Luminous Bar Tape – Epic fail

I thought it would be pretty cool to have “Glow In the Dark” bar tape on my winter commute bike. I had happy visions of me riding home in the dark with bars glowing like some kind of Alien.  Cinelli luminous bar tape is outrageously expensive and I would not have even considered purchasing it if it wasn’t for a super sale at Crank 2 in Pleasanton.  My first impressions were really good as the tape had pleasant pale minty green hue to it even in full sunlight and it was nicely padded too.

It only took one ride for me to discover some problems with the tape. Firstly the texture is quite rough and as such it attracts dirt like there is no tomorrow. It only took a few more rides before it looked like it was a 20 years old and no amount of scrubbing could return it’s new sheen.   Things got even worse when I took it off road out on the levies and the local mud got etched into the grain.

The final nail in the coffin for me was it’s lack of alien glow. I have an hour train ride in a brightly lit carriage with which to charge the tape up, so I was expecting big things of my 4+ mile ride home in the dark. The trouble is that the first mile is in fairly bright street lights and by the time I get to the really dark stuff the glow is almost non existent.

You can get the tape to work. Leave the stuff under a light in the garage for an hour then switch off the lights and stand back to bask in it’s eerie alien glow for a few minutes.

All in all a complete waste of money and well deserving of the title – “Epic Fail”

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