There’s nothing quite like replacing your bar tape to make your bike feel like new. Upgrading it is a small change that can make a significant difference to the way your bike feels in terms of comfort and control. The best bar tapes are comfortable, hard-wearing and grippy, and it doesn't hurt if it looks good and/or matches your bike too.
Best overall handlebar tape: ENVE Handlebar Tape
Best budget handlebar tape: KranX Stretta Eco-Grip Handlebar Tape
Best value handlebar tape: Prime Comfort Bar Tape
Best handlebar tape to reuse: PNW Components Coast Bar Tape
Best bar tape for maximum cushioning: Wolf Tooth Supple Lite Bar Tape
Best handlebar tape to stand out: Kinesis Anti-Slip Handlebar Tape Jo Burt Signature Series Reflective
Best handlebar tape for easy wrapping: Cannondale HexTack Silicone Bar Tape
Best money-no-object handlebar tape: Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape V2 4.6mm
Best leather handlebar tape: Souma Leather Handlebar Tape
Best handlebar grips: Brooks Cambium Ergonomic Grips
Your handlebar tape is the essential interface between your bike and part of your body that's full of nerve endings, sensitive tendons and small bones: your hands. It must deliver effective cushioning to minimise road vibrations and offer a secure, grippy surface for your hands to hang on to in all weather conditions.
Handlebar tape is subject to continuous pressure and friction from your hands, as well as potential damage from falls and leaning against surfaces. Striking the right balance between cushioning, durability, and grip is challenging, leading to the wide variety of tapes available on the market.
After meticulously wrapping countless handlebars and logging many miles on both tarmac and gravel over the years, our top picks from the road.cc reviews team are below. If you're looking for a whole bar upgrade for your road bike, be sure to check out our guide to the best road bike handlebars too.