Like the prototype Ground Control tires that just showed up one day, we just got a package with Specialized’s new ultra-wide bar tape. Actually we knew this one was coming, but didn’t have an official name, pricing or availability…or even a photo, so there wasn’t much to say until now.
We still don’t have anything but photos, but we’ve weighed and measured these samples, which show the special limited edition Tour of California design that we hear will be available for a short time at launch. We received two versions, the speckled cork version and a version that looks like their Roubaix suede-textured EVA foam tape (bottom). Check the weights and more photos after the break…
UPDATE: Pricing and more info added at bottom of post.
Specialized’s Nic Sims said the wider design saves weight because you’re not using as long of a piece of tape and it provides better coverage that’s easier to wrap. We’ll confirm once we get some on a bike, but it definitely looks good at 4cm. For fans of thinner tape, it should let you wrap it a bit thinner, too, since there can be less overlap. The California text and logo is glossy and embossed a bit and looks great up close.
The cork tape comes in at 41g per side and the EVA foam at 34g. Each kit includes color-matched tape to seal the ends, two spare strips for wrapping behind the shifter lever. Of course, you get two rolls in the kit, so double the weights above for the bike. They also include plastic expansion end plugs at 20g/pair.
UPDATE: This just in:
- New 10mm wider version of the Roubaix Tape (30mm –> 40mm) improves finish of the tape and smooths out the grip area.
- Easier to wrap and no need for the small strip that covers the brake/shifter, so lighter.
- No more drifting of the tape in the bends due to stretching of the tape or high temperatures.
- Price of the regular version $30 and the California version $50 (due to 4 color printing & Embossing)
- Available in the shops from June/July 2011.
And just to reiterate, the CA version will be pretty limited. Jump on it if you want it, or talk to your dealer now to be sure it’s on order.