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KranX Stretta Primo-High Grip Anti-Shock Handlebar Tape lives up to its name, with a texture that delivers impressive grip no matter the weather. Can it compete with the best bar tapes we've tested? Well, it's reasonably comfortable but not the thickest, which suits me but won't appeal to all. Coming in a few different colours, it can be a way to add a personal touch to your bike without being over the top.
Kranx claims it's the 'perfect blend of grip and comfort for ultimate performance'. At 2.3mm deep this isn't a thick tape, but that's something I like – I enjoy being able to feel the solidity of the bar below the tape and have never enjoyed using thick, squishy types. It still provides a decent amount of comfort, with six-hour rides not causing any hand pain for me. If you like a smooth tape, however, this may not be the one for you, as the texture could be classed as quite rough, but it helps with the grip factor.
And the tape really lives up to its name of high grip, so if you're someone like me who enjoys a maximum sprint then this tape is great. I've done plenty of sprints with it and haven't worried about my grip at all during any of them, which is great.
I have also been impressed by its grip in our wonderful British rainy weather, even during the worst downpours, with no concerns about my safety at any point.
I also haven't found any issues with the tape spinning, which I have with most tapes, leading to me needing to rewrap the tape after a week or so of use once it has stretched a little. Not having to do that with the KranX tape is great, though it is nice and easy to wrap, especially compared with some at the lower end of the scale, or even some high-end tapes that you're told to 'not stretch' when wrapping.
The double-sided adhesive on the back of the tape has a good amount of stickiness without acting like superglue and requiring the Hulk to be able to peel sections off. It also comes in super long rolls, which is great if you enjoy having your tape wrapped all the way to the stem, or for super wide gravel bars.
KranX offers the tape in five colours, but it's just a small hint of colour, which makes it a tasteful addition, I'd say, instead of many tapes I would class as garish and horribly bright. There's black, blue, fluoro green, orange and red.
The only things I don't like particularly are the bar end plugs. I prefer plugs that can be tightened with a hex key – especially if I'm paying £20-odd. This tape comes with a very basic set of plastic bung types, which to me is a bit disappointing, though not everyone feels the same. Our friends at off.road.cc absolutely loved Enve's tape, for example, which only comes with standard plugs, and that costs £35.
The Stretta Primo-High Grip Anti-Shock Handlebar Tape is the most expensive in the KranX line-up, coming in at £21.99, but that still makes it quite a bit cheaper than many we've reviewed with prices north of £30. You can pay less, though: Easton's Foam bar tape, which Liam reviewed a couple of years ago, for example, is just £11.99, and Prime's Comfort tape is £19.99 – which Liam also loved.
Overall, I've been happy using this tape. It lives up to its high grip name, and it was a pleasure to wrap. It's not the thickest, but if you don't like your bar tape too squishy, I'd have no issues recommending this.
Not the smoothest tape, but lives up to its name with maximum grip, even in the rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: KranX Stretta Primo-High Grip Anti-Shock Handlebar Tape
Size tested: 2.3mm thick
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?
Kranx says: Double layer construction for non-slip & anti-shock
Double-sided adhesive tape for easy installation
Perfect blend of grip and comfort for ultimate performance
Tape Depth: 2.3mm
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Included in the box:
Two rolls of tape with pre-appplied adhesive tape
Two bar ends
Two finishing tapes
Very grippy, though some might find the texture a little rough.
Only signs of wear so far are a slight stretching of the tape where my palm sits.
I found it comfortable, but I can see it won't appeal to all.
It's cheaper than many we've reviewed, though you can still pay less.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This tape was good in all weathers, providing great grip at all times; and being easy to wrap means it was a pleasant experience.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I enjoyed the grip provided when sprinting and giving the bars a good wallop.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The bar end plugs.
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
This is good tape; not the thickest or smoothest, but I was happy with using it. It lives up to the name of high grip, and it was a pleasure to wrap, so I'd have no issues recommending it to people after something similar.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Aeroad My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,