For years I experienced numbness in my hands & wrists while riding. After installing the bar gel tape and buying a new pair of gel gloves the numbness stopped (immediately). I haven't had an issue for over 2 years since installing the Fizik bar gel kit. Incredible cushy feel without compromising grip or steering response one bit. One other plus.. the bar tape works great in the rain.
Take your time when installing and you will be rewarded with long life and a smooth ride. This product will take the edge off hand numbness and soften rough roads. I used the Specialized version first with okay results - Fizik makes a higher quality product, gel has lasted 2+ years so far.
I've done a few bar tape installs and have tried all different kinds of tape (Gel, natural cork, leather, etc). The FSA gel tape that I had on my bike before was torn after a few falls and I thought the Fizik tape would be a good replacement.
The biggest issue was the installation. Even with minimal overlap on the tape, it doesn't cover the handlebars. I ended up using electrical tape to complete the job.
Some people like the gels, some people don't, that's a personal preference thing, but I'm pretty sure I fall into the "don't" category. After cutting the gel to fit the bars, the feel of gel inserts + tape (this kit) vs. gel tape (my old FSA tape) is huge - it's lumpy, uncomfortable, and the only redeeming feature is yes, it does actually absorb some shock.
I had confidence in this tape, so I bought two at the time, but now I will be taking the second one back and returning it. Really disappointed, as Fizik generally turns out pretty good stuff. The FSA tape is about the same price, but a much higher quality product, longer and easier to install with no gel inserts, just gel in the actual tape itself.