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Cannondale HexTack Silicone Bar Tape is well cushioned, easy to wrap, grippy, and can even be reused, but it doesn't come cheap.
Rewrapping your handlebar after you've had the same tape on for a few years is a simple pleasure, but something that has a massive impact on your riding experience.
I've never been very good at wrapping bar tape, but Cannondale's HexTack doesn't have an adhesive back which makes things easier. If you get it wrong – the obligatory gap around the shifters – you can just do it again...
The tape is made from a foamy silicone, and though it doesn't directly stick to the bar, it stays in place. It hasn't shifted in the 300km+ of riding I've done since fitting it, which has included some horrendous weather. It's particularly impressive given that I tend to ride on the bar tops a lot, where I would have expected to see some shifting.
Though the tape has a relatively slim profile it's nicely cushioned – it's noticeable how it deadens bumps and rough patches.
It's also grippy, which I tested to extremes during this review. It hasn't rained a huge amount in the last couple of months, but the action of clipping into my pedals seems to act as some kind of rain dance. Not the best for a pleasant ride, but ideal for testing the tape's level of grip even in biblical conditions – and it's impressive.
This is unsurprising given that it is not only made from silicone, but also has a hexagonal pattern across the entirety of the roll. Theoretically, it means Cannondale has vastly increased the surface area compared with typical tape, and therefore increased friction.
In the box you get bar ends, two lengths of tape, and a couple of strips for putting behind the shifters.
It does only come in either black or white, so if you're after something a little jazzier you'll need to look elsewhere.
Though this is very good bar tape, it comes at a price. At £45 it's the second most expensive bar tape we've ever reviewed on road.cc, though just a penny more than the Selle San Marco Presa Corsa Team Iridescent Handlebar Tape and offering far superior performance in terms of cushioning and grip, according to Jez's findings.
(The Souma Leather bar tape Shaun tested in July is currently £60.16 – but then, that's leather, and made in Italy…)
Liam tested the Wolf Tooth Supple bar tape a couple of years ago and found that similarly cushioned, although it doesn't have quite as much grip. That's now £45 as well.
All in all, I've been really impressed with this bar tape. It's grippy, well cushioned, and can be reapplied when you get the wrapping wrong. There is no doubt that it is expensive, but in this case, I think you get what you pay for – fantastic bar tape.
Expensive, but an exceptional bar tape that's grippy, easy to wrap, reusable, and cushioned
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cannondale HexTack Silicone Bar Tape
Size tested: One size
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?
More comfort, more control.
Quality silicone and an engineered foaming process, produces a great feel with unrivaled all-weather grip that can be washed and re-wrapped.
Where it thrives
Any road it goes on, out in the elements
What it's built for
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Cannondale lists these highlights:
Silicone and a hexagonal dimpled pattern provide the perfect balance of shock absorption and grip feel
Hardwearing and washable construction results in a long-lasting fresh look / Includes: 2x tape rolls, lever strips, bar end-plugs, and finishing strips
Thickness: 2.7mm, length: 200cm, weight: 165g
Very well made, and with the silicone construction and hex pattern it is not only robust, but grippy too.
Does exactly want you want, offering excellent cushioning, grip, and ease of wrapping.
It's silicone, it can even be removed, washed, and reapplied.
Nicely cushioned without making your bar look like some kind of 1990s Gladiators weapon.
It's expensive bar tape, though comparable with others – and better performing. It's going to last a long time and is comfortable and grippy to boot, so worth the money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed very well, offering great grip, cushioning and wrapability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The grip – very impressive even when using it in soaking wet conditions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There is no getting around that price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's among the most expensive we've tested – Selle San Marco's Presa Corsa Team Iridescent Handlebar Tape is a penny less, and the Wolf Tooth Supple bar tape is the same price, £45. The leather tape from Souma is more – currently £60+ – but you can get much cheaper options.
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
It's expensive, but worth it for the performance – it's exceptionally grippy, cushioned, and easy to wrap. Overall, it's excellent.
About the tester
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 is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.