I'm going to be re-taping my bars for the first time soon, and I was thinking about a putting an extra layer of tape for just slightly increased diameter and padding. I have big hands, but I don't want the padding kits that are available, as I think that might be too much.

Is this under-taping at all common? I was thinking about using cloth medical-style tape. Would this be a good choice?

(I don't race, just exercise/commute/day-trip, will be getting compact drop-bars)

  • 1
    Have you considered using a thicker than normal tape? Some people I know just double tape. Theres also the very thin Specialized Bar Phat.
    – Batman
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 18:50
  • @Batman - I was planning on Planet Bike Comfort Gel tape, which I assume is one of the thicker tapes. The Specialized Bar Phat looks like a possibility. Thanks.
    – obelia
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 19:50
  • Look into "hockey tape", the cloth tape used for taping up hockey stick handles. It's available from shops that supply hockey equipment. Similar to medical cloth "adhesive tape", but much tougher. I use it OVER regular handlebar tape since it provides a better grip, and it doesn't work loose. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


Double taping or double wrapping is definitely common, and as with all things bicycle there are various opinions on the best way to do it.

I do it mostly for comfort, although as with many others I do have hands big enough to comfortably hold the bars when they're bulked up like that (I'm using two layers of foam tape rather than an under-layer of cotton tape).

I'm not sure there's much advantage to using a layer of non-padded tape, but if it works for you go for it. It's easy enough to remove, so at worst you've lost whatever you paid for the tape.

What I usually do is buy bargain-bin tape for the bottom layer because no-one sees it, and I'll often wrap top-down because I think that works better. I don't tuck the first set of tape into the bar at the bottom, only the outer layer starts tucked in. And I'll often run the outer layer a turn further up towards the stem so it's anchored onto the bar rather than just the first layer of tape. I get that extra tape by only wrapping round the brake levers as little as possible (ie, I don't do the extra figure-8 around the levers), partly because the extra padding often spoils the feel of the levers.

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    Ah, "double wrapping" is the magic google word. I searched for "under tape handlebars" and variations and didn't get anything useful. Useful tips, thanks. So do you wrap the both layers top down, or just the inner layer?
    – obelia
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 23:54
  • @obelia yeah, getting the right jargon is crucial, but that's why we're here - you can type up your question and actual people read it and puzzle out what you mean :) Also, I wrap the outer layer bottom up.
    – Móż
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 1:01
  • @obelia I think wrapping like Moz does is sensible, since then you'll have a crosswise pattern of inner vs. outer tape. Otherwise, you'd have the tapes in parallel and it'll work loose easier.
    – arne
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 5:43
  • I would guess that double wrapping doesn't last very long before is disassembles itself. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 11:38

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