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

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.


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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