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I'm planning to replace the handlebar tape (nonabsorbent, basic plastic tape with no padding) on my commuter bike, and I was looking to switch to cork tape. However, I always park it outside and it occasionally rains, so I was wondering if the cork's absorbency would be a problem. Also, what about leather and other tape types?

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    I generally use hockey tape, and I've never had any problems with it in the rain. It doesn't offer much "padding", though. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 9 '17 at 21:54
  • Leather will suffer in the rain. – Carel Apr 10 '17 at 18:41
  • Bar tape is a consumable, and is a cheap way to dress up your bike. I change mine two or three times a year, but I only use cheap tape. – Criggie Apr 21 '17 at 23:23
  • @Criggie Yeah, I know. I just don't want to replace it after every rain, or have mildew growing on it or something . – PunctualEmoticon Apr 24 '17 at 0:08
  • If your bike grows mildew, you need to revise how and where you store it. – Criggie Apr 24 '17 at 0:16
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There is very little actual cork in most cork tapes. The plastic foam absorbs some water and may become slightly slippery, but it doesn't deteriorate or anything.

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Lizard Skin DSP tape does pretty good at getting wet, and stays grippy, even when wet. But be aware, it isn't very durable. I've "barely scratched" it on a brick wall and torn it in half before.

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    Its also quite expensive, can't be stretched too far and doesn't take kindly to sharp bends or sharp wrapping patterns. – Rider_X Apr 21 '17 at 21:05

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