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    Wrap handlebar tape correctly

    Sophia Willmes
    Sophia Willmes
    Mar 4, 2024 9 min
    Wrap handlebar tape correctly

    So your road bike looks like new

    Road bikes are real eye-catchers - elegant, fast, a feast for the eyes. But above all, they make your handlebars shine nice and crisp, and the best way to achieve this is with a fresh round of handlebar tape. Not only does it visually enhance your bike, it also improves the feel of the handlebars and protects them from corrosion. How you can renew your handlebar tape yourself, explains you once Nic in the linked YouTube video and once I in this blog post. So: To the tapes, wrap, go!

    Before you get started, make sure you have all the necessary equipment ready. To rewrap your handlebars, you will need:

    • New handlebar tape
    • Two extra pieces 5cm long handlebar tape
    • End caps
    • Scissors
    • Insulating tape

    Once everything is ready, remove the old handlebar tape and clean your handlebar thoroughly from adhesive residues and other dirt.

    With the insulating tape you now first attach your brake cables directly behind the brake caps under the handlebars, if they are not already internally guided. For this you simply turn the brake caps forward. With a second piece of insulating tape, you then stick the brake cables once again at the point on the handlebars where your handlebar tape should end. The place just before the handlebar becomes wider again, is usually good.

    Now take your roll of handlebar tape, wind it up and remove the first few centimeters of the adhesive tape cover. If you start with the right side, you now wind clockwise around the handlebars, on the left side counterclockwise.

    At the bottom of your handlebars, start winding the tape, making sure to keep the tension high at all times. The tape should touch the handlebar and adhere well to it. Make the first turn like this, bring the rest of the tape back up and on the next turn make sure you cover at least a third of the previous row with the new round of handlebar tape so the rows overlap nicely. Work your way up the handlebars, keeping the tension and making sure you work evenly and without gaps. If you slip or get tangled, just unwind a few centimeters and try again.

    Once you are underneath the brake lever, take the 5cm extra strip of handlebar tape, remove the cover of the tape and attach it to the underside of the brake lever.

    Now it gets a little tricky for a moment: Continue wrapping the remaining tape tightly around the bottom of the lever, overlapping the extra piece of tape. Once you reach the inside of the lever, wrap the tape up along the side of the lever and over the handlebars. Again, overlap the extra piece of tape, but wrap a little tighter side to side than you've done on the rest of the handlebar so far, so feel free to overlap a little more than just a third and keep even more tension than usual. Wrap around the brake lever like this until you get to the upper handlebar bar.

    Once you have done this, you can continue winding as usual. Once you have reached the insulating tape, wind a few last rounds until you have completely covered the insulating tape and mark the spot on the tape where you have now stopped winding. Cut off the protruding handlebar tape and wrap it back another 5cm.

    Now you cut it again, angled. Start at the lower left end and cut to the upper right. Now wrap the rest of the tape around the handlebar so that you get a clear straight end edge. Press it tight and now you only need the last piece of tape to fix the handlebar tape. Wrap it around two or three times, cut it off and press it down one last time.

    Fold the brake caps back down, stuff the end caps into the ends of your handlebars so that they clamp the handlebar tape nicely and use a rubber mallet for this if necessary.

    That's it! If you have any further questions about changing the handlebar tape or about the topic of bicycles in general, you can always continue on the blog or contact our team. And have a look at buycycle if you want to find your new dream bike or sell your old one. Until then, we wish you, as always: Happy browsing, happy cycling - and good luck with the winding!

    Road bike handlebar tape wrap | buycycle

    So your road bike looks like new

    Well-maintained road bikes are real eye-catchers. Especially shine the models with a bright clean handlebar. A beautifully wrapped and new handlebar tape helps with this. Especially handlebar tapes in white or a bright color give the bike a noble look or make it a real eye-catcher. You not only enhance the look of your bike , but also improve the feel of the handlebars and protect them from corrosion. Here you can learn how to easily renew the handlebar tape yourself and other important information.

    How to wrap a handlebar tape?

    A handlebar tape can be wound uncomplicated and fast independently, even without manual talent. To do this, we will first explain what you need. The most important thing is of course a new handlebar tape, besides you need plugs, scissors, electrical tape and an additional five cm long piece of handlebar tape. Usually the extra piece of handlebar tape is included. Otherwise, you can simply cut a piece of the handlebar tape.

    Removing the old tape

    After removing the handlebar plugs on the sides, as well as folding back the grip rubbers, end tape and the old handlebar tape can be unrolled.

    Cleaning the handlebar

    The road bike handlebar can be degreased with a cloth and some brake cleaner. This is important so that the new handlebar tape can hold well.


    Scissors, handlebar end plugs, insulating tape and the handlebar tape should be positioned within easy reach near your road bike. Then you can get started: First, you reach for the insulating tape. This is to ensure the correct guidance of the shift and brake cables. To do this, you stick the cables where the handlebar bends the first time. With a second piece of the insulating tape, the cables are fixed where the handlebar tape should end later. A good place for this is there before the handlebar becomes wider in its center. Once the shift and brake cables are in position, you can put the insulating tape ready to hand for later, you will need it again.

