During a recent bike overhaul, it was pretty much mandatory that I needed to replace the bar tape. As a result, I thought it would be worth forking out for what is described by many as probably the best bar tape available on the market today; Lizard Skins DSP. Coming in a wide range of colours, I opted for red to match the colours of my bike. The bar tape itself retails for £28 in high street shops, but being an avid internet shopper, I got mine from wiggle for around £21.
First impressions are very positive indeed. The bar tape comes well packaged, with a sample of the tape attached the the front of the packet, so the potential buyer can ‘feel’ the tape before buying. Not quite so important when buying online, but great if you are in a high street store. In their product description, Lizard Skins state that the tape is made from ‘DuraSoft polymer’ (not entirely clear what this means) but suspect it must imply that that the bar tape is going provide a comfortable overall feel. Included in the box are two cuts of tape (one for each handle, of course), two bar end plugs and two Lizard Skins stickers to cover the black tape used to finish the taping process (more on this in a movement). Also included are two further pieces of bar tape, measuring ~2 inches each, and I still haven’t figured out what these are for!
The bar tape it self is very well made and a huge upgrade from the stock bar tape I had on my bike, both in look and feel. It is 2.5mm thick, although there is a 3.5mm version, too. It is embossed with the lizard skin logo and pattern, which looks great and provides a larger surface area to enhance your grip. The red colour I opted for is vibrant, and has an overall very well polished and shiny look.
Most bar tapes are finished with black electrical tape on the handle bars, which can look unsightly. Fortunately, this pack comes with two Red Lizard logo stickers which can be wrapped around to cover the black electrical tape. This gives the tape a very nice finish indeed, and a little uniqueness, too. The feel of the tape is incredible, and riding is a lot more comfortable now with both gripping the handle bar and reducing vibration from uneven surfaces.
One gripe I did have with the tape was the handle bar ends, which kept on popping out. I tried a number of ways to help secure these in the handle bars (including wrapping the ends in tape for a more snug fit), with little luck. In the end, I somehow managed to force them in and had to pretty much hammer them in with my palm. They now seem to be in place, and here is hoping that they stay where they are… (if not, I have a contingency plan that involves Gorilla glue!).
Conclusively, I can definitely recommend the Lizard Skins DSP bar tape if you are looking to enhance your riding comfort, or simply want to give your bike an aesthetic treat.