Best Handlebar Tapes in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 10, 2020
Want to add comfort and class to your bike ride? If so, a new bar tape can make all the difference. Not only will it refresh your bike's look but also it will enhance your road safety. And with a multitude of tapes to select from, you can add a personal touch to your bike style. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Kit
Size
Materials
Features
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to a deeply textured cross-hatch patterned finish, the tape delivers a maximum comfortable and firm grip even when it gets wet from sweat or rain. And the surface is easy to wash.  

CONS

It might feel somewhat "coarse" to the touch. 

OUR VERDICT

If you are kind of extreme rider who seeks to conquer tricky tracks and roads, you'll never go wrong with this bar tape from Zipp.  High durability, perfectly grippy finish, and excellent shock absorption are its major strengths. It will outlast numerous rides without the signs of wear. 

detailed parameters
Kit

2 x CX Black rolls

2 x End plugs

2 x Finishing tapes

Size

Length: 190 cm 

Weight: 103 g  

Materials

Tape: synthetic cork

Plug: carbon fibre

Features

Cross-hatch patterned grip, Embossed with the Zipp logo

Warranty

2 years

PROS

This tape boasts heat-proof qualities and can easily withstand high temperatures up to 60°C without loss of durability or signs of heat damages. 

CONS

The tape can tear if overtightened. 

OUR VERDICT

Not new to bike bar taping and seek to further upgrade the level of comfort? Then the Cinelli tape is definitely for you. Distinguished by self-adhesive properties, it's a breeze to wrap and will never slide off. Meanwhile, the branded Vibra Absorb Technology excels in shock absorption to eliminate arm fatigue.

detailed parameters
Kit

2 x Red rolls

2 x Cinelli bar end caps

1 x Finishing tape

Size

Length: 50-60 cm 

Weight: 71 g

Materials

Tape: cork with VibraSorb® gel

Plug: plastic

Features

Self-adhesive, Heat-proof up to 60°C, Tear-resistant, Super soft

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Extremely durable and pretty thick, the tape won't compact or wear off even after hundred of miles rides. And it is perfectly suited for re-wrap. 

CONS

It's pretty quick to stain. 

OUR VERDICT

Want some extra thick padding on your bike bars for longer cross-country rides? You'll get it with the Sram bar tape. Noticeably thicker than many other similar tapes out there, it will neutralise the road buzz and provide the feel of enhanced cushioning you seek.

detailed parameters
Kit

1 x Blue roll

1 x Bar plug

1 x Finishing tape

Size

Length: 45.5 cm 

Weight: 68 g

Materials

Tape: synthetic material

Plug: plastic

Features

Light and durable, Stretchy

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Featuring a really high tensile strength, this tape won't tear or crack even when overtightened. And a special EVA foam liner perfectly absorbs vibrations.

CONS

Plastic plugs are of a bit of poor quality. 

OUR VERDICT

Tear-resistant and featuring no adhesive layer, the Gasea bar tape can be easily re-wrapped making a great choice for novices who don't have hand in taping yet. Ideal for cycling needs, it will also come in handy for other wrapping applications where added cushioning is needed. 

detailed parameters
Kit

2 x Black rolls

2 x Bar plugs

Size

Length: 200 cm 

Weight: ~ 100 g

Materials

Tape: carbon fibre PU Leather with EVA foam liner

Plug: ABS plastic with a metal reflective coating

Features

Breathable, Anti-slippery performance, Sweat-absorbent, High tensile strength

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Light and stretchy and featuring tapered edges, the tape grips easily onto a bar and wraps smoothly without sliding off. 

CONS

Under high heat, the tape gets loose and sticky.

OUR VERDICT

The KIIVI is a practical and handy bar tape suitable for all sorts of bike handlebars. At a fairly affordable price, it offers a decent level of cushioning and a secure grip. Available in multiple colours, it will also add a touch of style to your bicycle.  

detailed parameters
Kit

2 x Black rolls

2 x Bar plugs

2 x Self-adhesive strips

Size

Length: ~60 cm

Weight: 60 g

Materials

Tape: synthetic cork

Plug: plastic with a reflective metal coating

Features

Light and durable, Stretchy

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

Zipp Bar Tape

Premium Quality for Challenging Rides

Cycling on pavements and pedalling, say, through the woods or over countryside roads are not the same thing. In fact, these riding styles are completely different and while city cycling is mostly hassle-free and enjoyable, off-road riding poses some challenges. Yet, if the latter sounds like your scenario, the bar tape from Zipp will definitely add comfort and confidence to your challenging rides.

