It would be easy to dismiss this as nicely embossed yet unremarkable cork wrap.
Run it between your fingers though, and the luxurious, rubberised compound reveals an extremely tactile nature coupled with excellent grip.There’s ample wrap to accommodate even wide (46cm) bars and shock-absorbing strips, but particular care needs to be taken to ensure the bars are clean of old adhesive. Insulation from road shock is excellent, even if you’re not wearing gloves, and the wrap passed my bridleway test with flying colours, suggesting it’d be a good choice on ‘cross or rough stuff touring bikes.
However, while otherwise durable, the matte red proved a devil to keep clean, seemingly a magnet for finger marks and other grime. Also, though it’s a very comfortable, understated and classy alternative to cork, and would add a nice finishing touch to Salsa bars, at a whisker under £14 it’s not leaps ahead of other high-end tapes.