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Every time I wrap road bike bars, I generally have about a foot of brand new bar tape leftover from each side if I trim the end square (i.e. cut off the part that was tapered to end the wrap). Two feet total. Nowhere near enough to wrap another set of bars but more than just a tiny scrap.

Has anyone thought of any good uses for this so it doesn't just go right in the garbage?

Doesn't have to be a bicycle related application.

Please specify if your application requires a specific type of bar tape, e.g. cork, fabric, padded, adhesive. Or color.

Similar question for the full-length pieces of old bar tape removed from the bike. It's usually pretty ratty by the time it's removed, but could have a second life somewhere aside from the garbage.

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    How about using it to bulk up the tape where you normally lean most heavily on it? I have a mate who rides on the drops a lot, and wraps an extra layer of tape down there because leaned forward that much there's more pressure on his hands. (You save the pieces and use them as an underlayer next time you wrap the bars.)
    – DavidW
    May 1, 2023 at 14:55
  • I'm surprised you have so much leftover. I usually have no more than 10 cm (for a fairly standard handlebar). Probably my wrapping is denser (and thus softer) - which is already an existing answer....
    – Zeus
    May 3, 2023 at 1:13
  • I might be wrapping with less overlap than you. Could also be a bar size thing, or choice of where to end wrapping. Sounds like a lot, but I just checked and it's not even enough for 4 more loops around the bar. I could slightly wider bars + deeper drops + slightly more overlap between loop making this extra amount disappear.
    – SSilk
    May 3, 2023 at 8:12
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    OLD bartape has about one main use - which is filling your rubbish bin. The only thing I've ever used old bartape for is....bartape! Either putting it back on the bike after adjusting brakes/etc or as a first layer underneath other better, newer bartape.
    – Criggie
    May 3, 2023 at 9:28
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    Sadly @Criggie some tapes can't be re-wrapped. The Deda Elementi that I tend to use has a glue strip up the middle of the back, that's stronger than the foam of the tape. So I currently have one pink side after recabling the back brake
    – Chris H
    May 4, 2023 at 11:00

9 Answers 9

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At the risk of sounding like a total nerd, I have used leftover padded handlebar tape to create a makeshift thumbrest for my mouse. I have a Logitech G Pro Wireless and the side buttons are super sensitive. The thumbrest was just enough friction to prevent my thumb from accidentally bumping the side buttons. I've since switched to custom-fit Lizard Skins for my mouse, but its interesting that they make handlebar tape too.

enter image description here

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    You're right - that's totally nerd and awesome at the same time. I'll have to try that... and welcome to the site.
    – Criggie
    May 2, 2023 at 0:53
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    A photo of the solution would make this answer even better :)
    – gerrit
    May 2, 2023 at 6:37
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    @gerrit ask and you shall receive May 3, 2023 at 0:01
  • Does the tape you're using have strong adhesive across the entire back side? Or are you adding your own adhesive to make this work? I used adhesive bar tape, but it usually only has narrow strip of adhesive down the middle, maybe 6mm (1/4") wide, and not strong adhesive that I'd expect would stick to the side of a mouse long term. It's just there to provide a little extra grip between the tape and bars.
    – SSilk
    May 3, 2023 at 8:07
  • Heh my mouse is worn-smooth at this same point - almost 2 decades of wear.
    – Criggie
    May 3, 2023 at 21:09
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I've used it to wrap the handles of the types of terrible tools you get in the box with new bicycles and flat-pack furniture, turning them into actual more-or-less usable tools:

A terrible metal tool next to two of the same tool with bar wrap around them to create a handle

In the store I work in we also have a long pole with a hook on the end used to lift bicycles up to some hooks on the ceiling to hang them. We wrap bar wrap around those poles to create a handle so if your palms are sweaty the pole doesn't just slide through them when you try to lift a heavy bicycle.