    Wrapping the handlebar

    Wrapping a new handlebar tape correctly is not witchcraft. Here you will learn how to achieve a beautiful look. You can completely unwind the new handlebar tape. It is easier if someone holds the handlebars. Check whether the new handlebar tape has a left and right side. For wrapping, start where the handlebar plugs were previously removed. You can already remove a small part of the adhesive cover strip. A note on the winding direction: On the right side of the handlebar you can unwind the new handlebar tape clockwise. On the left side it goes counterclockwise, so you get a nice look.

    When winding, start at the bottom of the handlebar, at the end of the handlebar. With a little tension, wrap the tape so that about half of it hangs over the end of the handlebar. The protruding handlebar tape is wound once completely over the edge and then guided upwards at a slight angle. Care should be taken to ensure that, despite overlapping, the adhesive strip on the underside of the handlebar tape also touches the handlebar. It should be at least a third of the handlebar tape width overlap the tape. This technique allows you to work your way up the handlebars while maintaining a slight tension in the tape. Make sure there are no gaps and that the racing bike handlebar tape always overlaps. Don't hesitate to unwind the handlebar tape again slightly to adjust the tension for a better fit on the handlebars.

    Once you get below the brake lever, you will need the extra strip of five cm of handlebar tape. Remove the adhesive cover. Then tape the bar tape to the underside of the lever. The ends of the tape will touch the handle. Continue to wrap the long piece of bar tape tightly around the bottom of the lever, slightly overlapping the extra piece of tape. Once you reach the inside of the lever, wrap the tape up, along the side of the lever and over the handlebar. Don't let the shifter and brake lever get in the way. Again, you should slightly overlap the extra piece of handlebar tape when you get to the top handlebar. Continue wrapping the upper part of the handlebars. Now go from front to back. As you do this, simply wrap over the taped cables to cover them up.

    Around the bend at the top handlebar, the tape might stretch. Simply adjust the tension and wrap tighter on the front of the handlebar. Overlap the tape a little more than before in the turn. Once you've made the turn, you can go back to the normal overlap distance. When you get to the point with the handlebar tape where you placed the second piece of tape, completely cover the tape with the handlebar tape.


    You should be a few centimeters away from the stem with the handlebar tape. Take the scissors to hand, and cut off the last end of the handlebar tape, which is superfluous. Then unwind another small piece of the handlebar tape and cut the tape diagonally. To do this, it is best to stand in front of the road bike. From this angle you can cut the handlebar tape from the outside to the inside. Cut the tape at an angle and wind it up again. If you have done everything correctly, you will now notice that the end of the handlebar tape along the edge is perfectly straight and not bulging. Keeping the tension on the handlebar tape edge, take the electrical tape and wrap the edge of the handlebar tape in the same direction as the handlebar tape: front to back.

    Wrap the insulating tape around two or three times and then cut it off at the bottom of the handlebar. Then cut off the excess of the five cm long extra strips of handlebar tape and put the hood back on. Lastly, tuck the excess handlebar tape inside at the edge of the handlebar, and the plug goes on top of that. This can be a little tricky. Take a rubber mallet to help you get the plug inside the handlebars despite the handlebar tape. Repeat this process on the other side and you have a great new handlebar. If you have a gravel bike or mountain bike that also has handlebar tape, you can do the same.

    If the instructions did not help you, then visit the buycycle YouTube channel. There you will find an accurate and straightforward video tutorial on how to wrap a handlebar tape best. If you have any further questions about the bike, please contact the buycycle team.

    How often do you have to change the handlebar tape?

    If the handlebar tape on the road bike is renewed properly, it makes a good impression visually. But how often is the renewal necessary? Many bike fanatics see the handlebar tape change as a meditative task to tune up their favorite sports equipment or to give it a new look with a new color. However, changing the handlebar tape is usually only necessary once a year. Because the handlebar tape is attacked by hand sweat and weather influences. The tape stores moisture and salts and in the worst case also destroys the underlying material - the handlebar itself. However, this case of hardship is rare. To prevent corrosion nevertheless, it is worthwhile to regularly wash the entire racing bike with water and the possible additional use of detergent to effectively dissolve grease. For optimum care, dry the bike completely afterwards and do not leave it in a warm, damp environment. If you wash your bike regularly - even if it is not heavily contaminated with mud and dust - and change the handlebar tape at least once a year, you can detect corrosion at an early stage and prevent serious damage.

    How much time does handlebar tape wrap?

    Who rewinds his handlebar tape for the first time itself, should plan some time. Because for a clean and even result can pass unpracticed and without help like times also one hour. If, on the other hand, you go to a bicycle repair shop to have your handlebar tape changed, you can expect it to take half an hour even there. As everywhere else, the same applies here: Practice makes perfect. Especially for tasks that are not safety-relevant, it is worthwhile to do it yourself. Not only do you save about 20 € for the handlebar change at the professional in addition to the material costs, but you have a nice little tinkering that distracts you from everyday life.

    You would like to change your handlebar tape, but you do not have a road bike yet? Then take a look at our online marketplace for used bikes. While browsing on buycycle.com you might also find your dream model.