Made of premium synthetic cork, this tape will sell you on outstanding quality. It is highly durable to withstand long miles of uneven roads and resilient enough to make the application a piece of cake. Thanks to a light sticky layer, it will stay in place without sliding off, whatever your riding style. Meanwhile, black colour is stain-proof, thus, making the tape very practical in the long run.

When it comes to performance, the tape will outperform many rivals as well. Showing no signs of wear even after months of extensive use (that is supported by a 2-year warranty), it will provide maximum riding comfort. A deeply textured cross-hatch pattern finish will ensure a firm and secure grip even under wet conditions. So, you can rest assured knowing you’ll have full steering control on tricky paths and bumpy roads, no matter what. At the same time, it is reasonably thick to efficiently absorb the road buzz.

The only gripe you might have is the tape price, which is rather at the higher end. However, given the tape length of 190cm and the quality it offers, it is worth the price and will quickly pay off with excellent performance.

To wrap it up, the Zipp is by far the best handlebar tape that will be highly and deservedly valued by experienced and extreme riders who strive to hit bumpy paths with comfort.

Review of Zipp Bar Tape Unisex's Service Course-Black

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Cinelli Tape Handle Bar Tape

Enjoy Enhanced Cushioning Effect

Not new to boke bar taping and search for an appropriate tape to maximise the cushioning effect to get rid of that pesky road buzz when racing over gravel roads and bendy paths in the suburbs? If so, the Cinelli handlebar tape will come to the rescue.

A fav of many off-road riders and city cyclists, the Cinelli tape stands out for simplicity and enhanced road vibrations dampening. Very elastic and fitted with a tacky strip on the backside, it is really grippy and will firmly stay in place as you wrap it. Meantime, made of synthetic corks, which is a blend of natural cork and durable and flexible synthetic materials, the tape is extremely soft and has a nice velvety finish. To further enhance the grip comfort, the Cinelli tape is distinguished by the branded Vibro Absorb technology. It comes infused with a special gel that increases the cork shock-absorbing properties and lends a nice padded feel.

One more distinctive advantage of this tape is its heat-proof qualities. It will easily withstand high temperatures up to 60°C with no signs of heat damage. Besides, thanks to a porous structure, synthetic cork perfectly absorbs sweat and dries out pretty fast. So, it’s a functional and reliable choice for summer rides and for hot regions where temperatures are rather high most of the year.

With all the benefits of natural cork material, there is a downside we can’t leave unnoticed. Highly stretchy and elastic, the Cinelli tape is not as tear-resistant as other synthetic tapes. Subject to strong tightening, it can tear. Thus, to get the most out of it, special care is needed when wrapping.

As for the rest, available in multiple bright colours and delivering an extra-cushioned grip, the handlebar tape from Cinelli will let you add a dash of style to your bike and forget about arm strain and fatigue whatever the road surface you ride over.

Review of Cinelli Tape Handle Bar Tape Gel Cork

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Sram Road Bar Tape

For Extra Thick and Durable Padding

Varying in materials, bar tapes also vary in thickness and, as a result, the amount of padding they provide. And while low-profile tapes (1.5mm) are favoured by racers who need to feel the road and medium-thick tapes (up to 2.5 mm) are most popular among leisure and fitness cyclists that might hit different types of roads, there is also a demand for extra-thick padding (up to 3mm) in some cases. Personal preferences aside, it is appropriate for cross-country roads, gravel jaunts, rough and broken terrain. If this is the type of padding you seek, the Sram handlebar tape is for you.

Casting a quick look is enough to notice that this tape is thicker than many other competitor products. Made of vinyl material, it is very soft and grippy, thus, keeping your hands nicely pampered and dampening those numbing vibrations, whatever the road, and ensuring non-slip contact with your palms even under the rain or during those sweaty rides. As such, the tape provides consistent hand comfort for longer rides on diverse irregular terrain. And it won’t compact or reduce cushioning over time.

On the other hand, the tape material is highly flexible and stretchy, so, you can wrap it tightly without the risk of rips. Unlike other thicker tapes that are usually rather tricky to install, the Sram is a breeze to wrap. It tapers toward the edges for smooth and not too thick overlaps and, thanks to an adhesive backside, stays firmly in place and doesn’t pull out even under intense ride or when contacting water.

At the end, available in a variety of vibrant colours, the Sram tape will make your bike stand out and catch eyes. As thick, springy, and wear-resistant as it is, it will ensure a comfy riding experience under extreme conditions.

Review of Sram Road Bar Tape SuperCork

 

Gasea Handlebar Tape

A Great Choice for a Novice

Novice cyclists who don’t have hand in bar taping yet know firsthand that wrapping a bike handlebar with tape is not as easy as it might seem. And the type of tape you choose can make all the difference. The Gasea tape will fit that purpose just right and will help you quickly get the hang of bar taping.

