Bike Handlebar Tape: A Beginner's Guide

March 14, 2017 0 Comments

Worldwide, there are nearly 1 billion bicycles currently in use -- double the number of automobiles on the road. We use bikes for everything from exercise to transportation to recreation. If you've just started cycling, you're probably learning quite a bit about your individual comfort needs. While a comfortable bike seat should be a top priority for ensuring a smooth ride, there's another component you may have overlooked: bike handlebar tape. While there are all types of bar tape, it's important that you learn a bit more about the bar tape basics before making a big investment or heading out for a long-distance ride.


The material matters

There are all kinds of bar tape, but you should give careful consideration to the material -- and cost -- of the tape you end up using. Don't make your decision only based on how cool the design is. More than anything else, you need your tape to be fully functional and comfortable. If you cheap out on your tape, you might have to deal with a slick surface that requires frequent replacement. A high-quality leather bar tape will provide a bit of stretch and will let you get a tight wrap. And while leather bar tape may be a bit pricier, one of the advantages of leather handlebar tape is that it will outlast other materials. That means you won't have to worry about replacement for a long time.

It will need to be changed

That being said, even leather bar tape won't last forever. If you ride on a regular basis, sweat and grime tends to build up in your bar tape, so if you aren't using leather, you'll have to change it at least every year. Some riders may change out their bar tape every few months. If you opt for leather handlebar tape, you won't need to change it nearly as often, but at some point, you may need to replace it.

Wrapping can be tricky

There isn't really one correct direction or start point for wrapping your handlebars. Whether you start at the center or wrap clockwise is really up to you. The one point everyone agrees on is that you need to keep the wrap snug. That way, the tape won't slip as you ride and you won't experience discomfort.

For all of your bicycle handlebar tape needs, Selle Anatomica has you covered. For more information, contact us today!