For all their virtues, handlebars are prone to falling apart. The material that comes wrapped around them will soon be seen dangling. It is the responsibility of every self-respecting cyclist to keep them in check. That is best done before you start having issues or at the very first sign of said issues. The longer you wait, the more difficult the problem is to resolve. Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution. Enter handlebar tape. Since a rider spends a lot of time holding onto the handlebar, you might need to invest in quality handlebar tape that is durable and comfortable. The handlebar tape is vital for allowing you to maintain a grip of the handlebars, thus controlling the bike when speeding and hiking dirt trails. As an additional upside, you also get the chance to choose from a wide range of colourful designs and patterns. Make use of the reviews below, together with the buyer’s guide to make an informed purchase.
In a hurry?
Tired of buying handlebar tapes that do not last or tape that comes loose too soon? This article will guide you in getting the correct handlebar tape for your bike. The clear advantages and disadvantages of purchasing handlebar tapes will help you to buy quality tapes which are affordable and luxurious. These handlebar tapes come with different rich colours to choose from. Try the new element and leave your bike revitalised with the new look.
The top pick on this list must be the Fizik performance bicycle tape. This option has been built for performance above all else. It has Microtex technology that works to ensure your tape remains well secured even in the case of rain falling. This is from the many little holes they have added on the tape to make it feel sturdier. Often bikers mistake the importance of tape remaining secure when it’s raining. It’s a huge security risk. With this option, you can go on races in all weather terrains. The tape is made from leather which makes it much more durable than many of its competitors. The tape is slightly less thick than other tapes, but that is because they wanted to make this tape easier going for racers. It is the top pick but also expects to pay full price, unfortunately.
Best Handlebar Tape
OUR TOP PICK
This tape is well made and makes use of EVA foam. The foam works to provide the rider with an anti-slip grip when cycling on their bike. It is quite useful in the situation that your handlebar rubber has faded and lost its grip. The material is ultra-light but with enough adaptive foam to absorb shock as you cycle. This means that your wrist will be less likely to hurt after a long period of cycling. These grips are fade and UV resistant meaning that they will maintain their colour in all weather conditions. It is relatively easy to install on your bike with up to 3M adhesive backing.
- Adaptive EVA memory foam
- Easy installation
- UV and fade resistant
Cinelli has come out with this option that brings you the choicest style-wise with over 25 different colours. The tape is very light coming in at just under 0.8 ounces. It has vibration dampeners that will help reduce stiffness in your hands. The tape is well padded, and this will allow you to maintain a secure grip as you cycle. It is quite a long tape with enough to wrap your entire handlebar. The product comes sold as two adhesive rolls with two Cinelli end caps. The end caps will help you to close all the gaps leftover effectively. Unfortunately, the adhesive is not as powerful as the other options on the list.
- Vibration absorber
- Improved length
- Good padding
- Low-quality adhesive
This tape made by SRAM is an excellent alternative to the other options on the list. It is made from Polyurethane tape which is quite a durable material to wrap handlebars with. The tape is made as a synthetic cork tape with a superior adhesive to the other options on the list. The bond is 3M which is the standard industry grade for biking tapes. It comes in 6 different colours allowing you to match your bike perfectly. The tape is slightly heavier than most others. It weighs just over 3.2 ounces.
- Polyurethane tape for added durability
- Impressive adhesive
- 3M adhesive
- Quite heavy
Fizik has provided the market with a top-notch product here. This is one of the more professional options on the list. The material comes from Microtex which are these little holes on the tape. These help with increasing your grip and overall control. This is essential when dealing with racing bikes or cross-country bikes. If cycling in the rain this tape will be unaffected, which is a big bonus. The tape feels like you are holding leather and has a quality feel. The tape is almost 2mm thick which is a bit smaller than your standard 3M adhesive tapes. It has been made to be a lighter and more professional option.
- Microtex technology
- Leather material
- Professional application
- Less thick than other tapes
Domain has worked hard to make sure the customer is put first with this product. It is by far the most extended tape that you can get on this list. The tape measures 94 inches and is about 1.2 inches wide. This means that you get more tape for the same price you would on other products. Quite a bargain. The tape is, however, a little thinner than the others which seem to be the break-off. The material is made from Anti-Slip polyurethane leather that will maintain its complete function in the case of weather change. It also has EVA foam which works like memory foam and can adjust to the shape of your hands as your cycle gives you additional grip.
- 94-inch length
- Anti-slip polyurethane material
- Eva memory foam
- Thinner than other tapes
This is one of the last-ditch options that you can buy when you urgently need to repair your bike handle. The material is made from silicone and is self-bonding. This means that the material will stick to the bike well; however, it won’t last very long because it is made from silicone. Another thing to note is that the tape only sticks to itself. This means you must wrap it around itself for it to work. There is a reason why this is one of the cheapest options on the list. The length of the tape is just over 90 relatively long inches. The tape is not one of the best you can buy, but it’s a good option for temporary fixes.
- Relatively affordable
- The outstanding adhesive power
- Good length
- Will not last very long.
This design from Marque is one of the better low-end options that you can buy. The product comes with a very soft yet durable material that absorbs any shocks from the bike well. This will be especially useful in the case that you are travelling on gravel. I.e. in situations with a large amount of vibration. The material is light and flexible meaning you can stretch it out when trying to apply it to your bike. The material is also wearing and tear-resistant, adding longevity to the products used. You will always want to avoid the grip tearing whilst you cycle because that can be dangerous.
