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Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape

8
£29.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Easy to wrap, comfortable and grippy tape
Easy to wrap
Comfortable to hold
Good grip
Looks good
Not reusable
Weight: 
51g

At road.cc 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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The Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape wraps well, offers a fair amount of protection on rough surfaces, looks good on the bars, and offers a decent amount of grip.

One of the first things you find out when testing bar tape is how easy it is to wrap. This offering from Brooks is, luckily, very simple, with the now standard sticky back protected by waxy paper.

I'm not the most proficient at taping bars, but I found I could get around my slightly awkwardly shaped handlebar pretty easily because, despite the tape having a fair amount of padding, it maintains a level of malleability, so I could get round corners and bends without causing folds and creases.

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Once wrapped, the tape looks good – testament to how easy the tape is to wrap rather than my skills!

Brooks has included all the usual gubbins that modern bar tape comes, with bar ends that fit well, two additional strips for behind the levers, and a fabric finishing tape to put over the ends.

2021 Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape - boxed 2.jpg

In use, I've found it comfortable over relatively long rides. It has a fair amount of padding, which takes the worst off the most jolting bumps, although you can get tapes that offer a little more.

> How to make your bike more comfortable – check out our 14 tips

It's grippy too; I used it in pretty much every condition and didn't have any issues with grip, even in torrential rain and while wearing full finger gloves.

I put the tape on my around town bike, which has meant it has been leant against walls, locked up outside, and generally thrown about a bit. After all of that there's no sign of particular wear, which suggests durability is going to be good.

It comes in a variety of colours too – you don't have to stick with black. Orange, blue and green are among the six others available.

For the quality of the tape and the decent finishing kit, the rrp of £30 seems reasonable. The Wolf Tooth Supple Lite Bar Tape that Neil looked tested in September is £1 less but doesn't have quite the same quality of bar end plug or texture for grip.

The Prime Comfort Handlebar Tape that Liam reviewed in July is £10 less and has a similar level of grip and cushioning, but not the finishing kit to match this.

Overall, I was really impressed with the Cambium Rubber tape. It's durable, grippy, and very simple to fit. It also looks good and Brooks has provided a high quality finishing kit with plugs that allow you to tuck the tape nicely, combined with finishing tape that looks great on the bar too.

Verdict

Easy to wrap, comfortable and grippy tape

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Brooks Cambium Rubber Bar Tape

Size tested: Thickness 3 mm, Length 215cm, Width 30mm

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?

Brooks says, "Cambium Rubber Bar Tape is suitable for cyclocross, gravel or road and comfortable for cycle touring with extra padding to reduce road buzz and provide a more comfortable grip over rough surfaces."

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

Brooks lists:

All-surface absorption - Designed to absorb shocks and smooth out the ride.

Comfortable to the touch - The perfect material for a pleasing grip for natural comfort and complete control.

Hard-wearing - Made with wear and tear-resistant materials.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Really well made. I had it on my everyday bike so threw it around the city without any real noticeable wear and tear.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Grippy, durable, and comfortable over rough ground.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Worth noting that it's only seen a month of use, but in that time it's been leant up against walls, left outside, and generally abused, without any issues.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Comfortable, although if you're after a huge amount of padding you'd need to look elsewhere.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Very well – it was simple to wrap and comfortable to use. It also provided a good amount of grip in wet and cold conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The ease of wrapping – even I managed to make my bar look half decent.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing major.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Wolf Tooth Supple Lite Bar Tape that Neil tested in September is £1 less but doesn't have quite the same quality of bar end or texture for grip. The Prime Comfort Handlebar tape that Liam tested in July is £10 less and has a similar level of grip and cushioning, but not the finishing kit to match these.

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 overall score

A good quality tape that is simple to fit, comfortable, and grippy. It also appears to be relatively durable, having survived being on my everyday bike in the winter without any sign of wear and tear. It's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 33  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects. 

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