19 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Origin8 Propulsion handlebar tape

A regular reader might be forgiven for thinking that we had some sort of connection with J&B Importers for our reviews of their Origin8 stuff. Sadly, we don't. It just tuns out that the company is selling some stuff at the moment that works very well and is reasonably priced. After good luck with some of their finishing kit and hearing good things about their frames from bike shop guys, I've been taking a closer look at stuff from the brand when I come across it.

This winter, when I rebuilt my cyclocross bike as a fixed gear, I decided to replace the awful FSA faux-carbon bar tape. At the bike shop, I was balking at $18 for Cinelli cork tape and noticed a box of Origin8 bar tape hanging down near the floor. Popping the box open, I found a nice, spongy foam tape that seemed both cushiony and stretchy. The box claimed that it got tacky when wet, which would be a pleasant change from the FSA tape I had been using. At $10, it was worth a shot.

Six months later, the Origin8 has become my favorite bar tape. Ever. It went on easily (the stretchiness helps there) and has stayed exactly where I put it. No slipping in the bends, no peeling at the edges. The material, which I doubt is natural cork, is holding up very well. It is spongier than cork tape and has proven more comfortable in the same amount of space- no double wrapping or gel pads needed (or desired) here. It certainly isn't as slippery when wet as the Fi'zi:k Microtex tape on my road bike, which I appreciate more the hotter it gets. Since buying the first box, I've only noticed it in one local shop, but if you have the time, it may be worth putting in a special request.



1 comment:

Rich said...

The Origin 8 is great stuff. I don't like riding with gloves and it's very grippy when you start sweating or riding in the rain.