- Durable material
- Shock-absorbing qualities
- 83 inches is relatively small
Spaces have created a tape here that is very strong. The tape has been produced to handle its objectives very well. It is strong and sticky. The tape is made from aluminium laser etched powder that works to stick very well onto metal surfaces. It has been designed to stick perfectly onto bikes and is, therefore, an excellent option to consider. The material of the tape feels very nice in your hand, making it a joy to use whilst cycling. The belt is about 3mm thick, which will offer more outstanding durability to the user. It is quite a pricey option; however, it will not let you down on the job.
- Aluminium laser-etched material
- Two rubberised finish tapes
- 3mm thickness
- Pricey option
This product has very thick padding to ensure that your wrists are well protected whilst you cycle. They offer a no-slip technology that will assist you when it is raining to ensure you do not come to any injury. The tape doesn’t come with regular adhesive but instead uses a gel to stick to the bike. This gel works wonders in terms of a simple application. The only issue with this gel is that if water gets inside, it may come loose. This is one of the drawbacks of using gel adhesive.
- Well padded
- Non-slip technology
- Not resistant to water
TopCabins bike tape is one of the more sleek and stylish options that one can buy. Not only that it is quite resilient as a bike tape. The material is made from EVA foam, meaning it will adapt to the shape of your hands as you cycle rather than remain tough and stiff. The material is relatively light and flexible meaning it does not tear easily. This will extend the life of the product. The tape is quite versatile and can be used on numerous things as opposed to just bikes. The tape is only over 200 cm, meaning it comes with value for money.
- Eva foam
- Versatile use
There are some things that you should consider when purchasing handlebar tape. The buyer’s guide will cover some of these things in some detail.
What to consider when buying a handlebar tape
Handlebar tapes come in different materials which include cork, synthetic and leather. Leather tapes are challenging when it comes to wrapping since they are rigid. Once you manage to wrap the bike, the material is soft and presentable to the eye. A perfect way to style your bike immersed in comfort. Synthetic bar tapes consist of gel core, silicone, polyurethane and nylon. These materials are durable and have a firm grip even when it rains. Get out of the house in any weather and enjoy the ride with these tapes. Cork tapes are stifled and soft though they quickly absorb sweat and dirt.
The thickness of handlebar tape
Most preferred thickness in tapes is 1 to 2mm, as it bids a straight fitting and an input reaction to the bike. This type of thickness is found on leather tapes and cork bar tapes, and a few options on synthetic tapes. We all want that smooth ride even on a bumpy road. Then bar tapes will fix that problem for you. The new trend amongst people is the multi-layered designs that offer improved dampness and grasp absorption.
People usually buy thick bar tapes between 2,5mm to 3,2mm which offers a cushioned level of comfort and softness. The thickness of your preferred bar tape comes in different sizes, so definitely you will enjoy the grip type you desire. Though 3,2mm to 3,5mm handlebar tapes tend to be difficult to wrap on the bike due to its bulkiness, it makes the grip soft and comfortable to use.
Bar tapes tend to have a sticky gel to keep bar tape firm during your ride whilst the adhesive strip keeps the bar tape on for a more durable time. Less shifting of the bar tapes, if you have one of these on your bike. Purchase one of these, and you will never go wrong with these tapes.
These bar tapes to aid in the grip of the bike even when you have profusely sweated and when it’s raining. These bar tapes will protect you from falling off your bike or from losing control of your bike. Usually, the best grip comes from a 3mm thick bar tape which helps in the dampness absorption of sweat. If you happen to go off-road accidentally, these thick bar tapes will guide you back on the road and comfort your ride with the best grip ever.
If you feel your bar tapes are too big or feel heavy, then you can trim the tapes to your comfortability with scissors. Always note that these gels and tapes are reusable for a long time, durable, less costly. It has a screw-in bar end plugs which offer a firm grip with a stylish pattern that’s out of this world.
Shock-absorbers gel that is placed under the bar tapes are recyclable and can be used with any tape of choice. Whenever you purchase a bar tape, bar plugs and strips are always included in the package.
Types of Handlebar Tapes
Different types of handlebar tapes serve almost the same purposes, but people will disagree on which bar tape they will consider as the best on the bike. These are some of the best bar tapes we believe to be one of the best tapes for one to use on their bike. Ride your bike in style.
- Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Classic
- Specialized Body Geometry Bar Phat
- Tempo Microtex Bondcush Soft
- ESI Grips RCT Wrap
- BTP Woven Bar Tape
Advantages of handlebar tapes
- They are durable, enhance grip and permeable.
- No glue is needed
- Different colours and designs are quite stylish.
- Some of the bar tapes are easy to clean due to their thickness.
- Absorbs dirt and sweat.
- Simple and affordable.
Disadvantages of handlebar tapes
- They are challenging to clean.
- 3mm thick bar tapes are difficult to wrap on the bike due to their bulkiness and stiffness.
- 3mm and above thick bar tapes cannot be stretched.
- Can break or tear up during heavy use.
Now that you have seen our top picks in all of their glory. Which one do you like the most? Our buyer’s guide will have informed you about the purpose of handlebar tapes and how to compare the thickness of the tapes. Each tape is crafted to enhance the grip and comfortability. Purchasing the correct bar tape will leave your bike refreshed and stylish. We have tried our best to be in detail about the purpose of bar tapes.