Lizard Skins Cycling Bar Tape Review

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Taking The Lizard Skins Bar Tape On The Road & Gravel

Over time, I have tried and tested pretty much all of the critical components of the bicycle. Somehow Lizard Skins Bar Tape has eluded me. When the chance came along to put a handful of their products on my bikes, I jumped at it.

The Logo

I know it seems silly to give the logo much thought, but it is eye catching. Obviously, the scaly amphibious animal and the grip surface have a lot in common. I like how the lizard seems to be hugging a handlebar. Turns out, there is this symbiotic Ying Yang relationship going on in the design, and its sticky little fingers sum up the brand perfectly. They have a simple saying; “Protect The Bike And Rider While Making The Ride More Enjoyable.”

My Selection Of Lizard Skins Bar Tape

  • DSP 1.8 mm = $41.99  50 grams
  • DSP 2.5 mm = $41.99  56 grams
  • DSP 3.2 mm = $45.99  78 grams

Installation Of The Lizard Skins

It is really important with Lizard Skins tape that when you install you do not stretch the tape. This can be tough, because we are so used to stretching tape when we wrap bars. I know for me I had to really try to think about it, because I inherently wanted to wrap the tape super tight. The reason for this is that there are two layers and if you stretch the tape you break the bond between the top sticky layer and the soft EVA layer. That affects the lifespan by causing the tape to wear prematurely. As long as you keep some tension on the tape it wraps great and there is plenty left at the end. Lizard Skin even made a very helpful video about it.

The video is great!  Really!!!  I turned off the volume and watched it again and again as he wrapped it. There is an almost soothing trance-like effect to the video.

I am not a mechanic and don’t wrap tape on a weekly or monthly basis. Hence, it took me longer than the video. In addition, I also had to go back a couple of times to make sure that the area around the brake hoods was covered appropriately. I must say, that as the tape got thicker especially with the DSP 3.2 mm, it proved more challenging. Watch the video, take your time, and you’ll get it figured out!

Taking The Lizard Skins On The Road And Gravel

I feel like Goldilocks with my abundance of choices. Which one do I pick? The thin DSR 1.8 mm does look nice and sleek.  Lizard Skins’ medium DSR 2.5 mm is soft and camouflaged. The thick DSR 3.2 mm is super comfy, and feels like a down pillow when crushing miles of mountain passes and wash boarding gravel roads. There are surely recommended uses for each thickness.

Ok, full suspension it’s not, but that extra bit of padding did help as I was flying downhill over this washboard.

Paris Roubouix gets mentioned in the advertising for the thick DSR 3.2. Since that’s not an option for my weekly ride, I opted to put that one on my Rodeo Adventure Lab “Flaanimal”. A bike inspired by the cobbled roads of Flaanders with a spiritual creature vibe thrown in for good measure.

This one is mentioned first, because of the huge difference it made from what I was used to on my adventure bike. I went from skinny and slick to comfy and cushioned. And for this bike, that is perfect. Lizard Skins DSR 3.2 mm absorbs the little vibrations, and plays a huge factor for my gravel, dirt, scree, and cobbled rides.

The DSR 2.8 mm is recommended for the road. This thickness covers most riders and road conditions. I installed this red camo color on my Titanium road bike since it sees a lot of use on my urban group rides. Sorry, I will have to say that I am not a fan of the camouflaged patterning. That does not affect the use, but I couldn’t get over the look. I would definitely recommend this thickness to my cycling friends. I enjoy this for my everyday road rides. Hence, this is a perfect bar tape for the cycling enthusiast.

There seems to be a shiny slick factor from first appearances. That isn’t really the case. The grip is secure; not slick to where you’d be sliding, but also not sticky. I hope that makes sense. Movement from one handlebar position to the next is made smoothly and effortlessly. I am settling on the Sky Blue DSR 1.2 mm for my road bike, as I prefer the color scheme on my road bike. This thickness is recommended for the road or crit racers; someone concerned with any kind of weight savings as well with a tighter look and feel. The grip is tight and nimble. Enough cushioning to provide a good amount of comfort, but not too thick to affect performance.

Final Thoughts

The Lizard Skins bar tape has opened my eyes to another element of comfort and performance to be placed on the bike. I suppose I had never given bar tape that much thought before. That has changed as I will be a much more attentive cyclist. I am a fan of Lizard Skins, and will definitely order a DSR 2.5 mm for my road ride in a color that I like. And I may even change that up from season to season as to how my mood feels each year. The bar tape can certainly make for a new fresh look to a bike.

For more information and purchase please visit Lizard Skins

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.

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