How to Wrap Handlebar Tape on a Road Bike

How to Wrap Handlebar Tape on a Bike

Welcome to the guide on “How to Wrap Handlebar Tape on a Road Bike”. The handlebars usually come with original tape that is factory-made and sometimes you will find that all you have is a coat of paint or some plastic wrapping. This will mean that you have to make sure that you have taped the handlebars correctly when you get the chance.

It sounds like a pretty easy job, but when you start, you will see why people sometimes like to wrap a bike handlebar with tape. There is a way that you can do it all by yourself, and that is why you need to make sure that you have read this tutorial so that you can understand the ways that you can use to get the job done.

You will learn how you can do that properly when you are on your own. That is the reason why we have prepared this one for you to make sure that you do know how to do it on your own. So, without wasting time, let’s get into this and see what we have here.

How to Wrap Handlebar Tape on a Road Bike

How to Wrap Handlebar Tape – Steps at a Glance on

  1. Removing the Old Coverings
  2. Removing the Bar Plugs
  3. Cleaning the Handlebars
  4. Move the Brake Levers
  5. Cleaning the Hands
  6. Tape the Cables
  7. Tape the Brake Lever Too
  8. Finish with the Handlebars

 Part 1: Removing the Old Coverings 

When you want to start and put in new ones, you will need to make sure that you have removed the old tape. This will help you have an easy time with new tape. You will also need to make sure that you do this properly because if you are not careful, you will have problems.

You will need to use your fingers to remove the old tape because if you cut them out, for example, you will have problems with scratching among many other things. This process should take a very short while. Be patient with this. Don’t scratch the metal.

 Part 2: Removing the Bar Plugs 

When you take a look at the handlebars, you will notice that the ends are not open but are covered with something. Filled is a more accurate word because the caps come off. You need to make sure that you have removed these for better taping.

The removal of these plugs is not that hard and will not take longer than a few seconds. In some cases, they may not just be plugged in but glued on. The ends of the tape will most likely be in there too, so you need to pry them off carefully before you start with the new tape.

 Part 3: Cleaning the Handlebars 

When you have removed every stretch of tape that you can find off the handlebars, what you will have is a new shiny and sticky surface. This will not do because you just can’t start taping on the new one before the bars are cleaned.

You should use something that will take off the stickiness and leave the bars shiny and smooth. This could be something like alcohol and a cloth soaked with the same. You will not have to try that hard to get off the sticky substance if you have these. Be thorough.

 Part 4: Move the Brake Levers 

When you want to start cleaning, you will need everything that is on the handlebars to be out of the way or in its place before you can start. The brake levers are the ones that are on the front of the curved part on the handlebars. They will have to be adjusted.

The bottom of each of the one side of the lever should be aligned to match the one on the other side. This will help you have an easy time when you are winding the tape. This should be done to make sure that the corresponding bars are also on the level with the other ones.

Moving things is usually not easy, and that is the reason why you will have to unscrew them sometimes so that you can make them loose enough. This will help you have the kind of flexibility that you will need to move them.

 Part 5: Cleaning the Hands 

Handling the tape will have to be done carefully. When you are taping the handlebars, you will need to make sure that you have done it so that the tape holds. This way, you will have done a good tape job that will last a long time.

When you want to tape, you will need to make sure that you have washed your hands thoroughly because the tape is not for dirty hands. When you hold the tape with dirty hands, you will notice that it doesn’t hold as well. Washing is done using water and soap to be sure.

 Part 6: Tape the Cables 

Whether they are brake cables, light cables or anything like that, you will need to make sure that you have taped them. This will help with the taping because then nothing will be in your way. When I say tape, I don’t mean that you tape over them.

I just mean that you need to hold them to the handlebar if you want to have an easy time with the rest of the process. What you need to do here is make sure that when you are taping, you have an easy time.

 Part 7: Tape the Brake Lever Too 

You will need to tape the brake lever first. The hood should be taken off first, and then you run the tape around it to make sure that it is wound down properly. This way, you will not have any problems with the rest of the handlebar.

  • First, you will need to take off the brake hood. This is the one that protects the liver from any damage.
  • You will then remove the tapes that come with the original handlebar. This will give you room to put in the new stuff.
  • You will then tape the back of each brake lever and bring it around the brake lever to wrap firmly.
  • Put back the hood when you are satisfied with the tape that you have applied and you know that it is going to hold.

As you can see, this is a pretty simple process that should not take you more than a few minutes. The taping has to happen exactly the way it is described.

 Part 8: Finish with the Handlebars 

Now we have come to the last and easy part of wrapping handlebar tape properly. The taping of the handlebars will be done very carefully to make sure that everything fits just right. The process is simple and will be outlined here for you to follow.

  • You will start by attaching the beginning of the roll of the tape to the bottom end of the handlebar. Also, need to make sure that you have some extra lose tape that hangs off for future finishing.
  • Then wrap the tape around the handlebar. You will need to move up the curvy part and into the center of the handlebar. This will help with the way that it fits and also grips.
  • There is also the fact that you need to wrap it in a counterclockwise motion that is on the right hand and then clockwise when you are on the left hand. This will make them meet properly and also give you the proper grip that you need.
  • When you are taping, you will need to make sure that you are doing it nicely. This means that you need to keep the tape tight. However, you do know that if you pull too tight, then you will have problems with the wrinkling.
  • You will need to make sure that you overlap every turn because that will give you a nicer finish. This is the best way to do the job, and you will love it that way. You will have fewer chances of it coming off.
  • The job will be finished when you tuck in the extra pieces that are hanging into the caps and screw them in securing them until the day that you take the caps off and repeat the same procedure.

Final Words

As you can see from the process that we have here, this is a simple job. Even a rookie taper will be impressed by his skills as you say it. This means that you have now learned to wrap handlebar tape and can do it all by yourself with no problems at all.

What you need to remember is that you have to sure that you know everything about wrapping handlebar tape. That way, you will not make any silly mistakes that will have you changing tape within days.


  • Wash your hands before you start.
  • Use tape that is relatively new to make sure that it holds.
  • The taping will have to be done when you have cleaned the handlebars properly.


  • You need to make sure that you have the right kind of tape that will not come off in like two days or something.
  • If you do not do this properly, the tape will end up coming off. That is the reason why the instructions are so precise.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Qsn: Can I use any tape?
Ans: No. Unless you don’t want the bike to look awesome in which case you could use a cloth or something.

Qsn: What’s the handwashing thing, it is just tape after all?
Ans: Well, it is that kind of thinking that will get you killed because the tape slipped and you lost control before running onto an oncoming Mack truck…I kid of course but wash hands.

Qsn: Can I tape over the old tape?
Ans: Are you kidding me? No. why would you do that, why would anyone do that. Just take that tape off and put in something new.

Did you find the information you’re looking for on how to wrap handlebar tape? I hope after went through the article you find the necessary information about wrapping handlebar tape properly. If this article helps you a little bit then please leave your comment to boost me write more things like & help cyclist community.

Reference: Bikeforums    Quora

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