It can be a fiddly job, but sooner or later you'll need to change your handlebar tap. Here we show you how

In our latest ‘how to…’ mechanic Al Vines runs through how to change your bar tape. It’s not the simplest of jobs, but sooner or later your grip is going to wear out and you’ll need to refresh your bar wrapping.

Watch the video to find out what you’ll need for the job and how best to approach it. Al uses a figure of eight approach that works best with drop bars and modern shifters. Follow his advice carefully and you’ll have a fresh looking set of bars in no time.

Handlebar tape: our picks


Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm Bar Tape

Championed by the likes of Alejandro Valverde and the MTN Qhubeka Lizard Skins bar tape feels incredibly comfy.

Score 10


Fizik Superlight bar tape

Listed as just 2mm thick, Fizik’s Superlight bar tape is made from MicroTex and manages to combine being incredibly thin More…

What you’ll need

  • Electrical tape
  • Decent sharp scissors
  • A roll of new bar tape
  • A clean pair of hands

Fresh from the box

When you buy new handlebar tape you should find a few other things in the box. There’ll be the two rolls of tape with bar plugs, cheat strips – but you won’t need those with this method, unless you’ve got Campag levers, and finally some sticky strips for finishing the job – but that’s where the electrical tape comes in.

  • SeanMcCuen

    yes, it is. happy hand slippage.

  • PS

    No it’s not. It’s crud. Expensive, looks awful, feels awful, and lasts about 1 week in hot weather.

  • A.J

    The CBoardman gel tape seems decent, at 9.99 a pack at Halfords and it comes with logoed screw in bar ends and brake lever tape, and one role did the job,easy enough to wipe clean with a wet wipe etc and its really grippy, got it on buy 2 get third one free offer as knowing our weather ill need the fresh roles especially in yellow but looks quality product and individualises my green and yellow Carrera crixus 2.

  • SeanMcCuen

    the best tape there is, period, is Specialized Velvet. never need gloves even on the hottest days, and lasts literally 2-3 times longer than most. black looks new after a whole summer.

  • Mick

    I have tried the 1.5, 2.5 and 3.2mm versions, all of which are very good, although I prefer the 3.2mm. At this time, this seems to be the best tape on the market.

  • Atganirider

    Feels great, but just won’t come clean. I’ve had the white and pink, but binned them off as they looked grubby after a few rides. In contrast, Deda Carbon effect tape in silver, gold and even white has proven durable and easy to clean over the course of several cyclo-cross seasons. With just a little effort and some washing up liquid, Deda Carbon comes up pristine