Touch-points are an important part of any bike build. They dictate how comfortable and confident we are on that bike. While we won’t deny that aesthetics drive most on their decision in choosing the bar tape, there are certain functions it must also perform well. Creating handlebar tape that matched the thought put into creating handlebars became a priority. Ultimately, we developed a bar tape that was aligned with the design ethos of our components.
As with any ENVE project, we set goals and targets to make sure we had checked off all of the boxes. Those requirements were as follows:
1. Durability and Hard Wearing
2. Grip in Wet Conditions
3. Function and Fashion
1. First, we set out to create bar tape that lasts. We have all experienced bar tape that tears or wears out far too quickly. Whether it unravels or wears out during a big event or training ride – it’s always an unwelcome experience. The ride immediately becomes compromised, and your confidence drops off drastically. Nearly every rider at ENVE put miles and miles into this bar tape to ensure that it lasts, and won’t wear out prematurely. Backed with silicone, and a confident strength to stretch ratio, the tape is easy to install while staying put to make sure unraveling or tearing during installation won’t occur. Numerous construction and material iterations were tested to make sure this goal was accomplished.
2. A balance between repelling water and absorbing it had to be met. If bar tape is overly water and sweat repellent, the tape will become slick and difficult to maintain a firm grip upon. Too much absorption and the tape becomes soggy and heavy – often causing accelerated wear. Working through many different materials, thicknesses, and their feel in rain or under sweaty palms was a critical point of evaluation in creating an ENVE worthy bar tape. At 3mm thick, we decided on a compound and construction that maintains grip while striking a balance between water repulsion and absorption.
3. With durability and wet grip established, we had to make sure that the tape still provided the right road, gravel, and mixed-surface feel. Too much comfort, and this important touch point between you, the bike and road surface becomes muted. Once you lose the feel of the changing road conditions in your hands, you lose control of adapting your riding style for those changes. Ultimately, this diminishes confidence. The ENVE Bar tape is wrapable in two different directions with large logo texture on one side and small logo texture on the other side. This feature, combined with 3mm thickness, and 250mm of length, which can accommodate up to 50cm wide handlebars, provides a customizable ride feel and aesthetic for any drop bar equipped bike.
In summary, the touch-points on your bike are vital to your ride experience. The ENVE Handlebar tape provides durability and ease in wrapping, while keeping you confidently in control of the bike, in all weather and over all roads. We also think the customizable logo wrapping options look incredibly fashionable but, hey… we’re a bit biased.