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ODI High Performance Road Bar Tape



Can be a faff to fit but worth it. Well padded tape with grip that's perfect for wet or sweaty hands

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Wrapping your handlebar with shiny new tape is worth taking your time over, and with the ODI High Performance tape that's exactly what you have to do. It's not the easiest to put on – but your patience will be rewarded.

The tape is 2.5mm thick and comprises an elastomeric outer layer backed with foam to take out any road buzz heading for your wrists. It's pretty comfortable too, even without any form of padded gloves, having a decent level of squish while maintaining a solid grip.

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The outer layer has a degree of tackiness to it which is brilliant in the wet or when your hands are sweaty, plus it's very hard wearing. The shiny finish has stayed bright and if it does get dirty you can just use a damp cloth to clean it.

The outer holds its shape well, which is great on the bike but can make fitting a little more time consuming, especially on tighter bends around the brake levers. It's worth really taking your time here as the finished result looks very professional.

Extra depth

There is another option if you want a bit more padding: ODI's Road/CX Bar Tape (£21.99). This has a similar construction to the High Performance but with both medium and high density backing for more shock absorbing while only increasing the thickness by 1mm. That extra depth is beneficial if you spend a lot of time in the rough back lanes or ride an extremely harsh frame.

I prefer a thin tape so the 2.5mm High Performance was ideal for me, though riding the two back to back I was amazed at the Road/CX's extra shock absorption without a massive increase in bar diameter.

Pick a colour

Colour coordination is an important factor when it comes to changing your bar tape and you get more options with the High Performance, eight in fact. Blue, Lime, Black, Celeste, Pink, Red, White, and Yellow. You only get half of those with the Road/CX – Blue, Black, Lime and Red – but with a cut out pattern in the outer the white backing shows through.

Both come with decent quality end plugs and a decent length of finishing tape – one of the first I've used that didn't require help from electrical tape.

Overall I really like the ODI bar tapes, although for ease of fitting they lose out to the likes of Fabric and Lizard Skins. But where they excel is comfort and longevity.

The 2.5mm version is perfect for the majority of road riding with or without gloves, though if you take in a bit of gravel tracks or pothole strewn lanes the 3.5mm offers a lot more comfort for little bulk.


Can be a faff to fit but worth it. Well padded tape with grip that's perfect for wet or sweaty hands

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Make and model: ODI High Performance Road Bar Tape

Size tested: 2.5mm

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Aftermarket bar tape that offers excellent grip in all-weather conditions, with two thickness options depending on your padding requirements.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

High Performance

*Thickness: 2.5mm

*Includes: Finishing Tape and Bar End Plugs

*Extra soft and tacky elastomeric outer layer for excellent traction in all conditions

*Backed with shock reducing foam for a smoother ride and less fatigue

*Textured surface pattern for improved traction


*Thickness: 3.5mm

*Includes: Finishing Tape and Bar End Plugs

*Extra soft and tacky elastomeric outer layer for excellent traction in all conditions

*Includes both high and medium density backing for improved shock absorption and a smoother ride

*Cut away outer layer provides improved gripping power regardless of condition

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A great level of comfort and grip.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The grip with wet hands.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fiddly to fit on tight bends.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

On the whole some very decent bar tape, which offers comfort and grip with longevity. You can get tape a lot cheaper, but the ODI HP gives a very professional looking finish and will stay looking new for a long time.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Mason Definition

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed


With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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