The Bar Tape Thread.


Accra, Ghana
It's quite a diverse subject so I thought it deserved its own thread.
What tips have you got for installing plus which are the best and worst types/brands. Which is the longest lasting and the most serviceable and the most comfortable?
Is thinner or thicker best?
I've been quite impressed with Cinelli tape having had some on one bike for 2 + years. It's very comfortable being quite thick but its white it gets dirty quick but it's very easy to clean. I've also had some Decathlon tape on another bike which I also liked, much thinner than the Cinelli but it's not worn well breaking up on the bar tops after two and a half years.
What are your tips?


Tattooed Beat Messiah
The best tape I have ever used is Hoy tape from Evans. They don't stock it any more which is a shame


My best tape is one of the Shimano pro tapes, you can run it for 10000 miles then take it off and wash it if you want, it goes back on like new.
The only thing is Shimano changed all the names of their bar tapes so I now don't know which one I have using the last 8 years.


My top tips would be:

  • Boardman Gel Bar Tape is ace, only a tenner and comes with screw-in plugs which overcome my inadequacy at trimming the plug end. It's suitably neutral, the Boardman logo is off-centre so you can wrap it the other way around if you don't want to mix brands, and it knocks spots off Lizardskins which are 3x the price
  • I work from bottoms to tops, starting inside to out (*) and ignore the pony bit of finishing tape that comes with most bar tapes - stick with insulation tape
  • For vintage bikes, I use Velox Tressorex cloth bar tape, finished with a plug or slightly whittled cork, and work from tops to bottoms
  • Also, on vintage bikes I don't even attempt to wrap around the levers - I take them off, sometimes leaving the clamping band in place, wrap under the levers then refit them. It just looks neater than trying to confirm what is essentially a 2d strip to a complex 3d shape!

(*) no idea if this is considered 'correct' but it works for me and means that on the curve of the drops you're pushing with the 'grain' of the wrap, not against it.


✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 ♀️ 😷
Whatever's in the shop in a colour I like. Cinelli seems to be what they stock. Best bike has Mike Giant special edition which seems to divide opinion.

Other bike has Ritchey Classic faux leather bar tape which gives problems at the bar ends as it's a bit too thick to tuck in nicely. You need to use the right type of plug to get it to stay in. The ones it comes with are rubbish and pop out.


Kilometre nibbler
Um I dunno. It's not like I retape my bars every week. Or even every year. Or every two years. So I don't get to experience a wide variety of bar tapes. On the very few occasions I've bought some I've thought "crumbs that was expensive", then taped my bars and ... meh. It's bar tape. I have no idea what brand I last used.
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I had black leather Brooks tape on my road bike, it was a gift, took it off after a while and replaced with some red Bontrager tape that looked shoot quite quickly, so I replaced it with the black leather tape that I had kept, been on ever since for about four years. Now’t wrong with it.

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
This stuff that Hinault has on his bike. It was popular in the eighties though I forget who made it. It was slightly transparent and had no backing adhesive but it clung to the bars like cling film. It was also quite thin which was the biggest advantage for me as I like to feel the bars under my hands and hate padded bar tape, especially cork.

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