Cement and resin encapsulated tendons are widely used in the stabilisation of mine roadways. One of the main factors in controlling the efficiency of the reinforcement is the ability of the tendon to generate load in response to rock deformation. The analysis of field data from instrumented reinforcing tendons complimented with extensive laboratory investigations have more accurately defined the mechanisms by which load generation occurs. The role of reinforcing tendon profiles, hole geometry and encapsulation medium properties in controlling the reinforcement stiffness and capacity are discussed. The results of the investigation have implications in both the design of rock reinforcing systems and the optimisation of encapsulation mediums and tendons.