Handlebar tapes are an often overlooked accessory, but become essential when you have to improve your control over the bike when riding at high speed or on uneven ground. Their main aims are to offer a perfect hold of the handlebars, give the greatest comfort during each whole ride and absorb vibrations coming from the ground.
There are many kinds of handlebar tapes: bicolour handlebar tapes, retro handlebar tapes, funny-looking, with different densities, etc.
The first thing to consider when choosing a handlebar tape for your bike is how the tape is attached to your handlebars. Some handlebar tapes have adhesive strips or gel that stick to the handlebars and keep the tape in place. Other tapes are attached without glue, only by wrapping the tape around the handlebars and attaching it with a small adhesive tape on one side and a bar end cap on the other side.
Furthermore, you should consider the thickness of the tape you are going to choose. It depends very much on each rider, but keep in mind that a thicker handlebar tape will provide better vibration damping.
Another feature to consider when choosing a handlebar tape is the material it is made of. The most commonly used materials are:
Synthetic: Synthetic handlebar straps are usually made of silicone, nylon or polyurethane. In some cases, the tapes may be made of a single layer of these materials. They are cheaper and more resistant.
Cork: The main characteristics of this material is that it has a high capacity to absorb moisture and vibrations. Compared to other materials, it is not as durable, but there are many cork tapes that have been combined with other synthetic materials to increase their durability.
Leather: This material is ideal for cyclists who like to sport a retro look. It adapts very well to your hands and looks very elegant.
Foam: One of the main advantages of this kind of tape is that they are thin and allow you to feel your bars with maximum accuracy.
Bike handlebars can be equipped with other elements to improve comfort and grip. For flat bars, grips are an effective gripping aid. Also, all handlebars must have end plugs attached to them, in order to increase their safety.
Some bikes’ handlebars can be equipped with handlebar grips instead of handlebar tape. They are compatible with flat bars and offer a great grip and comfort when riding.
They can be made with several materials, such as foam, leather or synthetic materials, amongst other options.
Another very important accessory for bike handlebars are bar end plugs. The plugs aren't just an aesthetic accessory for the bike – their main function is to cover the holes located at the ends of the handlebars to minimise the severity of injuries that can be caused in the event of a fall.
Plugs are compatible with all types of handlebars and are an almost obligatory accessory to have, especially in official competitions.
If you have any questions about handlebar tapes for your bike, don't hesitate to contact us by writing an email to [email protected] or calling 014 7042 2050 and our specialists will inform you about any questions you have and you can find the answer you are looking for.