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    This is fantastic!
    – trailmax
    May 3, 2023 at 13:41
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    For tools like this, where you can thread it on, heatshrink sleeving makes excellent finishing tape. On my double-ended cone spanners, for example, that wouldn't work
    – Chris H
    May 4, 2023 at 11:01
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If it’s long enough you could use it to wrap/repair the handles of hiking poles, ice axes and other tools. Though I think people usually prefer racquet tape because it’s thinner.

Shorter scraps can be used to cover the small gap right at the brifters (some tapes even come with an dedicated short piece for that purpose).

You can also put pieces under your handlebar tape for additional padding, next time you wrap them.

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  • I thought about the little pieces for under brifters too, although every set of tape I've bought so far came with those.
    – SSilk
    May 1, 2023 at 14:59
  • I like the padding idea. I have this set of silicone pads that go on the flats, and do a 90' turn to end at the top side of the brifter. But no matching part for the drops. So I might do that next time for the drops.
    – SSilk
    May 1, 2023 at 15:00
  • Also, if you didn't have enough to literally do two layers of wrapping, you could just run a straight piece of the leftover from your last wrap along the area where you want more padding, and then wrap the new set of tape over that. So the leftover from last time would take the place of those silicone pads I mentioned.
    – SSilk
    May 1, 2023 at 15:01
  • Similarly I use the gel pads from a trashed pair of shorts under my bar tape
    – Chris H
    May 1, 2023 at 19:46
  • I used handlebar tape for a wooden toy sword handle - and have just used the leftovers on my bike as a stopgap (it's pink, which really doesn't go with the bike, especially as it's only on one side)
    – Chris H
    May 3, 2023 at 10:13
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You could use it as a chain stay protector instead of the classic old inner tube. You would most likely do this with old handlebar tape since the length would be more suitable.

Here is an original example from the VeloORANGE blog:

enter image description here

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  • Good point about using old tape as well! I was just thinking about these leftover scraps of new tape after a fresh wrap. So I actually thought about the exact thing you're showing here and then was like, I don't have enough to wrap the chainstay. Might have to try this with the old stuff I just took off.
    – SSilk
    May 3, 2023 at 8:15
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Rewrap your bars with a little more overlap - this gives you slightly more cushioning.

Or use the same bartape to double-wrap your main contact point again for added thickness.

I even use bartape on flatbar bikes rather than pushon grips. It feels nicer, and I can cover the bartape with heatshrink to hold it all together.


I got a new front light last night, and the provided clamp was too big for my old school road bike drop bars.

So I used a couple wraps of bartape to increase the diameter just where the light clamped on, and it worked perfectly. Using the same bartape means it visually blends in better too.

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If you use aero bars, you can wrap them to make them more comfortable and warmer (at least if aluminium) to hold. That doesn't take much.

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Not at all bike-related: I've used scrap pieces around the house to dampen impacts, e.g. on door frames, on furniture if a door might hit it, on the backside of drawer fronts and cabinet doors to cushion the closing "clank", etc.

Tape that comes with adhesive might work well as is, but I found that double-sided sticky tape makes scrap pieces stay in place much longer. You can also use differently coloured pieces to match furniture or appliances!

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I use it for the "handlebar" of my lawn mower. It's a cheap lawn mower with a bare metal handle. The tape makes it feel like an expensive mower.

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  • Nice! Now I'm trying to think of what other devices have handlebar like parts. I could see this being and improvement to some string trimmers (weed whackers). When I finish using mine for 10-15 minutes, my forearms buzz for about 10 minutes afterwards. Some extra padding probably wouldn't hurt.
    – SSilk
    May 3, 2023 at 16:34
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    @SSilk You should definitely try to sort that out—you could easily develop nerve damage or something if your arms are buzzing like that afterwards.
    – MaplePanda
    May 3, 2023 at 16:50
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When I have to carry bicycle up or down the stairs I use to grab it at the base of the saddle tube. That point is well balanced, so you can easily hold the bike with one hand. But if it is rainy it is slippery. If you have a city/commuter bike that you have to shuffle around often a good grip on that point will be very useful.

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