Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Lizard Skins DSP V2
Stop what you’re doing and go check your handlebars. We’ll wait. Back yet? How’s your bar tape looking? Like getting a haircut for yourself, fresh bar tape is one of the easiest ways to make your entire bike look and feel brand new. But just as you wouldn’t get a $10 haircut the day before your wedding, you shouldn’t go cheap with bar tape. For our money, Lizard Skins has some of the best-looking and best-feeling tape on the market.
The brand’s DSP Bar Tape V2 features a unique Dura Soft Polymer compound that provides a trifecta of excellent grip, comfort and durability. This latest polymer features a brand-new formula that has really improved the durability and comfort over previous Lizard Skins bar tape. Even with some sweat dripping all over your bars, this tape stays remarkably grippy—something to look for when sweaty bars hit a summer peak.
The DSP tape also features excellent shock absorption, which you can control further thanks to the three different thicknesses available. For riding gravel or if you want the absolute highest vibration absorption you can get (perhaps on cobblestones), choose the 3.2mm-thick tape, or save some weight with the 2.5mm-thick tape. But the thinnest option, at 1.8mm, still offers a high level of shock absorption. This tape won’t weigh you down either. The 1.8mm-thick version weighs in at 50 grams, while the 2.5mm and 3.2mm tapes tip the scales at 56 and 78 grams respectively.
Other well-thought-out details make this tape a favorite. The screw-in bar plugs are easy to install and stay securely fastened, providing a clean finish for miles to come. We can see why this tape is trusted at the highest level of the sport, including the Movistar, Lotto-Soudal and AG2R La Mondiale ProTour teams. It performs exactly how we want it to.
And while you might think that $40 ($44 for the 3.2mm) is pricey, keep in mind that this tape will outlast much of the cheap stuff on bike store shelves. That’s where the haircut analogy runs out, because you’ll be good to go for a heck of a lot longer than three to five weeks. Plus, in addition to the three thicknesses there are 15 color options, ranging from classics like Jet Black and Diamond White all the way to Neon Pink and Vegas Gold. You’re almost guaranteed to find something that looks great on your bike. Do your bike a favor and treat it to one of the simplest yet most impactful upgrades you can make. $40–$44; three thicknesses (1.8mm, 2.5mm, 3.2mm); 15 colors; lizardskins.com
From issue 95. Buy it here.