The new Tenaci gravel handlebar tape and bar cover is intended to introduce mountain bike levels of all-weather grip and shock absorption to the humble bar tape.
Ere says the new Tenaci system offers different amounts of hold depending on which part of the bar you’re using.
When you’re cruising or climbing using the top of the bar, Ere believes a more traditional tape that’s a little thinner, but with a soft, tacky touch is ideal.
Conversely, when you’re down in the drops riding at higher speeds, or on more technical terrain, what you need is increased grip and shock absorption.
To meet these needs, Ere’s solution with the Tenaci is a long (225mm) bar cover made from a soft polymer, much like a mountain bike grip. This slides up your bar, around the drop to the hood of your shifter.
The long grip is also textured differently along its length.
Inspired by riverbeds
The whole grip has a grooved surface called Terra, with seemingly random hexagonal patterning. Ere tells us this is inspired by patterns in a dry riverbed, and claims it enables the long grip to shed mud more easily and drain water away quicker than traditional grip patterns.
On the curve of the drop, there are three pronounced bumps called KNHDS, or knuckleheads. These are designed to prevent your hands sliding in foul conditions when riding on the limit. The KNHDS are positioned to nestle between your gripping fingers.
Above the hood, the Tenaci tape is a broad 35mm wide and made from a laminar sheet that combines a PU skin with an EVA foam layer.
The foam is 80 durometer, and Ere claims this offers the best balance between cushioning and hard-wearing.
Ere Research Tenaci weight and pricing
If you were thinking that Ere’s combination of grip and tape is going to be heavy, you’ll be surprised to find the full kit tipped our scales at just 135g.
In comparison, similarly focused shock-absorbing tape from Spank, which comes with stick-on gel sections for the bars, weighs 206g. A standard roll of traditional cork tape weighs around 70g.
At €34.95 / £35, the Tenaci is priced competitively against its premium rivals in terms of the best handlebar tapes, including Spank’s Flare tape (£40), but it’s a little more expensive than the Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix tape (£21).
We’ve got a set of the Tenaci tape, which we’ll be fitting and testing soon, so stay tuned for a full review.