What's your preferred bar tape, and why?

There are a LOT of bar tape manufacturers out there, making a lot of different tapes that balance a whole bunch of attributes:

  • Ease of installation

  • Color/looks

  • Cushioning

  • Durability

  • Grip

How do you prioritize these attributes, and what tape do you run?

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Durability is lowest, then ease of installation since I’m never in a rush and can take my time. I think grip end up at the top of my list with the grip being the ultimate arbiter. Although after that we have looks since there is an aesthetic preference to all the bikes bar the SS commuter.

I’ve got some Dada some that looks really nice and is lasting well but it’s just not as secure on my hands as the cheaper Deda plain black stuff I had previously so even though it’s still looking good and provides plenty of cushioning I’m gonna get rid.

I do like the look of the fluro tapes, and the patterned stuff here. Think pink sticks with my Giro d’Italia winners theme for bar tape/end plugs on the Bianchi.
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Deda tape or Cinelli Cork on the road bikes, Cinelli Gel Cork for the gravel bike.

I’ve tried a lot of the expensive tapes but I just don’t find much in the way of benefit over the classic cork tapes and they can be three times the cost!

Some people I know love the grippy feel of a Lizardskins, I’m personally not sold on it and found that it wears out far too quickly.

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I have to say that some of the most interesting tapes a far too expensive for my budget for their performance. £20 is around the limit I’ll spend, I’ve seen stuff that costs more than a single tyre which is quite frankly rediculous.

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Grip and color are really the only things that matter to me, unless it’s extremely poor durability or comfort… taping a bar is a taping a bar, there’s not a whole lot of variance in ease of install. I want something that’s mildly textured and reliably grippy even when wet, without feeling ‘sticky’ the way some tapes can, and it has to come in solid black.

Been really happy with Bontrager Grippytack tape recently.

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I prefer a thinner tape than most…so my preferred setup is using Lizard Skins bat tape or hockey stick tape. Anywhere from 1.2 to 1.8mm, so significantly thinner than traditional HB tape and the lengths are perfect for taping aero road bars where you don’t want tape past the levers. Still nicely tacky and provides plenty of grip.

The shop convinced me to put LizardSkins on a while back. I didn’t like their shiny, textured, plasticy look, and didn’t particularly care for the grip. And they wore out in a few years.

I had them replace it with Cinelli cork tape. And wouldn’t you know it, I immediately missed the LizardSkins, mainly because of the cushioning (slightly because of the grip). The Cinellis certainly look better, though.

I don’t have broad experience with many kinds of bar tape, but I really enjoy cork grips on my commuter and I long used cotton tape on my road bike. Last year I switched to the thinnest Silca tape and it’s pretty nice, too.

I’ve used Supacaz Kush, MashSF, Salsa Cork, and Canyon’s factory tape. I think the Canyon tape was my favorite as it combined grip and comfort the best for my hands. I have a roll of Silca’s tape still in my bin and will put it on after the Supacaz wears down on my Aethos.

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Supacaz Super Sticky Kush for me. I’m just said they have stopped making the neon blue color that perfectly matches the accents on my bike. I’ve bought up several rolls. I like the grip and the color. The outer (colored) part of the tape started coming off my tape a few weeks ago. Not as durable as I’d like, but I like all the rest.

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I’ll cast my vote for Silca Nastro Piloti. Long-wearing, tacky and a classy look. Not the cheapest but frequently find it on sale.

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I like the thicker neoprene-like tapes that a.o. Ritchey has (and Specialized used to have).
Pro (Shimano) makes decent tape too, with a more fabric feel.

But can’t say that I’m an expert on the subject.

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I tend to like grippy tapes as I very rarely wear gloves.

I don’t have a particular allegiance to a brand but the one I preferred the most was an OEM tape from the BMC teammachine/roadmachine 3-4 years ago. I think it may have been very similar to some Shimano Pro race comfort but with a different texture pattern.

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Grip handlebar tape from Decathlon.

Looks good, excellent grip without being tacky, doesn’t get slippery in the wet, , decent comfort, easy to work with, good durability, and really cheap (it used to be a bit cheaper…) I’d prefer if it was skived a bit more but that’s a nitpick.

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Bike Ribbon Pro because it’s what I’ve always used I guess. Thin, not grippy is critical for me which is probably at odds with what most people want.

Inexpensive, lasts forever. I like that too.

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Cinelli cork.

My current bike has Profile Design cork, because I couldn’t find the Cinelli in the colour I wanted, and the Profile was half the price. It turned out to be non-adhesive, which was a first for me. It’s been absolutely fine.

Grip isn’t important to me; I don’t hold the bars very tight, and as long as my hands don’t actively slide off, I’m good. I do like to have a bit of cushioning.

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For starters, I’m amazed bartape has increased in price as it has tho I’m sure tech. warrants that? tho I buy 2 cheap for under £10 and so double wrap my bars, I just like that extra thickness and comfort tho I have found the base tape has shrunk weirdly when you take the upper later off…I can’t work that one out

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Neubaums cotton, unpadded. Of course it is all personal preference and what the rest of the bike is like, but for this steel fork, aluminium handlebar and quill stem rider the thin feel is like a large and thin rimmed steering wheel from a 1950s Jaguar. It can also be harlequinned and looks fabulous.

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I’m a fan of FSA Power Touch tape. It has silicon on the back instead of adhesive, so it’s easy to wrap and doesn’t leave a mess. It’s kind of thick and cushy, and seems super durable. It’s not tacky to the touch, but is plenty grippy.

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Fabric Knurl tape is my favorite so far. Easy to tape. Can be thick and cushy or can be stretched thinner. Great tacky feel and the silicone backing doesn’t leave a mess and lets me re-wrap as many times as I want. It’s just hard to get it in black in the US right now.

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