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Enve Handlebar Tape
119g (uncut) £35

The Enve Handlebar Tape is grippy, shock absorbing, easy to fit and long enough for the most buxom of drop bars. Some may find the choice of three colours a little limiting and the end plugs are comparatively bog standard but 500 wintry miles hence, I’m struggling to find any downsides. 

Pros: Grippy in all conditions, impressive shock absorbency without undue bulk, easy to fit (and re-wrap).

Cons:  Limited to three colours, effective, if slightly bog-standard end plugs.

tst eview cycling bicycle bar tape wrap


The Enve Bar tape is 250cm long, 3mm thick and available in three colours, OK, shades if we’re being pedantic. Black, white and our grey. For me at least the compliments or contrasts nicely with most colour schemes. Now, I couldn’t coax much from Enve, or their UK distributors regarding the special compound. However, it can confirm it’s not the sort that’s likely stripped the moment you introduce a wet brush and a dash of bike wash.

250cm is a very impressive length that should cater for the widest, curvy bars with generous overlap. After all, the Acros Silicone Wrap Handlebar Wrap  is 185cm. No issues with these WTB Mountain Road Drop Bars, let alone others in my collection. 3mm density is also on par with the natural silicones including the Acros and T-One Mr Fantastic Handlebar Tape . However, the Enve offers a less bulky aesthetic, which won’t look out of place on a pared to the essential's road bike, or more traditional touring lorry. It’s also a bit lighter too-which may be significant in the former context. 

Talking of gummy silicones, peeling away the backing strip reveals a silicone adhesive-the gummy but not sticky, meaning easy re-winding, should you need to correct the overlap, aesthetic, change a cable, or port over to another set of bars. The finishing strips continue this grippy, tacky, tolerant theme. Remarkably like the Ciclovation Grind Touch Bar Tape Handlebar Tape . The end plugs are by contrast bog standard tap-in types, up to the job and reliable but some felt slightly at odds with the overall specification. 

Test Bike/Contexts

bar arp tape handlebar test review bicycle bike

My fixed gear winter/trainer is essentially a 4130 cyclo cross frames with track ends, spacing and carbon fork. It serves year-round and er, it coordinates beautifully with the rear triangle's grey- decision made. 

bike bicycle wheel hub spokes

We received ours late November and tested it through very wet, dare I say, typically wintry British conditions for 650 miles.

Fitting 4/5

The Enve Handlebar Tape is definitely one of the easiest to work with. In common with some other rubbery favourites, it responds best to a firm, consistent tension and flows very readily - I fitted ours on a bitterly cold afternoon - think minus 3 with windchill factored in. The lack of cheater strips might come as a surprise but again, not really an issue, on account of it being so malleable and indeed, long. I had plenty leftover when measuring the Genetic D-Riser 4 Bars 4 and I simply made my own..

Measure twice, cut once, mind. The gummy backing strip clings on nicely, while allowing for quick corrections and is similarly forgiving, if you’ve dropped a finishing strip. No issues with jaw-droppingly quick unravelling here. Those stretchy, rubbery finishing strips tie everything tight with minimal faff and I’ve not needed to go the belt 'n’ braces electrical tape route.

Grip 4/5

The rubbery, embossed texture ensure excellent purchase regardless of gloves and indeed how wet, greasy or cold the heaven’s decided. Silicone patterned palms are arguably the best marriage, but traditional leather isn’t far behind This stops short of feeling sticky, like the polymer types - I did a quick five miles in mitts, just to confirm my suspicions (swapping back to full finger waterproof gloves, mid ride). 

bar tape wrap test review gloves cycling bike

Our first outing was two hours in torrential rain. I could just lightly grip the bars and cruise along in complete control. Reassuring on long 1in 7 descents, or with my low-slung touring trailer en tow. Snatching the bike away from gaping, rim busting holes, rouge Muntjac deer and rabbits was similarly seamless, and with the right tyres, added to the planted, dependable feel. Modest bulk also meant a more direct connection with the bike and plunging temperatures had negligible effect on these, or the material’s properties. 

This has also come in handy when resting the bike up against assorted surfaces, although wood and trees, in particular (which can prove tricky hosts). All things being equal, you’d be incredibly unlucky to find solo bike(s) creeping away and falling over, although I might still engage a tandem/trike’s parking brake. 

Damping 3.75/5

Ah, but you’ve a suspension stem I hear you cry. The Vecnum FreeQence Suspension Stem doesn’t have a lock out function but can be dialled pretty close. Compared with the otherwise great Souma Leather Handlebar Tape , the Enve was a plusher experience, particularly tackling washboard lanes and I’ve noticed a reduction in hand fatigue over similar distances (although we are talking 3.5-5 hours plus).

On balance there’s little separating it from the pure silicones I’ve discussed, especially given the length and how easy it is to dress the bars and tailor density to taste- e.g., drops, or tops depending on your riding style. Either way, no numbness, tingling or aches in my hands, regardless of how long I've been out. Again, I felt no need, but you could always go for a gel underlay.

Durability/Care 3.75/5 

Difficult to say how the backing adhesive will fare long term and when it’s been weathered but so far, the tape’s proving incredibly easy to live with and care for. Not sure, I’d take the white route with a working, winter, or gravel bike but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well our grey is holding out. Yes, there’s been some minor patina growing in the embossed bits but easily dismissed with a medium soft brush, some bike wash and lukewarm water. 

bar tape wrap bike bicycle review test

I’ve even heard of some professional teams subjecting it to regular jet washing without ill effect. Several wintry weeks down the line, no signs of wear and the backing seems very tolerant of being re-wound.

bar wrap tape review test bicycle

Value 3.5/5

Let’s start by saying the ability to port the Enve Handlebar tape between bars, or re-winding it to coincide with cable replacement means it could work out very inexpensive, longer term. There’s a lot of competition, mind. 

The Ciclovation Grind Touch Bar Tape Handlebar Tape now comes in at £15 and at this price, an absolute bargain. It comes in a choice of four colours, has excellent finishing kit and has also delivered in all contexts. Ours is sitting in my spares tub and the backing has lost none of its tackiness. My one, very minor gripe being it’s trickier to fit with a tendency to unravel at the most frustrating moment.


Lizard Skins DSP 3.2 V2 is, as the name suggests, 3.2 mm thick and now employs a more durable polymer coating. Its available in 6 colours and with expander wedge ends. That said, it retails at £41.99 (although we’ve seen it heavily discounted online). There’s also a 4.2mm version if you needed more cushioning but be prepared to part with £47.


Then of course, we have natural silicones. T-One Mr Fantastic Handlebar Tape is 3mm thick, available in 5 colours and in my experience incredibly durable. It does attract more grime but on the flip side, can be tossed in the wash at 30 degrees. £23.99. Fizik's Terra Microtex Bondcush Tacky Tape comes in at £34.99. Available in six colours, it’s also aimed at gravel/cyclo cross audiences, features a tacky outer layer, a polymer foam mid and a gel type backing, which continues the vibration taming theme, while theoretically making it easier to re-wind. 


There’s a whole heap of choice when it comes to bar wrap and to some extent, you can pay as little, or as much as you like. That out the way, I wouldn’t describe the Evre Handlebar Tape as the holy grail. Nonetheless, it's still an excellent choice. I’m impressed by its blend of comfort and control - it's also relatively light and proving very easy to live with. 

Verdict: 3.75/5 Understated but very competent bar wrap, especially for wider, gravel type drops.


Michael Stenning


Saddleback | The Home of Elite Performance Cycling - Road & MTB – Saddleback Elite Performance Cycling





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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