Review: Forté Grip-Tec Is the Best Cheap Bar Tape

Forté Grip-Tec Handlebar Tape

Asking what everyone’s favorite tape is on a group ride is like asking people what their favorite saddles are … it’s a sensitive topic that involves many, many heated opinions.

For years, I used nothing but Cinelli Cork. Then there was Deda foam tape and then college came around so I just bought whatever was the cheapest. A few years passed and I was a satisfied user of the Fizik Superlight tacky tape … That is, until the day I decided to browse through every single aisle at Performance Bike.

Ah, Performance Bike, a trip down memory lane. The days where we used to look forward to receiving their print catalogue in the mail and experiencing the joy of ordering a bottle of Boeshield T-9 along with some Green Michelin WildGripper Comp S (with tan sidewalls, of course).

Anyway, I was on a hunt to find some cheap bar tape for my training bike and just happened to discover that Forte, Performance’s house brand of components, has some interesting sticky bar tape. Long story short, I got a box of the Forté Grip-Tec Handlebar Tape, in white.

Installation is the same as how one would install any ordinary bar tape. I found the Grip-Tec to be quite durable with just the right amount of cushioning. The cush is there without being overly assertive. It also grips well but not obnoxiously so as if my hands were superglued to the handlebar. I personally prefer tape that’s not too thick so that I get a better feel of the road. The Forte grip tape is just about perfect.

Oh, and great news for white bar tape users. The Forte Grip-Tec doesn’t seem to get dirty as quickly as my Fizik Superlight tacky tape. It’s easy to clean too. I simply spray the tape with diluted Simple Green Aircraft and Precision cleaner, brush, rinse and it’s as good as new.

So stock up on them next time when they go on sale.

Forté Grip-Tec Handlebar Tape

Photos by Stephen Lam