Handlebar Tape: The 9 Most Comfortable bar tapes for Road, Touring, and Gravel
Get your hands on the best handlebar tape! The 9 most comfortable bar tapes for road bike, touring, gravel, bikepacking.
The coolest drop-bar grip tape from thin to thick, reviewed!
When it comes to perfect handling and enhanced stability while riding a bike, there are various factors to consider, like wheel size, brakes, traction, etc. But, only the most dedicated cyclists would know that it is equally essential to equip your bike drop handles with the best handlebar tape. Why?
Well, there are a plethora of reasons to upgrade your handlebars with the best bar tape, here are a few:
Excellent grip over the handles
Enhanced comfort level
Other than these features, getting a cool bar tape also makes your bike look a bit unique. The most comfortable bar tapes come in various materials of varying thicknesses that can provide your bike a customized look along with utility.
All of these points are enough to convince you that if you are a cyclist, you are in dire need of the best road bike grip tape. So, here are some of the most interesting products you should consider before making your final pick.
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How we compile our gear guides: during the almost 10 years of cycloscope.net our team personally tested dozens of similar pieces of gear. For what we can't test personally, we involve other people in the cycling community to give their feedback and opinion about gear they have used. Our decade-long experience in bicycle touring enables us to find the key cons and pros of every product we mention.
The 9 Best Road/Gravel Bike Handlebar Tapes to Choose From
If you are looking for a functional yet cool bar tape for your bicycle, here are some of the best ones.
Is black your favorite color? Well, if it is, then this Supacaz Super Sticky is the best bike handlebar tape for you. Use this tape to cover the handlebars of your bicycle and enhance the aesthetics of your beloved rig.
The Polyurethane tape maintains an awesome grip with the metal, along with providing optimum comfort to your hands while riding.
Material: Aluminum, Polyurethane
Package Contents: 2-Super Sticky Kush tape rolls. 2-Aluminum Laser Etched Powder Coated Star Plugz. 2-High End Rubberized Finish Tapes
The aspect that makes this Domain Cycling tape one of the most interesting drop-bar grips is its self-fusing property. The tapes only stick to itself, and once it sticks, it will not unpeel. The cool thing here is that it does not leave any residue like regular bar tape.
It comes in a longer 10 feet variant for wider handlebars and quite a few colors to choose your style and match the bike look.
With this Cork Gel handlebar tape by Cinelli, you can ride as long as you want without getting tired. The layer of VibraSorb gel provides great comfort with its shock-absorbing property. You can easily wrap it over the handlebar without hassle.
This highly elastic tape is heat-proof up to 60 degrees that makes it ideal for tough climate conditions too.
Material: Gel, Polyurethane, Cork
Package Contents: Handlebar tape with two end plugs
If you are looking for an all-rounder handlebar tape, then this one from Marque is the best. The smooth to touch and cushiony design of this tape makes it an ideal bar tape for gravel rides and touring.
The lightweight and flexible material excellently adjusts to the contours of the handle. The water-resistant design maintains proper traction and hand grip even when wet.
Another extra-comfortable bar tape by Cinelli. Sold as two tapes in a box, the Cork handlebar tape is a state of the art product for your bicycle.
It is long enough to cover the widest handlebar and provides you awesome vibration damping while riding on rough surfaces. It’s extra padding for providing supreme comfort to your hands makes it great for gravel and long tours.
For a complete installation, it comes with Cinelli end caps that secure it perfectly to the bar.
Compatible Material: Polyurethane base with Vibra-absorb gel layer
Package Contents: Handlebar tape with plugs, finishing strips.
If you are looking for a handlebar tape that does not increase the gripping surface of the bar, go for this one.
The Fizik handlebar tape is the thinnest handlebar tape in this list, but still pretty comfortable. The perforated leather-like design of the tape provides a smooth touch. Besides, it is made from Microtex fabric that offers superior grip no matter the type of terrain.
Let us wrap up this list with another awesome bar tape! This Knurl from Fabric has indeed a knurled texture on it that takes traction to another level. The finely crafted curves fix into your hands and prevent slipping while in motion.
Other than this, the Silicone gel backing on the tape prevents road shocks to distract your hands. You can use this tape both with or without gloves.
Package Contents: 2Handlebar tapes, bar ends, finishing tape
Thickness: 2.5 mm
Non-slip knurled design
Silicone gel for supreme comfort
End plugs and finishing tape for secure fixing
Not durable enough
What to keep in mind while buying the Best Handlebar Tape | Buyer’s Guide
As you have explored some of the coolest handlebar tapes in the preceding section, it is time for you to make a choice! But wait! It is not over yet.
As there are multiple characteristics in the above-described products, you need to sure about what to look for. So, let us dive into the factors that you need to keep an oversight on while making your final pick.
Thickness: The core feature of the tape that you need to consider is the thickness. This is essential as enough thickness will prevent your hands from getting blisters while riding. The cushioning also prevents sore palms. The most comfortable bar tapes are usually the thickest!
Traction or Grip: The traction offered by the right handle tape is one of the most crucial attributes that you need to check. The better your grip on the handlebar, the best and most comfortable the handling. Check for the knurled or cross-hatch design on the tape surface.
Flexibility: If you are worried about tapes hanging loose from the handlebar, then you need to focus on this aspect. Thinner and more flexible tapes wrap better around the handlebars and are easier to install.
Material: The choice of material affects the comfort level of the tape. Most of the best handlebar tapes are available in cork, rubber, leather, or synthetic material. It depends on you which one you want to choose. If you want to give your bike a luxurious look, go for the cork tape. It will be expensive, though. For better durability and vibration absorption, choose leather tapes. They wear out really slowly. For gel-based cushioning and lightweight design, you can go for the synthetic handlebar tape.
Color: You must be thinking why color is a deciding factor, right? Well, if you go for light-colored taps, the probability of them losing their graceful look will be high. On the other hand, going for dark colors will free you from the hassle of changing the tape after some time.
Final Wrap Up!
So, here we are with all the necessary things in our minds. Do check all these products and buyer guide carefully before choosing the best handlebar tape. We hope this guide helps you in the best possible way. Happy Shopping!