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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thicker and longer than most, wraps easily and cleans up well – it's comfy too, but pricey
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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
Feels pro – pun intended. Good quality feel.
Grip and cushioning is high quality.
Rewrapping is easy, and the looks don't deteriorate.
120g isn't bad for a thick, long tape.
It's comfy. Hands feel cosseted.
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.
About the tester
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.