ESI Grips Unwrapped Bar Tape

4.5/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $35.00

Product Description

160 grams

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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by BeansBaxter a Triathlete

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2010

Weaknesses:    Expensive, slippery when wet, difficult to install

Bottom Line:   
These are an interesting departure from the standard bar tape but after 1000 miles, including a sprint triathlon and two centuries, I can't say I'm thrilled with them, especially consider the new, higher price. Let's start at the beginning.

It took a lot more effort than bar tape to install. I used copious amounts of hand sanitizer which helped but it still took a large amount of time and effort and an assistant (which ESI does note will be necessary).

After getting the first section on, I realized that the thick and thin sides weren't that easy to differentiate when installed so I marked the ends of the other sections to make sure I got them oriented correctly.

They are comfortable but I did not notice any difference in comfort compared to good cork tape.

ESI claims that they are "slip-proof" but I often ride without gloves and found that I would slip as my hands got sweaty or wet. In the same riding conditions, I did not experience this with cork tape.

Durability is a claimed benefit and I'd probably concur as they seem to be holding up fine so far. Honestly though, I haven't had a problem with cork tape durability.

If I need to replace my levers or swap stems I'm going to have to remove the silicone tape and fight to remove at least two sections of grip. Once my maintenance is done, the I get to go through part of the installation hassle again and find more silicone tape somewhere to finish it off.

Is that easier than unwinding bar tape? I guess it depends on your perspective. All I know is that now I'm trying harder to avoid any changes that will involve messing with my grips.

ESI seems like a decent company with a good back-story. Unfortunately, as stated on their website "No Refunds or Exchanges. All sales are final." Now, I knew that before buying so caveat emptor and all that but given the cost of these grips compared to most bar tape, it's a bitter pill to swallow when you find they aren't what you had hoped they'd be.

This doesn't affect my review in any way but just be aware that the blue is pretty light. I was hoping for a darker shade and it's often hard to tell what color something truly is from a picture on the web.

In conclusion, there's not much to justify spending $51 on these grips. The slipping issue in particular is a problem and I'll probably end up taking them off now that I feel I've given them a thorough chance. Anybody want to buy some used ESI Grips Unwrapped (assuming I can get them off without destroying them)?

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Price Paid:    $51.00

Purchased At:   ESI

Similar Products Used:   Cinelli cork bar tape, no-name synthetic bar tape, Bontrager cork bar tape

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Appendage a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2010

Strengths:    Good grip in all conditions. Comfy, absorbs road buzz. Does not unravel, twist or slip. Looks cool. I've had ESI grips on my MTBs for a long time and they've help up well.

Weaknesses:    It will be tough to change brake housing with these in place, but I think I've figured out a way to do it (haven't had to try it yet). If your brake housing is shot or cheap, I recommend replacing it before installing the grips. Does not affect changing cables or shifter housing.

Bottom Line:   
I disagree with the reviewer who said the ESI Unwrapped are "extraordinarily hard" to install. Yeah, it's a bigger deal than wrapping tape. You have to disconnect your brake cables and remove your brifters. It's not that hard, it's just a hassle. Just give yourself plenty of time and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. If you want a quick and easy tape job, look elsewhere.

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Favorite Ride:   West Sonoma

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   Online somewhere

Similar Products Used:   Gel tape.

Bike Setup:   Blah blah blah

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by oxidefilm a Triathlete

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2007

Strengths:    Great Feel

Weaknesses:    Not so Pretty
Minimal padding on the top sides of the drops.

Bottom Line:   
Nice Grips overall. Extraordinarily hard to install. Once installed, good luck repositioning your levers or replacing cables. They have a great feel and do last but my biggest complaint is the lack of cushioning. This is the only reason I switched back to cork. There is NO WAY to get gel under these, which would have solved the problem.

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Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   ESI

Similar Products Used:   CORK

Bike Setup:   CAAD8 Full Dura Ace

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nikolas a Commuter

Date Reviewed: March 17, 2007

Strengths:    They look nice, clean smooth.
They are extremely comfortable, with or without gloves.
They seem to be very durable.

Weaknesses:    I haven't found any weaknesses. That's the way some things are: Very excellent products exist.

Bottom Line:   
I admit that I was suspicious when I read these reviews. But no more. These silicone tubes are both comfortable and durable. I suppose that one day in the future even these break and then I must buy a new set, but today the grips still look new. Why would I even think of buying tapes? I can't consider about giving anything else but five stars.

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Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   ESI Grips

Similar Products Used:   Ordinary tapes. Well actually they are not similar. They are tapes.

Bike Setup:   On-One Il Pompino single-speed road/cx/commuter bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian a Triathlete

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2006

Strengths:    Just what the doctor ordered. I couldn't think up a better grip if I had to.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
These are GREAT!! No unwrapping of bar tape, no stickiness of the tape adhesive, no uneven surfaces, no slipping when wet and sweaty, no fatigue on long rides or cruddy roads. Just comfy grips that last forever.

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Favorite Ride:   Any time when the sun's shining

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Everything else.

Bike Setup:   Cannondale six13 road and tri bikes, Dura Ace, Reynolds.

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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