Primarily made of a special formulation of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) resin, the Thick and Zesty is the right balance of strength and stretchiness. It absorbs vibration, and is oxidation and water resistant. Soma has made the Thick and Zesty 2.5mm thick and 20mm longer than other bar tapes.
The bar tape held up well when I took a fall. No rips, no tears, no unwinding. It's ok in that regard. Not sure I like the rest of it.
I ordered mine in brown, hoping for a leathery colour. Nope. I'd say it's about #F0B75B in colour. Use a hex color picker to see what I mean. I was hoping for a leathery or slightly plasticky texture/look. Unfortunately, the surface feels like very fine open cell foam. It's soft, sure, but I was hoping for something more like the feel of a badminton racquet. The tape itself is pretty thick, and feels comfortable to hold.
I was a somewhat surprised to find that the adhesive backing on the tape was provided by a strip of double sided tape, and not a strip of adhesive applied to the tape itself. What's the difference? The double sided tape has a tendency to come off the bar tape when pulled on. Not too big an issue once everything's wrapped though. The included finishing tape isn't very good. Not particularly sticky, stretchy, or nice looking. Stick to electrical tape or twine here.
Overall, I guess this bar tape is very much a case of you get what you pay for. Mind you, I'd still get this if I wanted bar tape on the cheap. I just wish the colours were better.
Can't speak to durability, but this is nice, smooth, easy to install to tape. Stretches nicely. Not sure why extra strips weren't included for under the brake hoods, but the tape is extra long so I made my own from extra bits. The adhesive on the back was non-existent on one strip of the tape. Not a big deal, but "hmmm."
The brown colored tape was rumored to match the "honey" color of a Brooks saddle. I actually found it to be much lighter, but whatever.
When I was installing it, I noticed two issues: one, the adhesive on the back of the tape comes off really, really easily, and tends to stick to the wrong thing (backing tape, the bar, etc.); two, the silly tape ripped right in half while I was putting tension on it to install.
This is not the first time I've installed bar tape--far from it. But it was certainly the first time an installation ended with torn tape! Never again, going with Salsa gel tape instead.
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