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Cycology 8 Days Handlebar Tape
 (3 month test) 91g (uncut) £20.00

The Cycology 8 Days Handlebar Tape is as unique as it looks, while offering a surprisingly good blend of damping and grip for a very tempting price. It’s a little shorter and thinner than I’ve come to expect but will still dress big drops with reasonable overlap and entertain gel type underlays. The lacquer-like treatment means it’s extremely easy to keep clean and doesn’t attract much grot, or oily patina in the first place. Qualities lending it nicely to touring, cross, gravel and working bikes. On the flip-side, this demands a firm and steady pressure to prevent it unravelling when fitting.

Pros: Funky pattern, nice grippy texture, good damping, easy to keep clean, competitively priced.

Cons: Finishing strips could be better.

handlebar tape wrap bicycle cyclology


Pop open the packaging and you’re greeted with two rolls of tape, press fit composite plugs and finishing strips. Nothing new there then. The graffiti style print (which for me at least looked like a snapshot of a road, taken from a major continental stage race), is quite unique and I’m told features a silicone-based topcoat. 

This serves three purposes. It protects the design from premature wear, while keeping the tape easy to clean (and arguably means it stays cleaner in the first place) while also providing grip, but without the need for specialist care, as is the case for some polymer infused wraps. Talking of which, I was surprised to discover that the 8 days is supposedly 3.5mm thick. It came up as 1.49mm when checked with my vernier and thin by contemporary standards.  However, it’s a great fit for older bikes with pencil thin tubing. It’s also 235cm long, which means it will still dress big drops and with generous overlap. Equally at home on a gravel, cyclo cross, or touring lorry. 

PU/EVA foam supplies the insulation. This might not get the pulses racing but its tried and tested and arguably keeps the price competitive. Finishing kits can feel like an afterthought and though I wasn’t overly impressed with these, the end plugs do a decent job of holding the tape tight and have stayed put. 

Fitting & Test Bars 

The Cycology 8 Days is straightforward, rather than easy to fit. The lacquer type topcoat means its less supple than a traditional glossy bike ribbon, or cork. It took me a few attempts to get familiar with its characteristics and achieve a good, even effect. Stuffing into the ends and getting the plugs in was the first aesthetic hurdle but from there, gripping the tape very firmly, while winding round won the day.

bicyle bar wrap tape test review

The Holdsworth had been sporting some nice “hand me down” wrap for a season or so and I decided, coinciding with a fork revision, to upgrade.  The Holdsworth’s Coefficient Wave Handlebars  aren’t unduly wide (44cm) but are, as their name suggests, very wavy, consuming more bar tape, so ideal candidates.

holdsworth bicycle cycle

Now, the absence of cheater strips meant Cycology had clearly intended the tape to be wrapped figure of eight (sometimes referred to as “Flemish” style) around the brake hoods. I found this difficult, so went rogue. Having discovered I had ample left over, I carefully measured and pruned two sections, making my own.

Thanks to the thin adhesive strip, which is the right side of tacky, corrections are very straightforward, although having reached the tops, I found the OEM finishing strips (like many) prone to peeling, so went the electrical tape route. Get a section ready to go as you’ll need to grip the tape like a vice to prevent it unravelling. Stepping back, the contrast with the bike’s two-tone blue pleased me.

Grip/Control 4.25/5

bar tape wrap review test cycology

Full disclosure, I’d run the 8 Days on Ursula and another bike during the darker, stormier months. The Holdsworth is my sunny day’s plaything and I needed to see how the 8 days would perform during winter’s worst. I’ve ridden trough torrential downpours and temperatures as low as minus 6, sometimes for several hours. 

handlebar tape bar wrap review test bictcle

Given the topcoat isn’t tacky, or gummy like traditional silicones or polymer infused types, I was surprised by how lightly I could grip the bars, while still enjoying complete control. The low padding density aside from giving a crisp aesthetic-especially to older bikes with pencil-thin tubing also provided a more direct connection with the bike, hence I was subconsciously pushing things harder on the climbs, coaxing a quicker pace along the S bends too.

Obviously, palm-type has an influence and perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve found those with silicone detailing the best but more traditional leather palms weren’t far behind. Even when weary, dare I say flagging, I’ve been able to weave around looming holes and other hazards with finesse and tackle the odd icy sweeping decent with trailer and 15 kilos trundling behind in complete confidence. Similar story when I’ve ventured off road. Complete confidence when flicking around ruts, holes and the odd kamikaze rabbit. Milder weather suggests the coating is very stable and not sensitive to temperature change. 


Though I like the tactile, rubbery nature of raw silicones, I found its drier texture slightly nicer wearing mitts.   In stark contrast to some old school glossy tapes (that I still have a closet fondness for) the 8 days offers good tenure against trees and other slightly slippery resting points: welcome on a laden bike.

Comfort/Damping 3.75/5

Again, given the relatively thin EVA padding, the 8 days has been surprisingly effective against intrusive low-level vibration. Longer, steady rides taking in everything from quiet lanes through to concrete jungle were devoid of numbness, tingling and other nastiness. Same story off road, navigating unmade dirt roads, churned bridle path and singletrack. Obviously, factors like 2.2inch tyres, carbon forks and glove choice are influential, but hands still felt fresh after three hours or so. 

Durability/Care 3.75/5

£20 is modest for bar tapes these days, especially those with some unique features. However, not quite a one-horse race, there are still a few that might give the Cycology a run for your money. The Ciclovation Grind Touch Handlebar Tape its 3mm thick and presently discounted. It’s a little trickier to fit but I’ve but I’ve been impressed with its comfort and durability. BBB BHT-14 Flex Ribbon Gel Bar Tape is another very competent choice. Available in five colours, its 2.5mm thick and surprisingly grippy and a hardy choice for winter, gravel and cyclo cross bikes, in particular. Kranx Stretta Primo Anti Shock Bar Tape  might be a mouthful but it’s also a very grippy, durable, low-maintenance budget choice. Equally, you can spend a lot more on bar tape. The Cycology has a slightly unique composition, so direct comparison is perhaps, a little tricky.

That out of the way, Enve Handlebar Tape . It’s 250cm long and continues to impress with its grippy, comfortable persona. However, being picky, the end plugs were a little bog standard and at £35, its £15 dearer than the Cycology. I’m still a big fan of the Acros Silicone Wrap Handlebar Tape  its very durable, easily switched between bars and offers excellent grip and comfort. However, its trickier to keep clean, adds a slightly chunky aesthetic (if that’s an issue), heavier and £35.00.


Minor points aside, the Cycology 8 Days Handlebar Tape has impressed me with its blend of style, grip, damping and low bulk. It’s easy to live with and keep clean, which is another definite plus if you’re racking up big miles and in grotty conditions. It’s also very competitively priced.

Verdict: 3.75/5 Funky, dependable and very affordable bar tape.


Michael Stenning


Cycling Clothing, Gear & Accessories | Cycology Clothing UK (





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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