Bontrager Bar Tape Gets a Good Wrap

Bontrager gel tape (Bontrager photo)

Bontrager gel tape (Bontrager photo)

If you’re looking for some good handlebar tape, I recommend Bontrager gel cork. It’s a step up from the original cork tape popularized by a well-known Italian company.

I say this because the tape, while it has all the properties of cork tape, and even looks like it, is made from silicone gel that should last longer and has more padding than cork.

The benefits go beyond this important characteristic. Bontrager gives you plenty of tape. I had about six inches remaining after taping my handlebars, something that never happened using other brands.

Even better, the wrap does not rely on sticky tape for adhesion, a failing of the traditional cork wrap. If you’ve ever changed bar wrap and had to deal with the old tape, you know what a mess it makes.

Finally, Bontrager bar end caps are reflective, a nice touch for night riding. The only negative is that the black tape that’s supposed to keep the wrap from unraveling is inadequate. I use electrical tape.

What’s interesting about the tape is that it was patented (applied 2001, received 2005) by Tsai-Yun Yu, who lives in Taiwan.

Keith Bontrager, who hails from Sunnyvale/Santa Cruz, started designing bike parts in the early 1980s, according to his website video. Prior to cycling he was a motocross racer.

Keith’s company (now part of Trek?) also sells tires. I bought one recently but have yet to try it out. After Avocet stopped producing tires, I switched to Continental. They’ve been reliable and long-lasting.

More good news: If you like pink, Bontrager makes it, and based on what I saw at the bike shop I visited, there’s plenty to go around.

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