My handle bars are slippery so during the drive they often start sliding off. Could I use those nice cool tapes on my handle bar? If so, which ones should I buy?

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    You also have a choice of grips that lock on to the bars.
    – mattnz
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


You can use any road tape on a flat bar. The main reason people do it is to make the grips thin and firm. Even a thick tape will be thinner than a thin grip. It's important to choose a wrap orientation where the torque from your hand is working the tape in the tightening direction. For a typical flat bar that means turn the tape clockwise looking at the bike from the right or counterclockwise from the left. Usually it works better to locate the finishing tape on the end of the bar as opposed to the brake lever because you want to avoid twisting on it directly, but that part depends on where you prefer to put your hands on the bar.

Finding the wrap orientation that resists loosening for you depends on habits and weight distribution and can tend to require some experimentation, but most riders find there to be one that works best.

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    I'll mention that "hockey tape" is a quick, cheap, and simple stand-in for regular bar tape. A lot easier to install and it's less likely to shift over time. The stuff's available (in many colors) from most sporting goods shops (at least those in the northern tier of the US). Jun 2, 2020 at 0:05
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    so is the tightening direction the one that is forward going (away from your body) or backwards (as if you are giving more throttle on a motorbike)? :) Jun 2, 2020 at 0:17
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    Away from your body. Jun 2, 2020 at 1:01
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    Interesting - could be a new question. I found that bartape on flat bars works great, but it would work loose when wrapped from rear, forwards over the top, and down. The hand's clenching movement seems to work better when the bartape goes from front to back over the top, for me. Didn't make a difference if it was wrapped from stem to ends or the other way.
    – Criggie
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:10
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    @Criggie Yeah, to be honest I think there are forces happening in both directions and neither is perfect. My suspicion is that most of the time, static weight from the rider is pulling the tape in a way that adds tension back to front, but I could also see habit or position playing a role, like maybe some riders push straight down or otherwise apply negligible twisting forces most of the time but twist back when climbing or something. I associate taped flat bars with XC racers and they have pretty bent-over positions, so that may cloud my thinking. I amended my response. Jun 2, 2020 at 3:51

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