How to Wrap Road Bike Handlebars

By: Alex Bristol

Last Update:

One of the best ways to give your road bike a new look is by changing the handlebar tape. However, this process can be a bit challenging especially if you have never done it before. To make your work easier, we have outlined the steps you should follow when wrapping the tape. Check them below.


  • Electric tape
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Tire lever- For removing old adhesives and bar plugs


  • Remove the old tape from the handlebar – You can do this by pulling the hoods from the shifters. This will allow reaching the tape easily.
  • Using the tire lever, remove the bar plugs carefully.
  • You can now remove the old tape.
  • After you have removed the tape, you can now check how the brake cables or how the shift is touted. If the routing is incorrect, you can use an electric tape to put it correctly.
  • Before you wrap the new tape, you should ensure that the handlebar does not have any grease or adhesives. This will allow the tape to stick firmly on the handlebars. Use the tire lever to get rid of the hard stuff.
  • You can use a handlebar holder to make your work easier when wrapping.

How to wrap the new handlebar tape

Before you start, ensure that the tape contains an adhesive strip. In case it has, get rid of 20-30 cm of the liner. Keep repeating this as you wrap the tape. Don’t forget to check whether the tape has a left and right side before you begin the process.

Steps to follow:

  1. Ensure that the leading and is pointing towards the bike. The first wrap should be about half of the bar. You can use the adhesive strip to guide you in case you have it.
  2. Keep the tape under tension when wrapping. However, you should be very careful not to overstretch.
  3. If you want the tape to maintain a sleek shape, ensure that the angle and overlap of each wrap is the same. Do every wrap using half of the tape overlapping the wrap you had done before.
  4. You should wrap the handlebar tape towards the bike.
  5. Check whether the bar plugs will fit correctly by pushing it.
  6. You can now wrap the handlebar tape around the shifters. Before doing this, you should ensure that previous wrap is very high. Wrap the tape in a way that it will cross from the backside to the top side of the shifter.
  7. Make sure that the next wrap is very close to the shifter clamp. Continue wrapping according to how you want it to be closer to the stem.
  8. Cut the last part of the tape diagonally to ensure that your wrap looks clean. You should use scissors when cutting.
  9. Wrap the cut part of the tape tightly on the handlebar.
  10. Use electric tape to finish the process.
  11. You can now place the finishing tape. However, before you remove the liner, wrap it around the bars again so that you can see where you will start.
  12. After you have determined the starting point, you can now wrap the finishing tape.
  13. Remember you were doing this on one end of the handlebar. Repeat the same process on the other bar.
  14. Your bike is now ready for use.

1. How to wrap biike handlebars – Video on Youtube

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