Lizard Skins DSP bar tape review£25.00

Grippy and squishy

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Lizard Skins forego the usual pseudo-cork compounds for their new road handlebar tape, instead opting for a unique 'Dura Soft Polymer' foam.

The closed-cell material plus its 2.5mm thickness make for a distinctly cushy and comfortable feel, and it's also remarkably grippy even when wet, especially in combination with the built-in surface texture.

Roadies who find themselves on rough surfaces will undoubtedly welcome the way the DSP material takes the shock out of their hands – and maintains feeling in their fingers.

At 63g for the complete set, it's no heavier than standard stuff but far lighter than bar tape sets that include separate underlying gel pads. That and the reassuring no-slip surface make DSP an easy choice for cyclo-cross riders.

Installation is a snap as the DSP material is very stretchy and a full-length adhesive backing helps keep things under control. Finishing tape and bar plugs are included, too, and there's a generous range of eight colours available to suit your bike's paint scheme. 

The rubbery feel won't suit riders who prefer a more natural sensation, though, and not everyone looking for something grippy wants something so squishy (for those riders we recommend black Fizik bar:tape, Arundel Gecko Grip or Bontrager's paper-thin Grippy Tape). It's also quite expensive at £24.99 (US$34.99) a set.

If grippy and squishy is exactly what you're going for, however, and you don't mind the artificial look and feel, Lizard Skins Dura Soft Polymer tape is an easy choice.

Lizard skins' new dsp bar tape offers a highly tactile grip and a cushy feel: lizard skins' new dsp bar tape offers a highly tactile grip and a cushy feel
Lizard skins' new dsp bar tape offers a highly tactile grip and a cushy feel: lizard skins' new dsp bar tape offers a highly tactile grip and a cushy feel

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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