I used hockey tape on the drop bars for my bike and I need to remove it to replace the brake levers. Over time, the tape has become melted/fused together, and I used lots of layers for extra cushioning, and I can't just peel it off. Are there any tips or tricks for removing it that don't require a Delorean to undo my bad decision to use hockey tape in the first place.

  • Never had any trouble. Of course, I leave the stuff on until it's ready to fall off anyway, and it's usually over a layer of regular handlebar tape. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 3:21
  • (And hockey tape really is the best thing for handlebars. Though it seems like the last stuff I bought was poorer quality than previous -- like everything else, I guess.) Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 3:23
  • The original reason for using hockey tape was that this is on a bike I ride a lot in the rain, and I find that regular bar tape has a habit of coming off quite quickly when subjected to rain. I think it would be much easier to remove if it was over regular tape. I think I'll just stick to regular bar tape from now on.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 13:41
  • I generally start with regular bar tape and then apply the hockey tape when the bar tape begins to slide (which only takes a few weeks). A new layer is then applied over the old every year or two, after peeling off any bits that have come loose. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


A razor blade/knife/x-acto knife should cut it. Hockey shops have special knifes for cutting through hockey tape if you want a specialized device. This shouldn't be a problem for non-carbon bars though, if you're careful.

The residue can be removed with rubbing alcohol or soapy water or mineral spirits (again, for carbon, I'm not sure what you'd do).

  • Eucalyptus oil or Tea Tree oil can be used to remove tape adhesives.
    – andy256
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 22:45
  • I ended up using a knife to cut through the tape. it took many passes to get through all the layers. By the time I got to the second side of the bars, I found the best way was to cut a single line along the entire length. Then use the knife to get under and start peeling the tape. On I had enough to hold onto, I was able to peel it off as one big piece, like skinning a rabbit.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 0:35
  • 1
    I think hockey tape on regular tape should work better than just hockey tape.
    – Batman
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 2:09
  • Old gum from adhesive tape - spray and soak it in WD40 or GT85 and then rub off with an old cloth.
    – OraNob
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 11:36

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