6 of the best: bar tape

Spruce up your bar and give your hands a treat...

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.

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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…

Pro Sport Comfort

5.0 out of 5 star rating
black bar tape from pro
Pro Sport Comfort
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £18 / US$24 / AU$33

Pro’s is the thickest tape here at 3.5mm, thanks to its extra layer of gel padding. The wide, non-sticky silicone adhesive strip actually sticks to the bar effectively and is very easy to remove without residue.

The non-patterned design delivered excellent grip.

A veritable bargain if you like a little more road-buzz-smoothing plushness from your handlebar tape.

Selle San Marco Presa Corsa Dynamic

4.0 out of 5 star rating
black bar tape from Selle San Marco
Selle San Marco Presa Corsa Dynamic
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £18

Well-priced, high-quality padded gel tape that weighs just 70g overall, including plugs.

The San Marco’s wide adhesive strip and overall profile are very similar to the Pro’s, with just a little less central gel padding. But this is similarly comfortable, good looking and easy to fit neatly and remove without fuss or mess.

Specialized S-Wrap HD

4.0 out of 5 star rating
red bar tape from Specialized
Specialized S-Wrap HD
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £32 / US$35 / AU$45

Excellent quality, grippy and comfortable gel-padded tape with a matching finishing strip, all well secured by expanding plug bar ends for a super-neat look.

The wide-ish adhesive strip doesn’t feel sticky to the touch, but is effective, and it was easy to clean and remove.

The two-colour design takes a little care to get neat on the bend but that’s the only downside.

Bontrager Grippy Tack

3.5 out of 5 star rating
lime green bar tape from Bontrager
Bontrager Grippy Tack
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £30 / US$30 / AU$50

This is the thinnest tape here but the diamond pattern proved very grippy and, er, tacky.

If you like a more direct feel while taking away the worst buzz, this does a good job.

The brightly coloured tape gets grubby quite quickly but is easy to clean and our ‘Visibility Yellow’ tape includes thousands of small reflective dots for night-time riding.

Joystick Analog

3.5 out of 5 star rating
lime green bar tape from joystick
Joystick Analog
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £32 / US$40

Team Dimension Data’s bar tape of choice offers a mid-range 2.8mm of padding and a textured, patterned and slightly tacky surface that proved impressively grippy.

The Joystick Analog tape stayed cleaner longer than Bontrager’s, proved easy to clean and is secured by an expanding wedge, creating very tidy bar ends.

Fizik Vento

3.5 out of 5 star rating
red bar tape from fizik
Fizik Vento
David Caudery/Immediate Media
  • Price: £34 / US$45 / AU$62

Fizik’s Vento ‘Solocush Tacky’ tape lives up to its full name, with its 2.7mm padding offering very good cushioning, and the textured surface a ‘tacky’ grip whether you’re riding with or without gloves.

The adhesive strip is very sticky but it was still easy to remove the tape without mess or tearing. Price is on the high side, though.

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Fizik

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