6 of the best: bar tape

Get your bar all wrapped up for comfort and grip

Bar tape is used to cover handlebars, as well as brakes and gears, but for most riders, comfort is the biggest priority when it comes to choosing the surface your hands grip out on the road.

Good bar tape can help to reduce road vibration and shocks from road surfaces, and can also look pretty good too.

We've tested a selection of bar tape to bring you six of the best…

Fabric Silicone Tape

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Fabric Silicone Tape
Fabric Silicone Tape

• Price: £29.99 / $45 / TBC

Fabric’s tape is all medical-grade silicone. It’s easy to fit, with no backing tape to remove or adhesive to stick in place, and you can stretch it as much as needed to wrap bends.

It remains in position with smooth overlaps, and the honeycomb texture gives excellent grip in all weather without absorbing moisture, and easily wipes clean.

Fabric

Supacaz Super Sticky Kush

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Supacaz Super Sticky Kush
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush

• Price: £34 / $40 / AU$50

The bold coloured polyurethane layer tops EVA foam and silicone gel adhesive for security and added vibration absorption.

It’s stretchable, very supple and has a cushioned feel, with an embossed starry design.

Easy to clean, even grippier when wet and really durable, it comes with powder coated alloy end plugs that are a neat touch.

Supacaz

Lizard Skins DSP

BikeRadar score4/5

Lizard Skins DSP
Lizard Skins DSP

• Price: £34 / $42 /AU$TBC

This new 1.8mm thick Lizard Skins tape has a micro-stippled pattern interspersed with the company’s logo.

Its Durasoft polymer top layer is grippy, regardless of sweat or gloves. It’s backed by a slim EVA foam and adhesive strip, which is prone to slip in high torsion areas.

The finishing strips are a perfect match for the tape.

Lizard Skins

Fizik Performance Tacky Touch

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Fizik Performance Tacky Touch
Fizik Performance Tacky Touch

• Price: £25 / $35 / AU$50

This tape has a 3mm thick MicroTex and foam construction, with a supple feel. Central parallel stitched lines provide useful extra grip.

Cushioning with a high level of surface grip, especially in the wet, make for a refined cockpit.

It’s durable and washable, with perforations to help drying.

Brooks Cambium Rubber

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Brooks Cambium Rubber
Brooks Cambium Rubber

• Price: £26 / $40 / AU$55

Brooks’ rubber tape has a hard wearing and rubbery-feeling PU surface coating over MicroTex and foam layers.

There’s almost no stretch, but once on, the mini oval shapes of the finely textured surface are grippy.

Adhesive woven cloth finishing strips plus Brooks’ vulcanized rubber Bar End Plugs maintain a superior look.

Brooks

Specialized S-Wrap HD Supacaz Super Sticky Kush

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Specialized S-Wrap HD
Specialized S-Wrap HD

• Price: £35 / $35 / AU$45

This 2.5mm two-colour tape has a fine file-type diamond pattern on its outer layer that’s backed by foam, with a tacky gel strip to hold it in position.

It provides great vibration absorption and durability, but the black majority of the tape feels grippier than the red.

Bolt-on alloy end caps and rubbery finishing strips keep things neat.

Specialized

Our video shows you how to wrap your bar tape

Got a favourite that hasn't made it onto this list? Make sure you pop it in the comment box below

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Related Articles

Back to top