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Your handlebar tape questions

We love it when our customers leave us questions about cycling. It really makes us all take a step back and think about aspects, which sometimes get missed. Handlebar tape can be a tricky piece of equipment to consider when changing it, or choosing which one to use. Handlebar tape is a very simple part of your bike but can make a huge difference to your ride. It is just a long piece of material which can be made from foam, cork or other less common fibres and plastics etc. It wraps around the handlebars to provide comfort to your hands and increase the level of grip between you and the bike. 


How much handlebar tape do I need?

The answer to this is based upon the size of your handlebars. On 99% of road bikes, a 2 meter length will be enough for one side, so 4 meters in total. As long as there is enough to cover from the end of the handlebar to the stem in the middle, you will be fine. It is best to buy a packet which is between 1.8 meters and 2.2 meters to be safe.


How often should I change my handlebar tape?

You will need to change your handlebar tape based upon its condition, rather than how long it has been on there. If the tape is still like new after 3 years, then there is no need to change it. However, if you ride a lot of miles and the tape is uncomfortable or worn, then it is best to replace it. You can tell its worn because it will become flat and hard, and possibly very dirty. If it’s worn and dirty, it can become slippery, which can be dangerous when riding. You do not want the bike to slip away when braking hard or cornering, that’s for sure. It is fairy cheap, and easy to do so I recommend changing it if you’re concerned.


Can you double wrap handlebar tape?

Yes you can double wrap your handlebars. There are some really good advantages to this as well. The first is that the bars will be much more comfortable on your hands, making it easier to ride. The next is that it will make your handlebars thicker, which benefits a lot of people with bigger hands. You do need to watch out how it is applied though. Be sure that there is some of the bare handlebar exposed for the second layer to anchor to. This will stop slippage. I personally double wrap my handlebars so feel free to give it a try!


Can you reuse bike bar tape?

Yes you can reuse bar tape, but I think it’s important to think why you will want to. If you are taking a good condition tape from one bike to another, then that is fine. The only thing to consider is to make sure it is still adhesive enough to be secure on the new bike. If you want to reuse old tape, then I recommend buying new. The reason is because the old tape could be worn out and if it has been on for a while, it will be hard to get it off without ripping it. So in summary, yes you can reuse bar tape, but it is easier to buy new, because it can be quite cheap, and offers peace of mind.

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