Grepp Handle Bar Tape: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
Handle bar tape isn’t something we think of when we think “innovative materials”, but Grepp Handle Bar Tape has changed that with their offering which we introduced to you here. Read that post for all the background on what makes this fabric based handle bar tape so unique. Here I will give you my riding experience with Grepp tape over the course of a month now and over miles and miles of dusty gravel roads.
Ride Performance: Grepp contacted me after my initial post and let me know that the slightly slippery hand feel I reported initially would go away as skin oils and sweat soaked into the tape. Unfortunately for Grepp and myself, the air here dried up and Fall kicked into high gear, so sweat on my hands became pretty rare. That said, the tape did seem to gain grip as I used it. I cannot really say what caused this, but it feels a lot more secure now than it did at first right after installation. Perhaps this tape needs a bit of wearing in, and that is what Grepp was really trying to imply with their comments to me initially.
Okay, so now I have no issues with grip. What about comfort? well, here I had an experience which I’d rather not have, but for which I have an option to remedy. Grepp states that this tape can be over-wrapped on an innertube, (of all things!), to give the Grepp tape a bit of ‘cush’ for the hands. I chose to go without this technique and well, it makes for a tape that has very little to offer in terms of comfort. You get a very direct bar feel and maybe that’s what you prefer? Then Grepp has you covered there. I could tolerate this for a while, but I would prefer to have a tape with some give for longer rides. I should mention that I was using a Redshift Sports ShockStop stem on this bike which probably had a lot to do with why I was able to survive for the rides I did use the Grepp tape for on this bike. I will be using the innertube technique soon and I will update my findings in the final review in the series.
Now as far as this tape being stable and holding up, there I have excellent news to report. The tape stayed put with no creeping or loosening. The look overall is that of a fresh tape job after a month of riding. I see no discernible wear at all. So, Grepp’s claim of longer tape life seems to be something to bank on so far. Which brings me to….
So Far… Grepp tape is reusable, washable, and recyclable which makes this tape unique amongst the category. I found that it seems to have durability and a stable nature on the handle bar. The initial feeling of slipperiness has given way to a normal tape grip feel and all at no affect on the appearance of the tape.
Going forward I want to address my hand comfort with Grepp’s advice to over-wrap this tape on an innertube. I also will be transferring this tape to another bike/handle bar combination to see how this tape works when you re-wrap it. I have no complaints on the look, feel, and performance of Grepp Handle Bar Tape so far with the exception of the comfort issues. So, I am hoping to find that the over-wrapping technique will help to address this. I’ll get to riding the tape with this modification and in about a month or so I should be back with my final verdict. Stay tuned…..
Note: Grepp sent the Handle Bar Tape to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed, for this post and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.