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…
Pro Sport Comfort
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.