If you’re someone who enjoys cycling or spends a minimum of ten hours a week holding onto your handlebar, then you should get your hands on the best handlebar tape. Whether maneuvering a tricky corner or a busy street, a handlebar tape helps you control your bike and gives it a new look. It helps give a good grip, superior comfort, and better vibration absorption.
Although casual riders often overlook this, those who are true bike enthusiasts know that handlebar tapes make a significant difference to the experience of riding a bike. Check out our post to see some of the best-selling handlebar tapes.
11 Best Handlebar Tapes
Made of high content natural cork polyurethane base, the trusted Cinelli gel strip is sold as two self-adhesive rolls sufficient to wrap one handlebar. This award-winning handlebar tape comes with gel padding that offers a comfortable hold. The black bar tape has a simple, classic look that will match all your cycles.
- Available in a variety of colors
- Comes with Cinelli end caps in the box
- Vibra-absorb gel layer helps reduces the vibration
- Available in more than ten vibrant colors
- Has a sweat-free finish
- May require additional adhesives to stick the tape
- Some may feel the tape to be thick
Used by professional athletes across the world, the handlebar tape is available in various colors and is made in the USA. It is made of quality materials and is one of the lightest tapes to fit any handlebar. This vintage-style handlebar tape features a different grip pattern that exhibits smaller perforations. It has also been upgraded with high-quality polymer, giving it a competitive edge. To make an informed decision before buying, you can check out this video.
- Durably built
- Bright-colored tape
- Provides increased shock absorption
- Has extra thickness for added comfort
- Suitable for beginners and experts
- Plugs may often pop out
- Colors may fade upon usage
Planet Bike, one of the top handlebar tape brands, offers tapes in a wide range of colors. The time-tested tape is super comfortable and can be used on all bikes, as it is easy to install. It allows you to place your hands comfortably on the handlebar and offers an excellent grip. It has EVA foam construction along with cork flacks that provide superior grip as well as comfort.
- Made of soft, durable gel
- Fade- and water-resistant
- UV protected colors
- Backed by lifetime warranty
- May become tacky if tape comes in contact with water
- May not be easy to tuck the tape once wrapped
Cinelli Cork Handlebar Tape
Best For Reducing Vibration
Lizard Skins Tape and Plugs Bar Tape
Planet Bike Comfort Cork Handlebar Tape
|69 x 1.5 x 0.4 inches
|8 x 4 x 2 inches
|4 x 4 x 4 inches
4. Best Length: Redshift Really Long Bike Handlebar Tape
The Redshift bike handlebar tape for road bikes can be an excellent choice for cyclists looking for a comfortable, reliable grip. It measures 124 inches and is made of a durable and flexible closed-cell foam that provides a secure, comfortable grip. The unique textured surface of this gravel bar tape makes it a great choice for long rides in any weather condition.
- Comes with instructions
- Easy to apply and stays firmly in place
- Polyurethane outer layer
- May be thinner than expected
- May not be ideal for rough surfaces
The tried-and-tested extra-long gel handlebar tape can be tightly wrapped on the handlebar for a good grip. It measures 94 x1.2 inches and has a cushioned EVA foam liner with vex-gel lining underneath for added comfort. This handlebar tape package includes handlebar end plugs, finishing tape, and adhesive backing for better wrapping.
- Made of anti-slip polyurethane leather
- Offers optimal grip in wet conditions
- Can be used to customize bike
- Backed by a 100% lifetime guarantee
- Does not have adhesive backing
- Cushioning may fade upon usage
The special edition handlebar tape for mountain bikes from Cinelli comes in several colors and peppy designs. The design is embossed throughout the tape, and the adhesive backing offers easy handlebar tape installation. This tennis-style grippy tape has a proven track record of providing better comfort and grip and comes with handlebar-end plugs, making it suitable for your outdoor adventures.
- Rubberized elastomeric compound gives a leather-like feel and look
- Neon-colored end for safety and style
- Absorbs perspiration well
- Velvet finish gives it a visually appealing look
- Strong adhesive may tear the tape if rewrapped
- May not be adequately cushioned
This soft, classic handlebar tape is made of microtex, a thin and durable perforated leather-like material. Liked by many reviewers, it provides a smooth surface and has a thickness of two millimeters. Microtex offers pin-sharpening handling as well as control. The outer layer of the tape gives a matte finish and soaks up moisture well. It is one of the most affordable options available currently.
- Suits all professional bikes
- Specifically designed to offer superior grip and durability
- Available in various colors and patterns
- Comes with plugs to keep it intact
- May not suit humid conditions
- Tape may fold on itself, making it bumpy
8. Best Long-Lasting: Supacaz Super Sticky Kush
The Supacaz Super Sticky Kush is a high-performance handlebar tape for road and gravel bikes, designed for riders who want the best grip, comfort, and durability. This sleek and durable gravel bar tape comes in black and is made from a high-quality material that is resistant to wear and tear.
