It has been a really long time since I’ve replaced my bar tape. I tend to sell off bikes and buy new ones before I ever need to but, I like the current bike I have and not gonna sell it for a bit, so I want to put on new tape. What are people using and what do people like/recommend for their race bike?
I am pretty happy with Supacaz bar tape, but it is quite expensive.
I love Lizard Skins, if I find some on sale I always pick up a roll for the next time I need new tape.
They have a few different thicknesses, and even their thinnest tape is very comfortable for me on my road bike. For gravel and bumpier routes, they have thicker tape that helps soothe the buzz.
I really like Lizard Skins DSP, 2.5mm thick. I used to like fairly thin bar tape, but gave this one a try. They also do a 1.8mm and 3.2mm IIRC. It’s super tacky and looks nice.
Usually it’s quite expensive, but I bought a couple of boxes on sale for £15 around xmas time.
Edit: @ciarrai beat me to the punch!
When I was more of a weight weenie, you couldn’t go too far wrong with Deda Traforato. I could usually wrap my bars <20g.
Factor. Feels like Lizard Skin but unlike LS it won’t delaminate. Loved supacaz as well but, it gets slippery when wet. Factor has more texture…
Pro tip - if you have aero road bars and don’t wrap your bars all the way to the stem, try the baseball tape or hockey stick wrap. I just used the 1.8mm baseball tape on my new Vision bars and it was the perfect length. Cheaper than the full HB tape set.
Zipp Service Course CX. Good price, wraps easily, wears well.
I work at a shop and we do a number per week. If you’re a heavy sweater, contrary to what I saw here, Supacaz is the best when wet. Lizard skin even got slippery to a couple of heavy sweaters we have had in. I just had the Supacaz put on my new bike. The mechanics say it’s a bit tough to wrap at first, as it doesn’t stretch much, but after the first one it’s same as any. I think their colors and styles are cool too with some nice fades.
I’ve been using supacaz for the past month and love it. Before it I used lizard skins 2.5mm and liked that one too.
Silca Nastro Cuscino. It’s more durable than any other bar tape I’ve used. It’s got tape to seal the ends that actually sticks for as long a the bar tape is on there. It’s got a special bit that goes behind the brifter lever that actually fits the area behind the brifter. It’s good for 100 to 200 miles of gravel.
I don’t think most bar tape is durable enough for gravel riding. Silca bar tape is.
Downside? It doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal of something like Supacaz.
I’m a big fan of fizik bar tape. I replaced lizard skin with fizik on my gravel/cx bike and will probably not go back. Lizard Skin is real popular probably for a reason. It just wore out too quickly for me.
Lizard skin just feels sublime under paw. But is a dirt magnet (So no color other than black). Then delaminates within a year.
We don’t need no steenking special bit. Wrap with a figure eight and flip.
I was looking at Lizard Skin and Fizik. I have always really liked the Zipp Sevice Course but was thinking of trying something different. Seems like a lot of people really like the Lizard Skin!
I used to just do nothing.
Now I do all sorts of proprietary & secret wrapping/covering of my brifters and levers. Although now that it summer all that stuff is coming off. Anyhow, a little bit of material science on those brifters makes a big difference. Not so much the bar tape bit…
Now that I’m thinking about it I should patent it.
I’ve used Fizik for years, but recently switched to Supacaz Kush. I like the comfort, but I don’t like that it just soaks up sweat indoors. I’m putting a towel on my bars right now… otherwise, outdoors I like it a lot.
The end plugs that come with Supacaz are very heavy, and I found it more difficult to work with than Fizik, but not so much that I wouldn’t buy it again. I might go back to Fizik if I don’t ride outside more in the near future. Could see Fizik in my indoor exclusive time, switch to Supacaz for outdoor riding.
I noticed that too. I’ve got red lizard skins tape on my cross bike. The red turned to maroon (described charitably…) after the first ride, and washing doesnt do much to make it any better.
Luckily I don’t mind too much…I’m not super anal. One of these days maybe I’ll try scrubbing it a bit with simple green or rubbing alcohol or something.
I have two half answers to this:
At the moment I use Ekoi sharkskin. It looks awesome and it doesn’t have the adhesive strip, which I think makes it much easier to wrap… sadly when it gets wet it’s like trying to grab two fish with your bare hands.
The other one I really like is Specialized Roubaix bar tape. It’s really good in dampening road vibration and it is grippy as hell, also in the wet.
Now I just wish they made that bar tape with the looks of the Ekoi one
I’ve had good luck with the knurled tape from Fabric and Specialized. I used Lizard Skins for a while but it would delaminate and felt too thick to get a good feel for the bike.
Cheapo tape for £3. Feels nice, reasonably soft, doesn’t get wet, doesn’t get slippy, lasts a few years.
No need to make this more complicated than it can be.