Selle Italia Smootape Gran Fondo review

Selle Italia’s bar tape is comfortable, but tricky to wrap without overlaps or gaps

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Selle Italia Smootape provides a complete kit to rewrap your bars. It’s comfortably padded and without adhesive backing you can reposition it as you wrap and potentially remove and reuse it. But taping without overlaps, as Selle Italia suggests you do, is tricky and I found this impossible over the bends and the levers.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Comfortable, thick tape

  • +

    Good grip wet or dry

  • +

    Washable and reusable

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Tricky to wrap while avoiding gaps and overlaps

  • -

    Despite Selle Italia’s claims, you do need to overlap the tape on the bends and levers

  • -

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Selle Italia Smootape is made of squishy foam with tapered edges. It’s designed so that you can wrap your bars without overlapping the tape, leading to a smoother finish – hence the name. Selle Italia has patented the design.

In practice, you can’t really tape round the bends in the bars, or the levers, without ending up either with gaps or with overlaps. But on the tops and the ends of the drops, there’s enough stretch and compressibility in the tape to allow you to press adjacent wraps close to each other for a smoother look.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.