Lizard Skin DSP Bar Tape Review

lizard-skin-300x225It’s amazing how lots of little things can add up to performance improvements. It also goes without saying that being comfortable on your bike will lead to more confidence when competing in your chosen cycling discipline.

I decided last spring to try what I thought was some spendy’ bar tape. When making repairs on my bikes I am pretty frugal. I appreciate performance and value and when I can have both I am doubly impressed.

Bar tape isn’t something I have given a great deal of thought to so I have been pretty surprised at how much I have liked and come to depend on my Lizard Skin Bar Tape.

About Lizard Skins

“Since 1993 Lizard Skins has created products to meet the needs and wants of cyclists around the world. With a wide variety of cycling products, from its well-known chainstays to its gripping bar tape, Lizard Skins has everything you need to make the most of your ride. Our mission is to protect the bike and rider while making the ride more enjoyable.”

Ride experience

I have ridden with the DSP 1.8 Bar Tape for an entire season on my road bike. The biggest comment I keep reading from other reviewers and friends who have tried it is that the tape is grippy’. It reminds me of some of the older tape used on golf club shafts. It actually feels like it is somewhat tacky, like there is some kind of residual adhesive. It does not incorporate an adhesive on the surface of the tape. This perceived tackiness is a trait of the Dura-Soft Polymer that the tape is made of. While this tape is incredibly light and thin it still has the cushion properties of most tapes that I have had on my bikes. lizard-skins-dsp-handlebar-tape-2-300x240

Installation and quality

The tape is very flexible when wrapping bars and I feel it makes for an easier job wrapping bars. I do suggest you read the instructions carefully. Pay close attention to the instructions about not stretching the tape as you wrap the bars. The DSP tape will tear if you stretch to hard. Only a little pressure is required when wrapping and keeping tension on the tape. I also love the fact that the tape doesn’t leave a mess on the bars when its removed. I think the price of this tape is worth it just to not have to clean a bunch of adhesive goop off of my handlebars.

I had been told that the DSP tape was only good for one wrap. Not true! I wrapped my bars and then it was removed a few more times in order to get some Nokon cable housings installed. The tape did not tear but like any tape it did have some residual memory. What I mean by residual memory is when a tape stays curled up after removing it.

So even after an entire season of riding there is very little wear. The finish has dulled a bit in the drops and around the hudz but the great grippy’ feel and cushion is still there. I am sure that after I wrap a new roll it will probably feel a bit cushier but I have no complaints right now. There are a few spots where I have some micro tears and spot at the bottom of the drops that has almost worn through.

So why replace it? I am, not just yet. Did I say I was frugal? It’s still the off season as I write this review and I can deal with the tape as it is right now. In a few weeks I will be giving my bike the spa treatment and that will include a partial tear down of the bike, a thorough cleaning, cable, chain, cassette replacement and end with new bar tape. It always makes the bike feel new again!

The DSP 1.8 and 2.5 widths’ come in the typical primary colors as well double colors. I have also noticed with other friends that the colors do not fade over a season of riding in the sun. The white bar tape is actually pretty easy to keep clean if you use a light strength household cleaner like 409. No need to use a solvent.

lizard-skins-logo-300x45The biggest problem I have with this tape is the cost. The retail cost can be as high as $48.00 per roll! That is a lot of money for bar tape! I have seen several large cycling stores sell it for as little $20.00 but this price is usually for the colors that don’t sell as fast like white, pink and bright green. It is possible to find more of the mainstream colors like Yellow, Red, Blue and Black for about $30.00.

So knowing that I am a bit cheap when it comes to bike maintenance items would I buy the Lizard Skin DSP Bar Tape again? Yes I would and I did. I bought new rolls for both my road and TT bike. I look forward to having fresh bar tape that I know will be comfortable, durable and grippy’ even when my hands are sweating on the long summer rides.

Would I recommend it to my readers, athletes and listeners? I would not hesitate to recommend this excellent bar tape. A quick note: I am not sponsored by Lizard Skin or paid to promote their products.

Likes: Durable, great cushion for being so thin, amazing grip, wide range of colors and the colors hold fast, easy to clean and keep clean.

Dislikes: Cost,

It’s been a while since I have written a review and I hope it helps you to make a wise purchase decision. If you have used Lizard Skin DSP Bar Tape feel free to leave a comment and add to the discussion.

Until next time train smarter not harder.

Coach Rob

3 Comments on “Lizard Skin DSP Bar Tape Review”

  1. Hey Rob,

    I just bought this product a few weeks ago. Although I haven’t had a chance to try it (very much still in winter mode here in Ottawa ON), I was instantly attracted to the tackiness as well as the spongy/comfort feel. I, like you, am a bit stingy with my cash but I was in the process of swapping out a pair of handle bar for a new set of compact bars so obviously needed some tape. I liked your review and I’m happy to here that it has some durability.

    Love your 360 Cycling podcasts with the Guru, Darryl and yourself. Lots of great information. And you guys are right; I’ve gone back and listened to several podcasts twice or three times especially the ones from Kelly (nutritionalist). So much information, you have to listen to then several times.

    Keep up the great work.


  2. Last year I purchased the Lizard skins because I expected them to last, however, the next time I would save the receipt to prove when it was put on. I thought I wore it out after 6 months. Granted, I commute daily and ride weekends. I was disappointed especially when I found out that the shop actually overstretched the tape. I had inquired at another shop as to why they didn’t last. Needless to say I downgraded. The price is insane at 40 dollars.

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