Changing bar tape is one of my favorite upgrades on my road bike. The best road bike bar tape is not only durable, but also enhances the way your bike looks.
Changing your road bike bar tape is no easy task, but it is a rewarding one. Whether you are doing it yourself, or having your local bike shop complete the job, the real work is picking the handlebar tape that will last, feels great, and looks even better.
What Is The Best Road Bike Bar Tape for 2022?
Supply chain issues have had an enormous impact in the cycling industry. Those issues have led to new brands creating bike accessories, like handlebar tape, to fill those holes. It has also led to innovation from existing bar tape manufacturers.
A new bike takes longer to come in, but you can equip your existing bike with awesome new designs that are more durable than ever.
1. Best Overall Road Bike Bar Tape – Lizard Skins DSP
Lizard Skins bar tape is a popular choice of bar tape for several reasons. They offer plenty of color options, as well as various thicknesses to please all cyclists. If you like soft, yet durable, handlebar tape then Lizard Skins DSP is an easy choice. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
The texture, amount of padding and color are all important factors. The more options you have, the more likely you will find that perfect match. Lizard Skins offers multiple textures, thicknesses and and color variations.
Lizard Skins offers 17 different colors and four thickness options ranging from 1.8mm to 4.6mm. The thicker the bar tape, the better shock absorption it has. The thicker handlebar tape doesn’t last as long, but it is more comfortable than thinner alternatives.
2. Most Durable Bar Tape – Brooks Perforated Leather
If durability means more than color options and comfort, the Brooks Perforated Leather needs to be your ‘go to’ bar tape. Leather is a huge upgrade over traditional EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) bar tape. Leather handlebar tape will last 2-3X longer, but only has a moderate price increase. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
Unfortunately, color snobs will not like having only three color options. Brooks Perforated Leather comes in brown, light brown (honey), and black. It offers a vintage look and style no other brand can match.
3. Most Affordable Handlebar Tape – BV EVA Tape
Price shoppers love BV EVA handlebar tape. Two rolls, which is enough to do your entire handlebar, costs less than $15 and it includes bar ends and finishing tape. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
With that low price, unfortunately, you only get two color options: black and white. Limited colors aside, the BV EVA tape is a great value. The 3M adhesive prevents slippage, and the exterior is both UV and water resistant.
4. Softest Feel Handlebar Tape – Wolf Tooth Supple
The softest bar tape on the market is from Wolf Tooth Components. Their supple tape is 5mm thick and comes with a self sealing silicone finishing tape for a clean look. There are five different color options. Unlike other brands, with Wolf Tooth you get the benefit of comfort without sacrificing durability. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
Another awesome feature from Wolf Tooth is the width of their handlebar tape. At 40mm wide you can control how thick the tape is with varying level of overlap during installation. Not only is the supple tape soft, it is also tacky providing plenty of grip even when your hands get sweaty.
5. Most Popular Bar Tape – Supacaz Sticky Kush
The fastest growing brand in the bar tape space is. Supacaz. Their Sticky Kush comes in multiple colors and design options. Each design offers a unique texture so even the pickiest cyclist will find an option they love. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
The founder of Supacaz, Anthony Sinyard, is the son of Specialized Bikes founder, Mike Sinyard. Cycling is rooted deep in the history of this company, and it shows. In just 10 years Supacaz has exploded in popularity and is trending towards the #1 selling handlebar tape in the industry.
In the end, all bar tapes are not created equal. I change my bar tape seasonally, with something thin and hard in the summer because it expands and softens in the sun, and I use 3.2mm Lizard Skins that has more padding for the colder riding seasons. Have fun with your bar tape. Try changing the colors, choosing a style you otherwise wouldn’t, just have fun. After all, most of us started riding bikes to have fun and be less serious.
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