Doing it all the hard way...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review Lizardskins Bar Tape

Yep, it looks like this.
Contact points matter. Saddle/Shorts, Pedals/Shoes, Bars/Gloves all are the subjects of personal preference and are wise places to invest your hard-earned money. Unlike a flat tire or broken chain; these are the things that can ruin a ride without breaking.
Your bar tape gets changed once or twice a year, and depending on your annual kilometer count, that may well be your most frequently replaced item. That gives one the opportunity to try something new with limited risk. Cork tape is cheap and classic. If you want something better, read on.

Evo racing with his Lizardskins bar tape equipped bike.

I am a sucker for marketing propaganda. Despite my addiction, I had not heard much about this until my France trip. Kevin, whom I trust when it comes to things mechanical, noted that he was running the same bar tape as Horst, our trip guide and a man whose bike knowledge is on par with Lennard Zinn.

I was curious and upon return bought some knowing my cross bike needed new cables (and hence new bar tape). Hottie upgraded her gruppo and my tape ended up on her bike. She loved it and eventually I picked up another roll that did end up on my cross bike.

Out of the box the first positive is the label that tells you not to stretch it too much when you wrap it. Someone should tell the good folks at Bontrager about this concept. Their grippy tape needs a similar notice more than the Lizardskins product does.

The second thing I noted was there was plenty of it. There was no need to be stingy with the wrap, go ahead and start with plenty of overlap on the drops. It goes on just fine and allows for some adjustment if needed. Some wraps give you one shot and if you start too loose when you back up, the tape tears and you are forced to compromise right from the start.

The tape looks awesome. It has an all business look that reminds me of Batman or Darth Vader. While any tape has good grip once you spill Cytomax all over it, this stuff is super grippy when clean.

The thick wrap (it comes in 1.8 and 2.5mm) is cushy as well. I have found that thicker tapes sometimes provide that cushion at the expense of a solid feel. Fizik Dual Tape is cushy, looks good, but seems to slip around (slipping on the bar, not against your hands/gloves). I like some feedback from my bars but I also like cushioning. Evo is one tough customer. If you grab the wrapped bar and twist, the tape does not move at all.

I have mentioned Bontrager Grippy tape and Fizik Dual tape, the other player in the grippy arena is Arundel Gecko tape. I am a fan of Gecko tape, it is good stuff. Not too pricy, durable, and works well when wet. It is on my commuter bike and does a fine job. I have Fizik Dual tape on my Seven and like that just fine.

Lizardskins bar tape is the best bar tape I have ever used. It is the most expensive bar tape I have ever purchased. In the future, I do not foresee myself buying any other tape for my favorite bikes. When my Seven needs new tape, I will put on Lizardskins.

As for when my Cross bike needs new tape...

While you can have the wrong Orange, you can't have too much Orange.



mobygrape said...

noice, I shall have to check this out as it the time to wrap is neigh...

mobygrape said...

noice, I shall have to check this out, as the time for wrapping is neigh...