Fitting Pro’s Microfibre handlebar tape, it is clear that two of the hoped-for attributes of drop-handlebar tape stand diametrically opposed: the stuff is either soft enough to be both easily applied and damaged or, like this stuff, tough as old boots and a right old challenge to fit at the same time.
It is made of something that either is or is similar to Lorica, with synthetic fibres embedded in a substrate to add tensile strength and abrasion resistance. The result is rightly described as synthetic leather and is, if anything, even more stretch resistant than the natural article.
Pro’s product employs something called Smart Silicon, which is basically an adhesive applied as usual as a strip along the underside of the tape to prevent it moving around. This stuff, while grippy to the point of being sticky, peels off the bars readily to make refitment clean and simple. Considering how long this tape might last, reusability can only be a good thing.
When it comes to fitting the tape, experience and a good dose of what knitting enthusiasts call “tension” are vital to a tidy result. Failure to keep the tape taut when negotiating curves will leave kinks, free edges and ridges that not only look bad but compromise on comfort. The ease of unwrapping comes in very handy when re-doing any substandard parts.
Get it right and the result is firm and surprisingly comfortable to hold with a softness under the smooth, top coating that belies its strength. Perforations along most of the supplied length add tactile pleasure and shave weight. The tape is supplied complete with end plugs and finishing tape strips.
Pro Microfibre Bar Tape £16.99 per pack, colours white, black, silver