Silca is on quite the product release streak, quickly expanding their range of bicycle accessories – from inflation, to packs, to tools and more. Today, they’re announcing a new line of bar tape, called Nastro. Nastro comes in two styles: 1.85mm-thick Nastro Piloti and 2.5mm-thick Nastro Fiore. Both styles offer a unique laminate construction, tunable grip level, butterfly hood clamp cover tape and expanding bar end locks. I’ve had a few weeks to ride with it so here’s a little background on the product and a quick review:
Silca Nastro Piloti & Nastro Fiore Handlebar Tape
Built from a laminate of “SILCAthane,” “SILCAlon” and 3M Visco-elastic adhesive, the tape feel can be optimized for different riders using different wrap directions and techniques. SILCAthane is a tacky TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The material promises great wet and dry performance, and is five times more durable than other tapes. SILCAlon is what Silca seams to be most excited about though. It is a custom combination of ultra high-efficiency foam similar to those used in high-end running shoes like the Nike React. Thanks to the SILCAlon layer the tape improves on existing materials by offering a softer, more comfortable feel, higher grip in wet and dry, better vibration isolation, and 3-5x the durability.
The combination of materials allowed Silca to offer thinner tape options for lighter weight and better feel, with vibration damping equivalent to thicker, heavier tape. They claim that the 1.85mm Nastro Piloti has cushioning comparative to competitors 2.5mm tape, while the 2.5mm Nastro Fiore has cushioning like that of 3.2mm tape.
1.85mm thickness for thinner, more aerodynamic wrap
Tunable grip level depending on wrap direction
Black, white, red
2.5mm tri-laminate provides additional comfort without additional bulk
Black w/white floral pattern, Black w/neon yellow floral pattern, White w/black floral pattern
Silca Nastro Review
I installed Silca Nastro Fiore on my endurance bike a few weeks ago. First off, like all things Silca, the packaging is great with clear, concise directions right there on the box. Inside you’ll find two generous lengths of bar tape, two butterfly shaped brake/shifter clamp covers, two expanding bar ends and two strips of finishing tape.
I decided to install the thicker Fiore tape, whihc doesn’t have a tunable grip. The thinner Piloti has two grip patterns, and you wrap the bar accordingly to give you High grip or Max grip
Prepping the bar for tape with the butterfly clamp cover was the first indication that this product is truly something new. The butterfly cover is completely covered with adhesive, as opposed to the usual extra 3-inch segment of handlebar tape you get. It stuck nicely and covered the entire clamp area.
While wrapping the tape itself, I definitely noticed that you have to put in a little extra effort to avoid wrinkle. Other than that the process was pretty painless. I quickly learned to wrap much tighter than I normally do with cork tape, in fact the pressure I applied would easily rip cork. The finishing tape is surprisingly nice as well, it’s super stretchy and the adhesive holds like glue. After, a few hundred miles of riding there’s zero peeling. Finally, the expanding bar ends are a nice finishing touch, ensuring you won’t lose a bar end over rough terrain.
With a few hundred miles on the tape, I can first off tell you that it is indeed very grippy. Through rain and below-freezing temperatures, I’ve had zero issues with grip. As for vibration and cush-factor, I have to admit I have a hard time making a call, I thankfully have very little issue with comfort in my hands and arms and didn’t notice any difference from my usual cork tape. The grippiness is what sells it for me. Being able to confidently take a hand off the bar and grab a bottle when riding gravel in rainy conditions is great, I’ve nearly biffed several times in the past when cork got slippery in wet conditions.
Both Nastro tapes are available now, with the thin Piloti selling for $40 (black, white, red), and the thicker Fiore for $44 (black w/ white floral, black w/ neon yellow floral, white / black floral).