Most pro-grade handlebar tapes come with sticky backing to keep the tape in place once installed. Instead, the Gasea tape doesn’t have that adhesive layer that can be first regarded as a problem. However, in practice, it will let you re-wrap and correct the tape position as many times as you need without damaging it, which is a great advantage for inexperienced users who often struggle to make a perfect wrap from the first time. Besides, when wrapped without gaps, properly tightened and securely fixed with end plugs, the tape won’t slide off and will withstand any riding style.

As far as the material quality goes, the carbon fibre polyurethane with EVA foam liner combines high stretchiness and resilience with a decent cushioning effect. It boasts high tensile strength and won’t rip even if slightly overtightened while the EVA foam is a great vibration and shock reducer and moist absorber for longer rides on different types of terrain. We’d be remiss not to mention a textured finish that provides firm anti-slip grip under any weather conditions. Ideal for cycling, the Gasea tape is also suitable for other applications and can be used to add a comfy grip to a fishing road, car steering wheel as well as to some gardening and repair tools.

To cut a long story short, the Gasea is a quality durable multipurpose handlebar tape that will make a great choice for novice riders and will also be appreciated by other hobbyists, outdoorsmen, and DIYers.

Review of Gasea Handlebar Tape 2 Packs Road Bike Bicycle

 

KIIVI Handlebar Tape

A Bang for Your Buck

If cycling is rather your leisure time hobby than a sports addiction, there is no need to invest a lot into premium gear. And when it comes to handlebar tapes, professional tapes can appear pretty expensive. But a good mid-level tape, like the one from KIIVI, will suffice to keep you comfy on those occasional rides and give your bike a professional trim.

At a fraction of the price of top-rated tapes, you’ll get a complete installation handlebar tape kit from KIIVI including two rolls of black tape, two self-adhesive strips to secure the tape ends when wrapped, and two plugs to close the bar ends. Matte suede-style finish in classic black paired with glossy caps featuring a reflective metal coating will make your bicycle look stylish and up-to-date. Moreover, there is a whole choice of other bright colours to add some bolder accents to your bike.

Speaking of the performance, the tape is rather at the thin side and won’t add much volume to the handlebars. At the same time, made of synthetic cork, it is soft and provides a decent amount of padding to keep your palms comfortably cushioned and pampered om bumpy roads and rough terrains. Thanks to a velvety finish, the tape ensures a tight non-slip grip without rubbing your skin. Light, stretchy, and low-profile, the tape easily grips onto the bar and wraps neatly and smoothly without sliding off.

The only negative we’ve found out is that this bar tape might get loose and tacky under the burning sun. So, to avoid this, try to park your bike in the shade.

To sum up, practical, affordable, and suitable for all types of handlebars, the KIIVI bar tape is a great choice for hobbyist cyclists who want to ride with style and in comfort.

Review of KIIVI Handlebar Tape Wrap Road Bike Lightest Bar Ribbon Cork

 

What Is a Handlebar Tape?

Though often overlooked or disregarded by some cyclists, a handlebar tape is an essential piece of cycling gear (along with a bike helmet, bike lock, pedals, etc.) that should not be neglected, no matter if you're a pro or an experienced amateur. Since the handlebar is one of the major bike contact points a bar tape can noticeably enhance the comfort and safety of your ride. Not only will it provide a better grip but also level up the cushioning effect for more confident steering on bumpy and bendy roads and off-road tracks.

Bar tapes are basically meant for racing and road bikes with drop-style handlebars and initially, they used to be simple cotton cloth tapes. However, today, there are dozens of options available that vary in the following specs:

  • Material. The most common modern bar tape materials include cork, synthetics, and leather. In relation to a handlebar tape, cork is a mixture of cork and vinyl ethylene acetate. Soft and moisture absorbing, this material needs close care when wrapping because it easily tears when overtightened. Contemporary synthetic material, on the other hand, combines durability and cushioning that makes it one of the most popular bar materials. Usually, these tapes are made of silicone, polyurethane, or nylon with foam or gel in the core. They are lightweight, wear-resistant and boast a grippy finish. As for the leather tapes, though nice-to-the-touch and classy, they are pretty expensive. As such, they are mostly loved by cycling fans who are into style and aesthetics.
  • Thickness. This parameter will define the amount of padding you’ll get in the end and directly depends on your personal preference and the type of road surface you most often have to ride over. Normally, the tape thickness varies from 1.5 mm to 3 mm.
  • Colour. When it comes to colours, here, your choice is virtually limitless and you are free to set up your individual style. It’s just worth mentioning that light colours are more prone to staining and losing their attractive new look.
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Publish Date: 2020-04-10 15:51:52