Having some cool bar tape, or cool handlebar tape, is one of the most underrated things you can have on your bike. It’s just ‘sort of there’ right up until the point you scrape your bars against a wall and tear it up. Even worse, you might’ve fallen off and shredded the bar tape in a crash. Gone are the days where you can have any colour, so long as it’s black – to use an old quote. You can quite literally have all of the colours of the rainbow if you so wish. Plus even some garish silvery chrome bar tape if that takes your fancy! All sorts of funky bar tape is available to buy now.
Some of the best bar tape is below and whilst they’re predominantly with road bike bar tape in mind, there’s nothing stopping you from using these on a gravel bike or a mountain bike without grips.
Cool handlebar tape options available to buy
Starting off with a jazzy one, can’t say I’d have it on my bike but someone out there must be wanting some leopard print on their handlebars!
It used to take a skilful mechanic to wrap handlebars in multiple colours but now you can do it easily with this sort of tape. It’s up to you whether you want orange or blue drops and tops but the colours will certainly stand out. Lizard Skins bar tape is particularly good in wet conditions as well.
Salsa make stuff aimed at the touring/adventure bike crowd and this bar tape definitely fits that. The images (or glyphs) certainly have that lost in the wild vibe.
Cinellie linked up with some artists for some of their more ‘out there’ designs. As a result you could get some cool bar tape that matches your jersey and cap if you so wanted.
For that sort of retro charm, you can always go for the world champion stripes. Naturally colourful, it’s not quite the faux pas of wearing a world champion jersey, so I reckon go for it.
The tape I use currently for some winter colour. Peaking out from beneath the pin holes of the black tape are little darts of individual colour. Fun, different but not as garish as some of the other options!
Gradient colours have been the in-thing with pro cycling team jerseys in recent years. So it stands to reason that gradient bar tape must also be in fashion.
Probably the most understated design on this list, the contrast between the dark tape and light symbols makes this interest. If you want something a little bit different but also not to scream your arrival, this would be perfect.
The bar tape brand that Peter Sagan uses no less! I’ve used Supacaz’s cool handlebar tape in the past and found it good. It’s on a par with Lizard Skins when riding in wet conditions. This design is great for having black drops, where you might stick mucky fingers. Then you’ve got the standout orange colour displayed on top.
Another understated design. This one matches the Bigla-Katusha kit that’s unfortunately no more. Again it’s something different to block colour, just enough to make an impression but not too much of one.
More from the Cinelli Art Programme. Given the design, it will be no surprise if you manage to catch some eye with this design. You’ll probably find people staring at your bars like a painting, trying to make sense of it all.
White bar tape is a risky business. One dropped chain and it’s ruined. There’s also an alternative black with white flowers version though thankfully. This being Silca, it’s not cheap so you’ll want some longevity. The embossed detail gives the design some punch.