My white handlebar tape is an absolute nightmare to keep clean even using Sprint Spitfire Spray and I don't have time in my life to keep on top of it. Are there any bar tapes out there that are very easy to maintain? The tape does not necessarily have to be white.

  • 2
    Handlebar tape comes in all colors. Why not try grey or black? Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 19:07
  • White is dreadful. I had some `80s yellow tape that was as bad, so I wrapped it with industrial gladwrap / saran wrap. That worked well to preserve the bartape, and it was surprisingly okay to hold.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 19:52
  • You can also mix it up, put white tape on the parts of the bar you don't use, and put some black on the hoods. I do the same with red above the hoods and black on the drops. Commenting because not an answer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 19:53
  • Sounds like a shopping question, but at one point not long ago, Supacaz marketted their tape as being the "only high end cleanable bar tape" but it seems they have sense removed this phrase from their website.... Although i do really like their tape and it does tend to clean a bit better than some others do.
    – Nate W
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 21:11
  • 1
    Use hockey tape (comes in many colors), and when it gets dirty just add another layer. Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


The secret with Handlebar cleaning and also with brake hoods (I have white ones, it's cool but it never stay clean more than 10minutes ^^) is to use some hospital-grade ammonia based cleaning products.

Since your stains are essentially composed of handfat and dirt you will clean your tape with minimal effort.

  • Does this degrade the rubber?
    – Batman
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 15:06
  • 1
    I do it for two years now and until today it didn't. Normally even pure ammonia is compatible with platic materials but I wouldn't recommand it that way. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 15:21

Ease of cleaning and maintaining appearance is one of the things shellacked cotton has going for it the strongest.

With shellacked tape, what wears primarily is the dried shellac matrix. You have to let it go a long time before the actual tape material is exposed.

To clean it you just put some alcohol on a rag and wipe it down, which quickly makes it look good as new unless it's getting worn down. And then to replenish it you mix up more shellac solution in the same alcohol and re-apply some layers.

You can keep the same tape going a very, very long time this way, always looking good.

For cleanable conventional/modern tape options, the best I've seen are Lizardskins DSP and Fizik Superlight Classic, which both wipe more or less clean with alcohol.

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