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KranX Stretta Primo-Gel-Backed High Grip Handlebar Tape



A bit short for wide handlebars and it can slip, but it's comfortable and hardwearing
Comfortable without being too squishy
Easy to fit
Not the longest tape on offer
Can slip on the bar

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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The KranX Stretta Primo-Gel-Backed High Grip handlebar tape is comfortable, grippy and durable. It does come up on the short side, though, which could be an issue if you use wide bars, and it can shift on the bars too. You'll find other options in our guide to the best bar tapes.

This gel-backed tape is 3mm thick and I found it comfortable both on lengthy road rides and static sessions on the turbo trainer.

In fact, it strikes a very good balance of minimising road buzz while maintaining feedback. I like to be engaged with the bike, to feel those little microscopic sensations sent through the handlebar, so I don't want isolation. For that reason I rarely wear gloves (unless it is cold) and I'm not a fan of overly thick bar tape.

This KranX stuff is thin enough that it doesn't alienate you from the bike by being too squidgy. It's grippy too, even in the wet with bare hands, and while it hasn't been on my bike for more than a few months it seems to be durable, looking as fresh now as it was when it was new.

It's relatively simple to fit, too, with a decent amount of stretch to allow you to get in tight around all of the bends, and it wraps over itself cleanly.

The silicone backing is tacky rather than sticky, which does mean it can move on the bar more than tapes with adhesive on the back, and I have had to rewrap it a couple of times where gaps have appeared. It does mean that you can reuse the tape, though – if you need to remove it to change your gear cables, for instance.

Each roll of tape is shorter than some, which required careful planning for me to get the tape to wrap my 42cm handlebar the way I like. I had to spread each bind out a little more than usual to achieve this. If you ride a wide bar, or even use a flared option, it's something to take into consideration.

For the plugs you get a simple push-fit option rather than hex bolt expanding versions, but I wouldn't say that's a big deal at this price point. With a little bit of tape overlapping the end of the drop for the plug to push in, things feel very secure.

All things considered, I'd say the KranX tape is a decent performer for the £21.99 price tag.

It's cheaper than some – the PNW Components Coast bar tape that Mike tested last year is £30 now, though you do get aluminium bar end plugs, but not the same level of stretch as the KranX, which aids fitting.

It's also slightly cheaper than the Knurltack from Cannondale that I reviewed last year, which costs £25. That's a similar feeling bar tape which can also move on the bar if not pulled tight.


It has a few niggles, but on the whole this KranX tape is a decent choice for the money. Get the fit right and it should last, living up to its name and providing good grip for the duration.


A bit short for wide handlebars and it can slip, but it's comfortable and hardwearing test report

Make and model: KranX Stretta Primo-Gel-Backed High Grip Handlebar 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?

This is a mid-depth tape with a gel backing for added comfort which works for both long and short rides. It feels durable too, and grippy.

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

From Kranx distributor Bob Elliot:

PU construction with Gel layer for anti-shock comfort

Silicone backing and high elasticity for easy installation and removal

Superior comfort and grip for the toughest conditions

Tape Depth: 3mm

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

Comfortable and grippy.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable without being too thick.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Each roll is a bit short.

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

For the quality of the tape it is priced competitvely against similar products.

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 a decent tape, but I'd like a bit more length in each roll to allow for a close wrap that shouldn't move. It's durable, though, and offers great comfort without isolating you from the bike.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 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,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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