- Offers comfort to gravel riders
- Laser-etched aluminum bar plugs
- Long-lasting finish
- Easy to install
- May not be thick enough
- Some may find the color options limited
The polyurethane coating allows for maximum resistance and provides adequate protection against abrasion and moisture. It is also available in many colors to add a vibrant touch to your bicycle handlebar. This trusted synthetic handlebar tape offers a classic look and feel to your bike’s handlebar and the adhesive backing offers easy installation.
- Easy to install
- Made of durable synthetic microfiber
- Has vulcanized rubber end plugs
- Durably built
- Tape may have a dense finish
- End caps may be larger than expected
A cloth handlebar tape from Newbaum, this adhesive tape is easy to wrap. These affordable handlebar tapes are available in multiple colors, and the cotton material is known to absorb sweat well and keep your hands comfortable during long rides. Each roll is 120 inches long and ¾-inch wide and features a V weave, instead of a W weave. The dye used to make these tapes are eco-friendly, making it a trusted choice of the reviewers.
- Good option if you aren’t looking for an expensive tape
- Made with a highly durable milled cotton cloth
- Keep hands dry by absorbing excess sweat
- Suitable for long rides
- Retains grip even during wet weather
- May lack color fastness
- May not be long enough for a drop handlebar
11. Best Asymmetrical: Selle Italia Smootape Gran Fondo Road Handlebar Tape
The Selle Italia Smootape handlebar tape is a great cycling equipment offering a comfortable and secure ride. It features an EVA foam design that helps absorb vibration for a hassle-free ride. As per reviews, its asymmetrical hollow design ensures smooth overlapping to avoid bulges.
- Lightweight and durable
- Suitable for all weather conditions
- Easy to install
- Ergonomic design
- Color may vary
- May be thicker than expected
How To Choose The Right Handlebar Tape?
Here are a few things to consider to choose the best handlebar tape for your bike.
- Material: Bar tape was earlier made from cork or leather materials, which are popular even today. They provide a better grip, comfort, and give the bike bar a classic look. However, these materials may have a few limitations compared to the newer synthetic materials like gel or foam. These modern materials provide improved comfort, are available in many colors and designs, and provide an all-weather grip.
- Grip: The materials used and the handlebar tape’s texture play a major role in providing a good grip. Polyurethane or other synthetic materials can provide a good grip in both wet and dry conditions. Check for materials that offer breathability since they allow sweat and moisture to be absorbed and maintain the grip.
- Thickness: Handlebar tape comes in varied thicknesses to suit the comfort levels of different riders. Professional bikers prefer thin wraps that let them feel the rod and control it better. A thick or padded handlebar tape will reduce road buzz, provide more comfort, and decrease numbness in hands when the bike is ridden over long distances. A bar tape made of gel usually provides additional comfort and offers better control while riding on rough roads and terrains, thus reducing fatigue.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I change my handlebar tape?
You should change your handlebar tape every six months. However, if you start noticing that the bar tape is no longer soft and elastic and slips from your grip easily, you should change the bar tape before the period of six months.
2. Can I reuse my handlebar tape?
Yes, you can reuse your handlebar tape if you remove it carefully. You can stick it on another handle with adhesive.
3. How much does a handlebar tape weigh?
The weight depends on the tape’s length and thickness. On average, a 32mm tape weighs around 70g (including plugs).
4. How do I clean my white handlebar tape?
White handlebar tape tends to get dirty more quickly than others. First, dip a sponge in a solution of soap and warm water and scrub it in the direction that the tape is wrapped. After you’re satisfied with your scrubbing, dip your sponge in a solution of baking soda and water and scrub the tape again. Lastly, wipe it with regular water and let it air dry.
5. Should I use bar tape on my road bike?
Bar tape acts as a contact point on the bike. It provides better grip and comfort, absorbs sweat, and allows smooth travel on rough terrains. Getting a bar tape can be a good idea, if you plan to ride long distances on highways or other places on your road bikes.
Why Trust MomJunction?
We understand people’s necessities and requirements and ensure to bring high-quality products for our readers. So, we have done extensive research to bring you this list of the best handlebar tapes that are durable, long-lasting, and will fit your quality parameters. Each time-tested product is listed with detailed information about features and distinctive aspects. We have also provided a buying guide and a FAQ section for you to go through before selecting the right one.
With a myriad of handlebar tapes available online, choosing the one that suits your requirements best could be challenging. To help you make the right choice, we have documented a list of the best handlebar tapes that offer a firm grip and help wick the moisture away. It includes the cushiony, soft Cinelli Cork Handlebar Tape and the thin yet durable Fizik Performance Bicycle Bar Tape. The list also features the wear-resistant Supacaz Super Sticky Kush. Based on your frequency of riding a bike, the terrain you drive in, and your design preferences, you may choose the most suitable and quality-tested bar tape to enjoy your bike rides comfortably and safely.
Infographic: What Makes A Good Handlebar Tape?
If you’re an enthusiastic cyclist, investing in a good handlebar tap provides better grip, comfort, and control during rides. Explore the key factors that make an excellent handlebar tape in the following infographic. This guide will help you understand the qualities to look for when choosing the handlebar tape for your cycling needs.