minty-green Sonder Camino). Better still it cleans up well, as greasy marks or dirt wipe straight off.

If you get really mucky it handles a wipe with isopropyl alcohol just fine, and this ability is a bit more important on a gravel bike than road, so chalk that up in the plus column.

2020 PRO Gravel Comfort Tape fitted 2.jpg

At £29.99 it's pretty expensive for bar tape, even bar tape that's 20% thicker and 15% longer. Yes it's cheaper than the also-3mm Fizik Terra tape but that was pushing the limits too, and doesn't clean up as well. Most well-regarded tapes are around £25, though arguably the ease of rewrapping and cleaning adds value to the PRO.

> 10 of the best road and gravel cycling drop handlebars — plus how to find the best bars

The PRO Gravel Comfort Tape adds comfort, grip and durability to arguably the most important contact area. It cleans up easily, is well made (if you ignore the finishing tape) and can handle repeated rewrappings. It's expensive and the colour options are very limited, but if you're okay with that it delivers very usefully on its promises.

Verdict

Thicker and longer than most, wraps easily and cleans up well – it's comfy too, but pricey

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: Pro Gravel Comfort Handlebar Tape

Size tested: 3mm x 230cm

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 wrap large bars, closely, for maximum comfort and grip.

Pro say it's:

COMPLETING THE PRO COCKPIT FOR GRAVEL RIDERS

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

HIGH LEVEL OF GRIP

EXTRA LENGTH FOR CLOSE WRAPPING

PERFECT MATCH WITH PRO DISCOVER HANDLEBARS & STEM FOR A COMPLETE COCKPIT

AVAILABLE IN: BLACK & MULTI COLOR

EXTRA LONG TAPE (2300 MM)

THICKNESS: 3 MM

SMART SILICONE BACKING

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Feels pro – pun intended. Good quality feel.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Grip and cushioning is high quality.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Rewrapping is easy, and the looks don't deteriorate.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

120g isn't bad for a thick, long tape.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

It's comfy. Hands feel cosseted.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's expensive, but it's on a par with other expensive tapes.

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

Really well – no slipping, and comfy hands.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The ease of re-wrapping; it's nice not to have any adhesive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The finishing tape. Next to useless.

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

About the same for premium tapes, as mentioned in the review.

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

Once installed it's great, but on the downside it's at the higher end of the price spectrum, colour choice is limited and the finishing tape is poor. So as a purchase it's merely good rather than anything more.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

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, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, Dutch bike pootling.

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