Testing is essential for making sure the tape is doing what it supposed to do. The only thing we had to figure out is ‘how' to test.
So what is the best way to do this? Riding it of course.
Thomas and I tested different iterations of the tape and each time we forwarded the learning to Anders and discussed what can be done to improve different aspects.
Besides going for evening and weekend spins there was a longer bike-packing trip upcoming on my side which was a perfect occasion to #grepp the sh***t out of the prototype.
I decided to hook my bike up with two versions of the tape which were slightly different from each other.
Together with two friends of mine we were heading to the east of Finland to a region which is called South Karelia. The region is accommodating the largest lake in Finland and offers amazing cycling routes on tarmac and gravel routes between the large lake system.
The trip took 4 days and we covered a distance of around 560km with a fair share between gravel and road sections.
It was crazy hot those days which is not the norm for a finnish summer. As you might remember from the first blog "Link to the first story" I tend to sweat a lot at my hands and it is usually impossible for me to ride without gloves. This time it was different. The tape was managing the moisture quite well and I never had the feeling that it gets hairy on the gravel descents by loosing grip.
I was also a bit concerned about the vibration and shock damping of the tape. At the end it was not much different from a synthetic ribbon tape and after day 3 my palms started to hurt a bit which was more or less the same duration my friends started complaining about their tapes and the slight pain.
Besides trying to find the flaws of our tape it was all about riding and enjoying the endless rounds with friends.
Overall it was a perfect trip and a great opportunity to test the different versions we have created under more extreme riding conditions.
The result of the test helped us to finalise the final version ... maybe :D